Snowboard Sizing

There is nothing quite as exhilarating as a day spent out on the slopes. Fresh white powder. Stunning mountain views. It's just you and your board.

Before this fantasy becomes your winter reality, you'll need to buy a snowboard. Choosing a snowboard requires more than just picking your favorite color. Boards should match your riding style and skill level. On top of that, your snowboard should be sized to match your height and weight and should be designed to tackle your favorite terrain.

All of these factors can make choosing a snowboard seem overwhelming, but do not fear. L9 Sports has brought together all of the information you will need to help you find the snowboard that is perfect for you.

Snowboard Size Chart

The first step to finding the right board is determining what size snowboard you'll need. The L9 Sports Snowboard Size Chart is a great place to start.

A good rule of thumb is for your board to stand at about chin height. You'll want to keep in mind that recommended snowboard length varies based on your height and weight ratio.

For instance, find your height on the Snowboard Size Chart. If you weigh more than the average weight range for your height listed on the chart, you'll probably want a board that is a little longer than the chart's recommended length. If you weigh less than the average weight range for your height, you'll want to look into purchasing a board that is a little bit shorter than the length recommended on the chart.

Rider Height Rider Weight Typical Board Length (cm)
4 Feet 50-60lbs 109cm
4'2" 50-60lbs 114-120cm
4'4" 60-70lbs 115-125cm
4'6" 70-80lbs 118-135cm
4'8" 80-90lbs 120-135cm
4'10" 90-100lbs 125-140cm
5' 100-110lbs 130-142cm
5'2" 110-120lbs 135-145cm
5'4" 120-130lbs 140-148cm
5'6" 130-140lbs 145-152cm
5'8" 140-150lbs 147-155cm
5'10" 150-160lbs 154-163cm
6' 160-170lbs 157-165cm
6'1" 170-180lbs 160-168cm
6'2" 180lbs + 165cm or greater

Snowboarding revolves around balance and your center of gravity -- both of which are affected by your height and weight. Your board should provide a solid, stable base for your body.

The Snowboard Size Chart gives you a great place to start as you shop for a snowboard, but don't rush into buying a board just because it looks good on paper. Try out different styles and types of boards, and find what works best for you. Trust what feels good to you.

Here are a few more essential attributes to consider as you hunt for the perfect snowboard.

Snowboard Width

After determining a good snowboard length based on your height and weight, take a moment to check your board width.

Look at your feet. If you have smaller than average feet for your height, you will want to look for a slightly shorter and narrower board. If you have larger than average feet for your height, you might need a longer and wider board.

How wide of a board you choose can affect toe and heel drag. Toe and heel drag can slow your speed and inhibit your ability to carve on edges and turns. Minimizing excess drag will give you a much smoother ride. Ideally, your toes and heels should overhang your board anywhere from ½ inch to one inch. Any overhang less than that means your board is too wide, while any overhang greater than one inch means you should invest in a wider board.

Snowboard Boots and Bindings

Speaking of toes and heels, boots and bindings are an essential part of the snowboarding experience.

Snowboard boots are fairly simple to size since they size just like standard footwear. If you wear size 10 shoes, you'll probably need size 10 boots. Bindings on the other hand are sold in size ranges instead of specific sizes.

What do boots and bindings have to do with selecting a snowboard? All boards are not universally compatible with all bindings. Make sure that your bindings and the boards you are investigating will work together. It's also a great idea to take your boots and bindings with you to test with potential boards as you shop. And if you are looking to buy your first pair of boots and bindings or simply looking to upgrade, L9 Sports has exactly what you need.

Snowboard Riding Styles

One size snowboard doesn't fit all. Neither does one snowboard riding style. Riding styles vary based on what type of terrain you prefer. Make sure your board is going to love your favorite terrain as much as you do.

If you enjoy jumping, riding boxes and rails and tackling the halfpipe, you are a freestyle rider. The best boards for freestyle riders are shorter and have a nice soft flex. These make great boards for beginning snowboarders too.

Freeride style snowboarders are traditionalists. They enjoy leisurely riding at high speeds down mountain runs with long, deep carving through natural terrain. These boarders will prefer a directional shaped board with some nice arc that lets them switch from edge to edge.

All mountain riders combine the habits of freestylers and freeriders. They split their time between terrain parks practicing tricks and carving down the mountain. These riders need a board with lots of versatility, typically a twin directional board shape.

Powder snowboarders live for the backcountry. They hike around looking for fresh snow and big mountain runs. Powder riders' boards should have low flexibility and be longer than other boards. This will allow them to cut through powder and glide across the top of the snow.

Snowboard Shapes

Snowboards come in a variety of shapes as well as sizes. Once you've found the right size, it's important to select a board with a shape that fits your riding style.

A twin board is symmetrically shaped, meaning that the nose and the tail of the board have identical lengths and widths. This shape of board is designed with the ability to be ridden forward and backward, so it is great for beginning boarders and freestyle riders.

Directional boards, on the other hand, are designed to go one direction -- nose first and downhill. These boards tend to have noses that are longer and wider than their tails.

A twin directional board is a mix of the first two shapes. It provides the stability of a directional board with the ability to switch directions just like a twin board. This shape is great for all mountain freestyle riders.

The tapered board shape is best described as an exaggerated version of a directional board. With a significantly wider nose than its tail, a tapered board is perfect for powder riding.

Snowboarder's Ability Level

Your ability level dramatically affects the type of snowboard you'll need. An advanced boarder would be disappointed in what a beginner board could do (and couldn't do) while a beginning boarder would be quickly overwhelmed by a board designed for a more experienced rider.

Beginners have never snowboarded before or if you're still slowly feeling your way down a typical run. These riders should look for a snowboard with soft flex and make sure they have sized their boards correctly.

Intermediate riders are comfortable with their balance and ride both a toe edge and a heel edge with ease. These boarders are usually just starting to learn to ride switch. Intermediate riders are starting to discover what kind of terrain they prefer. They should let their preferred style of riding guide their decision making as they move to a more advanced snowboard.

Advanced riders feel just as comfortable strapped into their snowboard as they do walking down the street. Like intermediate snowboarders, advanced riders should let their preferred terrain guide their board buying experience. They should also investigate various customizations that can be applied to their personal snowboard to fit their own preferences and technical quirks.

L9 Sports makes finding a board for your experience level easy. Each of our boards is marked for the ability level it will serve best.

Beginners will be thrilled with a model like the Rossignol Trickstick Amptek board. This board is easy to turn and versatile for many different styles and terrains.

The intermediate boarder will lean toward a model like the M3 Filter Snowboard. It builds upon all the benefits of a beginner board with the ability to handle even more advanced terrain.

For advanced riders, L9 Sports offers boards like the Salomon Derby Snowboard. The Derby is specially designed to float through powder, turn sharply and move at high speeds.

Finding your perfect snowboard can be an exciting process. Start with the right size and shape, and then find a board that fits your style and ability level. Sure, it takes time to discover what works best for you, but nothing can compare to the feeling of flying down the perfect mountain on the perfect board. So, start shopping for your snowboard today.

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