snowboard WIDTH - How to choose a Snowboard .Info

how to choose a snowboard .info
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choose a snowboard WIDTH that fits your body and riding style
When we speak about snowboard size we mean the snowboard lenght, the tip to tail size, and that's where most of our focus shall be.
Then we also need to consider the width of the board, side to side size, measured at the waist.
Let's find out whether or not you need a wide snowboard.
snowboard size VS snowboard width

Snowboard Width

In a Nutshell
How shall the boots fit on the board/bindings?
As a general rule your boots (on the bindings) shall be 0,5 out of the edges, error margin of 1cm outside and 0,5cm inside. - Then if you'll ride powder a lot or carve hard, a bit of extra width will help you (boots out of the edges 0cm, or even inside the edges). Otherwise (and specially if you're a beginner) you'll want the narrowest snowboard possible without getting toe/heel drag (boots out of the edges close to 1cm). If you're more of a park guy you may even want to risk some toe/heel drag to get more playfulness (boots out of the edges 1cm to 1,5cm).
Why must they fit like that?
Because you want your toes and heels right up your edges so you can press them better and get more response from your snowboard
How to choose a snowboard with the exact width I want?
On a shop with the board you want, put it on the floor and step on the inserts with your aproximate stance and binding angles. Look for a board that fits like you want.

board width vs boot/feet size

Snowboard Width Chart
It will let you know which approximate waist width you shall look for according to your feet size and/or boot size. You may also see whether that waist width is probably called Wide by the snowboard brands or not (in other words, it'll let you know whether you may or not need a wide board).
Notice that: 1 The most important thing to get from this table is the approximate waist width. 2 If you need a wide snowboard you may need to round the chosen size (length) because there are not wide versions for every size.
snowboard width chart - US UK EU Cm foot sizes
If you want to know more keep reading or jump to the topic "... how can I make sure I choose the right board" for more accuracy

All about snowboard width

Because higher people tend to have bigger feet, the width of a snowboard keeps up with it's length. A snowboard model size 156 will be slightly wider than the same board in size 152. The width is measured in millimeters at the waist of the boards (the narrowest part), and it usually ranges from 235mm to 265mm.
For choosing purposes the "width at inserts" would help, but the brands don't include it in the boards measures so we use the waist width as a guide number, specially to buy online.

All that influences how your boots will fit in your board
boot size; binding angles; stance width; sidecut of the board

What is a wide snowboard?

A "wide snowboard", sized as 158W or 160W for example, is one that's wider than usual for it's length. Like a 156 sized snowboard that usually has a waist width measure of 245mm, with a waist width measure of 255mm and sized as 156W.
Women's specific snowboards are typically narrower to go with the smaller size, but they may be even narrower to acomodate womens smaller feet (a 146 woman snowboard may be narrower than a 146 man snowboard), and just like mans boards there are wide versions (ex: 146W).
You'll have the same snowboard model in sizes like 154, 156, 156W, 158, 159W, 162, 162W.
Both, the size (ex: 157W) and the waist width measure (ex: 245mm) will be at the board specifications sheet (physically or online).

Do I need a wide snowboard?
Probably not. You will need it to avoid toe/heel drag if: 1- your feet/boots are bigger than usual for your height; 2- you'll mainly carve as hell or ride powder with that board you'll get.
Frequent mistake to avoid: It happens a lot for people to think "I have big feet" and to go for a wide board that they don't really need or want, because: 1- they're also tall and their normal board size already accommodates their feet. 2- they're beginners/intermediates who wont experience any toe/hell drag unless their toes/hells are way out of the board (like 5cm or more), and they may not notice it but the unnecessary extra width will make it harder to roll from one edge to the other in the first turns.
As a 154 board from one brand may have the same width as a 154W from other brand, to choose a snowboard we better focus on the actual width of the board (the width at inserts if shooping in loco or the waist width if buying online), instead of on the W sizing given by the brands.

So how wide shall my board be?
Ideally your heels and toes will be right up the edges (boot tips sticking out by 0,5cm each side) to avoid toe/heel drag and so that you can place your weight upon the edges and pressure them well, let's call that your "standard width". But as long as, with the boots on the bindings, you have less than 1,5cm overhang (each side) and less than 0,5cm underhang you shall get no toe/heel drag and probably won't notice much of a difference in how the board feels.
Will I benefit from a wider or from a narrower board instead of one with my standard width?
If you want to carve hard on a normal snowboard with soft boots, ride powder, or if you're a bit overweight you may benefit from some extra width (boots ending 0,5cm before edges or 0,5cm after edges). Otherwise you may be happier with a thinner snowboard (boots out of the edges by 0,5cm to 1,5cm), the thinnest possible without causing toe/heel drag (boots sticking out the edges 1,5cm), specially if you're more of a park rat.
Why? How will more or less width than the standard width influence my riding?
A smaller width (with 0,5cm to 1,5cm of our toes/heels sticking out) means a easier turn initiation, a quicker edge change, a snappier feeling, a more playful ride, at the cost of risking some toe/heel drag in sharper turns.
A larger width (the edges wider than toes/heels by 1,5cm max. each side) is welcome to ride powder (more floating capacity) and to carve hard jumping from arc to arc, or from arc to whatever! (no toe/heel drag at all, ever), and it may feel steadier at higher speeds and help you keep your line,
at the cost of slower edge changes and more energy demanding turn initiations.

And how can I make sure I choose the right board?
If you're at a shop and you have your boots with you:
Put your boots over the inserts with approximately the angles you use, the boots shall not stick out more than 1,5cm each side (toes and heels), and they shall not underhang more than 1,5cm. (check out the paragraph above for more info)
If they don't have the size you want:
Do it with the same model on other size and check out the waist width measure (on the specs), then know the waist width of the size you want and Compare them. If your boots stick out, for example, 2cm each side (too much) on the snowboard with a waist width of 240mm (24cm), then with a waist width of 250mm (25cm), they will stick out only 1,5cm each side (acceptable), if you want a more neutral fit look for the Wide version that may have a waist width of about 260mm.
If they don't have the model you want or if you're buying online:
Do the same as said before, but note that the side-cut is different from one snowboard model to another, so your boots may fit slightly differently in two different snowboard models even if they have the same size and waist width (in that case, the board with the rounder side-cut would be wider at the inserts). The difference is probably scarce and not enough to be a problem.

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