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Is height a factor?


brodster_57
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I've been riding just short of 15 years, and just short of about eight on hardboots and such. A question recently surfaced among some of my peers: Should height affect your choice when purchasing a snowboard.

I read the prior post that touched on this topic, but I ended up getting the drift that there are just a bunch of opinions on this matter.

However, I have heard no good argument supporting the perspective that mass is the only consideration. I heard nonsense such as the following: "Your board knows how much you weigh, but it can't tell how tall you are." Not trying to be too pompous I replied that boards do not have mental capacity and therefore cannot know either thing; they can only respond to forces and such. I claimed that height is always a factor because we live in a 3 dimensional world and not in a flat plane. I argued that a consequence of this is that boards experience torque, and that torque is a product [vector cross product] of radius and force. Thus, we have to consider height as a factor(however large of a factor that may be) when choosing a board.

I would assume since snowboarding is governed by the laws of physics, that it is provable one way or the other. Plus I know there are some physicts and engineers roaming around on this site. I have to know, it's driving me crazy listening to nonsense.

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Short answer is height doesn't matter very much aside from stance width. Being taller allows you to get more torque, but so does being stronger/heavier (T = r x F). Technique is a key factor as well as an experience rider can again torque the board more than a novice.

That's the real world answer. Since I transferred out of engineering during college and you "response" made my eyes water, I'll leave a more comprehensive explanation to others, of which I'm sure know it better than me.

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Yes. Board length is based upon height, board stiffness is based upon weight.

Height = Individual's height - 10 cm. I'm 186 cm tall, I'm on a 177. Almost right.

:D

(So...how...wrong? Am I?)

I am 5-9 weigh 175-180 and ride sticks from 149 to 200+ Hows them bananas?

Also My super short response to the first question. Is, it what you do with the mass you possess. If you have eight inches more arms you can do alot with it. If you dont Use it correctly none of it matters. At no point in the turn is your body extended. There can be times during the transition but even then you are "unweighted" and only making direction changes but again long limbs may mean better balance and perhaps more reach.

Board length should be based on purpuse. SL length and shape, vs GS length and shape Free ride Etc. A lot can be said about length and what it does. There is no reason and board shape should be based on height. Any force can be created by the correct inputs while riding, using many different styles and techniques.

My snow skate and jib stick all the way to My 200 tanker or SG boards sure do what I tell them. :p

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who the **** told you that?

every board is built with a ideal rider in mind

yeah, based on your theory I should be 172.8, yup, just the GS stick I want three cm longer than my GS stick

better tell all those guys on that are on 185s for their gs gear and a 158 for SL that they are wrong and they need a 173 for both

if you're really tall or short, like in a extreme minority stance width limitations could be a issue with some boards, weight is the real issue, correct flex is what counts as well as length to some degree

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Good posts. Not trying to start and argument here, but I do understand that any rider can create a variety of forces. And I also understand that style and preference dictates the majority of the choice. In fact this is my personal breakdown:

1. Style

2. Mass

3. Height

4. Ability

And the overriding factor is always preference.

But's lets assume we negate some things. Let's assume that we consider a group of riders with equal ability, preference, and style. Now only mass and height is left to consider. What then. Is it or is it not provable that height is a factor on board selection?

I agree that height does not directly influence length. But outside of the carving world where riders do not understand the finer things in life as well, generally longer boards change in stiffness. Also it depends how far out that same stiffness is applied, which would produce a counter torque so to speak. With that in mind, if height affects stiffness (which I completely agree with) does affect length (in the real world).

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who the **** told you that?

every board is built with a ideal rider in mind

yeah, based on your theory I should be 172.8, yup, just the GS stick I want three cm longer than my GS stick

better tell all those guys on that are on 185s for their gs gear and a 158 for SL that they are wrong and they need a 173 for both

if you're really tall or short, like in a extreme minority stance width limitations could be a issue with some boards, weight is the real issue, correct flex is what counts as well as length to some degree

I agree here too. I think the reason so many people don't consider height is because most manufactures don't even consider it. They probably think torque is too complicated for the average joe. And weight seems to deviate more than height for most people. With this in mind it would seem that weight is usually the primary concern. But there are the extreme cases, which are realistic: 6'3" 150 lbs (my brother) 5'2" 145 (I won't say, whe would kill me). If we follow only weight light tall guys would ride really short boards, and heavy short chicks would be riding boards over their head.

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Short answer is height doesn't matter very much aside from stance width. Being taller allows you to get more torque, but so does being stronger/heavier (T = r x F). Technique is a key factor as well as an experience rider can again torque the board more than a novice.

That's the real world answer. Since I transferred out of engineering during college and you "response" made my eyes water, I'll leave a more comprehensive explanation to others, of which I'm sure know it better than me.

Sorry, hope I didn't touch on a sensitive subject. I am just transferring into EEE. I love this stuff.

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What about the effect of the center of gravity. When I am riding through a turn, I will reach out to help to overcome the forces trying to throw me out of a turn.

When used to your own advantage, height can be used to move your center of gravity further away from the boards edge to help hold an edge. This has a lot to do will the difference between inclination and angulation.

The fact is you could be 6'4'' and still ride a 6.4. You change your approach to that particular board. Don't read into everything you hear on this forum.

THE RIDER IS THE BIGGEST FACTOR. Many question what is the perfect setup. There isn't a perfect setup. Some might feel more comfortable, or easier to ride, but in the end, time and mileage will help better yourself.

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Joking. Joking. Yeah? I was trying for a tongue-in-cheek tone, and it appears that I failed. Dreadfully sorry.

In any case, there are a hell of a lot of factors that influence board length. Predominantly preference, but there are a few others.

For example, if I'm going to be going powderhunting in the trees (or going on a very busy slope), I'll want something a little shorter, but for pretty much everything else my personal preference so far has been for the longest possible board, as that's just what my riding technique seems to lend itself to. As near as I can tell (for freecarving at least), it's mainly preference.

I can't wait to try a 200+ board...although finding one designed for someone under 200 pounds will likely require a full-on custom purchase.

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What about the effect of the center of gravity. When I am riding through a turn, I will reach out to help to overcome the forces trying to throw me out of a turn.

When used to your own advantage, height can be used to move your center of gravity further away from the boards edge to help hold an edge. This has a lot to do will the difference between inclination and angulation.

The fact is you could be 6'4'' and still ride a 6.4. You change your approach to that particular board. Don't read into everything you hear on this forum.

THE RIDER IS THE BIGGEST FACTOR. Many question what is the perfect setup. There isn't a perfect setup. Some might feel more comfortable, or easier to ride, but in the end, time and mileage will help better yourself.

100% I agree that the rider is the major factor. But if COG is an issue, than height is an issue? This is what bothers me. And on that note, if mass is a factor than height is a factor because torque is a consequence of force, which is a consequence of mass.

Funny thing, my fiance just read me an article out of snowboarder magazine regarding selecting the correct board. The section has a small blurb on "physics" where the author concluded that weight is the only factor.

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I can't wait to try a 200+ board...although finding one designed for someone under 200 pounds will likely require a full-on custom purchase.

Neuffy- I'm the former owner of a Donek CMC 210, and I weigh about 155-160. Let me tell you, that board rocked. The only reason I sold it was because I eneded money and I didn't use it very often, sadly. Otherwise, it was a kickass board. I would have made it a bit wider, that's just my preference. So weight does matter, but it's how you use the stick that's really important.

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In an ideal world a line between the board and the center of gravity would always be perpendicular to the snowboard and the forces resulting from the center of gravity would also be normal to the board. Unfortunately this isn't a perfect world (though some days on the snow it feels like it). Can a 7 foot tall guy ride a board the size of a skateboard? Yeah, but it leaves alot less room for error.

As for this discussion, it seems that the forces we are worried about are parallel to the board. Meaning if you hit a sticky spot, will you go over? Weight is of more concern because that is the force that is on top of your board. How much effective edge do you need to stay connected with the snow? How much area do you need on the bottom of your board to keep from sinking into the pow?

Bottom line is height does affect the board, but it's nominal compared to weight. And on top of that, *in general* weight and height have a pretty close correlation, so this is why manufacturers neglect height.

So that's my explanation. And I'm an engineer by the way.. (a new grad, but still...:))

By the way, I wouldn't let anything anybody says affect the way you pick your board. What manufacturers and everybody else says are just guidelines and go with whats comfortable, otherwise boarding can turn into work and no longer be fun. So have fun out there ;).

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I can't wait to try a 200+ board...although finding one designed for someone under 200 pounds will likely require a full-on custom purchase.
I think much over 200 lbs would be on the heavy side for the Tanker 200. They're just not that stiff, and I have no trouble at all on mine at 190 lbs.

If you're buying a 200 cm carver/racer, then you're buying from a boutique manu anyways and they'll tune the flex for your weight and riding style.

As others have said, length, stiffness and sidecut are all working together to produce the ride, and how that ride responds depends on the inputs. Of which weight, strength, riding style and skill all contribute. Some 160 lb 5'7" Olympian is going to require a board that my out of shape 190 lb 6' body can't handle.

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I can't wait to try a 200+ board...although finding one designed for someone under 200 pounds will likely require a full-on custom purchase.

When you ride a race board that is anything more than 185cm, 15metres SCR or more, your weight is less of a factor than you think. (In carved turns, not drifted)

Dave R.

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The question you need to ask yourself is: Do I weigh enough to fully deflect this board during a carve to keep it from chattering. Your height is a factor, but not enough to outweigh (no pun intended) the amount of weight you can put to the edge.

There is a guy on this forum (sorry guy, don't know your name) who rides a burner 197 and he's like 5 foot 2 or something. Since the board has a gentle 19 metre radius, he weighs enough to deflect the board fully during the carve, and can ride it like a demon.

Is height a factor? It is if you use instruments to measure the effects in a lab, but on the hill it doesn't really matter all that much.

Dave R.

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Yeah, I came to the conclusion that height is in fact a factor, but a very small one. I think for 95% of the people, height shouldn't even be considered. But should it be considered for the short and heavy or tall and light? I can't prove it yet. But in the end, height is still a factor. Thanks guys.

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