There are a lot of myths in snowboarding that we’re all guilty of letting ourselves believe. Our “Common Misconception” series is going to dive into a few theories that people have about snowboards and snowboarding in general, to help debunk those myths that confuse both avid riders and newbies alike. We’ve decided to go with quite the obvious topic as our first pick, and that is choosing the right size snowboard. There are a few key factors we will delve into about how to choose the correct size for yourself, why that size will work best for you, your riding style and ability, and a few things to avoid when picking your snowboard size.
The first common misconception when sizing a snowboard is what factor about yourself determines what board you need. Most people grab a snowboard off the wall and stand it up close to their face to see where the board lines up. Typically, people have been informed the deck should land somewhere between your chin and your nose. This “rule” is almost entirely false. Let’s put it this way, if I provided two men who are the same exact height but fifty pounds different, and I gave them the same size 2X4 to stand on, you could bet good money that the man who weighs more, even though they are the same height, would more likely snap that 2X4 faster than the man who weighed less. Snowboard sizing is determined primarily by weight. Weight determines how a board is going to operate underfoot based on the amount of energy you can provide to it.
The second thing many of us in the industry notice is people purposely downsizing their snowboards, primarily park riders, because they believe the board will have less swing weight, an easier pressing core, etc. Again, going back to the weight determination here. If you purchase a snowboard that is too small for you because you want it to be softer, lighter, etc, you will be much more likely to break a snowboard which will void any form of a warranty from the vendor, local shop or online store you purchased from. For example, a rider who comes in and weighs around 150-160 pounds and stands at 5′ 10″ should not be purchasing a 148cm snowboard (unless the specific snowboard is made to be sized down).
One of the last things we would like to cover today is preference. A lot of people have preferences in the sizes of decks they choose to ride. Some people like bigger snowboards because they will provide more pop, stability at higher speeds, and longer and wider turns on steeper terrain. Some prefer shorter boards (not to be confused with downsizing boards past weight limits) for terrain park riding that allows the deck to have a shorter turning radius and a more playful personality.
Whether you are new to snowboarding or an avid rider, these are a few helpful misconceptions brought to light that can maximize your time on the hill and ultimately save you a few broken decks or a bad time. If you have any questions or concerns, your best bet would be to contact your local snowboard shop, or call or chat with our experts here at The House and ask knowledgeable experts what they recommend.
Don’t forget to check out our snowboard shop, get ready for next season with snowboard bindings, and make sure you’re wearing the right snowboard boots by checking out our “Picking the Right Snowboard Boots” blog, and let us know what you’re riding this season!
PHOTO: Stephan Jende