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Board Sizing Help for Newbie

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello All,

I finally tried boarding towards the end of last season and really enjoyed it. I was using my daughter's old board that she outgrew, which was nice and short for a beginner, but probably not right for me in the long term....so it's time to think about a change.

I'm a 46 year old female, 5'4", 135 lbs. Except for a one week trip out west every year, I will be doing my riding in the Midwest. On the hills in my area last season, I was OK with the greens, most of the blues, and I did a a few blacks. I'm definitely not comfortable with too much speed yet. I do alot of turns and partial stops to keep it in check.

The board I used last season was a Burton Feather 139cm. I'm about maxed out on the weight and height recommendations for that board. I feel like it digs in more than it should.

The board that my daughter's using now, and is thinking of replacing, is a Burton Feelgood (156 cm I think). Of course, she'd love me to take that board and buy her a new one, but I think it would be too long and a bit stiff for me. What do you guys think?

Any other suggestions for boards for me? Not too many demoing opportunities around here, especially early in the season.

I'd really like to get in as much riding as possible early in the season so I'll feel comfortable enough to just take the board and leave the skiis when we go out west in Jan.
post #2 of 7

I'm 5' 10", 210+. I'm riding a 168 and that's a long board. Out west, it's helpful for more float in deeper snow. But I find that I spend more time on snow where shorter, more flexible boards will work better for most people. Since I weigh a ton, I can get away with what I've got.

You'll need a Burton geek to say if those boards are too stiff for you. You're right to be cautious about too stiff boards, they will hold back your progress. You'd probably enjoy a slightly longer board than 139, but it's probably not worth getting something new for this season. You might find a good deal at a swap though. In the meantime, I'd recommend planing on taking both the 139 and your daughter's board on your trip out West (you have learned how to adjust bindings right?). You'll learn a lot by switching back and forth and might get lucky enough to use the 156 as a powder board. Just remember to move the bindings back a hair if you're lucky enough to ride powder over 8" deep.
post #3 of 7

Ladies' boards

Check out Volkl.com. They have some great women specific rides. The Destiny is probably too stiff for your level of riding. But the Shine in a 148 or 152 could be right up your alley.


If you're really going to be riding and taking lessons and improving you might consider the Search in a 149.


It's a bit stiffer and would be a board you could continue to ride at higher desired levels of riding performance. Not quite as forgiving as the Shine though. Graphics on both are sweet.

I know Viking Ski Shop in the Chicago area carries Volkl. But if there are no distributors close by you can always check out Al's Ski Barn online. Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions from both of you.

I'm probably going to be down in Chicago next weekend anyhow. Perhaps that might be a good chance to stop in and talk to them and look at some boards. I don't know much about Volkl boards, but I did demo a few of their skiis last season (when Viking had a demo day at Wilmot in Wisconsin) and liked them the best of the five brands I tried.

Maybe we'll get some early snow around here and I'll get a chance to take out the Feelgood and at least get an idea of how stiff of a board I could handle.
post #5 of 7
Just a word of caution:
Most people on boards that are too stiff for them don't realize it until they can side by side test with a softer board. It takes a top level instructor to watch your riding and know that issues are caused by a stiff board vs technique.
post #6 of 7
Option makes some really nice women specific beginner boards.

My wife just picked up snowboarding last year. She's on an Option Sweet 152. Great beginner gal board.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
I ended up getting an Arbor Push. I got way too good of a deal from a friend who works at a shop to pass it up. From the online descriptions and reviews, it seems like a decent intermediate board. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to try it out soon.

I probably won't get out as much as I'd like this season, and our plans for a trip to Utah are probably off or at least postponed until March. My daughter and I were going to go the week after New Year's. She was injured in a car accident and now will miss most or all of the season...broken and bruised ribs and a separated shoulder. She is quite bummed. Thank goodness she always wears a seat belt or it would have been much worse.

I plan on signing up for some additional lessons through my local ski club so I'll be ready to enjoy more of the mountains when we do get out there.
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