Snowboard sizing

There are many aspects to consider when browsing for a snowboard to buy, one of the most important being snowboard sizing. Snowboards, like snowboarders themselves, can come in a decent range of sizes, and choosing a snowboard incompatible with your own height and weight can have adverse implications for your snowboarding ability or even your personal safety while out on the slope. Thankfully, though, this article can present a few pointers to help you to discern the most appropriately-sized snowboard for you.

Your height and weight might be two of the biggest factors when judging snowboard sizing, but other factors, like your age, body type, preferred style of snowboarding and preferred snowboarding terrain, will also make a difference. This is why it is crucial to thoroughly research any given snowboard before shelling out cash for it. Perhaps the first generally reliable rule for snowboard sizing is that, when stood up vertically, the tip of your chosen snowboard should be between your nose and your chin. However, this does not take into account certain influential factors, like your snowboarding ability and preferred snowboarding style.

It also fails to take into account your weight, which is where the second general rule for snowboard sizing comes in. For this, you should first consider that if you weigh 100 lbs, then your snowboard should measure about 140cm in length. If, however, you do not weigh this much, then for every 20 lbs heavier or lighter you are, you should add or subtract 5cm from the length of your ideal snowboard. If, for instance, you weigh 140 lbs, then your snowboard should measure about 150cm in length.

Having said that, if you weigh more than 212 lbs, you should not opt for a snowboard much longer than 165cm, and instead consider a snowboard that is wider and/or stiffer. If, on the other hand, you are much lighter - for example, 60 lbs - then you should base your snowboard's length on your height, as cited with the aforementioned first rule. The below chart can be useful for determining the appropriate length for your snowboard, but do consider the other rules for snowboard sizing cited above, too.

Snowboarder's height (feet and inches)Snowboard's length (centimetres)
4'0"109
4'2"114-120
4'4"115-125
4'6"118-135
4'8"120-135
4'10"125-140
5'0"130-142
5'2"135-145
5'4"140-148
5'6"145-152
5'8"147-155
5'10"154-163
6'0"157-165
6'1"160-168
6'2"+159-

The snowboard width is also important to consider in snowboard sizing. A board that is overly narrow for the snowboarder's boot can cause your toes and heels to drag in the snow when leaning over hard during turns, while a board that is too wide can prove a greater struggle to control, owing to the lack of pressure that can be placed on the toe and heel edge. How wide your snowboard should be will depend, to a large extent, on your boot size, as detailed by the chart below.

Boot sizeBoard width (at waist)
8 or smaller24cm or less (narrow)
8.5-10.524-26cm (regular)
10.5 or larger26cm or more (wide)

It is crucial to remember, however, that all such figures are merely guidelines, and may not apply so strongly in certain circumstances. For example, people who are light for their height should opt for a shorter board, while if you ride off-piste, a wider snowboard would be more appropriate. If you remain doubtful, then you should ask experienced snowboarders for more advice on snowboard sizing.