For women’s’ boards… she is 5’3”, ~115lb, and wears a 6.5 shoe. Do we have to shop for women’s boards specifically or will a men’s board work just as well as long as the size works? Does a 140 board seem about right for her or should we go slightly higher, 142 or so? We tried finding 140s, but they seemed hard to come by. Women’s boards also seemed to be much softer. Should we be looking for a softer board because she doesn't weigh as much or are we just not looking in the right stores?
women's boards are softer then the mens equivelent. I think the flex chart is skewed as well. I demoed a Never Summer Lotus and found it too soft for my liking. I tend to favor the longer stiffer boards, more so then most. But that is just me!!
You're not going to find anything much smaller then a 138 without going to a kids board. No idea of kids boards are high quality or not. And those 138s are going to be more park and less all mountain. You're going to want a womens deck for sure due to her small foot size. Again, size is really personal preference within a range..
Probably best to just buy something cheap to learn on, used or last years model. Figure out what kind of riding you/she likes then invest in the good stuff if that is an option.
and when you do....I highly suggest demoing boards. Everyone has their own style and preference. If you see yourselves as being really commited to riding, say 30-50 days a season it's worth it to spend a little bit to save yourself from buying something that's not right for you.
I don't get people who drop 600 on a board without riding it. Not saying you are, but there are threads every day.... You guys are in an area where it's easy to demo all the top end shit so try before you buy!!
I learned on a super stiff, traditional cambered freeride deck that was about 10cm too short for me. But hey it was on sale super cheap!!!
Probably the worst ever
board for a beginner and I did just fine. I rode the hell out of that thing until I figured out what i really wanted.
At this stage you should be more concerned with good fitting boots and bindings to go with them.