OK, so I could have said snowboards for short and light women, but I think petite is perhaps a nicer description. Ciara and I are looking for a new snowboard (for her), and it’s nowhere close to being as easy as it is for me to pick a new board. But before I talk about why it’s difficult, let’s look at what she’s got already.
144 Volkl Destiny. This is a high-end all mountain freestyle board. The season that we bought it, it didn’t have a sintered base like it does now. The problem with this board is that it’s quite stiff for freestyle progression (learning new jibs etc.) and it’s also a little long for Ciara to be freestyle-oriented. Plus, the base dries out really quickly and it’s got very bad glide…
141 Santa Cruz Rebel Series. This is actually a junior snowboard. It’s ok for playing around and jibbing, a bit fun, but that’s about it. Ciara doesn’t rate it at all for all-mountain usage, which is fair enough because it’s not designed for that, but no good if you a board that does both. It rattles at speed and the base is horribly slow. I have at times encouraged Ciara to ride faster over flats to not get stuck. The response is, it’s not me, it’s the board. After a near-argument one day in Avoriaz, we swapped boards at the top of a run through the town, and there goes Ciara gliding past me with a big I-told-you-so smile on her face, whilst I’m coming to a stop. That’s me told! The board is slow.
So when I look for a new board, the choice is almost endless, it becomes difficult narrowing the search down. But it’s the complete opposite looking for a board for Ciara. She’s 5′ 1″, and weighs around 47kg (yep, I did ask permission before publishing this data). She wants a high quality, all-mountain, freestyle board. Something that’s twin, or a directional-twin, has a good base, handles the whole mountain but also has a smooth, freestyle flex.
I’ve got options like the Rome Agent and the Ride DH to name two – but there are many more. The problem for Ciara is the length of board that she needs. Our thinking is a board around 140cm, maybe 141cm, but definitely not longer than 142cm. Some of the women’s boards do go down to these lengths, but shops and websites tend not to get the shorter boards in stock.
So we’ve also considered kids boards, or youth boards. In fact, as well as the Santa Cruz mentioned above, Ciara has also ridden a Forum Youngblood Mini, at 140cm, and rated it highly, better than both her other boards. But it’s hard to find.
We also like the look of the Burton Custom Smalls. It’s supposed to be very close to the full-on custom, but given that it’s a fraction of the Custom’s price tag, there will be some differences, and one of them is the base. I’m not sure that this is a deal breaker, but it would be nice to get a good, sintered base. (The smalls has their light speed vision base… I don’t know what that actually means).
Ciara likes the look of the K2 Fling. It might not be promoted as all-mountain freestyle, it’s described as a park board, but it sounds close. I hear it’s like the women’s version of the Darkstar, which is a good thing. It’s got a good base and has ok size options, 138 or 142. It’s an option, and I have seen both the 138 and the 142 available on the web…
Obviously I spend more time looking at guys’ boards – so maybe it’s just that I don’t know the women’s options that well? But getting the right board at the right length isn’t easy.
Girls: what board do you have and what’s it good for? What length is it? Where did you buy it?