Correct board size is important when you have plans to immerse yourself in fresh powder for a day of snowboarding fun. A standard snowboard is around 10 inches wide or less. However, some snowboarding enthusiasts need wider boards for reasons we go over below. There are wider boards available, but they’re not always easy to find. Here’s what you need to know when considering extra-wide snowboards.
Reasons to Use Extra-Wide Snowboards
Extra-wide snowboards are meant for snowboarders with larger feet. Boot/shoe size varies, but the average is around 10.5 for men and between 8.5 and 9 for women, according to Healthline. If you have a boot/shoe size that’s 11.5 or greater, an extra-wide snowboard is worth considering. We go over some other factors to consider below.
What an Extra-Wide Snowboard Does
An extra-wide snowboard is designed for anyone with larger feet who also needs to wear a larger boot size than what’s typical for snowboarding. With a standard board, your toes or heels could hang over the edge of the board if you have larger feet. If this happens, you could have issues with drag, resistance, and balance. You may also be more prone to falling under certain conditions or with certain riding styles. An extra-wide snowboard eliminates toe hang and heel drag while also making the snowboarding experience better by:
• Enhancing the ability to handle deeper terrain
• Improving precision in larger turns
• Reducing foot/ankle problems that can occur with a board that’s too small for your feet
• Improving results when laying down harder carves
Deciding if an Extra-Wide Board Is Right for You
If you’re still at the beginner level with snowboarding, you may prefer to stick with a standard board at first. Extra-wide boards do help with balance, but it’s more difficult to manage turns well if you’re just learning how to do this. Also, compact, narrow models are often easier to ride and use than extra-wide models. Wait until you improve your skills and learn the basics of snowboarding before upgrading to an extra-wide board that’s more comfortable for your feet.
Generally, an extra-wide snowboard is something to consider under the following circumstances:
• You have a larger boot/shoe size
• You’re more experienced and having difficulty with some terrain on standard boards
• You prefer shorter park boards
• You do back-country riding along with resort riding
Finding an Extra-Wide Snowboard
Most of the top manufacturers primarily make standard or more traditional snowboards, although there’s a lot of variety with styles and designs. It’s usually easier to find “mid-wide” boards if you need a wider snowboard than it is to find extra-wide models. What you can do, though, is check with a shop that offers snowboard rental in Mammoth or wherever you’ll be snowboarding. Many of these places carry a wide range of board sizes and styles. This also gives you a chance to try out an extra-wide snowboard before you invest in one of your own.
If you think you might do best with an extra-wide snowboard, head to the mountain and test one yourself. To make sure you have all the gear you’ll need, drop by and see us at ASO Mammoth, your one-stop shop for equipment, repair, and Mammoth snowboard rental. For more info, give us a call at 760-965-3444.