What Size Snowboard Should I Get

What Size Snowboard Should I Get

Whether renting a snowboard at a ski resort or purchasing one at a snow sports shop, the issue of selecting the appropriate length of a snowboard is a common headache for beginners. Many snow enthusiasts tend to follow the most traditional selection methods, such as "subtracting 20 centimeters from your height" and picking a board whose length falls between the nose and the chin. For those with larger feet, it is generally appropriate for the board's waist width to be at least 4cm less than the length of the inner boot. However, a wider waist is not always better, as it can slow down the responsiveness of the board's edges during a glide.


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(In addition to snowboards, VECTOR offers self-designed products like the snowboard jumpsuit, which provides full-body coverage, the snowboard hip protector to safeguard your coccyx, and the reflective snowboard jackets that reflect light for enhanced visibility at night.)


While these methods do provide some reference points when choosing a snowboard (especially for beginners), such standards are quite broad and do not accurately pinpoint the most suitable board for an individual.


So, when faced with the myriad of brands and styles available on the market, what is the ideal snowboard length for oneself? Let's take a look together today.


Snowboard Types:


All-Mountain Boards


Also known as all-around boards, they are suitable for all snow conditions and terrains, including groomed runs, powder snow, and parks. They are undoubtedly the best choice for beginners who are uncertain about their preferred riding style.


vector snowboard


 Park Boards


Park boards tend to be shorter and are designed for terrain parks, rails, boxes, tree runs, switch riding, walls, and halfpipes. They are not suitable for beginners.


 Powder Boards


Powder boards are stiffer and longer than park boards, suitable for off-piste and varied terrain riding. They are not recommended for those just starting out.


Snowboard Length:


It's vital to understand that the type of riding, weight, and height are core factors in determining the length of a snowboard.


Type of Riding:


The type of riding is one of the key factors in selecting a snowboard. If you plan on doing freeriding, you might consider a slightly longer board for more stability and speed on the mountain. If you prefer freestyle riding, a shorter size would make it easier to spin and be more flexible in terrain parks and halfpipes.


For example, if you are 171cm tall and weigh 70kg, the suitable snowboard length for you, according to common references, is between 154-162cm. If you focus on park riding, you might choose closer to the 154cm end; for riding various terrains like powder, closer to 162cm might be better.


If you are a beginner, it's better to opt for a shorter snowboard; however, if you are overweight, a longer board might be more stable.




The common standards for choosing length are rough references, and these methods have a flaw: they do not consider weight. It's hard to imagine a robust individual weighing 70kg and standing at 170cm using the same snowboard as a skinny person of the same height but weighing 50kg. Therefore, incorporating your weight is essential to accurately select the most suitable snowboard.


When snowboarding, the board deforms, and height does not affect this deformation. Your weight directly influences the degree of the snowboard's flex. Top snowboard brands provide recommendations for different lengths suitable for various weight ranges and never use height as the sole criterion. When selecting a snowboard, you can wholly rely on the manufacturer's suggested weight range.


It's important to note that the weight ranges provided for snowboards are only recommendations; exceeding them doesn't mean you can't ride. Don't let weight be the reason you end up with a board that's too long or too short and impacts your riding experience.




There is a certain relationship between your stance width and height, and different board lengths correspond to different stance widths, which will also be indicated by the manufacturer's data. Generally, a stance slightly wider than shoulder width is suitable, but the most important aspect is that you feel comfortable when using the board.


Snowboard Flex:


Manufacturers typically rate flex from 1-10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the stiffest. For beginners, selecting a board with a medium flex around 5 is advisable.


For different riding styles, carving requires a stiffer flex to ensure stability at high speeds. In the park, where elasticity is needed for jumps, a flex around 7 or 8 is moderately stiff and more favorable for jump landings. For jibbing, where the speed is generally not too fast but requires a lot of press moves, extreme flexibility is needed, so a flex rating between 1-4 is preferable.


Snowboard Profile:


Snowboard profiles typically include traditional camber, flat, rocker, and various hybrid designs created by brands, which usually combine camber-rocker-camber or flat-camber-flat designs.


Camber is the most traditional profile with the most stable performance and greatest pop, but it has a lower margin for error.


Flat offers a compromise between camber and rocker, blending characteristics of both without excelling at either, improving forgiveness over camber.


Rocker has the highest margin for error but a shorter effective edge compared to the other two at the same length, offering the most float in powder.


Hybrid designs, innovations from manufacturers in recent years, aim to balance riding on groomed runs and in powder. Undoubtedly, while they are not as stable as camber, they offer float and forgiveness close to that of a rocker.


Snowboard Directionality:


Directionality refers to whether the nose and tail of the board are different. There are three main types:


  • Directional boards are designed for riding primarily in one direction, usually with a stiffer tail and gradually softening toward the nose, and the bindings set back towards the tail, which helps maintain stability in carving and at high speeds. They are commonly used in powder and all-mountain boards. Directional all-mountain boards are suitable for beginners, but it's not recommended for novices to start with powder boards.

  • Twin boards have symmetrical tips and tails, with even flex throughout and bindings centered, which is common for park and freestyle riding.

  • Directional twin boards are a hybrid of the two aforementioned shapes, commonly featuring symmetrical tips and tails with different flex or vice versa. This type is also beginner-friendly.


 vector snowboard


In conclusion, for beginners choosing their first snowboard:


  • Opt for an all-mountain board;

  • Consider length guidelines, go slightly longer if you're heavier, shorter for jibbing, and longer for carving;

  • A softer flex is preferable;

  • Choose a camber profile or a variation thereof.


In essence, when selecting a snowboard, start with the manufacturer's recommended length for one that you like. However, this is not a hard rule. A snowboard is merely a tool to assist you; your own skills are key. If you are comfortable with a particular board, regardless of whether it's a bit longer or shorter, that's what matters.





Q: How Much Should a Snowboard Cost?

A: Board price may vary anywhere from $300-900. The lower end of that range includes beginner-friendly or all- mountain boards, and the higher end is made up of advanced or very specialized boards, like powder boards.I find the sweet spot is about$450-600;boards in this range are solid quality, and most riders do not need to pay more for a board that'll suit their ability level.


Q: How to fit a snowboard?

A: Snowboards come in a variety of widths; to pick the right size, you'll need to see how your snowboard boots fit on the waist of the snowboard. With the right size board, your boots will extend just slightly over the edges of the board (about 1- 2 cm on each edge) for good leverage while turning.


Q: How do I know if my snowboard is too small?

A: Know your snowboard waist width The waist width of a snowboard is a critical performance dimension. Ifyour board is too wide, it will feel slow moving edge to edge. If your board is too narrow, you will drag the toe cap or heel cup of your binding in the snow when you turn sharply.









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