Boarder, what do you weigh?

When choosing a snowboard, whether for hire or purchase, your weight is a really important factor.

I had trouble when I was learning to snowboard. Mainly my trouble was that I carved without trying. I actually found it difficult to make skidded turns. Even though I've since learned all the bits of information to figure out why this happened, it didn't come together for me until I read this answer on Quora:

I am a fairly average height (for males of my generation.) I am 5'9". But I only weigh 9 stone, which is not typical at all.

The effective flex of a board is proportional to rider weight: A board will flex more under a heavy rider than the same board under a light rider. With me being so light, the hire boards I used were effectively pretty stiff for a beginner, and I tended to carve without even trying.

A sign of the difficulty I had was that I dreaded narrow pistes. Carving turns take up a lot of room and they don't slow you down much. My choice was to get faster and faster or repeatedly use the whole width of the piste to turn, making it very difficult for anyone to pass me.

The first board I bought, even though it was shorter than the hire boards I'd used, was really stiff. A 155cm Ride DH2.4 (with very cool graphics.) I had no real idea what I was buying and had no opportunity to try it first. By then I'd adjusted to a world where carving was the norm, so I wasn't surprised by the experience of using my new board.

Last week I bought a 154cm Lib Tech TRS and rode it for the first time. I loved how playful the board was but I was disgruntled by how difficult it was to carve and how easily I bled speed. I thought I was buying a carving machine and it probably would be for some who weighed a stone less than me. Since then, the penny has dropped. I realise that I now own the board that would have been ideal for me to learn on.

Justin Hellings

I'm a geek in a world that insists on being irrational and a greenie in a society that insists on speeding towards its own destruction. There's some work to be done here. Nah, let's go snowboard. Woo!

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