Snowboard Jump Sizes – What’s the Standard?

by Fraser

So you want to know how big a snowboard jump should be? Unfortunately, snowboard jump sizes tend to vary depending on where you’re riding. Whether you are making one yourself or about to go snowboarding with a pro, here are the things you ought to know. 

There are three categories of snowboard jump: side hits/small jumps, medium jumps, and large/XL jumps. However, it’s hard to measure jump size as parks have their own heights. Additionally, there’s no “standard” jump size; jumps can be as small or as large as the snowboarder is comfortable using.

As you can see, there isn’t real a “standard” snowboard jump size. Below are some more differences between the jumps and how to handle them once you are on the mountain. Happy riding!

Snowboard Jump Sizes Explained

Obviously, a “small” jump at one park may differ in size from a “small” jump at another. One of the best ways to standardize your snowboard jump size is to build one yourself.

If you aim to build the snowboard jump around 6-feet wide, this provides a stable area for take off. You should then aim for around 1-2 feet in height. You can always build on this once you gain confidence. For reference, most small jumps in beginner terrain parks are between 1 and 2 feet high.

Make sure you build your jump somewhere with no through traffic to avoid collisions!

Once you have the fundamentals of jumping down, you can try out other snowboard jump sizes in the terrain park.

Snowboard Jumps: The Fundamental Differences

To a beginner snowboarder, all jumps will look big.

This is where my favorite category of jumps comes in handy: side hits. Side hits occur when your standard piste has a small ledge (maybe a foot or two high) that you can ride over to get on or off the groomed runs (piste). Side-hits tend to form naturally and often have the added benefit of leading to soft snow. Nothing like a padded landing!

Experts suggest becoming comfortable with side hits before trying anything more significant. After side hits, you get into your small or medium jumps. Here’s a great video explaining snowboard jump progression:

Most medium jumps are on shallow, if not level, inclines with peaks reaching a height of 10 to 15 ft (3.05-4.57 m) in the air and launching you anywhere from 15 to 20 ft (4.57-6.10 m).

The most significant difference between medium and small jumps is not size but the speed at which you approach them. If you hit the jump with a lot of momentum, it will launch you farther. Much farther!

On the plus side, if you are afraid of medium jumps, you can adjust your speed and shorten your air time. 

Finally, you have the XL jumps. These are the jumps that occur on the mountain proper: i.e., there will be a much steeper slope leading up to them. These will give you a lot of air and are also more difficult to land successfully, so you should be very comfortable with medium jumps before attempting XL. 

Yours truly attempting the XL jump line in Tignes, French Alps.

How to Jump Properly And Safely

As mentioned above, there is no standardIsation for snowboarding jump sizes. They can range from small bumps giving you a little lift to insane, XL jumps that fling you sailing into the air.

As a result, you should approach each jump differently and with due consideration. Boarding over a small jump is easier and potentially less dangerous than hitting the larger ones.

No matter what, observe others before experimenting. Watch how other snowboarders handle the jumps before trying them yourself. Observation will help you gauge which parts of the jump are the most difficult:

  • The approach
  • The flight
  • The steering
  • The landing 

If you are a beginner, do not feel the need to try anything fancy the first time you go off a jump. For specific instructions on how to progress with snowboard jumps, check out Snowboard Addiction’s tutorial here.  

The number one golden rule: When you fall on a jump (when, not if), make sure you get out of the way of other snowboarders quickly! The last thing you want is a sore bum from falling and a crushed arm from lingering too long in the danger zone. Once you are back to safety, get right back up and do it again! Falling is part of learning, and learning is part of growing.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know some basic tips on how not to die on snowboard jumps, you are ready to hit the mountain. Play hard, stay safe, and do not eat the yellow snow (unless your friend tries it first).

Ready to take your snowboard jumps to the next level? Learn The Concepts of Rotation and Counter-Rotation and read What Is Freestyle Snowboarding? How To Get Started In 2022

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