How to buy a snowboard

Buying a snowboard is a very exciting and personal process, you’re picking out your next child which you will care for and love.

There are many brands and boards out there that promise to make you ride faster and jump higher, some even promise to help you meet the girl or boy of your dreams.

The trick is however to find the snowboard that is right for your individual needs. Therefore you as a buyer need to decide what type of Snowboarder you are and what sought of Snowboarder you are going to be.

Are you a beginner who wants to progress as fast as you can or are you a powder junkie that lives for fresh turns early in morning? You may just like to carve and go fast or who knows you could be Australia’s next Travis Rice!

Luckily the Wilderness staff are pros at helping you determine your ride style, they will form a relationship with you and help work through their extensive range of boards, boots and bindings to find the perfect fit for you.

As a general rule stiffer equipment is more suited to freeriding and softer more flexible equipment is suited to beginners and freestylers, however if you’re hitting the big park at your favourite resort or your just taking on everything the mountain has to offer you will want a snowboard set-up that can stand up to everything the winter wilderness has to throw at you.

Get a shred fit right for you

When choosing your new snowboard you need to take a step backward because the actual snowboard is what you select last. Boots are first followed by bindings then the board, this is because your boot size will determine your binding fit which needs to complement the width of the snowboard.

You don’t want to hit the hill with a board that has your heels and/or toes hanging over the edge, you won’t be able to turn, your snowboard day will be ruined and you will have wasted your money!

It is for these reasons it is so important to come into Wilderness Sea N Ski and talk to the staff, they consult with you the customer to make sure you walk out of the store with the right gear and with a happy smile on your dial.

Snowboard Boots

Good snowboard boots are the most important part of your set-up purchase, its where a shredder should really consider investing most of their money.

A comfortable fit is the difference between a good day and a bad day, so when you visit Wilderness Sea N Ski the staff will make you try on many pairs of snowboard boots.

They will be checking that the boots you wear are super snug and fitting your feet with an exact match. The reasoning behind this is responsiveness, to big and your feet will “slop” around and your board want react the way you want it to. To small and you will have sore fit all day.

So when choosing a boot, cut your toe nails! When you try on a pair you want to choose the boot that have your toes flat and just brushing the front of the boot and your ankle locked in place at the back, it should only be able to move a millimetre at the most, your calf and shin should be held tight by the top of the boot. Traditional laces work fine when doing up your boot but there are a range of options including Quick Laces, Velcro straps and Boas to tighten your boots.

Bindings

Bindings are the link between your snowboard and you. It’s important to get a pair that fit your boots snug, there level of stiffness needs to fit your ride style, in general beginners and jibbers like to use soft bindings, Half Pipe and Free Riders in general like stiff more responsive bindings.

Some bindings have toe caps others toe straps, it does not really matter as long as your bit fits tight. A good way to check is to put your boot inside the binding and leave the straps undone. Turn the binding upside down and if the boot stays in place you have a good fit.

Snowboards

So many designs, so many choices. When you decided on a board you want to choose one that is firstly the right size. The rule of thumb is one that comes up to your nose and the bottom of your neck. Freestylers, Jibbers and beginners will prefer a smaller softer snowboard; this is because they have more leverage over the board. Free Riders, Cliff Droppers, Half Pipe riders and Powder junkies will usually like a longer board, this is because it give the snowboarder more of a base to ride on.

Jib boards and beginner boards will be quite soft, this makes the snowboard easy to manipulate over rails and easy to use under foot, they are forgiving make them ideal for the newbies.

More advanced boards will have a snap to them, this will make you pop harder and you jump higher. Park specific and all mountain freestyles snowboards are very snappy, they feel quite lively underfoot bouncing around, they make every bump and lump on the hill fun making turning the whole mountain into a terrain park.

Freeride boards have a high amount of damp in them, this means the materials in the snowboard absorb the crud, this means a smooth ride when shredding the mountain, and your turns will look smooth and effortless with a damp board giving you the most important element of snowboarding: style.

Snowboard Shapes

Camber, Reverse Camber (Banana), Dual Camber
When people talk about camber they are talking about the shape of the board. How the boards wooden materials are bent.

Traditional Camber is where the board bends in the middle away from the ground; it is where snowboarding found its glory. Using this shape will mean you will feel the edge easily on your turns and when you land your jumps. Your board will be able to pop more easily with the tail being easily loaded up.

Reverse Camber is when the board bend from the middle with the tip and tail pointing towards the sky, like a banana or cucumber. It is a new technology that has grown heavily in popularity. This style of snowboard is great for beginners, it will mean less edge catches and easy turn initiation. More advanced riders like this style of snowboard for the same reasons, the banana shape also means you will float easier in the pow meaning less tired muscles and less crashes caused by dropping the nose into the snow.

Dual Camber is the best of both worlds (it’s what I ride), the snowboard is shaped in waves like a W or a mustache, it gives you all the power of the traditional camber shape and with all the hassle free benefits that the banana board shape offer.

One Last Note

Everyone has their preference when riding, there are many exceptions to the guide I have written above. You should use this guide along with your own experimentation. Once you find the snowboard that fits you, you will sell your mother off for cash before you let your snowboard set up go.

Also remember when purchasing your equipment to choose the right fit for you and then decide what is most fashionable. Shredding is about what you do and how you do it, the right fitting gear will ensure you look good on the hill! That’s why you go to Wilderness Sea N Ski we know what’s up. 

AW

Starting point size guide for choosing a snowboard.

On each of our snowboard product detail page, you'll find individual size charts for each of the snowboard brands we sell.

Rider Height (in) Rider Height (cm) Rider Weight (kg) Snowboard Size (cm)
4'10" 147 50 - 55 128 - 136
5' 152 52 - 59 133 - 141
5'2" 158 57 - 61 139 - 147
5'4" 163 61 - 66 144 -152
5'6" 168 63 - 70 149 -157
5'8" 173 68 - 75 154 -162
5'10" 178 72 - 80 159 -167
6' 183 77 - 84 160+
6'2" 188 82 - 89 160+
6'4" 193 86 - 93 160+

Additionally, consider the following factors when deciding on a snowboard size:

  • If you're riding primarily in the park or freestyle, pick a board on the shorter end of the size range.   
  • 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.