December 13, 2021

How to Choose a Snowboard

by Brad

As a beginning or expert snowboarder, you will need to know how to choose a snowboard. Important aspects of your board will determine the success of your snowboarding experience. Your weight and height will determine the length and width of your board. Use a sizing chart to purchase the best snowboard for your unique needs. 

Get a snowboard and footbed that is comfortable and gives you freedom of movement. Know the type of snowboard based upon the places you frequently go for riding. Determine the shape and profile of your board to make sure that it is wide enough for your height and weight. Ensure the flexibility of your board and that it is not so stiff that it does not give you the curve that is needed for the slopes. 

Snowboarding places pressure on your ankles and joints, so buying the most appropriate snowboard is important. Speak with a snowboarding specialist in the store where you purchase your equipment. The specialist will be able to inform you about the best boards on the market.


Table of Contents

Choose the Correct Snowboard Length

It is important for you to know your height and weight to choose the best snowboard for you. Choosing the correct length is a part of purchasing a snowboard that will fit your needs. Knowing your snowboard’s length is important because some riding styles require longer or shorter boards. 

If you spend more time in the park, it is helpful to size down slightly to make quicker turns, faster spins, and have more control while buttering through rails and boxes. If you prefer chasing powder and traveling overseas, you may want a slightly longer board.

Since most snowboarders ride a board that is 85% to 92% of their own body height, plugging some numbers into a simple formula can help you decide the board length that will fit you best. The formula is your height in inches x 2.54 x 0.88 = your recommended board length.

Know Your Type of Snowboard

There are different types of snowboards that you will need to know. These include all-mountain, which is best for any terrain, freestyle for the park; freeride, which is best for ungroomed snow in any terrain; and powder for deep powder snow and splitboard, which is best for the backcountry.

Of all the types of snowboards, the freeride is the most common and most popular. Freeride snowboards have a directional shape and are meant for riding in one direction. With freeride boards, the tall of the board is narrower, flatter, and shorter than the top of the board.

Related Article: What Is the Common Link between Rappelling and Snowboarding

Shape and Profile of the Snowboard Needed

The shape and profile of your snowboard are important for a board that will fit your style of snowboarding and how comfortable it is to ride. The profile is the board’s shape when you look at it side-on. When you place the board on the snow, it will touch the snow at different points along its base, depending upon the profile of the board. 

There are a number of snowboard profiles with the most popular being camber and rocker profiles.

This means that the profile has a massive effect on how a board feels when you ride. The W profile features camber between the feet or underfoot and a rocker at the nose or tail of the snowboard. This camber profile is very versatile. It provides stability, edge hold, and pop due to the camber between the feet and underfoot.

Width is Important When Choosing a Snowboard

A snowboard’s width is important for two reasons. This includes achieving edge control and avoiding toe and heel drag. If your snowboard is too narrow for your snowboarding boots size, a loss of edge control is certain to happen by means of toe and heel drag.

Effective edge snowboards have metal edges that bite into the snow to control and steer. A snowboarder’s effective edge, measured in centimeters, is the edge section that touches the snow or ice throughout their descent.

Toe to heel drag often occurs when the snowboarder uses a too narrow board. This results in the toes or heels of your boots hanging off the edge. A narrow board is safe if you use up to a size six boots. However, if your boots are size 6.5 or larger, it is best to use a regular snowboard. You may adjust the position of your bindings if they contribute to boots overriding.

Snowboard Flexibility

Increasing flexibility in the muscles and joints will reduce the stress on these areas of your body while snowboarding. Use protective equipment, including helmets, wrists and ankle braces, knee pads, and a tailbone pad when you snowboard and learn how to fall correctly.

Snowboard flexibility or flex refers to how well your snowboard performs. It refers to the board’s flexibility from one tip to the other and how much pressure is placed on various parts of your snowboard.

Even something as simple as a snowboard’s overall stiffness, otherwise known as snowboard flex, can impact the way you ride over the snow. Every snowboard brand has a unique flex rating that will differ accordingly. This could make it difficult for the buyer of snowboards to determine the flexibility of aboard.

Feeling Comfortable on Your Snowboard

The more time you actually spend snowboarding, the quicker the learning curve will be. If you really want to learn to ride, you need to take every chance you have to get out on the snow. Even if it is a struggle at first, the more time you spend on the snow, the more likely you will see positive results.

It is also important to spend your time in the snow, learn snowboarding techniques, and work with your snowboarding equipment. You need to feel comfortable in your snowboarding gear. Your snowboard and other gear should fit like a glove when you put it on/ It should be fit enough for hours of snowboarding on the slopes.

Remember that you will be twisting, turning, and learning different degrees of angles while snowboarding, so having a suit that fits your body without being too loose or too tight is important. Your snowboard footbed should bind comfortably around your feet while giving you the freedom to hit the slopes for performing fast and quick turns, leaps, jumps, and stunts.

A Great Snowboard Has a Comfortable Footbed

The footbed is one of the most critical components of any snowboarding binding when it comes to comfort. Quality bindings have enhanced protection with dual-density EVA foam. Footbeds help support your foot, keeping it from collapsing or being put into an uncomfortable or unnatural position. Snowboard insoles and footbeds can be your guide to pain-free days on the mountain.

The wider your stance on your snowboard, the more your ankles and knees are out of alignment. Canted footbeds help this problem by returning your feet to a more natural angle. The footbed generally offers an increase in angle from 1.5 to 4 degrees.

Choose the best foot binding according to riding style, flex rating, and size. Bindings range in size from small, medium, and large. The best snowboard bindings include Union Force, Flux XV, System MTN for men, Jones Apollo, Salomon Quantum, Burton X Base, Union Atlas PC, Ride Fame, K2 Lien AT, and NOW – O Drive. 

Snowboard Measurement is Important

Typically snowboards are measured in millimeters. Narrow waist widths can be rolled from edge to edge faster than wider snowboarders. Snowboards are designed to be ridden with your toes and heels very close to the board’s edge, and waist width should correspond with boots size. 

Somewhere in between is the happy medium for your boots size. In general, snowboards increase in width as they increase in length. This assumes that larger riders will need longer boards and have larger feet.

Expert and Customer Review Ratings

One of the best ways to choose a snowboard is to understand what experts and customers say about specific snowboards on the market. Reading customer reviews and expert ratings is a great way to choose the best snowboards for use. 

The best snowboards on the market today include Jones Flagship, Arbor Veda for women, Season Aero, Lib Tech BRD C3, GNU Barret C3 for women, Ride Smokescreen, Arbor Bryan Iguchi Pro Camber, GNU Banked Country, and Jones Flagship for women,

The seven best beginner snowboards include the Burton Ripcord snowboard, K2 men’s standard snowboard, Salomon Sight snowboard, Rossignol Templar snowboard, and Ride Men’s Machete Burton Instigator snowboard, and Arbor Whiskey snowboard. These are just a few of the top beginning snowboards. However, there are so many great beginning snowboards on the market that it can be overwhelming to choose one.

Ratings and reviews are invaluable sources of feedback. Consumer reviews can help surface product issues, shed light on new use cases and inform others about product innovations. Shoppers want to see negative or positive business reviews to help them decide about snowboarding products they may want to buy.

Where Will You Frequently Snowboard?

One of the basic ways to determine your best-fit snowboard is to decide where you will frequently be snowboarding. Some snowboarders prefer the park areas across the USA. Other snowboarders prefer to go overseas to other countries where snow is more common. Whatever your choice for frequent snowboarding will help decide the snowboard that best fits your unique needs.

Choose the Best Snowboard for Your Skills Level

If you are a beginning snowboarder, you should look for a beginner’s snowboard. These snowboards are easier to maneuver and are created to help the snowboarder with basic skills and techniques that will be used in learning your craft. A person who has been on a snowboard before will get a comfortable board for your ability. And if you are an expert snowboarder, then your board will be a part of the championship series and used in competitions worldwide.

The key is to assess your skill level realistically and properly and choose a board that matches your skill level. Snowboards are made uniquely and differently according to the ability levels of the users. Professional models are more advanced, lighter, longer, and easier to use for jumps and stunts but also are more complicated to control.

Use the Snowboard Sizing Chart or the Traditional Method

Choose the right size of your snowboard by using the sizing chart that gives your height, weight, and what size snowboard you should be using based upon this information. Experienced snowboarders have developed many ways of finding the correct sized snowboard through the years. A simple rule of thumb is that properly sized snowboards should come up to your mouth when you stand it up in front of you. If needed, you could go as low as your chin or higher to your nose.

The snowboard sizing chart is the most accurate and precise way to find the best snowboard to fit your needs. The sizing chart shows the user their weight, average board size in centimeters, and range in centimeters. It is a precise indicator of how much board can be used for your height and weight. 

These are some simple tips on how to choose a snowboard that will fit your unique needs? When determining your snowboard, keep in mind the width, length, ability, or skill level. Remember the types of snowboards that include freeriding, all-mountain, freestyle, split board, and powder. Further, read how to snowboard in powder. There are great snowboards for beginners, advanced and expert level snowboarders. 

Use a snowboarding sizing chart or a more traditional method for determining the right board length for you. Use customer and expert reviews to see the best beginning, advanced and expert snowboards on the market. This will get the beginning snowboarder to a great start to begin learning new skills and a new enjoyable craft, a way to exercise for snowboarding, and a great way to go on a different type of family vacation.

The rankings on rappellingequipment.com are curated to save you time by aggregating the best reviewed products from the most reputable companies. We may receive a commission if you buy something using a link on this page.

About the author 

Brad

Brad is a professional climber in the discipline of traditional climbing. He often jokes that he can get a book to read during the long climbs. Of course, it always goes well with a good cup of coffee. Drinking coffee is his safer hobby.

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