Snowboards are measured in cms, although when they are discussed their measurements are often abbreviated to the last two digits, for example a board which measures 156 cms will be referred to as a 56. There are a variety of factors which come into play to help you decide which board is the best for you.
The length of the board that you use directly corresponds to your height.
- A short board is one that, when stood upright on the ground, comes up to somewhere in between your collarbone and your chin. These shorter boards are easier to manoeuvre so riders who are going to do trick, park or pipe riding would use them. They are also the type of boards used by learners who need an easier board to handle.
- A medium board will come up to somewhere between your chin and your nose. These are the types of boards which are used by snowboarders who are at an intermediate to advanced level, as they may want to be able to ride a variety of terrain, including parks and steeps. This board allows them to do that.
- A long board will come to somewhere between your eye level and a point several inches above the top of your head. These types of boards are suitable for speed carving, and for boarding on deep powder or big mountain terrain.
The width of the board which you use directly corresponds to your foot size. The best way to find a board that is the correct width is to stand a board flat on the ground, and then step into the bindings or place your feet on the board in the position you would when you are riding. Your snow boots should either be flush with the edges of the board, or be slightly over them. You have to make sure that your toes and heels are close to the edge so that you are able to apply pressure in order to turn the board, and help it pick up speed. However, you have to make sure that your feet do not hang over the board too much and then your boots will catch in the snow when you turn, or even when you ride.
Getting the right stance on the board
Your stance on the snowboard is also vital to get right so that you are able to manoeuvre the board in the best way. You need to be able to determine your stance before you set off for the mountain as it dictates how you will mount the bindings on the board. If you are regular footed, this means that your left foot is the one that is forward. If you are goofy footed, this means that your right foot is forward.
Often you will not know which one you are until you actually try boarding, so it is a little trial and error. However, there are some methods which you can try beforehand to give you some indication as to what you might be. If you have a friend stand behind you a push you, the foot you put forward to balance yourself is the one that should be forward on the board. Also you could try running on a slippery surface with socks on and then suddenly stop. The foot that slides forward corresponds to your front foot on the board.
The width of your stance should be slightly wider than your shoulder width, and it should feel comfortable and like you are stabilising yourself. For the majority of people this stance will lie somewhere between 18 and 24 inches, and will usually correspond to the length of your legs. The angle of your foot in relation to the board is something that you will perfect the more you ride, and is part of your own riding style. [quote][/quote]