You snowboard is probably your best partner while you are riding on the mountains, for the name “snowboarding”, it is not difficult to understand the importance of picking a good snowboard that fits you best.
In this article, I am going to talk about everything you want to know about picking the best women’s snowboard, including what factors women snowboarders need to look for while shopping and I’ll also list a few of my recommended snowboards for you to consider.
We have summed up a bit of our recommendations so you can save some time in case you are in a hurry:
- Best Beginner Snowboard: Rossignol Tesla Women’s Snowboard
- Best All Mountain Snowboard: Never Summer Infinity
- Best Freestyle Snowboard: GNU Ladies Choice
- Best Freeride Snowboard: Burton Family Tree Story Board
Best Snowboard for Women: What to Consider?
Generally speaking, there are seven critical features when it comes to choosing a snowboard that best fits a woman snowboarder. Depending on your ability level, height, weight, riding style, and age, your choices on these factors may vary.
Your height and weight are the main factors determining your snowboard length, traditionally, we will tell a student to stand next to a board and if the top of the board hits his/her chin, that’s more of less a board fits you. For example, a girl who is 165cm tall, a 148-150 cm board could be a good fit.
Your weight is the second factor that will affect your snowboard length, a heavier person may need a longer board than an average weighted person. Here’s a basic formula for calculating your board’s length: the length of the board increases with your height and weight.
How does the length of your board affect the ride? Normally, a longer board would be more stable and faster but also harder to turn, vice versa, a shorter board would be more maneuverable, therefore easier to turn, and lighter but less stable because there is less edge grip.
For girls who are beginner snowboarders and you are going to rent a board for your first few lessons, it is a good idea for you to pick a shorter board since you won’t be riding fast and a shorter board can make it easier for you to learn how to turn.
But then if you are looking for buying your first snowboard? It would be a good idea to look for something that’s within the normal standard because you will be improving and therefore will need a board with normal length when you become an intermediate rider. A snowboard around the chin to nose height would probably be a good fit, depending on your body figure (you may need a longer board if you are a heavier built person).
Do check the weight range of the snowboard you want to purchase and make sure you follow the instruction so your snowboard can handle your riding.
A shorter board is suitable for:
- Lightweight riders
- Park players who love to do ground tricks and rails (more flexible and easier to turn)
A longer board is suitable for
- Heavier built riders
- More advanced riders who love to do more high-speed riding, freeriding, powder and all mountain riding
There are 2 factors determining the width of the board you should get:
- Your weight
- Your boot size
Generally speaking, you may need a wider board if you are a heavier built person because it would be more stable, but then the cost is, it would be harder for you to turn.
But then the more important factor determining the width of your board is indeed your boot size. “Toe drag” risk is something you need to pay attention to if you are a person with big feet (UK 9.5, EU 44 and US 10.5 size or above) since it is very likely your boots would stick out and therefore catch the snow or ice when you turn or crave. Although some people believe that this problem can be avoided by adjusting the angle of your binding, it is always better for you to get a board that’s wide enough to host your boots.
Be very careful that the gap between your boots and the edge of your board cannot be too big either, because in such case you will not be able to control your board well.
When we talk about the flex (or the flex rating) of a snowboard, we are looking at how flexible a snowboard is. Most brands are using a rating system from 1 to 10, most people would consider the flex rating as below:
- 1-2 as soft
- 3-4 as medium-soft
- 5-6 as medium
- 7-8 as medium-stiff
- 9-10 as stiff
While some scales like evo just make it a bit simple too:
- 1-2 as soft
- 3-5 as medium
- 6-8 as stiff
- 9-10 as very stiff
Do bear in mind that different manufacturers would have different flex standards. For example, a board with a flex rating of “5” from Burton could be softer than a GNU “5” board.
Before you purchase a snowboard from an online store, it is always a good idea for you to try it out first, however, if you cannot find the exact same board you like in your local area, best to go find a board from the same brand name and with the same flex rating so you can feel how you like the flex.
Generally, the flex of women snowboard would be slightly different from a men’s board (usually softer), some people suggested that this is because women’s snowboard boots are softer than men’s snowboard boots.
Snowboard with softer flex:
- More forgiving and easier to turn
- Quite a bit of ground tricks and rail players love to use softer flex board because of the flexibility
- Suitable for beginners and lightly weighted riders
- Unstable at high speed but very flexible at low speed
Snowboard with stiffer flex:
- Offer better edge grip and response, more stable at high speed
- Great for freeride and backcountry, i.e. powder rides, carving… good for park riders who like to do jumps and pipes since it provides better grip upon landing
- Great for more advanced riders who are seeking for speed and powder snow
- Lightweight riders and beginners may find it more difficult to handle
Depending on your ability and riding styles, you would need to pick different flex:
- Pick a soft-to-medium flex snowboard, it’s easy to turn enough and can offer a more forgiving riding, but then yet it’s responsiveness enough (allow you to react very quickly with the snow and your board)
- You can start picking a snowboard that fits your preferred riding style, or else just pick a board that’s from medium to medium-stiff would be good. If you have already got a soft to medium-soft flex when you are still a beginner, it’s a good idea to try something different, right?
All mountain riders
- All mountain riders love to do a bit of everything, so a medium to medium-stiff snowboard is always a good choice since it’s flexible enough for you to hit the park and stiff enough when you need to do some powder riding. At the end of the day, it’s all about “balancing”
- Also known as park riders
- Depending on what you like to do you will need boards with different flex
- If you love to do ground tricks, rails, go for something soft, because you need the flexibility
- If you love to do jumps and pipes, go for something stiff, because you need to respond quickly and the strong edge grip upon landing
- Most of the freeride riders are intermediate-advanced riders, according to Wikipedia, free-riders are those who are going to ride on natural, un-groomed slope (for example, backcountry, off-piste and something like extreme riding) with no set course, goals or rules
- According to a level 4 instructor, freeriding is you can master all terrains, so the whole mountain is your playground
- A freeriding snowboarder would ride on a lot of powders, carving and generally at a higher speed
- If you want to do freeriding, it is better for you to get a stiffer board since you would like to perform a rather aggressive riding style and you need the quick response a stiff board could offer you
- A stiff board could offer you with more stability when you are riding at high speed too
- The most simple explanation is: very aggressive turn that you are turning a higher speed plus riding on the edge of your snowboard so you can see a clean line on the snow
- A stiff board is preferred for carving fans so you can have a better grip, quicker response, and more stability
4. Snowboard Profile
A snowboard profile is the shape of the board when you look at it from the side. Simply place your board on a flat surface and check out the points that are touching the snow then you will know the profile of a board.
There are different types of snowboard profiles thus it is very important to pick one that fits your riding style. Nowadays, there are more and more different shapes and profiles being released so it takes forever for us to talk about them one by one. So in this article, we will talk about the most common snowboard profiles just to give you a clear picture of what needs to be considered while picking your new snowboard.
- The most traditional profile, when you place a camber board on a flat surface, the center will rise with both sides upturned.
- A camber board is great for higher speed riding because they could offer better grip, stability, and control in groomed or icy slopes.
- When you place a rocker board on a flat surface, it will appear as a U shape.
- A rocker board is great for powder, ground tricks and park riders who like to do a lot of catch-free rides.
- Less stable at high speed.
- Easy to turn so offer a lot of flexibility.
- A snowboard with a completely flat base on the snow with only the nose and tail a bit turned up
- A flatbase board would give you effective edge grip with the snow, plus your weight would be spread on the board evenly, therefore offering more stability at higher speed
- Great for powder, rails, and carving
- But could be more difficult to turn because of edge catch (not that suitable for beginner snowboarders)
- Probably not a good choice as your first snowboard, but eventually, you will get this board if you are looking for higher performance in mentioned aspects.
Camber-Rocker Combo (Hybrid Profile)
- As the name suggests, a combo board would combine the elements of both rocker and camber boards, there could be loads of combinations so to fit different riding styles
- Normally a mixed profile board could be more difficult to handle than a pure camber or rocker board
- It’s more for advanced riders who know your riding style well
- Again, not a good choice for your first snowboard but you will be getting one when you become a better snowboarder
The shape is another important feature that you need to take into account when you are picking your snowboard, because it determines the purpose of the board, for example, you want a board that’s good for you to hit the park? Or you want a board that’s great for extreme carving on a groomed slope? Or you are looking to enjoy some powder days?
Below are some common board shapes:
- Perfectly symmetrical shape, you can’t tell the nose from the tail if there is no graphics
- Easier to balance
- Great for switch riding
- Most true twin board would have their binding positions set to the center of the board
- Suitable for park and freestyle riders
- Boards with obvious nose and tail
- Mostly are all mountain boards or freeriding boards
- Mostly are used for powder or freeriding
- With a longer and softer nose and shorter and stiffer tail, the balance will shift to the back of the board, therefore, it’s going to float on the powder easily
- Provide better stability at high speed
- Normally pairs with a set back binding setting (more towards the tail for around one inch)
- Mainly for all mountain riders who will hit the park sometimes
- A hybrid of Directional and True Twin, normally are divided into two types:
- with very similar nose and tail (symmetrical indeed) but still, have an intended nose and tail (softer nose than tail)
- With obvious nose and tail but a symmetrical core
There are more and more snowboards with an asymmetrical shape, it could be asymmetrical sidecut profiles, asymmetrical cores, or both, or may be shorter heel side and longer toe side. The concept behind is kinda like you are buying an Ergonomic chair, your body is asymmetrical, therefore your boards should be asymmetrical and designed according to your body features so to make your riding easier. You can check more information from here.
6. The Look
So here it comes to the very important part, the look! A lot of online guides are suggesting you to forgo the look of the snowboard and should pick according to their functions and performance.
But honestly, the first thing I look into a snowboard is its pattern. Getting a board with good look always gives you more happiness and satisfaction.
When you are a beginner, a good looking board will give you more motivation to learn.
When you are an advanced rider, you will be the focus of other riders and trust me, people would look at your gears. Once I was getting a coffee in Niseko, Japan, I just placed my board on the shelves and there was a random tourist came over and she asked if she could take a photo with my snowboard because it’s really pretty. I was super duper pleased. Remember, your face will be covered by your goggles and mask so what people can see is your jacket, pants, boots, binding, and snowboard!
I realized that when I wanted to resell my board, the one that’s more colorful or with attractive patterns always get a better deal.
So get a board you love its look gals!
Price, another very important factor you need to consider while choosing the best women’s snowboard. The budget you set for your board should be reasonable.
Go for a rather reasonable option if you are just a beginner or you know you won’t be riding much is always a good idea. However, if you realize you are really in love with snowboarding and decided to spend more time or effort on this very exciting sports, investing in a good snowboard in your interested aspect is always a good idea. Your dividend will be paid off, for example, you can really feel the differences in carving with a Jones Flagship Snowboard than with a normal all mountain board.
Right… so now you have a general idea of how to pick a snowboard, there’s a lot more I can talk about snowboards but it’s going to be a separate article. But for my fellow girl snowboard riders, the easiest way would be: just send me an email about what you want to know when you are picking your snowboard, I’d be happy to give you some advice.
Recommended Features for Different Snowboarders
To make it easier for you to find a snowboard that suits you best, we have summed up a bit of what we said so that you can have a better idea:
Beginner to Intermediate
- Length: A board with normal length (or shorter if you are a first timer), so it would be easier for you to learn and turn
- Flex: Medium soft to medium
- Profile: A traditional camber would be good because it’s more stable
- Shape: A Directional Twin is good
- All mountain board is cool
Freestyle Rider (Ground Tricks, Jibbings, Rails and Boxes Lover)
- Length: A relatively shorter board is good because it’s easier to control and more flexible
- Flex: Soft flex so it’s more flexible
- Profile: A traditional rocker profile is good
- Shape: Twin True is good so it’s easier for you to balance and do switch riding
Freestyle Rider (Jumps or U-Pipe riders)
- Length: relatively shorter to medium is good, a shorter length helps maneuver and it’s lighter too! So it’s easier for you to flip and spin. A normal length is good for maintaining the stability when you are picking up the speed before your jumps
- Flex: medium-stiff to stiff (you need a stronger grip and a board that’s more responsive for landing and take off)
- Profile: Traditional camber since it provides a better edge grip, and it’s going to be more “poppy”
- Shape: Twin True or Directional True
- Length: depending on the board type you are getting, I use a medium board normally, my friends prefer to use a short and wide board, but some of my friends who love to ride first they are using a longer board. You will know your preferences when you are more experienced.
- Width: a wider board is better since you are going to ride more open turns but not close turns
- Profile, flex, and shape: preferable a specialist board, for example, a fishtail board like this.
- Length: a longer board is preferred so to provide more stability at high speed
- Flex: stiff to very stiff, you need a strong and quick board
- Profile and Shape: a traditional camber and directional are good, you can consider getting a specialist board like this.
Best Snowboard for Women: Our Recommendations
Here are some great snowboards we would suggest for you in the 2018-2019 season.
1. For Beginner: Rossignol Tesla Women’s Snowboard
- A great price point board that you can use until you are intermediate level
- Easy to control and turn so it speeds up your learning process though
- An all-around solid piece, stable and yet easy to turn
- A soft-medium flex that’s forgiving enough and yet easy to maneuver but can still offer enough edge grip
- Very pretty!!!
- The longest board length is just 148, some taller riders may find it a bit too short
2. For All Mountain Riders: Never Summer Infinity
- Never summer is the king of all mountain boards, this is a board you want to get if you want to do a bit of everything
- With rocker camber profiles, this is a board that can be playful and you can ride like you are surfing.
- A very nice board suitable for beginner to advanced riders
- Medium flex allows you to carve a bit easier and ride at a higher speed
3. For Freestyle Riders: GNU Ladies Choice
- This is a board Jamie Anderson chose to ride!!!
- The winner of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Transworld Snowboarding Goodwood Women’s Park Board Award
- True twin shape so it’s easy to balance
- An aggressive freestyle board that you can do from large jumps to small jumps
4. For Freeriding Lovers: Burton Family Tree Story Board
- This is a great powder board and yet you can use for all mountain ridings and even carving on groomed runs too
- One of the stiffest snowboards and it’s solid, stable and very responsive
- Suitable for more advanced riders
- Winners of 2017 Transworld Snowboarding Goodwood Women’s All Mountain Board
So ladies, getting a good snowboard is important but then it is very important for you to maintain it well too. Here are some useful tips you may want to follow:
- Once you have received your new snowboard, always wax it before your first ride because the factory wax would be pretty much… not enough to protect your board
- From time to time you need to wax your board and polish the edge of your snowboard so you can enjoy a smooth run
- Different weather would require different wax, for example, on a hot and warm day you need different wax than a powder day
- Always dry your board before placing them into your luggage
- Always air your board for 1 to 2 days to make sure it’s all dry out before you store it up, preferably, you should wax your board before taking it to storage
- Place your snowboard in a snowboard cover like this is always a good idea
This is just a recommendation to help women snowboarders figure out how to find the best snowboard, at the end of the day, it all depends on your preferences and level of riding, it’s always a good idea to try out different boards so to understand which suits you the best.
So… Ride more, try more, have more fun and be safe! Cheers!!!