At Alpine Indoor Ski and Snowboard Training Centre we generally buy snowboards for our program that are shorter in length to have less friction on the mats that we use. We have been asked by a lot of beginners on where to start with buying a snowboard for the hills this winter. It can be really challenging, but if you go a reputable retailer such as Skiis & Bikes, Corbett’s or Sporting Life – they have experts on hand that can help make sure you choose the right brand and size for your riding pleasure. However, we did want to arm you with some information prior, so you can feel more confident when you walk into the retailer this winter and start to talk ‘shop’.
Depending on your body weight and the type of riding you want to do, are all factors in selecting the right snowboard. In the past, we’ve sized skiis and snowboards according to height and if it hits your chin it fits. However, there are a lot more considerations now that technology has brought the sport to a whole different level.
Burton has always been at the forefront of the sport. If you check out the Burton website, the many factors they give for selecting a board is board size, running length, waist width, sidecut depth, sidecut radius, stance width, nose width and tail width.
Sounds complicated. Lets see if we can simplify this down to something that feels doable when walking into a snowboard shop more knowledgeable and armed with the right information to make your purchase decision.
With all the research I’ve done for proper snowboard sizing, the factors that make the most sense are height, weight and the type of riding you want to do.
Using a snowboard that compliments your body weight will result in not having to worry about controlling the board. If a rider is heavier getting a board that is too short will results in a loose a less controlled ride. If a board it too soft and short it can result in over-flexing and leads to some unexpected wipe-outs. If a lighter ride gets a board to long it will result in a frustrating day of trying to maneuver and flex the board.
Using the traditional method, some believe a shorter board for your size range should come up between your collar bone and your chin when the board is stood on end. These shorter length boards are good for beginners and freestyle riders. A longer board could reach from your nose to just over your head. The longer length boards are good for powder and high speed.
Also, consider the following factors when deciding on a snowboard size:
- If you’re riding primarily in the park or freestyle, pick a board on the shorter end of the size range.
- If you are above average weight consider a longer snowboard.
- If you are a beginner, aim for a shorter board in your size range.
Check out the chart below, it’s a guide to the average snowboard length required for a given rider’s weight and height. Each manufacturer has different specifications, so always good to do your homework. Most people fall in love with the graphics and look of the board, so take your smartphone with you and have access to the manufacturers’ website.
I found this sizing chart below that may help to have your stats before you head out to buy that snowboard.
Snowboard Sizing Chart
|Rider Height (in)||Rider Height (cm)||Rider Weight (lb)||Snowboard Size (cm)|
|4’10”||147||110 – 120||128 – 136|
|5′||152||115-130||133 – 141|
|5’2″||158||125-135||139 – 147|
Have fun choosing all the great graphics and colours on the market. The only advice I can offer is a snowboard is an extension of ‘you’, so go for it and enjoy the ride. Hope that you enjoyed this article about snowboard sizing and what works best for you.