Snowboard sizing is a dark art.
Each brand uses different measurements… and rental stores just hand out whatever they have in stock.
So what is the perfect snowboard size for beginners?
Sadly, there isn’t a simple answer. But I can definitely help you find the perfect size!
Looking for the quick answer?
Use our beginner snowboard size chart and calculator.
Why Size Matters
Snowboard size matters much more than which snowboard you choose.
- Too long? You’ll struggle to maneuver. This board will turn like an oversized cruise ship!
- Too short? You’ve just sacrificed stability. Good luck staying upright at speed or over bumps!
It’s all about finding the sweet spot. The perfect combination of your weight, height, riding style, and type of terrain.
Trust me; size really does matter!
Snowboard Size For Beginners: Myth Busters
The internet is full of bad advice (excluding this site of course).
Let’s squash some common snowboarding myths.
Myth 1: When stood upright, a correctly sized snowboard will reach somewhere between your chin and your nose.
Wrong! If you deviate even slightly from the average height, weight or strength, this method is completely inaccurate.
Myth 2: Each rider has a single correct snowboard size.
Wrong! Every rider has a range of sizes that will work for them. You will develop a preference over time and probably vary your snowboard size depending on the terrain and type of board.
Myth 3: The snowboard manufacturers size charts are the best way to determine sizing.
Wrong! Again, this may work for the “average joe”. But these charts completely ignore variations in weight, strength, ability and preference.
So what’s the correct answer?
The Correct Snowboard Size For Beginners
Choosing your perfect size is a little more scientific these days.
To make life simpler, I’ve combined the most important variables into a custom tool.
Calculate your ideal snowboard size using the calculator below.
Alternatively… keep reading to learn exactly how beginner snowboard sizes are calculated.
How Ability Affects Snowboard Size
Every rider has a recommended snowboard size range. For example, mine is 153-158cm.
As a beginner I rode towards the lower end of the range. This provides agility and easy turning, whilst still being stable.
As I grew in confidence, I opted for a little extra length. This improves edge hold and performance at speed.
How Terrain Affects Snowboard Size
Your preferred riding style hugely impacts your ideal snowboard size.
- Freestyle: Usually at the shorter end of your range. This optimizes mobility, spins and buttering.
- All-mountain: In the middle of your size range, usually 2-3cm longer than your freestyle board.
- Freeride: Extra length for extra stability. Usually 2-3cm longer than your all-mountain board.
- Powder: This is where things get a little complicated. For powder, volume is more important than length. As a beginner, you don’t need a powder board just yet.
How Height and Weight Affect Snowboard Size
This part is relatively straight forward.
Heavier riders need longer boards. This provides enough edge hold to support their weight.
Lighter riders need shorter boards. Larger boards are likely to overpower them and impair their turning ability.
Height works pretty similarly.
(Taller people usually need longer snowboards).
When choosing the perfect snowboard size for beginners, consider the following:
- Shoe Size
- Riding Style
These have a huge impact on the snowboard length (and width) you should be choosing.
The easiest way to account for all of these factors is to use our custom calculator.
But if you’re stuck between 2 sizes, drop me a comment below. I’ll do my best to help you crack it!