Snowboards are expensive things, and like anything expensive you want to know what your buying before you go spending all your hard earned cash. We will take you through the process of what questions to ask yourself and what you need to know to make sure you get a board you love.

First off it is good to know about all the main types of snowboard to help you make an informed decision on what you are going to be riding for hopefully many snowboarding trips. No longer are the days where every snowboard looks the same and new shapes, designs and technology have made it much harder to get the right board.

What size snowboard do I need?

A lot of people say that the most important thing when buying a new snowboard is the length of it. There is a lot of content on the web for how to choose the length of your snowboard, trouble is that most if it is outdated and doesn’t tell you the full story about choosing the length. It is all not about the length of the snowboard, and how high it comes on your face, its also about your weight and the length of the effective edge.

So what is the effective edge? The effective edge on a snowboard is the length of the metal edge that is in contact with the snow when riding. You will notice that in recent years snowboards have been changing, a lot. Some boards have long noses and tails, some boards have shorter stubby noses and tails.

Blunt and rounded snowboards - gear guide

The difference between these two boards is that while one board is a lot longer, the effective edge is pretty much the same. This means that on everything apart from powder you will get the same amount of edge to grip the snow with making the extra length less noticeable. So take note and compare the effective edges of the snowboards you are looking at.

The other thing you need to think about is your weight. All snowboards come with a recommended weight bracket for each size of board. Imagine a large bloke and a skinny bloke, both the same hight but totally different in weight, if they were to choose the same size snowboard, that board would ride completely different for both of them. Modern boards are designed to bend and twist in a way that helps your riding but if you are too heavy for the board you could over stress the board and it will break. Similarly if you are to light for the board you might not be able to make the most of the board because will be less force going through the board. This makes it a lot easier to determine what size board you need because the manufacturers tell you what their boards are made for.

These are the two main things regarding the size of the board that you should know about, the edge and the weight specification. Take a look at the end of the series where we talk about how what sort of terrain you want to ride and how it effects the length of the board.

Do I need a Wide Snowboard?

You may notice that some snowboards have a ‘W’ beside the size of the snowboard, or in the description, this means it is a wide board. Wide boards are made for people with big feet. Generally if you have a foot size of more than 10.5 UK then you will need a wide board however it does vary with the size of your boots and bindings. If you are on the edge and not sure what to do then try the board with your bindings and boots strapped in. Once you are standing on the snowboard you will be able to tell weather you are likely to experience any heel or toe drag when riding on snow.

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