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Snowboard length advice?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm 5ft 11 and 182 lbs (13stone). Would you consider a 156 snowboard too short for me? I'm an all mountain sort of guy that's just getting the hang of riding switch and exploring a bit of freestyle without losing the carving aspect of riding.

Thanks in advance
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Prob just a tiny bit short if your in the pow but not crazy short for piste/chop.
I started riding a 'true twin' a few years ago and just forced myself to ride switch.
Re: improving switch. I now tend to ride drags switch and will be forcing myself to get on and off Chair lifts switch this season too. (Feels soo alien).
Happy shopping Very Happy
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depends on board and the shape and side cut profile but on the face of it I'd so its too short and I'd aim for somewhere 158-162cm with enough room to set your bindings back on big days... or you can buy more than one board, have a short board for piste/lazy days and big/powder board full off piste, all mountain charging
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as above.....it depends.

it depends what board your riding, the width, the profile, what sort of riding you do and whether you want a one board for all and what level of riding you're at.

short answer is no though. i'm 12stone and ride a soft 152 in just about all terrain, on/off piste and in the park and its fine.
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I ride a 156 and I'm of a similar spec to you! I do normally take 2 boards and the other is a 159 for 'all mountain' but the 156 is fine for AM too though its more freestyle orientated.
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It depends on the board design and what you're using it for, but most of my boards these days are around 156.
You weigh 1/3 more than me, and I'm an experienced aggressive rider.

=> way too short, unless you're an absolute beginner, in which case you'll soon want something bigger if you don't give up because riding a short floppy board is easy but boring.
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Philwig - how tall are you? I'm also looking at a new board this season, and was thinking 156 rather than 158 - 75kg and 6' here. Seeing as we're sitting the same exam I'd imagine we'd ride very similarly!
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unless you're getting into racing your height wont matter with board length Smile
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The trend seems to be riding snowboards that people are overweight for. Riding a board that is too small will alter it's characteristics it'll flex more than it should will lose edge hold and stability. Most manufacturers will give weight recommendations for their boards if you fall between 2 size down for maneuverability or up for stability and performance. A shorter snowboard is no easier to ride switch it just comes down to technique, currently I have boards that range from 151 to 178 and I'm in the correct weight range for all of them (I'm lighter than you and the smallest traditional style board I ride on the mountain is a 156 but it is really stiff and I'm well within the spec for it. I'd say you want something around a 157-159 depending on the board.
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To illustrate the points above, I'm 75kgs and 5'10'' and have just bought a new board.

I was told to go off weight, rather than height, despite me leaning towards the smaller 156. I am bang in the middle of the weight range for the board and it's a 158 (Salomon Assassin)
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I am not sure about this whole weight vs height thing at all. The top three mens places in the Longboard Classic were all on boards 200cm long, they were average height blokes, the top 2 women were also riding 200 and 187 boards and only weighed in at 60 kgs maybe..... Donek Snowboards have an interesting video on board lengths, side cut radius etc. I think its more about the style of riding you do that will dictate your board length.
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As @philwig, if you are new to the sport consider going shorter, but you will quickly out grow a short board.

I'm 82kg and have a 159 piste board and a 161 powder board. Both are the perfect size for me, in their natural habitat. You can get away with a shorter piste board, but it will feel nervous at speed and will be a submarine* if you suddenly come across a nice stash... so why would you?
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In my experience short is easier to steer and to be flexible. With long boards i feel like i go faster though. But thats just my subjective thought.
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@Tankerdriver, taking a view on snowboard length based on an event called the "Longboard Classic" would seem to be a pretty contrary thing to do?

5'11", 82kg here, riding boards from 160 - 163cm at the moment. I'd go longer if I was looking for something for pure carving or I was racing SBX again.

I also have a 156 true-twin, super-flexy, reverse-camber board which is a total hoot to play around on, but not really what I'd want to riding deep powder or carving hard-pack on. It actually floats pretty well in powder because of the massive rocker, but it's twitchy as hell!
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5'10'', around 70kg and riding 161. Thinking its got one trip left in it before I move to something slight shorter. Have lost a few kgs since I first got it and suspect I could get something a touch shorter without compromising too much on the carving and edge hold at speed. I don't think I'd look lower than 157 comber profile though.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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I dunno, I never really understand these claims that 2-4cm makes a massive night and day difference on a board. Maybe if your technique is rubbish it does make the difference between holding an edge or not but that's not my experience. Plenty of good stiff-ish all-mountain freestyle boards on the market that will work just fine at your weight in a 156. In the deep stuff you'll probably have to get more on the back foot than you'd really like but for the rare times these come up you are better having a proper pow board in the quiver anyway.
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Albasnow wrote:
I dunno, I never really understand these claims that 2-4cm makes a massive night and day difference on a board...
Boards are sold by length, but "length" is not the only difference between adjacent board sizes. Just look at some in the shop. The bigger board is designed for a heavier/ more aggressive rider, so it's not only a teeny bit longer (which as you say makes little difference), but it's stiffer. They could make them all the same length, but that would confuse the shop assistants. In fact Burton used to do that with some boards - they made one length, but a range of stiffnesses to suit different rider weights/ abilities. "Length" then is obviously the length of the board, but really it's a proxy for "size". You want to ride a board which is the right size for you. That could be a variety of lengths, because "length" is how they're denominated, but it's not a useful way to characterise boards across ranges, for example, for this reason.

If you're riding a board under the manufacturer's recommended length then it may be worth asking why that is.

Better, actually ride adjacent sizes of a board before you rent/ buy it, and then this all becomes clear.
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A board knows how heavy you are not how tall you are, hence why you now can ride a shorter board if the tech spec meets your weight range, and remember its your weight in full kit not naked

All makers how own weight to board spec on their sights so use as a good guide or if you can trey before you buy
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5"11' and 85kg here, and my all mountain board is 162cm. This is very good for technical sections, nice in Alp powder (in set back position), a bit short for real powder, a bit challenging navigating steep+moguls toward something inviting, totally OK for park jumps, and way too long+stiff for tricks and pipes.

Like the others are saying, pay more attention to weight vs. flex, then choose based on what it is you prefer doing.
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I suppose the reason rider height factors into things, is someone taller will have a higher centre of gravity, so with the board on edge at any given angle the centre of gravity of the taller rider will be further out (further away from the board) than a much shorter rider. A longer board has a wider turning radius due to the longer side cut, which may better suit where the taller riders centre of gravity will sit as the board edges through the turn. Whether this is a huge difference I don't know, so having said this, I would still tend to go by weight first too Happy as well as preferred/usual riding use.

I'm 6ft2 ish, about 84kg and ride a 167 wide (size 11 feet), and tend to do all mountain, rarely park. It's great on powder days. It's also very fast so fantastic at running on when at long flat stretches. On hard pack days though I find it impossible to get close to a carve on blacks, reds or even steeper end of blues as the turning circle is just too long and speed starts getting out of control, so I always end up with some skid. Though my less than perfect technique will be a factor here.
I sometimes wish I'd got a shorter slower tighter turning board for pure piste days when there's no fresh snow.
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I swear by longboards. Nothing beats a lot of effective edge for carving the groomers or surf pow. Especially if you're a big guy. Longboards like The 185 Maverick Pipeliner got a flex that feels a lot softer due to the leverage but is really torsionally stiff in binding area with a soft nose. I'm 5'8 and rides nothing under 175 cm except for tight japanese tree runs.



A love for turning - Maverick Snowboards 2017 from Maverick Snowboards
https://vimeo.com/185275178
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Wow, lots to think about when buying a board. I have had my 157 TechNine wide for a few year but not been out much so a lot has probably changed in design and ride but when I was doing my research the consensus was height was up to your nose for height measurements and then style and width next.
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My (personal) preference is for as short as you can get away with within the weight range, because unless it's waist deep powder a longer board is nowhere near as fun on the rest of the mountain.

Agree on boards differing though not just based on length - you can ride a stiff, cambered 156 and it'll be totally different to a softer rocker 156.

I'd say 156 is pretty good for the mix of stuff you want to be doing, as long as it's an all mountain board in your weight range.

When you say freestyle, shorter is better for jibbing and longer better for kickers. That's a massive generalisation, but not too far off.
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Hi Paul, it's one of those annoying things as there's no one size that is perfect for every type of snow, type of mountain and/or type of snowboarding.

156cm will be ok assuming that you are just starting out, however once you get the hang of things more, at your height and weight you will want to go for something a bit longer, unless you just stick to the park in which case the 156 will still be fine.

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Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Sun 18-11-18 22:57; edited 2 times in total
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Yep, there's a whole hod load of factors.

If it's your first board, then chances are that going by the manufacturer's description that matches the type of riding you want to do, and their recommended size based on your weight is going to be spot on as far as you can tell. The more you ride, the more you feel your personal likes and dislikes. Once you reach a point where you're really looking for fine tuning, you'll either end up with multiple boards, to fine tune to each type of conditions or discipline, or one "do everything" board, and accept the slight limitations that means.

You'll also learn there are quirks personal to you that tweak your choice a little. For example, in general, your height shouldn't make much difference; the loads applied to the board are at the same angle and direction through your feet however tall you are. But for me, I've got silly long legs - (37.5" inside leg) and a shorter board is generally designed around a narrower stance width, which I find makes it harder to flex really low.

As mentioned above, effective edge length is probably a much truer way of comparing boards anyway. Certainly windsurf board length was the only measurement used a good few years ago. Now volume is understood to be much more important, then width. For both snowboards and windsurf boards, nose shape can play a huge part in overall length, and a pure piste board has no need of the long rising nose that you might want for powder or rougher terrain.

And sidecut radius would likely tell you more about how sharply a board will carve rather than overall length.

So if you've got a couple of different boards in mind that seem suitable, get the full dimensions for the lengths the manufacturers suggest for you, and then compare width, effective edge and sidecut radius to get an idea of how they might differ a little in the riding.

And ideally then go test them and see how much difference it *feels* like to you.
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@Matt_D, if yer gonna ride a long plank to enjoy the carve then you need to fit telemark bindings to get the best out of it Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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rule of thumb is between your chin & nose. However sizing is done on weight rather than height.
As long as your not short & fat or tall or skinny, you can prob use rule of thumb.
Im 5ft 9 & ride a 159cm
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Just because it says that it's a freestyle / freeride board, it does not mean it will be only for park or only for off piste.
Just if you take your 156 FS into deep heavy wet stuff, and you're 80KG, be prepared to lean back a bit to keep the front up, and your 159 FR will feel a bit firmer on sketchy landings in the park.
I normally ride a burton dominant (FS) 156 and I'm 78kg, and it manages most stuff very well.
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Snowboard Lengths...
I agree with Matt_D it's all about effective edge, grip and long carving turns Toofy Grin
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A long effective edge is always reckoned to be best for grip but how do you square that with Magnetraction where the effective edge is effectively condensed into a few short "very grippy" lengths. Using that logic wouldn't a board with a short effective edge, but with prominent nose and tail contact points, give better grip than the long board?

I've been pondering this for a while as, though I own and have ridden a variety of boards, I've never ridden anything bigger than a 157 full camber board.

ps I'm talking about firm to hard/icy conditions
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 Poster: A snowHead
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slightly off topic but still relevant...

i'm 6ft 70kg and always ridden 155-159 depending what i'm doing but this season i bought a ride warpig in a small, its a 148.

slightly sceptical, but got to say its probably one of the funnest boards I've ridden, it floats in powder, carves well on piste, its fast and spins (really) quickly.

that said, it might only be a 148 in length but its effective edge is that of a much longer board, i'd say around a 158 maybe.

point is, its not just the length of the board matters, edge, side cut, flex, width all have an effect.

boardiek...magnetraction imo is horrible. only ever had it once and hated it, i had to file the edges off to make it pleasurable to ride lol
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"check out the cool bean", says the global brand manager dude...but a young kid in our village has been riding one for a month and loves it, I'll hopefully get to try it out for the next dump. Lots of other choices in these short wider boards...generally knock 10cm off your all mountain length.


http://youtube.com/v/6ZY1fkDtpmQ
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yeah i saw that, went for the warpig as although its still directional it still rides switch with ease. the fish tail on the k2 would freak me out going at any real speed switch!
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@eddiethebus, how wide is the warpig? seen it described as all mountain / groomers, but it has won lots of awards....am after a short board that I will only ride in fresh snow / off piste. I love riding switch as well so no fish tails. I had to learn switch in powder because my back leg was getting so sore from riding a long all mountain board off piste. Probably also poor technique, but a shorter pow specific board will surely help. You tired it in powder yet?
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think its 260mm at the waist and about 290mm at the nose

yeah done maybe 3 powder days on it this season, it floats well. I spend most of my time jibbing around so went for the small but if you want something for just off piste the large (156) would be better i would guess (not sure how big you are though so not sure why i said that lol)
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thx found the specs....a lot of places sold out.....yeah I'd go for the 156, 27cm waist....my first, and only other board, is Palmer burn 164

https://www.evo.com/snowboards/ride-warpig-snowboard
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I'm currently on a jibsaw with mag in argentiere and it's a gimmick imo it does not make it better over a normal edge. I'm surprised it's holding its own off piste atm even though it's a freestyle board. The difference is it's set up for all mountain and it's bigger than my normal ride at 162W. Yesterday I was on a krypto at 164W and that was a tank. Slow turning so I had to send it. Length does make a difference as do other factors but keep to rider weight guides and the correct board for the intended use. BTW loads of POW Atm here Toofy Grin
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Tankerdriver wrote:
I am not sure about this whole weight vs height thing at all. The top three mens places in the Longboard Classic were all on boards 200cm long, they were average height blokes, the top 2 women were also riding 200 and 187 boards and only weighed in at 60 kgs maybe..... Donek Snowboards have an interesting video on board lengths, side cut radius etc. I think its more about the style of riding you do that will dictate your board length.


That rider skill!
A snowboard does not know how tall someone is, but it will react different to a persons weight. To short & it will be struggle to get the thing moving as weight pushes the board into snow, to long & it will be a struggle to control the thing as the board will sit on the snow. For a person of average weight to their height, then somewhere between lip & nose is a good starting point. Maybe chin to lip if a beginner.
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