How To Size A Snowboard For A Kid?

With the advent of lighter and more durable materials, kids’ snowboards have made a big comeback. While some kids might enjoy riding a half-pint adult board, for many the better option is a true youth model. A proper snowboard will have a shorter length and width as well as a low-angle edge, ideal for learning the fundamentals of riding.

Unlike some gear that needs to be sized up as kids grow, snowboards can actually be adjusted for a variety of body types and sizes. A good shop employee or the manufacturer’s website will have a guideline for proper length, but here’s how to determine the right length for a beginner snowboard.

Board Dimensions

While a longer board can seem too hard to handle, a too-short board can actually be more difficult to ride. When it comes to length, here’s what you should look for. For kids who are starting out, experts recommend a board that is anywhere from 93 to 117 cm (3 feet 4 inches to 3 feet 11 inches) for kids who are 9 to 12 years old, and between 100 and 124 cm (3 feet 7 inches to 4 feet 5 inches) for kids who are 13 to 15 years old.

If your kid is on the shorter side, go with a shorter board (but still within the recommended range), as it will give them more leverage for turning. If they’re on the taller side, go with a longer board for more stability.

the boy is having fun while snowboarding

To determine the widest point of a board, use the measurement at the rear tip (the thin part) and round up to the nearest half inch. For kid's boards, this should be no more than 3 inches (7.5 cm).

For youth models, it should be 4 inches (10 cm). This will give kids enough surface area to stand on while making sure the board isn’t too unwieldy to maneuver. Finally, don’t worry too much about other specs (like the type of wood or degree of flex) until your kid gets a little more experienced.

Sizing A Snowboard For Your Child

Sizing up your kiddo for a snowboard isn’t an exact science. But you can help them find a comfortable fit by following these steps.

Step 1: Check the manufacturer’s recommendation before snowboarding

Most snowboard makers have recommendations for kids’ sizes printed on their boards. Look for markings on the side edge of the board (usually near the tail). If no specifications are listed, see step 2.

Step 2: Grip-test the board

If you don’t have access to the manufacturer’s sizing chart, measure the length of the board from tip to tail and then mark that down. Next, measure your kid's height but only up to the chin. Now compare the two measures. The right size of the board for your child should be the height you have measured up to your kid's chin.

Step 3: Size up the kicks

Once you have a general idea of which board to buy, focus on your kid’s foot size. Most snowboards come with adjustable heel risers (also called angle risers) that can adjust the angle of your feet—which ultimately affects riding style and comfort. Kids usually have smaller feet than adults, so it’s important to adjust the angle risers down for a better fit. Most boards allow you to adjust each foot independently.

Snowboard Types

There are three types of snowboards: cross-country, all-mountain, and freestyle.
All-mountain boards are the workhorses of the snowboard world; they’re designed for both freestyle and downhill runs. They have multiple edges for maneuvering and can handle turns in any direction. These boards usually have a set back foot and directional shape (the tail is pointed toward the head). This design helps keep the weight on your feet during slides so you can maintain control.

For beginners aged 8 and up, a freestyle board is designed to perform skate park tricks such as carve, spin, jib, and pop jumps. These boards typically have centered foot swings so they’re more maneuverable in terrain for freestyle riding. You’ll also see freestyle boards with set-back foot swings because this design helps keep your feet in the bindings during jumps.

For both all-mountain and freestyle boards, you’ll see characteristics such as a rocker (the tip and tail rise from the ground to the nose) and a flat press (the entire deck contacts the snow evenly). These designs help speed and maneuverability.

For downhill runs, a downhill board is the best option. These stiffer boards are designed for speed and stability while going down a hill. They typically have curved foot swings to prevent your feet from slipping out of the bindings. Downhill boards usually have multiple edges for more control while maneuvering.

Final Thoughts

There is no definitive answer to the question of how to size a snowboard for a kid. Ultimately, it depends on a number of factors, including the child's height, weight, and age. However, there are a few general guidelines that can help you choose the right size snowboard for your child. With a little bit of research and trial and error, you should be able to find the perfect snowboard for your little one.

a girl and a yellow snowboard

Commonly Asked Questions

At what age, a kid has the ability to snowboard independently?

While there is no definitive answer to this question, most experts agree that children can learn to snowboard independently around the age of four or five.

What footwear is the best to snowboard for a kid?

There is no definitive answer to this question as different youngsters will have different preferences for their snowboarding footwear. Some kids might prefer to wear boots that are specifically designed for snowboarding, while others might be more comfortable wearing regular winter boots. Ultimately, it is up to the individual kid to decide what kind of footwear works best for them while they are out on the slopes.

What kind of outerwear is the best for a 5-year-old kid to snowboard?

A snowboarding jacket is the best outerwear for a 5-year-old kid to snowboard. The jacket should be made of waterproof and windproof material, such as Gore-Tex, to keep the child dry and warm. It should also be insulated to protect the child from the cold.

The best brand to buy kids' snowboards?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors, such as the child's age, height, weight, and skiing ability. Some of the most popular brands for kids' snowboards include Burton and Salomon.

What is the optimal snowboard length for a kid?

Generally speaking, however, it is recommended that beginners use a snowboard that is between 90 and 120 cm long.

Do kids need gloves while snowboarding?

There is no one answer to this question as it depends on the child's personal preference and level of experience. Some kids may feel more comfortable and have a better grip with gloves on, while others may find them to be bulky and prefer to snowboard without them. Ultimately, it is up to the child and what they are most comfortable with.

the kids in the snow gear

How to measure a snowboard size for a 10-year-old kid?

There are a few things to consider when measuring a snowboard for a 10-year-old kid.

First, you'll need to know the rider's height and weight.

Once you have the rider's height and weight, you'll need to choose a snowboard that is the right size for them. Snowboard sizing is based on the rider's height and weight, as well as the type of riding they will be doing.

For example, freestyle riders will want a shorter and narrower board, while all-mountain riders will want a longer and wider board. You can find more information on snowboard sizing charts online.

Author - Aleksandra Djurdjevic
Aleksandra Djurdjevic          

Senior Content Creator

Aleksandra Djurdjevic is a senior writer and editor, covering snowboarding, skiing and trends in outdoor winter activities. She has previously worked as ESL teacher for English Tochka. Aleksandra graduated from the Comparative Literature department at the Faculty of Philosophy in Serbia. Aleksandra’s love for the mountains, getting out in the snow on her board, season after season, seeking wild snow adventures across the globe helps her continue to be a top expert at CSG.


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