|Can Women Ride Men's Snowboards? Yes they can|
If you're a female rider looking for a snowboard, you might find some good deals on boards that are generally made for guys. Alternatively, if you are a larger than normal woman (e.g. 5'8′′ - 165lb), you may find women's boards to be too lightweight or flexy for you.
Is it possible for a woman to ride men's snowboards? Is it just a marketing ploy, or should a female rider choose a women's model for real reasons? You may believe that regardless of gender, a snowboard should be picked based on size and weight.
This question is asked so many times we thought we should address it with some depth.
If you're short on time, here's the quick answer:
While a woman can ride any snowboard, a men's board may not be suitable if her feet are too tiny for the waist width of the board. A larger woman with medium to large feet can ride a men's board comfortably. A lady may choose a softer men's board to accommodate her weight and muscular mass.
Should a female ride a male snowboard?
Men's boards are often longer and wider than women's boards. Women's boards have a narrower sidecut and waist width to accommodate smaller bodies and feet. They also feature a milder flex than a comparable men's model. The boards for men are also heavier.
Women's boards are constructed with a lower center of gravity in mind. This is accounted for in the width portions, edge pattern, and binding placement of the board, all of which contribute to the snowboard's control, agility, and balance.
However, many women find that men's snowboards are more comfortable for their size and/or riding style. A men's snowboard may function well in general if the board flex matches your weight and your shoes aren't too small for the board width.
A stiffer and longer men's snowboard (such as a Burton Custom X) can provide a more stable ride for a female snowboarder than softer/shorter women's boards.
Some larger female riders may feel more at ease on a men's snowboard, but may later return to a women's board after losing weight.
Let's take a look at some of the significant distinctions between men's and women's snowboards, as well as whether women may ride men's snowboards interchangeably.
Men's and women's snowboard sizes
Because women are smaller and lighter than men, women's boards are often smaller. A 152 centimeter snowboard is frequently too large for a 100lb female, however a 144 - 147 board be suffice. A 5'9" / 125 lb lady would be far more maneuverable on a 151cm women's board than a 157 men's board.
However, a woman's height and weight aren't the only things to think about. It is also necessary to consider the rider's skill level and power. While a men's snowboard will be larger and bulkier in general, it may be an excellent match for a strong female rider.
Another factor to consider while deciding between a men's and a women's snowboard is posture. The stance on a men's board will be too wide for a smaller lady.
Of course, a female rider can change the posture to make it narrower, more set back, and so on. The best binding placement on a snowboard, on the other hand, is calculated in relation to the sidecut in order to achieve efficient edge pressure and turn initiation. The optimal posture on a men's snowboard will be wider.
A posture that is excessively wide for a smaller female rider can cause tiredness.
The most significant distinction between men's and women's snowboards is their width. Men's boards are often much wider than women's boards. As a result, only female riders with broader feet should consider purchasing a men's snowboard.
If your feet are smaller than the board width as a female rider, initiating spins on that board will be difficult and the response will be sluggish, especially for a rookie snowboarder.
In order to apply pressure to the snowboard rails efficiently and have optimum edge-to-edge reaction, a rider needs have a modest overhang.
So, even if you're the appropriate weight for a snowboard, your feet shouldn't fit entirely over the board. A women's 8.5 boot size will normally ride securely on a board up to 25mm wide, which amounts to 158cm or shorter on a men's board.
Mens vs womens snowboard sidecut
Female boards, as previously stated, feature a deeper sidecut for simpler turning. As a result, the turning radius of women's snowboards is often lower.
While men change with their shoulders, women transition with their hips. This difference is reflected in the general shape and waist/sidecut of women's snowboards.
A women's board's narrower waist is intended to provide good toe or heel leverage in turns for a rider with smaller feet. A waist that is far wider than the rider's feet would severely limit turning ability.
As a result, a lady with larger feet (e.g., men's 7 or more) may prefer a small men's snowboard over a women's board. A female rider with average women's foot size, on the other hand, may find a men's board more difficult to control, especially as a novice.
Boots and bindings for men and women
As a female rider, if you choose a men's snowboard, you should still fit the board with women's bindings because men's bindings are often too loose.
Even a small men's binding will have excess breadth for a rider with a women's 8 boot, which is not ideal - even though some female riders prefer the larger highbacks on men's bindings.
While some ladies ride with men's bindings, it is not generally advised.
Mens vs womens snowboard flex
Female riders are often lighter than men and have less strength when carving, resulting in less snowboard flexing when riding compared to men.
In general, a snowboard's flex rating should be matched to the rider's weight. A stiffer board is often required for a bigger rider, whilst a softer flex is preferred for a lighter rider.
Men's boards are therefore stiffer than women's. Women's boards have a different flex pattern since they have a lower center of gravity when riding.
As a result, a men's snowboard will often seem too stiff for a female to turn on, especially for riders under 140lb. However, bigger women may be able to flex on a men's board.
A woman should add +2 in flex for a men's board against a women's board. A large kid's or small men's snowboard, which is stiffer than a similar sized women's snowboard, may be an excellent alternative for a stronger female rider.
While a stronger female rider may be better suited to a stiffer men's board, in other conditions, such as deep snow, a softer board will be more enjoyable to ride.
Also, if you prefer a stiff board, a board with a lot of camber will feel substantially stiffer than a men's board.
A less significant but nevertheless important part of selecting a men's snowboard for a lady is board appearance. Some women don't mind men's snowboards with "manly" graphics. Some people may find them more appealing than female designs.
A few suggestions for men's snowboards for women
Orca, Lib Tech: For riders with tiny feet, Lib Tech manufactures a narrow version of their boards.
Burton Custom: has a length as low as 149cm and a waist width that narrows with size.
Capita Spring Break Slush Slasher
Endeavor Snowboards are gender neutral and come in a variety of widths and lengths.
To summarize, can a girl ride a men's snowboard? You certainly can, but your edge-to-edge transitions may be less than ideal unless you're a bigger woman with large enough feet to match the breadth and waist of the board, and you have a strong enough build to power the stiffer flex - or you choose a softer men's board.
To obtain an excellent posture, the board length should be appropriate for your height, thus a smaller men's snowboard may be a suitable alternative.