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Which Snowboard is Right for Me?

Posted by Matt Gahman on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The “perfect” snowboard fits you just right, which makes the task of finding one easily seem daunting. It’s a decision dependent on a number of factors, from height & weight to terrain, and style preferences. Fear not, finding the right fit can be as simple as studying your personal style (and reading on).

Choosing Based On Size

How do you know if the width is right for you? Look for a board that allows your snowboard boots to hang over the edges board just slightly, but not so much as to hit the snow when the board is on edge. This prime combination enables free flowing steering without making your day on the hill harder than it needs to be.

With this in mind, riders with large feet (men U.S. size 11 and higher; women size 10+) should consider wide boards. Keep in mind a little overhang is fine - it’ll give you more leverage during turns, which can be crucial for maneuvering around fast-learning little ones!
In the end, your board’s length will likely fall somewhere between your nose and their chin. Fast, confident riders often prefer a longer board, while park riders headed for a day of jumps should opt for a short board.
Your weight is another crucial factor, read on for more insight.

Beginner or Intermediate Board?

This is not a trick question! You have a number of options based on your comfort level on the hill, with each board addressing specific needs.

Are you buying for yourself, or are you buying for your little one? The board’s flex, shape, length, and construction are all important when crafting a snowboard for a particular ability level. Be realistic when assessing skillsets and personal attributes, it’ll help make your riding experience more enjoyable and help you get better, faster.

Soft Flex

 If you’re looking for a forgiving ride, opt for a softer flex. Check out our freestyle and all-mountain snowboards here; their soft flex will set you up for an easier turning experience. A soft flex is good for beginners, riders with lower body weights and park riders. Plus, soft snowboards provide a buttery feel at slower speeds, so they’re perfect for your little Shaun White. 

Stiff Flex

Stiffer flexing snowboards are great for freeride styles or backcountry use. Their improved edge hold makes them more stable at high speeds compared to their softer cousins. Lightweight riders beware! It can be tough to flex and steer a stiff board.

What’s Your Riding Style?

Your style will determine your board’s shape. Technically, you can ride any snowboard in any snow condition; but if you’re making a long-term investment you should consider the specific terrain, conditions and applications you’ll put it towards. For example, it's going to be more fun to ride a powder board in powder and a park board in the park.

  • If you're riding primarily in the park or freestyle, pick a board on the shorter end of the size range. We love Burton’s Custom Twin Snowboard, 
  • If you're riding is mostly all mountain, powder or freeriding, consider a snowboard on the longer end of the size range.
  • If you are above average weight consider a longer snowboard.
  • If you are a beginner, aim for a shorter board in your size range.

When in doubt, opting for an all-mountain snowboard will set you up for success during any adventure your family’s travels take you on. All-mountain snowboards are at home on groomers, powder, park runs and almost anything in between. They’re incredibly versatile and perfect for those who just getting started.


Your toughest decision here will be deciding between directional (meaning downhill only) or twin-tip (for riding switch, meaning either direction).

Kids’ Snowboards

Given how quickly your kids grow, it’s easy to want to opt for an adult board they can grow into. Beware! An oversized snowboard can be tough to manage for your child, leading to an increased risk of injury and slowed skill development. Stick with an affordable board built for their body; you’ll be glad you did it! We’ve got the boards they want at a price point you’ll love 

Take all of these pointers into consideration before jumping into a new snowboard purchase - a properly chosen board is your most crucial ally on the mountain!

Keep in mind that your personal preferences will also come into play. We always advise to head into any of our six retail locations and talk with our team of experts before making your purchase. They will be glad to help steer you in the right direction and work with you and personal preferences to help you find that dream board.

If you cannot make into one of our local stores, always feel free to call our customer service center before you buy with any questions you may have. At, we pride ourselves on outstanding customer service, so come see what the Buckman’s experience is really about.

Happy Riding!

Categories: Snowboard Equipment  |  Ski & Snowboarding Tips

Tagged: snowboard, ski and snowboard equipment

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