Our Editors independently research, test, and rate what we feel are the best products. We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.
Whether you’re just starting out and have no idea about anything regarding boarding or you’re experienced but are wondering if you could get more out of your riding, then you’re in the right place. I’m here to fill you in on just how long your snowboard should be, so that you can learn as efficiently as possible, while remaining comfortable and safe. I know you don’t want to waste any time, so let’s jump right into things!
First, let’s take a quick look on how to decide the size of snowboard to get. This involves both your height and your weight. Just like with skis, the lengths of snowboards are also measured in centimeters, from the nose to the tail. Simply stand up, and stand the board on the tip. Where does it stand in relation to your chin?
If it’s between your chin and nose, then it’s very likely that it’s within the proper range for your height. This method has been used for decades, though was a bit more accurate in earlier boarding years when the boards were all the same shape. Now, the weight of your body must also be taken into consideration due to the wide array of shapes and profiles.
Shorter boards are easier to lose control of, particularly at higher speeds. If you’re a heavier rider, then the risk of losing control is even greater. Not only that, but a board which is too short for your height and not rigid enough can cause it to flex too much which will likely result in crashing.
However, the opposite is often true, too. If you’re lighter in weight but get a board which is too long for your body, it’s going to be very difficult to maneuver and likely much too rigid.
That’s right, it’s not only your height and weight that will determine what length of board you need; it’s your snowboarding boot size, too! This is mainly relating to the width of the board rather than the length though there is a direct correlation between the two.
Generally speaking, if you have a size 11 boot or larger, you should opt for a wide board. The width of a board is measured in the space between the snowboard bindings which is narrower than the rest of the board.
While the length is measured in centimeters, the width is measured in millimeters. If the width is greater than 255mm in the middle, it’s considered to be “wide”. Of course, if you like freeriding, carving, and floating on that incredible powder, then a larger wider board is more desirable. Wider boards will help keep you “afloat” instead of sinking down into it.
Last but not least, we must reference your experience level to know which board will suit you best.
If you’re still learning the basics like how to turn, stop, get on the ski lift, etc. then you’re considered a beginner. Beginner snowboards are actually the easiest to pick out as all you have to do is go off of the standard weight, length, and width recommendations for boarding.
You may even want to take a look at the softer, shorter boards for your height and weight. These can help make it easier for you to maneuver the board as it’s softer and allows for easier turning and flexing.
When you gain strength and muscle memory from these “practice” sessions, you’ll be able to better manage stiffer boards which require more strength. Shorter boards make linking turns easier and can make the ride a slower one to help give you the chance to get a hang of different movements before crashing.
Okay, so now you’ve been riding for a season or two. You have the basics down, you can probably take on small moguls, and know how to hop onto a ski lift or at least hold onto the tow rope and keep your balance. You’re now considered to be an intermediate boarder – congratulations!
This is the moment where you can kind of branch into your own individual riding style. Of course, you’ll still need to reference the general weight and height size ranges, though you can be a bit more specific now.
All-Mountain: These boards do what they say: they’re appropriate for use on the entire mountain. From groomed runs to off piste powder to the park, all mountain snowboards are good for it all.
Freestyle: These are a load of fun and will be on the shorter end of your length range to make it easier to catch air with, do spins, and just have excellent control over it.
Freeride: Don’t let these get confused with freestyle boards. Freeride boards are actually the opposite of them, and come in at the longer end of your length range. These are perfect for keeping afloat in deep powder.
Advanced: Okay, so now you’re practically a pro rider. You know your way around the mountain and your favorite riding style. You probably already know what you like, but you should still pay attention to other things like the sidecut, profile, carbon/Kevlar bars, and so on.
Now you’re pretty much an expert when it comes to figuring out the right length of board for you. Now you can pass on this valuable information if you have any friends or family who may need some tips on how to choose the right length for their next board! A good option for beginner snowboarders is a complete snowboard package that comes with a board, bindings and boots and sized properly. Once you have the length, everything else is taken care of!
We hope that our guide has been able to help you out, and that you’ll be very successful in your future shred sessions. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again shortly!