do i need a wide snowboard?

Do I Need a Wide Snowboard? [An Expert Guide]

by Ben

You might be wondering, do i need a wide snowboard?

Well, fear not!

In this article, I’ll explore the world of wide snowboards and whether they’re the right choice for you. So grab a beer, because we’re about to dive in!

Pro Tip: The fastest way to find your ideal snowboard width is our snowboard length and width calculator.

What Is A Wide Snowboard?

Let’s start with the basics.

A wide snowboard is exactly what it sounds like – a snowboard that’s wider than the average board.

Typically, these are designed for riders with larger boot sizes, usually around size 11 or above.

The wider width helps prevent any drag caused by toe or heel overhang. This in turn reduces your risk of catching an edge.

How Wide Is A Wide Snowboard?

The width of a wide snowboard varies depending on the brand and model. Generally speaking, wide boards range anywhere from 26 to 28 centimeters in width. This is commonly written as 260 – 280 mm. 

How To Measure Snowboard Width

do i need a wide snowboard?

Snowboard width is usually measured at the waist. This is the narrowest point of the snowboard, measured from the toe edge to the heel edge. 

Remember, this is narrower than the width underneath your boots/bindings. 

How Do I Know If I Need A Wide Snowboard?

Now, the million-dollar question: Do you actually need a wide snowboard?

The answer lies in your boot size and riding style. If you have larger feet, particularly around size 11 or above, a wide snowboard can be a game-changer.

It provides the extra width necessary to avoid toe and heel drag, avoiding stability issues and nasty spills.

do i need a wide snowboard

Additionally, if you enjoy making particularly deep carving turns, a wide snowboard gives you more control and stability.

This allows you to distribute your weight more evenly across the board, resulting in better balance and a more enjoyable ride. 

On the other hand, if you have smaller feet and don’t experience any drag or stability issues, a regular snowboard should suit you just fine!

Consider Your Binding Angles

Your binding angles will have some impact on snowboard width. For example:

  • If you ride +15/+0, your rear foot will be horizontal on the board, requiring a wider waist width.
  • If you ride +15/-15 you’ll get away with slightly narrower boards.

Consider Your Riding Style

Into freeride snowboarding or chasing powder?

Wider boards are literally made for this! 

Into freestyle?

Narrower boards are more agile and better for spins. Go as narrow as your boot size allows. 

Wide Snowboard vs Regular Snowboard

So, what’s the difference between a wide snowboard and a regular snowboard?

Regular Snowboards: Easier edge-to-edge transitions. Faster and more agile. Reduced float in powder. Risk of toe or heel drag with larger boot sizes.

Wide Snowboards: Improved float in powder. More stable during landings. Allows deep carves, regardless of boot size. Slower turn initiation.

The Benefits Of A Wide Snowboard

One of the major benefits of a wide snowboard is the elimination of toe and heel drag.

With a wider platform, your boots will sit perfectly aligned with the board’s edges, allowing for smooth turns. This prevents any unwanted edge-catching and instability.

Get ready to deepen those carves. You’re about to get low!

Additionally, wide snowboards offer enhanced float in powder, as well as improved stability and control. The increased width provides a larger surface area, distributing your weight more evenly and giving you a solid foundation

This in turn makes jumps and landings a little easier. 

Are Wide Snowboards Harder To Turn?

Now, you might be wondering if wide snowboards are harder to turn than their regular counterparts.

The short answer? 

Yes, wide snowboards are marginally harder to turn due to their increased waist width and surface area. 

The truth is, while wide snowboards may feel slightly less nimble compared to narrower boards, the difference is often minimal and may not be noticeable for many riders.

Bataleon Party Wave

Advances in snowboard technology have made wide boards more responsive and versatile, bridging the gap in maneuverability between different widths. The Party Wave is a prime example!

However, you should still avoid riding a wide board if you have small feet. You’ll struggle to get adequate leverage over your edges. 

Do I Need a Wide Snowboard For Size 11 Boots?

If you have size 11 boots, a wide snowboard is definitely worth considering. With larger boot sizes, there’s a higher chance of experiencing toe and heel drag.

The platform provided by wide boards also offers more stability, float and control.

You might also get away with a mid-wide snowboard. Use our snowboard width charts for the most accurate answer. 

My Advice?

Go as narrow as your boots allow without causing toe drag. 

This provides a perfect balance of agility and speed, without compromising on turn initiation and board weight. 

If you do need a wide board, don’t panic. You’ll still be able to ride hard and progress.


Whether to invest in a wide snowboard ultimately comes down to your boot size, riding style, and personal preference.

If you have larger feet, such as size 11 or above, a wide snowboard can eliminate toe and heel drag.

Personally, I don’t technically need a wide board. However, on occasion I’ve ridden one just to lay out some insanely deep carves. 

The choice is yours! 

Happy riding.

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