Christy Sports – Snowboard Deck Buying Guide


There are numerous snowboard options on the market, so it can be hard to determine what board you should invest in to enjoy your time on the mountain. There are many factors that play into snowboard design and intended use, and this guide is intended to help you narrow your search and pick the right board. We will discuss terrain type, ability level, and board sizing to help you determine what kind of board is best for your abilities and preferences. 

Terrain Type

Different types of snowboards are optimized to perform best on certain types of terrain. Many boards on the market are also highly versatile and can be great options for all kinds of riding. If you know you spend most of your time on a certain part of the mountain or riding with a specific style, pick a board that is congruent with those preferences. For example, if you love to butter and spin all over the mountain and spend some time in the terrain park, you should pick a board with a softer flex and a true twin profile, meaning the sidecut and stance is symmetrical to promote easy switch riding. This sort of board will perform best for those with a playful style. For those who love to ride fast and aggressive in steep terrain, a stiffer board with a directional stance and sidecut will be a better choice. If you like to do a bit of everything when you ride, there are many board options that balance these different characteristics well. 

Ability Level 

It is important to pick a board appropriate for your ability level as well as riding style. If you are just starting out, you’ll want to stick with a board with a softer flex that will be easy to angulate and control and will be more forgiving of mistakes. This forgiving quality will enable you to get a feel for the riding style that you prefer and help you to progress without getting discouraged. Experienced riders will often opt for stiffer boards that offer more control and precision at high speeds and in variable terrain. It takes a skilled rider to manage and control a stiff board accurately. Modern snowboards usually have some combination of both rocker and camber. Boards with more rocker provide more floatation in powder and are more forgiving to beginners. Boards with more camber offer more precise control for fast and aggressive riding. Combining both rocker and camber into board construction offers some of the best of both worlds, and brands like Never Summer are on the cutting edge of innovative rocker/camber profiles. By considering both your ability level and the terrain you most often ride, you will be able to narrow down what sort of board will work best for you.  

Size: Length and Width 

Snowboards come in a range of sizes to fit the height, weight, and foot size of every rider. The common practice for sizing boards for years has been to pick something that is right around chin height. Though this is not necessarily wrong, modern snowboards are built to accommodate a certain weight range rather than height. The volume of the board—how much material contacts the snow—rather than the length determines the proper size. Some modern boards like the Ride Warpig are designed to be ridden in shorter sizes than conventional wisdom might suggest because they have a wider profile and therefore more volume by length. To ensure you are picking the right size board, consult the specific size chart for the make and model you are considering. Width is also an important factor when sizing a board, especially for riders with larger feet. No one likes having their toes drag on the ground when making a turn, so boards are made in specific “wide” sizes to accommodate the large-footed among us. If you know you may need that wider platform, consider buying a wide board in the correct size to fit your weight.  

Adult Snowboard Sizing

Sizes are Approximate

Snowboard Size (cm) Rider Height (in) Rider Height (cm) Rider Weight (lb)
128-136 4'10"-5' 147-151 110-120
133-141 5'-5'2" 152-157 115-130
139-147 5'2"-5'4" 158-162 125-135
144-152 5'4"-5'6" 163-167 135-145
149-157 5'6"-5'8" 168-172 140-155
154-162 5'8"-5'10" 173-177 150-165
159-167 5'10"-6' 178-182 160-175
160+ 6'-6'2" 183-187 170-185
160+ 6'2"-6'4" 188-192 180-195
160+ 6'4"+ 193+ 190-205