Winter Sports

What Size Snowboard Do I Need? The Ultimate Sizing Guide

If you’re new to snowboarding, you might not be aware that there are different board sizes you can choose from. You may be wondering...

  1. What size snowboard do I need?
  2. How do I decide which board size is best suited for me?

If you’re asking yourself these questions, then you’ve come to the right place!

We asked our team for some advice to guide you in finding your perfect board size. We’ll be covering the basics as well as width, camber (shape), flex and what snowboard is best for your level.

Read on to find out more…

what size snowboard do i need
There are quite a few factors to take into consideration when choosing a snowboard size. Read our guide to find out what they are! Photo credit: Federico Persiani

The basics

Generally, smaller snowboards are easier to manoeuvre, allowing you to carve smaller turns. Longer snowboards, on the other hand, will be harder to control when going slow but will be more stable at high speeds.

For beginners, the rule of thumb when choosing a snowboard is that it should come up to anywhere in between your chin and your nose when held up against the body. However, it might be wise to take other factors into consideration…

Nowadays, manufacturers create many different snowboard shapes and sizes, with different levels of flexibility, widths, camber, and so on. While a wider variety of boards means greater accessibility and more space for pros to experiment, it also means that despite being the right length, some boards might not be the best-suited size for you!

So how do I find my snowboard size?

Firstly, you should consider your weight, height and ability when selecting your board, as these will change what you should be looking for in terms of board size. The main criteria you should initially keep in mind include:

  • Width
  • Flexibility
  • Camber (shape) of the board

While the perfect size will depend on each snowboarder, keeping these basic points in mind will hopefully help you find your perfect board size.

what size snowboard do i need
Choosing the right snowboard size can be a difficult task! Be sure to keep in mind the width, flexibility, and camber styles that are best suited for you. Photo credit: Dane Deaner

Snowboard width

The width of the board generally increases a little bit according to its size; however, you can find some specialised boards to suit your needs.

Those who have bigger feet or prefer a smaller snowboard will most likely prefer “wide” boards, which are made available by most companies. These are a bit more stable, and quite often more suitable for heavier snowboarders.

We would recommend that beginners opt for boards with a greater width in order to get used to the side-facing movement first. Then, as you develop your balance and feel more confident on the pistes, you can progress to smaller sizes as you need less stability!

Want to learn the sport in a beginner-friendly environment? Be sure to check out our article on the best places in the French Alps for beginner snowboarders.

What flex is best?

Next, let’s talk about board flexibility. This point is very important when choosing your snowboard; it can be the deciding factor between a fun day on the slopes, or leaving you to never try the sport again!

Flexibility (“flex”) essentially describes how flexible a snowboard is. There is a large variance in flexibility depending on the board and what it’s designed for!

Whilst snowboard flex ratings aren’t necessarily standardised across the industry, most companies rate the flex of their snowboards from 1 – 10 with the guidelines being as follows:

  • 1 – 2: soft flex
  • 3 – 4: medium-to-soft flex
  • 5 – 6: medium flex
  • 7 – 8: medium-to-stiff flex; and
  • 9 – 10: stiff flex

The ‘better’ flex will depend on a number of factors, including your snowboarding style, ability, and body weight. Softer flexing boards (1 – 4) are easier to control and manoeuvre, well-suited for slow speeds, and more forgiving of mistakes. This makes soft flex boards perfect for beginners, who can then increase the flex depending on their ability, confidence, and weight.

If you are a heavier snowboarder, you might want to start with a higher flex rating to ensure your board can support you. For beginners, we would recommend a medium-to-soft flex. Again, this depends on how comfortable you feel, so don’t hesitate to try the equipment out first by renting your equipment!

Book a chalet by the pistes for extra convenience…



Lastly, let’s talk about camber!

The camber is the contour of the bottom of the board, which can change depending on the style of snowboarding you are looking to practice.

There are many different types of camber – the four most common being:

  • Classic camber: this shape will be raised at either end of the board and slightly raised in between the bindings.
  • Flat camber: as mentioned in the name, the board will be raised at the tips and in between the feet.
  • Reverse camber: this shape is raised at either tip and dipped in between the bindings. You’ll often find this in freeride and freestyle boards.
  • Mixed camber: lots of companies are now using this camber for specific performances. 
Different snowboard sizes and styles will be better suited to different ability levels. Photo credit: Colin Lloyd

So… what size snowboard do I need?

So now that you have all the different criteria in mind, you might have a general idea of what to look for when choosing a snowboard size. If you’re still in doubt, here is a quick summary according to your ability level:


As mentioned previously, it is recommended for beginners to choose a snowboard where the tip of the board comes between the chin and the nose of the snowboarder using it. In terms of flexibility, it is better to use a soft, more flexible board as a beginner. This will allow you to have more control over the board at slower speeds!


For intermediates, the height of the board would be the same as for beginners. In terms of flex, however, you will be travelling with a bit more speed and will therefore need a more rigid board – ideally medium flex.


Advanced snowboarders tend to lean towards specific disciplines. Below is the breakdown of the most common types of snowboards for advanced snowboarders: 

  • All mountain – The all around board will perform well both on and off-piste, in the snowpark, and other terrains. Most of these boards will be between 5 and 8 on the flex chart, and come in all different shapes and cambers.
  • Freeride – Freeride boards tend to be a bit longer and wider than a normal snowboard. They are generally the most rigid boards, from 8-10 flex, which makes them perfect for going fast in powdery snow. Most of these boards are directional boards, which often have pointed noses and sometimes swallow tails!
  • Freestyle – Mainly used for jumps, these boards will be a bit shorter than the average board and a lot lighter. They are generally twin tip boards so that snowboarders can ride in both directions! Freestyle boards are generally between 3-6 on the flex chart. However, you won’t be able to carve big turns as the edge grip is limited to avoid catching edges on landings or rails.

Discover the other blogs in our snowboarding series for more advice for beginner boarders:

Also, be sure to check out our Instagram page and the hashtag #ovonetwork for more winter holiday content!

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