When you are new to snowboarding it can be a bit confusing with all the different shapes and sizes to choose from. Even if you’ve been at it for a while you may still not know the correct length and width of board you need.
I’ve attempted to make things a bit easier with this calculator that will give you an estimate on what size will suit you:
- Snowboard Size Calculator
- Snowboard Size Charts For Men And Women
- Snowboard Width: What Is Waist Width?
- Sizing A Board For Your Riding Style
- Women’s Snowboards Sizes
- Youth Snowboards Sizes
- Should Beginners Use A Different Board Size Than Expert Riders?
Snowboard Size Calculator
Snowboard Size Charts For Men And Women
Measuring the right Length
For a very long time the length of a snowboard has been measured by standing next to it length ways and it should come up to just over chin level. This has been the rule of thumb, or rule of chin.
Although this is a good method to get a baseline other factors should be considered such as:
Weight – If you are heavier than average for your height you might want a longer stiffer board.
Preferred Style – Do you like to practice buttering and 360s? Shorter boards are more playful and easier to rotate.
Do you just love bombing mountains and carving at high speed? Longer stiffer boards are more stable at higher speeds.
Use these charts and calculator as a rough guide but ultimately it’s up to your preference.
Snowboard Length Chart For Men or Women
|Your Height (IN)||Your Height (CM)||Snowboard Length|
Snowboard Width: What Is Waist Width?
A snowboards waist width is measured through the center of the board and is the standard measurement used when choosing how wide of a board you’d like.
The inserts where you screw your bindings into are going to have a slightly different measurement. This will vary on the type of board and brand you have. Some companies will give you this measurement as well but many don’t.
After a lot of research I’ve found the following sizes in the chart below gives you a good estimate on a suitable width.
Although these number are the general consensus they may not be best for you. Other factors will effect your ideal waist width. The profile of your boots, how aggressive you angle your bindings or the shape of the board.
Having the correct waist width will allow your feet to be positioned in a way that allows good leverage and feel when turning.
The closer your toe or heal is to the edge the easier it is to tilt the board. Ideally having some slight overhang of 1-2cm on either side with boots on.
If your board is to wide you’ll find it much harder to turn onto your heal or toe as they are far from the edge.
At the same time you don’t want you feet sticking out to far as you’ll end up dragging your feet when leaning into the turn.
If you have access to hire boards and the staff allow you try some out, try a few different sizes and see how they feel.
If you want to know about snowboard waist widths it’s hard to find anything better than this snowboarding profiles article.
Waist Width Chart for Men and Women
|Men's Boot Size (US)||Waist Width||Women's Boot Size (US)||Waist Width|
Sizing A Board For Your Riding Style
Board sizing will depend a lot on the type of riding you want to do. Some of the most common types of boards you’ll find when shopping are:
An all mountain board allows you to can handle most terrain. They are the most versatile and popular type of snowboard. This is the type of board I use.
These boards tend to fall in the middle ground when it comes to length, flex and width. They are the jack of all trades and need to handle most situations. The sizing’s in this post should work just fine for this.
Freestyle boards are great if you want to play around at the park or ride halfpipes. They tend to be shorter, lighter and have a bit more flex to them.
If you are after a freestyle type of board you’ll probably want to look at boards in the shorter length range. People into the bigger jumps and half pipes maybe want slightly longer boards for more stability.
These boards are aimed at riders that like to go off-piste and explore areas away from the busy tourist runs. These boards cope well with fast speeds and fresh powder.
Freeride boards tend to be longer and stiffer so take this in to account when trying to size one up.
Women’s Snowboards Sizes
When snowboarding was still a relatively new sport there weren’t many women specific boards. They would tend to ride smaller men’s boards with little difference other than the length and colors.
If you are above average height and or have a larger boot size (Over 5’9″ and 9 Boot Size) it might be worth trying some men’s boards.
If you aren’t you will find female specific boards from almost every brand. Although you can still apply the sizes here for women, women’s boards tend to be more flexible with narrower waist widths.
Youth Snowboards Sizes
Finding the right size for your child can be a tough. On one hand you don’t want them to out grow it quickly but they’ll have a very hard time riding something far to big.
The same size rules apply to kids. The board will ideally line up just above their chin.
If they are less confident, not heavy and they won’t be bombing down the mountain, go for something on the smaller side. It’ll make controlling the board that much easier but will be less stable if going fast.
If they are confident, a bit heavier and going faster than average go for a longer board.
If you’re worried about your child out growing the board it maybe think about buying 2nd hand and selling later. That or just rent one if it’s not something you’ll be doing often.
Should Beginners Use A Different Board Size Than Expert Riders?
Generally no. Expert riders may go more extreme on sizing and widths when they specialize in one aspect. For example volume shifted powder boards are very wide and short for carving through deep snow. The size of this board would be complete different to an all mountain board.