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Which snowboard size? A guide to snowboard sizing.

Updated on July 17, 2011

This is a guide to help you navigate the problems of snowboard sizing and to help you choose the snowboard size that is best for you. Until now you have probably had to hire a snowboard and faced the embarrassment of not knowing how to respond to the question of which size you need. I expect like most people, you have just taken what is offered to you and not put too much thought into snowboard sizing and how the size of your snowboard might affect your riding.

The first thing to consider when buying a snowboard is just how do you intend to ride? Will you be predominantly on the slopes or the pipe? Will you focus on out and out speed or concentrating on tricks. All of the above is going to very relative in choosing the snowboard that is right for you and your hard earnt dollars.

 "ride for the rider you want to become, not for the rider you already are"

When considering a purchase, it is better to get a board that you can grow into and enjoy. Start by renting or borrowing a few different sizes. Your first attempts at snowboarding were probably on a hired freestyle/freeriding snowboard. Early on, avoid a board that is too long for your riding ability. Unless you are over 200 pounds a 170cm+ board will be too difficult. If you have trouble bending a board in the shop then you are definately going to have trouble getting it to flex when it matters on the slope. As you get better you might want to get a board that is a bit tougher.

Snowboard sizing - Decide its primary use
Snowboard sizing - Decide its primary use

 "a used board in good condition is better than the same money spent on a cheap board"

Unless you are extremely passionate (or rich!) you will probably only be buying one board so put a lot of thought into exactly what sort of riding it will be used for. With this in mind, choosing the right snowboard size will be a lot easier. Below is an approximate guide to snowboard sizing;

Snowboard Sizing Chart

Under 100lbs / 45kg
100-165lbs/45-75kg
165+lbs/75+kgs
 
Freestyle/trick/Pipe
 
up to 140cm
135-155cm
150-165cm
 
Freeride 
 
 up to 145cm
140-165cm 
160+cm 
 
Big Mountain / High Speed
 
up to 155cm
155-175cm
170+cm
 
No turns / super-G
 
160+cm
165+cm
170+cm
 
Carving slalom
 
up to 150cm
165+cm
170+cm
 
Carving Giant Slalom
 
up to 160cm
155-170cm
165+cm
Matching your board size to your riding requirements

 Whilst it may seem that there are a lot of things to consider when choosing a board such as brand, graphics, price etc, it really should all just come down to size. Ultimately you want to buy a board for what it will do for your riding, not your image. Don't be tempted by flashy designs, it may be hard to resist an eye-catching board but who will see it once you hit the slopes. Far better to be eye-catching for your snowboarding than your snowboard.

Many riders make the mistake of concentrating on length when snowboard sizing and ignoring the width. Ideally you want no more than a 1/2 inch of toe and heel overhanging the edge of the snowboard. Alpine and race boards are narrower and will dictate the binding angles you need to ride them with. If you don't like the foot angles then try another board.

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    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      Now you know if I try this, as well as jumping motorbikes I'd be dead..... I use to ski, play tennis, be a cheerleader ( captain ) , dance ballet but my KNEES are so bad......

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