Choosing which snowboard is right for your child, either to buy or rent, needs a bit of thought. Hopefully this section will give you some useful information as you make that choice.
The first thing you will need to think about is getting the right sized snowboard for your child.
Below is an estimate of heights/weights and board lengths for children of various ages. Generally, your child’s board size should be more based on their weight than height. But a board that measures anywhere between their chest and their nose is fine; ideally between shoulder and chin.
You can size smaller (chest/shoulder area) if they are just learning, nervous or are light for their age and you can size longer (chin/nose area) if they are heavier or ride fast and aggressively.
Bear in mind that boards get wider as they get longer so remember to give your child some time to get used to a new sized board.
As they progress they may develop a preference for a longer, shorter or different style board depending on what sort of riding they are doing – although this tends to be kids who are riding a lot.
A BOARD TO ‘GROW INTO’?
If you are buying a snowboard for your child you may have the dilemma of wondering if you should buy a larger size so they will have more use from the board. We all know how quickly children grow out of things so this can be a way of getting lots of use from a board. However, you will need to think this decision through – having a much larger board often makes learning a lot harder and limits progression as well as fun.
Having said that, it is very possible and good economics for a child to use one snowboard for two winters. But you will need to size carefully.
Also bear in mind that, if your child doesn’t have a brother or sister to pass a board down to, you can normally easily sell-on equipment on ebay or similar sites or through local snowboard clubs etc.
80 cm or under
80 cm or under
|10||142 cm||34 kg|
WHAT BOARD SHAPE OR DESIGN?
Once you have decided on board size, you will need to decide which board. The majority of current snowboard manufacturers now have kids or youth snowboards in their ranges.
Across the manufacturers these boards vary in size, design and price. However, due to great leaps in recent years in designing kit for kids, most reputable companies now offer excellent kid-friendly, easy to ride, low edge-catching boards!
For a young child or a beginner look for light board with a soft-flex. Thereafter there can be a lot of technical jargon! Especially when talking about board bases. However, board tech development in this area has massively improved the ride-ability of kids boards so it is worth reading through.
Most manufacturers use bases which are use rocker, normal camber, zero camber, reverse camber, flat, hybrid, magne-traction a mix of a a few of them! Confused?! Read on…
- CAMBER: –
This was the standard snowboard shape from the 80’s until about 2007. They offer a good ‘pop’, are good for carving but easy to catch edges and harder to turn initially
Also called ‘reverse camber’. This is when the the board is curved upwards towards the nose and tail (a bit like a banana). This means the board is easy to turn and manoeuvre, it floats well in powder and it’s edges are harder to catch. However it doesn’t hold an edge quite so well and can be slower than it’s cambered counterparts.
- FLAT BASE:-
A board with a flat base holds a good edge on snow so is nice and stable. It is still harder to catch edges than a normal cambered board. However it can be less ‘poppy’ (springy!) and playful than other boards.
- HYBRIDS OR A MIXTURE:-
Hybrid boards are basically a mixture of any of the rocker/camber/flat bases – for example; flat between the bindings, rocker near the nose & tail or a camber board with a rocker base. There are also the Lib-tech ‘magne-traction’ boards. These boards have a wavy edge meaning they have several points of strong contact when an edge is held.
Most kids boards nowadays tend to have a mix of rocker and flat bases which is ideal. Read up on a board before you purchase one and have a feel and a flex if possible. If you are renting check the quality and design of the board if you can. Kids can learn on traditional camber boards (both my daughters did initially!) but rockers or hybrids are easier, especially if they’re learning or younger.
There are a lot of snowboard manufacturers to choose from and the majority now have youth and/or a kids line of boards. Probably most notable for their advocacy and advances in getting kids snowboarding are Burton snowboards. They have the largest kids range and their equipment is also the most widely available – especially within Europe. Ride, K2, Rome and Nitro are some other notable makes that also have a good, fairly widely available range of kids snowboarding equipment (some including boots & bindings too).
Most small kids boards (80-115cm) are between £110-£180 for just the deck.
The bigger sized boards (120-140cm) increase in price as well as size; so you’d be looking at around £150 -£220 for a board depending on specification and size.
Some examples of this seasons’ (new 2015) pricing:
– Burton Chicklet 100cm £120
– Ride Lowride 100cm £135
– Salomon Team 100cm £150
– Salomon Fierce or Grace 130cm – £170
– Flow Micron Verve 130cm – £190
– Burton Custom Smalls 130cm – £190 (intermediate)
These are a general guide on board prices – sales are often the best time to snowboard shop! With a bit of shopping around you can pick up a small sized board for around £75-£100 and a bigger one for around £90-£140.
Always try to look for a reputable brand and buy from a reputable shop/online shop.