Skill and experience can help you carve up a mountain and catch air off jumps, but if you struggle because of using the wrong equipment, you might be forced to hang your head and retreat to the bunny hill. Snowboards come in a variety of sizes to fit virtually any body type. The right size board will feel like an extension of your body.
Inspect the inside of your snowboard boots to determine the boot size. If you don't yet have snowboard boots, visit a snowboard shop and try on boots until you find a pair that are comfortable. Snowboard boots use the same sizing conventions as shoes, but if you wear a size 6 shoe, don't automatically assume you'll fit correctly into a size 6 boot. The boot should feel snug when buckled up, but you shouldn't have difficulty wiggling your toes.
Compare the size of your snowboard boots against the width of the available boards. If your boots are size 6 or smaller, you'll take a narrow board. If your boots are between size 6 and 11, a regular board is suitable. Narrow boards typically measure 24 centimeters wide, while regular boards range between 24 and 25.5 centimeters.
Measure your height with a measuring tape. Stand against a wall and have a partner hold her finger at the top of your head, and then hold the measuring tape against the wall to note the distance between the floor and your partner's finger.
Pick a board based on your height. The taller you are, the longer board you should use. Snowboard shops often have sizing charts, but if you stand 5 feet tall, a 152-centimeter board is appropriate. If you're 5 feet, 6 inches, use a 168-centimeter board and if you're 6 feet tall, use a 183-centimeter board.
- Although your height is a more important factor than your weight, if you're overweight or obese, opting for a slightly longer board is ideal.
- If you plan to use the board for freeriding, a longer board is more suitable than a shorter board conducive to freestyle. A sensible compromise is to buy an all-mountain snowboard, which is the most common board on the market.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.