Let's start with good news, as a first timer or a beginner it's easier to find yourself a snowboard.
In a nutshellFor a fun, fast and easy progression as a beginner you will want the smallest recommended snowboard size for your weight/height (wide or not depending on your boot size)check the size chart + soft flex + twin or a not very directional shape + rocker base profile to get to the first turns faster OR a camber profile for a more solid progression (or any combo in between, for a combo I would recommend rocker-camber-rocker).
All the necessary wisdom for a beginner to choose a snowboard like a pro:
size(tip to tail) - Find the standard recommended size for you according to weight and height here. If you're looking on other size chart that not ours and you have a range of size options to choose from, choose the smallest and round down if necessary.
flexibility - Soft flex is better to start, it's more forgiving and easier to control at slow to moderate speeds because, facilitates turn initiation. It is the most important part of your choice, along with the snowboard size.
shape - Slightly directional (not too much) if you think you are more an "all mountain" guy, or twin if you can already see yourself "freestyling" the cheat out of your local snowpark. This is more about the future, for now you will be OK with any shape as long as it´s not ridiculously directional like a powder board.
base profile - Rocker is great if you are just trying snowboard out without any idea if it will hook you up or not, it´s easier to use and more catch free. It is also great if you want to try some off-pist runs or if the slopes are buried in fresh powder. Otherwise I recommend a camber or rocker-camber-rocker combo, most advanced riders use a camber board or some kind of combo and that's not a coincidence, they store energy that you can use to pop ollie's or to jump to the next arc like rocker boards never will. So if you believe you will get hooked and want to progress give a try to a camber or rocker-camber-rocker combo snowboard and you will probably be really happy with your choice in no time. boot size -Your boot's shall stick out of the snowboard 0.5cm on each side. Depending on the size of your snowboard boots, you may need a wide board. Wide snowboards are made for people with bigger feet than average for their weight / height. You will have, for example, the same snowboard available in the sizes 157 and 157w, beiing the only difference between them that the size 157w is a bit wider than the 157, to accommodate bigger boots without dragging toes or heels when turning. Go here to know more
(If you want to know more about each spec. and how they can influence your riding, check out our other pages: size, flexibility, shape, profile)
Intermediate / Advanced Snowboarders
If you are not any more a beginner and the info above is not enough, and you're not yet an expert snowboarder (pro rider, top snowboard instructor or at that level, you will know...) then you probably are an intermediate / advanced snowboarder.
For an intermediate / advanced snowboarder, to have an idea of how a snowboard will perform by reading it´s specs, is quite important for a lot of different reasons. It may allow you to choose and buy a priced down snowboard on the go, to narrow down the options between all available snowboard models to buy, try out or rent a snowboard or to plan future try-outs. Ultimately it will make you a better rider, it will make it easier for you to find a sharper tool to further explore and develop your riding preferences and skills. Its a bit of knowledge that may make or break your efforts as a snowboarder.
If you know your height, weight, boot-size and riding style / desired use for the snowboard, you have all the data you need to choose a snowboard.
You may just choose a board type (choose the... type) based on your riding style and trust on the brands to deliver, most brands do a good job in letting you know what their boards are good for (this will do it for any begginer).
But you only truly know after trying, a board may be awesome at what it was made for and still fell wrong under your feet. If you want to take the power in your hands and decide by yourself which specifications does a board need to excel under the conditions you want her to and, most importantly, under your feet, then:
Check the pages "size, flexibility, shape and profile" to learn about each specification/technology and which one of them you want in your board (or which one of them you would like to try out and get to know better, try them onyour friends boards, rentals, try-outs...)
Then go to page "find it." and narrow down a few boards to try out, or just choose your board right away!
That will take you from your data to the snowboard you REALLY want, as fast as possible. We make your choice easier by making it painless to figure out and to find what you should be trying-out in the first place. Then the more you know the less you need to try out. So go ahead to the size, flex, shape and profile pages (on the "choose the..." tab) and get your quest started.
They just need love and a short board. When getting a board for kids you just need to choose the size and pay attention to the comfort and easiness of the bindings. Check on the board specifications which size is recommended for the kid's weight. (we will post a kid's size chart soon)
Women also need love and a shorter board :) But you don't have it as easy as the kids, you need to consider all the same things as guys do when choosing a snowboard.
Womens specific snowboards Women are usually lighter, have a lower center of mass and have smaller feet than mens, so womens specific snowboards are smaller (in both lenght and width) than men's snowboards, they also generaly have softer flexibilities and come with more feminine graphics. Tip to choose your board If you can't find the snowboard you want in the women's lines, or if you just prefer the graphics on some board with the size and specs you want that happens to be on some brand's men's line, go ahead and get it. Just make sure it has the size, flex and other characteristics you want or need. Check the "beginners and first timers" tab on this page or the "intermediate / advanced snowboarders" right below, and our other pages for more info about choosing the right type of snowboard for you and about choosing a snowboard size, flex, shape, base profile, type.