Your annual work trip is coming up quick. Every year around February, your team flies out to Colorado for the weekend to traverse the epic mountain brinks of our country. You have the whole skiing thing down, as you’ve been hitting the slopes since a child with mom and dad. But this year you want to try something different. You envy the stylish swag that snowboarders often carry. Their smooth, relaxed flow down a mountain has always struck you as cool and composed. As they weave back and forth, with eyes hidden behind their big, shiny goggles, you fall into admiration. This year is the year you will finally do it.
This year, you are going to try snowboarding.
On the contrary, maybe that story doesn’t does like you. You have been snowboarding your entire life, visiting your local ski resorts frequently in the winter, and planning trips across the country for a novel landscape. It’s a sport you fell in love with as a little one, and will continue to pursue for the rest of your life. When winter ends, it consumes your mind day in, and day out, as you long for next winter’s snow to come sooner this year. But Just because you’re a pro, doesn’t mean you couldn’t use a few pointers on a new board for this upcoming season.
From beginners, to experts, explore our snowboard sizing guide below based on three important criteria:
Boot Size, Weight & Height:
Let’s start off with an easy one. Do you need a wide board? Wide boards are made to accommodate boots size 11 and larger. Wide boards also exist in kids models for kids with adult sized boots and bindings. Riding a board too narrow for a larger sized boot can result in toe drag caused by the boot extending too far beyond the width of the board. Sometimes those in higher end lower volume size 11 boots can get away with it, but it’s not ideal. On the other hand, riding a wide board with a smaller boot can cause the board to feel sluggish and unresponsive.
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s move on to the actual sizing. The next thing to consider while scoping out a new board is your weight. You may have heard that a board should come up to somewhere between your nose and chin. While this is typically the case, a board has no idea how tall you are and simply responds to your weight. For kids however, height is often considered, as its a bit intimidating for a smaller stockier child to have a board towering over them. Most sizing guides will indicate a range based on your weight, which will usually have a 4-5cm span. Where you fall within this range will be dependent on your skill level and the type of riding you plan on doing.
Type of Riding:
The type of riding you plan on doing will allow you to move up or down within the suggested size range. If you plan on spending most of your time in the terrain park then lean towards the shorter end of the range. A shorter board increases maneuverability and reduces swing weight. Just keep in mind the shorter you go, the less float you’ll have as well as stability at higher speeds.
If you plan on seeking out the powder and are looking for more of a big mountain board you can stick towards the higher end of the size range. A longer board has more surface area and therefore provides more float and stability. The longer you go of course you do tend to lose some maneuverability.
If you aren’t sure where or what you plan on riding you’ll likely fall into the all mountain category. If this is the case, stick somewhere in the middle of the range and leave any adjustments beyond this dependent on your skill level.
For similar reasons to the above, your skill level is the last reason to adjust size within the recommended range. If you are new to the sport, a shorter board will be easier to control and to learn on. Go too small however, such as outside of the range, and as you get better it will be tougher to progress as the board lacks the length and stability to hold it’s edge at higher speeds. Likewise, an aggressive rider may prefer a slightly longer board for this exact reason. Again, if you fall somewhere in between try and stick to the middle of the suggested range.
While it’s important to take all these factors into consideration it’s also important not to get too hung up on an exact number, but find the correct range. Depending on the board and what I’m doing, I personally ride anything from a 147 to a 151. Snowboard models aren’t made in every single size, so Just because your old board was a 156 doesn’t mean you’ll be able to find your new board in that size. They may only make it in a 155 and 157 as most brands jump up every 2-4 cm depending on the model. Use our Snowboard Size Chart as a starting point and then adjust from there.