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I've just started learning to snowboard this year and I'm still very much a beginner-I'm able to snowplow down without falling, can manage some steering but only on my heel edge (like a "falling leaf") and no turns yet (I'll be taking lessons in a couple of weeks to improve on that).

The end of season sales in Vancouver are starting, so I'm hoping to take advantage since after my lessons I'll have sunk almost $200 into rentals already.

Right now for me it's a tie between the Roxy Ally and Gnu B-Nice (leaning more towards the Roxy) but I'm really open to any suggestions. I'll be riding at Whistler this season, and possibly Whistler/Cypress next. I'd like something that will help me learn but that I could get a few seasons out of. My concern with the Roxy Ally is that a couple of reviews I read said it's not as good on groomers, which is what I'm going to be spending most of my time learning on, and I don't want to be slipping all over the place.

Also, I'm completely confused about sizes. When I look at size charts, my weight and height make for 2 completely different board lengths-plus a lot of the women's boards have such huge weight ranges, I could really fit into any except the smallest size. My stats:

Height: 5ft10
Weight: 140lbs
Shoe Size: 9/10

I'm guessing for the Roxy I would need a 151LN or 155LN as those are the less narrow sizes and the 147 is only meant up to shoe size 9. I know men's boards are an option, but since I have such a steep learning curve in front of me I'd really like to stick with something female-specific that will be the most comfortable.

I'm not sure what size they've been giving me at the rental store-but they've also been giving me men's boards and boots (and telling me that the men's boots fit the same as women's....so I don't really trust their judgement).
 

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Weight is generally more important than height for matching up the board to the rider, because your weight determines how much effort you have to put in to control the board. Where height can make a difference is:

- stance width. Shorter boards have a narrower range for binding spacing. Your stance width is based on your height. So if the board's widest stance setting is too narrow for you, you'll have to trade up.
- Waist width. Taller people tend to have longer feet. Too narrow a board means heel and toe drag.

So it's a bit of a compromise unless you're right in the middle of the bell curve for height/weight.
 

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I've just started learning to snowboard this year and I'm still very much a beginner-I'm able to snowplow down without falling, can manage some steering but only on my heel edge (like a "falling leaf") and no turns yet (I'll be taking lessons in a couple of weeks to improve on that).

The end of season sales in Vancouver are starting, so I'm hoping to take advantage since after my lessons I'll have sunk almost $200 into rentals already.

Right now for me it's a tie between the Roxy Ally and Gnu B-Nice (leaning more towards the Roxy) but I'm really open to any suggestions. I'll be riding at Whistler this season, and possibly Whistler/Cypress next. I'd like something that will help me learn but that I could get a few seasons out of. My concern with the Roxy Ally is that a couple of reviews I read said it's not as good on groomers, which is what I'm going to be spending most of my time learning on, and I don't want to be slipping all over the place.

Also, I'm completely confused about sizes. When I look at size charts, my weight and height make for 2 completely different board lengths-plus a lot of the women's boards have such huge weight ranges, I could really fit into any except the smallest size. My stats:

Height: 5ft10
Weight: 140lbs
Shoe Size: 9/10

I'm guessing for the Roxy I would need a 151LN or 155LN as those are the less narrow sizes and the 147 is only meant up to shoe size 9. I know men's boards are an option, but since I have such a steep learning curve in front of me I'd really like to stick with something female-specific that will be the most comfortable.

I'm not sure what size they've been giving me at the rental store-but they've also been giving me men's boards and boots (and telling me that the men's boots fit the same as women's....so I don't really trust their judgement).
My wife is nearly same in physical profile as you. She rides the Burton X8 @ 151 freestyle and Burton Vapor @ 157 free ride.

If you go for an all round board I think the 155 would right.
 

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Height: 5ft10
Weight: 140lbs
Shoe Size: 9/10
I think we need pics to accurately asses your situation!!! :yahoo: Oh god, just doing my part to scare away any new members... :D

Donutz is dead on that weight is more important than height. If you go for a longer board they will generally get stiffer and will be harder to learn on.

That said, I'm not convinced that hybrid camber is the way to go for a beginner. Very mild camber or flat may be a better option.
 

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But you shouldn't optimize your purchase for "beginner" skill level unless you plan to suck for several years. If you really want a beginner board, get a cheap throw-away on craigslist and use it for a year.

BTW, anything with an "N" in the length means narrow. So try to find things that are not that.

Also, check this calculator:

Snowboard Sizing Guide, Size Calculator

It puts you around 153-155. If you stray from your target range, going smaller makes it a lot easier than going longer. Longer only helps you stay stable when going fast, and you'll have to be going fairly fast for a beginner or intermediate to reach the limits of a board that is a few cm too small. Smaller makes turning easier. At your height/weight/shoe size, you are going to find that you need a shortish board but have your feet much wider apart on the board, using the outside screw holes. You'll also find that anything with an 'N' probably won't work. Having your feet so far apart does buy you a little more clearance because the board is wider near the ends. It shouldn't be a real problem but you will want to test fit everything before you buy if possible, or really understand all of the measurements. Most people within the averages can kind of just pick something roughly close and not worry about it.

Also I don't think the guys at the shop were too far off when they said that the boards are made the same for men and women. It seems like women's boards are just smaller lengths and feminine graphics. Think about the difference between a shorter guy and an average woman. The weight is in slightly different places but really, what are you going to do differently to a piece of wood/fiberglass around your feet differently?

I know for my board (Lib Tech TRS), they literally just put girly graphics on the topsheet for the shorter sizes/narrow width and stuck them in the girls section. My girlfriend is 5'10" and I've learned that the industry does not seem to cater to females of that size.

Most important thing though, BUY YOUR BOOTS FIRST. :D
 

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go to Baker, the white salmon lodge and do a performance rental and the you can ride any higher end board and change them out anytime...thus you could demo 5-6 boards in a day. I'm sure they have roxy, gnu, lib, ns, burton, arbors

if ur determined to learn and are able to go often...like 1x/wk or more...skip the beginner level and just get an intermediate or higher
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advice everyone (and poutanen-you haven't scared me off! haha)

I know weight is more of a factor, but Donutz summed up what I'm worried about-that a board that matches my weight won't get me in a proper stance. Maybe I will need to look into some men's boards as well if you guys have any suggestions.

So I'm guessing I should be looking at boards in the 153/154 range-but in the case of boards that only come in 151 and 155, could I get away with a 151 for my height? I don't want to end up with something too big to control (then again, that's better than not being able to go very well in a board that's too short).

wrathfuldeity - Would be great to get to Baker but I'm tied to Whistler exclusively for this season. I know they do demos as well, so I'll look into some of the options they have-thanks for reminding me of that.
 

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151 will be a fair bit easier to learn on than a 155, but I have doubts that it will allow a wide enough stance. You can gain a few cm of stance width by using the outer-most mounting holes and, depending on bindings, rotate the base plates and use the inner-most screw holes. However, sometimes you need to rotate them the other way in order to center them, so you'd lose that flexibility.

A 155 won't be a dealbreaker by any means - it's actually the ideal size according to that calculator if you select freeride and intermediate ability with your stats.

You can always learn to turn a longer board, but you can never make the outside pressure on your feet go away because the screws are holding them in a bad place. Except maybe with vicodin.
 

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wrathfuldeity - Would be great to get to Baker but I'm tied to Whistler exclusively for this season. I know they do demos as well, so I'll look into some of the options they have-thanks for reminding me of that.
Head for the Burton demo tent (I heard it's up top somewhere)... The channel/ICS/EST system would be good for you. Nearly infinite mounting positions means a 6'0" person could ride a 149 and a 4'6" person could ride a 160 if they wanted. They also have a large selection in the beginner/intermediate range.

151 will be a fair bit easier to learn on than a 155, but I have doubts that it will allow a wide enough stance. You can gain a few cm of stance width by using the outer-most mounting holes and, depending on bindings, rotate the base plates and use the inner-most screw holes. However, sometimes you need to rotate them the other way in order to center them, so you'd lose that flexibility.
At 5'10" she's not going to have some crazy wide amazonian stance! :dizzy: Something around 22" would likely be a good starting place. A lot of boards down in the low 150 range should be able to have this is a stance option without having to go crazy. I'll measure my GFs old K2 Luna 149, I'm certain that one of the stance options is wider than 22".
 

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Head for the Burton demo tent (I heard it's up top somewhere)... The channel/ICS/EST system would be good for you. Nearly infinite mounting positions means a 6'0" person could ride a 149 and a 4'6" person could ride a 160 if they wanted. They also have a large selection in the beginner/intermediate range.



At 5'10" she's not going to have some crazy wide amazonian stance! :dizzy: Something around 22" would likely be a good starting place. A lot of boards down in the low 150 range should be able to have this is a stance option without having to go crazy. I'll measure my GFs old K2 Luna 149, I'm certain that one of the stance options is wider than 22".
I just measured on an old 150 freestyle board I have laying around and it's about 21 1/3", so that's why I say that. Might work, but cutting it close.

Edit: Random chart on the internet says this should be OK for your height. I'm a few inches shorter than you so I might be over estimating the difference. I also ride a little wider than average because my feet get tons of pain on the outside if I'm too narrow.

Keep in mind that length sizing is a bit handwavy magic to begin with. Every board has different flex and effective edge, camber, etc, that all potentially change the range and there is no reliable way to know other than trying things. If you look at the manufacturer guidelines, they have like a 100lb range (which I've never understood) for a given size.

The calculator that I linked seems to match up with what me and my friends tend to ride, and I've heard others recommend it, so I trust that it's a good guide. There are people way more qualified than me to give advice though (such as poutanen :D). Either way, a few cm won't make or break you.
 

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Check out the specs on woman's boards before making a suggestion to go to a men's or longer board. The Gnu B-Nice, my first board, can go up to a stance of 24" on EVERY size. Both GNU and Roxy are made by the same company Mervin. You will do great with either board. I love my GNU B-Nice but I outgrew it just after ten days. I am not a normal snowboarder though. I took to the mountains with ease. I am now on a "advanced" board. But remember the GNU is a beginner to advanced board meaning anyone can ride and enjoy it. Stay with in your weight range first, then decide whether or not to go up because of your height. My sister is on a 158 for her weight, not height and she is also on a guys board. She is about 5'8" 5'9". Her height doesn't make much of a difference and she likes the width stance.

I figured you might want a woman's opinion. :) Also remember the more we buy woman's equipment the more they will continue making them.
 

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Check out the specs on woman's boards before making a suggestion to go to a men's or longer board. The Gnu B-Nice, my first board, can go up to a stance of 24" on EVERY size. Both GNU and Roxy are made by the same company Mervin. You will do great with either board. I love my GNU B-Nice but I outgrew it just after ten days. I am not a normal snowboarder though. I took to the mountains with ease. I am now on a "advanced" board. But remember the GNU is a beginner to advanced board meaning anyone can ride and enjoy it. Stay with in your weight range first, then decide whether or not to go up because of your height. My sister is on a 158 for her weight, not height and she is also on a guys board. She is about 5'8" 5'9". Her height doesn't make much of a difference and she likes the width stance.

I figured you might want a woman's opinion. :) Also remember the more we buy woman's equipment the more they will continue making them.
Thanks! I found the chart that jtg mentioned and it said I should be around 20-21 for stance, and both the GNU and Roxy go up to 24 in both sizes.

Do you think the GNU B-Nice is too much of a beginner board? It would be different if I was buying a cheap toss-away to last me a season, but at the price of the Roxy/Gnu (or similar priced boards) I'd like it to be able to last me longer than a season.
 

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I have a friend who loves her GNU Ladies Choice for free riding and natural jumps. Might give that a shot? Not as stiff as the B-Pro and has asymmetry. Seems really quick thru the trees.
 

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The calculator that I linked seems to match up with what me and my friends tend to ride, and I've heard others recommend it, so I trust that it's a good guide. There are people way more qualified than me to give advice though (such as poutanen :D). Either way, a few cm won't make or break you.
I'm really not that qualified!!! :D I use the same calculator you do, it's a lot better than pulling a number out of thin air, and everyone I know who's bought a board based on the suggestions of the calc has been happy.

That said, you entered freeride and intermediate, when she's more likely all-mountain (freestyle/freeride on the calc) and beginner. Change it to that and it suggests 151. I spent a lot of years in the 135-150 pound weight range learning on a 153 and it was mighty comfortable. I'd say for the OP, anything from 150-155 in a medium flex should be a great starter board.

Remember that just like a car, it's about 10% board, and 90% rider!
 

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Thanks! I found the chart that jtg mentioned and it said I should be around 20-21 for stance, and both the GNU and Roxy go up to 24 in both sizes.

Do you think the GNU B-Nice is too much of a beginner board? It would be different if I was buying a cheap toss-away to last me a season, but at the price of the Roxy/Gnu (or similar priced boards) I'd like it to be able to last me longer than a season.
Personally, yes, but learning on it was the best thing for me. I still use my GNU, its a playful board, I have a lot of fun on, I do trees runs on it and jumps. It floats like heaven in powder. I still like the board a lot. I won't get rid of it anytime soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm also considering the Ride Compact/Canvas or the Bataleon Violenza. I know the Ride Compact is a solid beginners board but again, I'm worried about outgrowing it quickly and it looks like according to their size chart their boards are on the smaller size and only made up to a women's size 9 boot max. The Bataleon Violenza looks tempting but I hear the TBT tech is a love it or leave it thing.
 

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You won't know until you try it. I thought that rocker was the coolest thing ever invented until I strapped into a traditional camber. Right now, there are tons of sales going on. Pick up a nice board at a discounted price, something that grabs your attention. Sounds like the Roxy to me. You can't really go wrong with your choices. :D
 

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Since you're in Vancouver, why not head up to Whistler, stop at the Prior factory and try the Lupin Twin?

Lupin Twin Snowboard Model From Prior Snowboards | Women's specific twin Buy Snowboards Online | Handmade in Whistler Canada

It's not a beginners board, but it is a twin medium flex, available in the right size (they have a 153 with the right waist for your boots), and the camber profile suits Western Canadian snow.

If you like it, they'll take the rental fee off a board ($25 a day up to 3 days off a board)...

They're not cheap but my GF has a Prior, and they're well built. A real plus for you is that if you ever have an issue with it you can walk right into the factory and talk to the owner yourself.
 

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Since you're in Vancouver, why not head up to Whistler, stop at the Prior factory and try the Lupin Twin?

Lupin Twin Snowboard Model From Prior Snowboards | Women's specific twin Buy Snowboards Online | Handmade in Whistler Canada

It's not a beginners board, but it is a twin medium flex, available in the right size (they have a 153 with the right waist for your boots), and the camber profile suits Western Canadian snow.

If you like it, they'll take the rental fee off a board ($25 a day up to 3 days off a board)...

They're not cheap but my GF has a Prior, and they're well built. A real plus for you is that if you ever have an issue with it you can walk right into the factory and talk to the owner yourself.
I'm finding Camber really hard to wrap my head around, and it seems like every company has their own words/tech for the same thing. What type of camber should I be looking for at my level?
 
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