One of the most exciting elements of buying a new snowboard is choosing a design that's reflective of your character and the look you want to portray on the hill. But don't get too wrapped up in the design of the board alone. If you buy a board for its look, but it doesn't match up with your weight, you'll you trouble staying in control during your run. The board won't look so cool as you're in a heap at the bottom of the hill.
When choosing a snowboard, your weight plays as important a role as any variable in determining the correct length of your board. Although you must also consider your height, you'll struggle with the board if it's not ideal for your weight. For example, if you have a board that's too long for your weight, you'll find sharp turns in either direction a challenge. If your board is too short for you, it will be more difficult to safely control at higher speeds.
Many snowboard shops have sizing charts for you to reference when shopping for a new board. These charts allow you to match your weight with the recommended length of board. If you weigh between 130 and 140 pounds, for example, a board measuring between 146 and 152 centimeters is ideal, notes The House. If you weigh 170 to 180 pounds, select a board between 153 and 159 centimeters.
Once you've determined the correct length of your board based on your weight, don't discount the importance of your height, especially in terms of its relation to your weight. If you're an average height for your weight, the sizing chart's suggested board length is likely suitable. But if you're notably short or tall for your weight, the suggested board length might not be ideal. Instead of getting overwhelmed with more numbers, a simple way to choose a board for your height is to hold it vertically in front of you with one end resting on the floor. Ideally, the top end of the board should be between your chin and collarbone.
Choosing Your Board
Just because you know you should use a specific length of board because of your weight, don't buy the board without a few considerations. Always check the specific sizing guide for your chosen manufacturer, as not all boards have the exact same sizing suggestions. Your riding style, especially if you're an experienced boarder, also plays a role. If you enjoy riding in powder, for example, choosing a longer board will provide speed and maneuverability through the snow. If you're a freestyle boarder keen on perfecting your bag of tricks, a shorter board allows more freedom.
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.