THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A SNOWBOARD...
reproduced from Kari Egans article >>
First off and most important, Length is usually measured in centimeters and often abbreviated to just the last two digits. Example; A Board that measures 156cm from tip to tail may be called a 56 Snowbomber, hence, the Board Model is a Snowbomber and its 156 centimeters long. Boards run as short as 100cm and as long as 180cm.
The length is measured from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. Some companies measure overall length a bit differently, some will add the curvature from the tip to the tail, some measure as the crow flies. Marketing is at work here and companies will do almost anything to try and be different and sell it as the new or cutting edge way to measure a board. Some companies may have a board that measures 157 cm, but market it as a 158, because it fits their profile better or they want to keep things even ? Most importantly know that the right board for you should stand somewhere between your chin and your nose.
To find the correct length for you, start by comparing it to your height. When holding the board on its end, a short board will come up somewhere between your collar bones and chin. Because shorter boards are easier to maneuver, they are great to learn on and are preferred by riders who do a lot of trick, park and pipe riding.
A medium length board
standing on end will come up between your chin and eyebrows. This length
is for the all around intermediate to advanced rider who may ride a variety
of terrain, including parks and steeps.
Long boards go from the forehead to several inches over the top of the head. Long boards are for high-speed carving, deep powder and big mountain terrain.
Riders who are heavy for their height can stay within these guidelines, but should look for boards that have a stiffer flex. Lighter riders will need boards with a softer flex. Also, remember that these are general guidelines to get you started; personal preference can also strongly sway your decsion of what length board to buy.
While board length has some room for personal preference, board width is directly tied to your foot size. Riders with small feet need narrow boards; likewise, riders with big feet need wide boards.
Board width is measured in either centimeters or millimeters and can be found in the board's specifications under waist width (usually on the tag or in the manufacturer's catalog or Web site).
The best way to find the correct board width is to stand on a board that is flat on the ground. Strap or step into your bindings, or place your feet exactly how you would have them when you ride. (This is important because the more angle you ride with, the less your foot will span across the width of the board.)
When standing in riding position, your boots should be flush or slightly over the edges of the snowboard. If your toes and heels don't come close to the edge, you won't be able to apply proper pressure to your edges during a turn. If, on the other hand, your feet hang too far over the edges of the board, your toes may catch in the snow while turning and send you reeling. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as "toe drag", and it is a drag.
is a very important rider characteristic in determining board size
A snowboard acts like a leaf spring, in that it has no clue how tall the person standing on it is, but it does know their weight. When a heavy rider purchases a board that is too short, the board will have a tendency to "wash out" or perform poorly, especially at higher speeds A lighter person on a longer board will usually have problems controlling their board and initiating turns.
Riders who are heavy should look for boards that have a stiffer flex. Lighter riders will need boards with a softer flex. Also, remember that these are general guidelines to get you started; personal preference can also strongly sway your decsion of what length board to buy.