If you’re a woman who’s into snowboarding, you might have noticed there are some snowboards made especially for women. Have you ever wondered why? As more and more women take up snowboarding, manufacturers are chasing down their business with specialized boards made just for them. What’s the difference?
The truth is, there are a lot of differences between men’s and women’s snowboards, and it isn’t just the size. It’s also true for boots, bindings, and other gear designed specifically for female riders.
In this article, we will go over how men’s and women’s equipment is different, the reasons for these differences, and the size chart for the correct women’s snowboard you need to help you conquer any terrain you want.
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Why Do Women Need Different Boards?
When you talk about the average woman versus the average man, there are a lot of differences in physique that need to be considered when you’re choosing a snowboard. For example, women tend to be shorter and weigh less than men. In a sport that sees people flying through the air, these considerations must be taken into account when designing products.
How Are Women’s Boards Different?
There are several differences in the design of a perfect board meant for men and one meant for women. Keep in mind there is no such thing as a perfect snowboard, and there will always be exceptions to the rules, but these snowboards (and other products) are designed with the majority in mind. The differences are:
The length of the snowboard is the first and most important thing that is changed in boards designed for women riders.
On average, a women’s snowboard is a shorter board than men’s because they do not need the extra length due to their shorter height. The smaller size (and lower weight) snowboard also gives women proper mobility for tackling the slopes, thus improving performance.
Since men tend to have bigger feet than women, they usually need a wider board. Women’s snowboards are narrower to better suit their smaller feet. This is done to ensure even weight distribution over the board, reducing the extra space typically left on the board in front of the toes or behind the heels. Improper weight distribution leads to imbalances on the snow.
Narrowing the width of the board also results in lower weight, which again improves mobility and performance because she isn’t hauling extra useless weight.
The amount of stiffness in a snowboard is called its flex. For people who weigh more, the board needs to be harder to ensure that it does not break or otherwise malfunction while riding.
Women’s snowboards come with a softer flex than men’s snowboards, as women usually weigh less than men. This soft flex helps dissipate energy more evenly when you’re riding in different snow conditions.
Besides rider height and weight, another thing that affects the board requirements of men and women is their difference in center of gravity. Women have a lower center of gravity than men.
A board with a smaller waist width is not only better for shorter height and smaller feet, it also helps make turning easier due to women’s lower center of gravity.
What Other Equipment is Different for Women?
Besides snowboards, other items like boots and goggles are also different for men and women. While goggles are simply made available in a smaller size and with alternative visual designs, different boots serve a far more important purpose.
Men tend to have wider feet than women, even if they are the same height. For this reason, women’s sizes run a bit narrow for the best possible fit. A proper fit for a snowboarding boot is very important, as even a slightly larger boot can cause inefficiency in energy transfer on the slopes. Conversely, a smaller foot can cause strain and discomfort when you’re at different angles on the snow.
Besides this, women’s calf muscles are situated lower on their legs compared to men. For this reason, men’s snowboard boots have higher cuffs to give a tighter fit. Women’s boots are not as restrictive and offer a more comfortable fit.
Other equipment that’s different are snowboard bindings, which are smaller and narrower to accommodate women’s smaller feet.
How Do I Pick the Right Snowboard for Me?
As a woman in snowboarding, there are a lot of things you need to consider before investing in a high-quality snowboard. The first thing to keep in mind is your riding style and your level of skill on the slopes.
If you’re looking at a freeride board, you will need a longer board than you will need for freestyling. Freestyle snowboards are made for quick direction changes and more flexibility over speed, which is why they’re shorter in length.
Your weight also plays an important part in your choice. If you’re skinny or lean and weigh less than average for your height, you can go for a shorter board. However, people who weigh more than average should consider choosing a longer board.
Advanced riders (or even intermediate riders) can select a longer board, while beginners should choose a board with a shorter effective edge for the best possible results.
When it comes to the width of a board, you should select a board that lets your heels and toes extend very slightly over the edges. This will let you maneuver the board without causing you to crash because of interference.
Snowboard Size Chart Women’s Edition
Here is a brief snowboard size chart for women you can use as a rough guide for making your choice.
|Rider Height (feet & inches)||Rider Weight (pounds)||Snowboard Length (cm)|
Keep in mind these are rough estimates, and as your skill level and experience improve, you can figure out which snowboard size works the best for you. You can learn how to pick out the right snowboard for you by checking out thisHow to Choose a Snowboard Video.
Are There Any Exceptions?
Because these snowboard (and other equipment) sizes are based on the average male and female anatomy, there can be several exceptions when it comes to recommendations. There is no specific rule of thumb for snowboarding equipment sizes, and a lot of women, especially tall and well-built ones, are more comfortable using men’s snowboards.
If you’re outside the average curve of women’s sizes (i.e., you’re very tall, stronger than average, have large feet, or are above average weight), you can choose to use a men’s board as it may work better for your body type. You do not have to select a specific boot size or a narrower board just because it was made for women. Choose the one that fits you best.
Because of the ever-increasing representation of women in snowboarding, a lot of companies have started making products exclusively for women. These products are all designed according to the typical height, weight, and physique measurements of the average woman, making their snowboarding experience easier and more comfortable.
We hope this article and the snowboard size chart women’s edition have helped you take a step in the right direction when it comes to choosing a snowboard. If you’re looking for options, check out the best women’s beginner snowboards, and please feel free to check out our other articles as well!