How to Choose and Size a Snowboard - A Buyer's Guide
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How to Choose and Size a Snowboard - A Buyer's Guide

Choosing and Sizing a SnowboardBoards Can Be Confusing.

Choosing a snowboard is a very exciting experience. We also want to make sure we do it right the first time. So where do we start? Do we pick a brand and a size and go from there? Not quite. There are 3 major factors when it comes to choosing the right snowboard. Riding style, skill level, and then board size.

Riding Style
Riding style can be describe as where the board is intended to be ridden. This does not mean that you cannot ride any board, anywhere. But keep in mind that most boards have a specific type of terrain they are built for, and perform the best in.

Snowboard Shapes

  1. All Mountain
    • All mountain snowboards have all types of terrain in mind. One day you may want to be in the terrain park. The next you are cruising groomers. Nonetheless, All Mountain boards offer great versatility and are great boards for less aggressive riders.
    • They do everything, but do not do one specific thing great.
    • A common beginner board category.
  2. Powder
    • Powder boards are best, you guessed it, in powder conditions. These boards are typically a directional shape and use a setback stance. The wide nose profile and narrower tail keep the nose from diving under the snow and gives you that surfing feel.
  3. Freestyle
    • Freestyle snowboards are designed to be ridden in the terrain park. They use a twin shape (the length of the nose and tail are the same) and a centered stance. This shape and stance give the board the same feel whether you are riding regular or switch.
    • Usually have a lot of pop to give you that lift off of jumps or rails.
    • The tip and tail areas tend to be a little softer to help lock into presses on rails.
  4. Freeride
    • Think of Freeride snowboards as a combination of All Mountain and Freestyle snowboards. Freeride snowboards perform great in a variety of snow conditions but are stiffer to handle drops and very technical terrain. Freeride snowboards also perform very well at higher speeds because they tend to be stiffer.

Skill Level
Skill level is one of those areas that you have to be extremely honest with your current ability level. We encourage everyone to be as accurate as the can when thinking about your skill level. That way you do not end up with a board that is too stiff, or aggressive. Keep in mind, you should be buying a board for your current ability level, not what you hope to be. This way you can progress with the board and not trying to play catch up.

Snowboard Sizing? How it's done.

Board Size
Board size is the most confusing aspect of picking a snowboard. We strongly encourage the use of manufacturers size charts when it comes to picking a size. Use their chart to find what range of sizes would be appropriate for you. Size charts change from board to board, so make sure it is for that board. Then given this range, you can use the two fields above to help make the final decision. If you are a beginner or someone who rides in the terrain park, typically the shorter lengths are recommended. If you prefer really fast speeds and consider yourself an expert rider, usually the longer lengths are recommended for length.
  • If you cannot find a manufacturers recommended size chart, you can use the adage that the board length should fall between the collar bone and chin. This can get you close and has been a very reliable method in years past.
  • Width - If you have a larger foot, ie. men's 11.5 and bigger, look to see if the board you are looking at is offered in a wide designation. This will help eliminate toe and heel drag when turning. You could also look for boards that have use "volume shift". This means the board is not labeled wide but is in fact wider than most boards at their length.


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