There are many kinds of snowboards on the market today, and if you are new to the sport, you are most probably wondering how to choose the perfect one for yourself so you can learn the sport. Some items that affect your decision are your weight, height, the board width, and the size you should get according to your ability level. Read on to learn of the different manners to choose a snowboard that is best for you.
Choosing Your Snowboard Length By Your Weight
This is actually the most important factor in determining the board length. If a heavier snowboarder gets a board that is too short for their weight, the board will tend to get loose and give them much less control at higher speeds. Riding a board that is too short for your weight tends to make you over flex and this leads to more possible wipe outs. On the other end of the spectrum, if your board is too long for your weight, it will be hard to flex the board and maneuver it.
There are some exceptions to this rule also. If you are a freestyle rider, you may want to downsize your board length for more trick riding especially if you ride mainly in the park. A heavier rider that rides the slopes may benefit by up sizing their board length to keep the nose above the snow line and obtain higher speeds.
Choosing Your Snowboard Length by Your Height
Another consideration in choosing your snowboard length is your height. In general, you can use a length calculator to determine which length is best. It is your height in inches x 2.54 x .88 = snowboard size in centimeters. This will give you the correct length by your height.
Other more seasoned riders size the length by standing the board on the end on the ground. This traditional method of sizing dictates that the board length should be between your collarbone and your chin. Freestyle riders and beginners will want a board closer to their collar bone. Longer length boards are best for powder and high speed, and they will come up from your nose to just slightly over your head when the board is standing on end.
Choosing Your Snowboard Width
This measurement is often overlooked, but it is definitely a measurement that you need to take into consideration. Your snowboard width in the narrowest part in the middle should be a tiny bit smaller than your snowboard boots. If your snowboard is too narrow for your boot size, you will experience a loss of edge control because of your heel and toe drag, which will inevitably cause you to slow down and most probably crash. If you choose a width that is too wide it won’t let you achieve maximum edge control.
Choosing a Snowboard by Ability Level
If you are a beginner, you should stick with the average-size snowboard for your height, length and weight. You may also consider a softer board, which requires less muscle and exertion than a stiffer board. A board on the lower end of your size range can actually be beneficial and help you to maneuver it easier, as well as link your turns fluently.
An intermediate rider is one with a few years experience under their belt. This is the time to decide on the style of snowboarding you want and choose a board that is specialized for it while keeping in mind the correct size for the length by your height and weight. The all-mountain type of snowboard will let you achieve many of the styles of boarding as long as you choose it in your snowboard size range. Freeride snowboards work well for time lapping in parks in the smaller end of your snowboard size.
An advanced rider has years of experience and a preferred riding style. This is when you are fine-tuning your advanced skills for the most fun and when you should examine the specifications of the manufacturer. You should examine the side cut, fiberglass, carbon/Kevlar bars and the profile shape to choose an advanced board to hone your skills.
This guide should help you to choose the best snowboard for your skill level that fits your style. Get out there with all your snowboard gear and have fun on the slopes!