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Old 12-17-2009, 12:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Small Board? Big Rider?

Hello Everyone, So I'm a beginner who of course bought his first board on black friday. Unfortunately, I thought i was informed enough about my size to pick a decent board, but apparently i was wrong. I'm a 6'1" male, 210lbs, size 12 boot. i bought a 159cm board instead of the recommended 161~163cm wide board. I was wondering if i should try to get a larger size or if it was okay to stick with the board i bought. What differences would i feel in riding a shorter board than recommended. And would adjusting the bindings a bit further back fix the problem of not having a wide board? I'd appreciate some advice on this issue! Thanks!
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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recommended board length is just that, a recommendation. i weigh 200lbs and ride a 156 burton custom. i love the thing. ideally you could go a bit longer but give it a shot. different lengths are comfortable for different people and server different purposes. don't read too far into it, especially if you're that new.
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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you'll be fine, I'm 6'6'' 240 with size 15 boots and I ride a 161 wide, if i followed recommendations i would be riding some massive plank. 159 won't affect you that much, and if you plan on hitting the park at all in the future you'll want a shorter board.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm pretty much the same 6'6", 250 with 14s and I ride a 164 wide. I didn't want to ride a tank down the hill. If it feels comfortable stick with it.
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Im 5'10 190lbs and I ride anywhere from a 155 to a 166. My regular ride is a 162. Just remember 3cm is about 2% of the length of the board so changing things that amount is a very small change.
Width is just boot for boot overhang really. you want the board to be as narrow as possible without dragging toes to get the fastest edge to edge response.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well IMO those size 12 kickers might be a problem. I wear a size 11 boot and on my 160 I get a decent amount of toe drag, so depending on the boards waist width because some regular sized boards run wider or narrower then others, you probably will be in for some draggin when your carving, you can try ducking your angles out a bit more that can help. but you have to decide what your willing to deal with some toe drag or more effort carving edge to edge.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The question is what 159 did you buy? There are some 159's that will be perfect and others that will be designed for rider's of very different specs than your own.

Here are some general tips.

Where your nose is, does not determine what size of snowboard you should ride!

...or your chin, ears, shoulders or any other body part for that matter. These are the silliest rules for sizing boards that could possibly be imagined, and yet they persist. We hear new ones everyday, "my friend told me that a board should come to in between my chin and my nose." Why, are you planning to nibble on it? These generalities are good ways to end up with a completely inappropriate board. Why do such rules exist, you ask? It is due to the fact that finding the right board takes a bit of research and knowledge. The easy way, however incorrect, is much quicker. A snowboard reacts to only two factors, how much pressure is being applied to it (weight), and where that pressure is coming from (shoe size). Boards are designed around riders of a certain weight. The total weight range for a given board will be around 50 pounds (although manufacturers tend to exaggerate this range to make their products sellable to a wider variety of customers). Two men who stand six feet tall and have their noses at identical heights, may be separated by 100 pounds of weight. This would change the boards they should ride by two entire categories of stiffness, and length. You will also want to make sure that the board is appropriate for your shoe size. One half to three quarters of an inch of overhang (yes, overhang) off the edge of your board is ideal (when wearing snowboard boots, and measured at the stance angle that you will ride). We will discuss this more below when we address width in detail.

There is no best level of stiffness for a board!

At least five times a day we hear,"the guy at mountain told me that I want a soft board." This is the part that we were discussing above that relates to weight. Snowboards react to pressure that is applied to that hourglass shape (sidecut) that they have. This shape, when flexed, creates an arc on the snow. You are planning on turning on that arc. If you can't flex the sidecut into the snow (because the board is too stiff for you) you simply can't turn well, or not at all. If the board is too soft for your weight, it will constantly be overflexing, and "twisting off" of the edge that you are relying on to carve. In this scenario you will have a terrible time on hardpack and ice, because the "effective edge" (amount of edge that should be in contact with the snow) will be twisted out of shape, and not doing it's job. Softer flexing boards tend to be better for lighter riders, while stiffer boards are needed for the big boys. Only for extreme freestyle, or extreme race applications, should this rule be broken (and in those instances, a second board will be needed for all mountain riding).

Buying by length is the hardest way to end up with the right board!

"My last board was a 156, and I liked it, so tell me about the 156's that you carry." The trick here, is that two boards of identical length, may be designed for completely different riders and types of riding. For example a 156 may be a "big mountain board" for a small woman, or a "park" board for a big guy, depending on the manufacturer's design plan. Those two boards, however, would never be appropriate for the same rider. Length is often discussed in terms of: longer equals faster, and more stable, while shorter equals more maneuverable. This can also be deceptive. The "running surface" of a board (the base area that contacts the snow) is a useful measurement, because this is the amount of board that you actually are riding upon. The overall length (the measurement usually considered) can be misleading, as it also contains the raised tip and tail, which do not contact the snow, and have only nuance differences in affecting your ride. Your best bet is research. Look into who the board was made for, and for what type of riding. Leave the rules of thumb to the rental guys, who are trying to get through the line of renters as quickly as possible, and get on the slopes (can't blame 'em for that).
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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As long as you don't have toe/heel drag, you'll be fine. Me 205lbs 155 boards ad even a 156 Park rocker which is a noodle.
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Old 12-20-2009, 01:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I dont think its a matter of length in your case. Last year i was 6'1 and riding a 153 and had no problem at all. If anything, a shorter board will help you link turns and such a lot easier. Now I'm 6'4 and ride a 161 and it's still fine. The problem you might have though with your boots. I wear a 10.5 us so i dont have to ride wide boards. But with you wearing a size 12 you might run into sufficient toe drag.

Length is not a problem, width might be.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Im 6'4'' and weigh 190 lbs. I casually ride a 158, I dont like the huge boards myself, unless its a narrow board. Im debating buying a 156, so I'm in the same situation you are, but you never know until you try.

I also work on a ski hill, so I may just get a rental of 156 and see how it goes. Might be worth a shot before investing?
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