Not everybody going on vacation to ski has the opportunity or incentive to buy a snowboard that they will use once; hence you might just jump on what’s available. Moreover, you may think there is no difference between a man’s and a woman’s snowboard if you are looking at purchasing one that looks identical to the other, therefore you may think there is no difference, and a man can ride a women’s snowboard. Let’s see.
A man of the same stature and weight as a woman could ride a women’s snowboard of the same class. However, it is not ideal or optimal. A woman’s snowboard is designed differently from a mans’ in terms of weight, width, length, and flex depending; e.g., a man and woman of the same weight and height would require boards of different lengths.
This article will make it clear whether a man can indeed ride a woman’s snowboard by looking at how snowboards are designed for both men and women if they are different, and how so. We’ll also cover other factors such as the level (ability) of a snowboard and what will happen if you ride a board that is not appropriate for your weight.
Can a man ride a woman’s snowboard?
If you walk into a ski store, you will typically find that the men’s and women’s snowboards are in separate sections. Indeed, you do get different snowboards for men and women. This is without even considering the blatant art and graphics that are trying to appeal to each of the genders. Structurally they seem to look the same but also different.
Typically, the industry will make snowboards to fit an average-sized person, be it a woman or a man, and if you are not an average size, then it may be difficult for you to procure a snowboard, no matter if you are a snowboard man or woman. This takes into regard weight, height, and shoe size.
However, a man will be able to ride a woman’s snowboard if he is of the same physical stature as a woman and should not have to worry about the various differences that there are between a man and a woman’s snowboard. However, there are differences, and a man will not be able to ride any woman’s snowboard, and in all fairness, he shouldn’t because snowboards are specifically designed for each gender.
So, we need to understand what the differences are between the two types of snowboards, not considering the style of art but regarding the design and structure. If they are different, how so are they different, and why. By understanding this, we can determine why a man similarly built to that of a woman can ride a woman’s board but still should not.
What are the differences between a men’s and women’s snowboard?
Four factors contribute to women’s snowboard being different from a man’s, and those factors are namely a snowboard’s length, width, stiffness (degree of flex), and the weight of the snowboard. These factors are different for a woman’s and a man’s snowboard, and they drastically impact the rider’s ability because they are specifically cateredto help achieve better overall performance for each gender.
The length of a snowboard
A man’s snowboard will typically be a bit longer than that of a woman’s snowboard because of its weight and width (which we will discuss in the subsequent headings). The length of the board has to compensate for these two factors as well as being a little bit less flexible, so to manage this, they make the board bit longer to give the rider more stability and control.
Conversely, because a woman’s snowboard is lighter, it will be shorter in terms of length, compensating for the reduction in weight. As we stated, even though a man is able to ride a woman’s board if he is of the same stature and weight, he should not. This is clear when trying to figure out how long your board should be by using a snowboard calculator.
If you use the identical values for both a man and woman, you will see that the board length is different. If you take an average height of both men and women (5’8) and an approximate weight of 140lbs, you will find that the snowboard length for a man should be 151cm while a woman’s snowboard length should be 148cm. This indirectly implies that men’s and women’s snowboards are designed differently.
The width of a snowboard
To accommodate the length of the snowboard, this will typically mean that the width will be affected in some way. Although we cant explicitly tell you how snowboards are designed, the surface area of the board and the structure will directly relate to its control, stability, and responsiveness. Additionally, the width is also affected due to men having bigger (longer) shoe sizes than women.
Hence a snowboard for a man will have a wider width than that of a woman’s board. For example, the standard width for a typical men’s snowboard that measures 154cm in length will have a width of 256cm. However, a woman’s snowboard of the same length (154cm) will have a width of 246cmm making it more narrow.
The stiffness (flex) of a snowboard
A man’s snowboard is typically harder, while a woman’s board is softer. This is so they can adequately flex the snowboard having more control, stability, and responsiveness. They achieve this with the board by constructing it out of lighter materials, and this pertains to the board’s core.
The weight of a snowboard
Concerning weight, a man’s snowboard will typically be heavier than a woman’s because of the different materials used to fashion the core. Men are also generally heavier in weight than women, so they need more weight in their boards for more stability and control. The same aspect of stability and control will apply to a woman for the weight of their boards.
If a woman jumps onto a board that is too heavy, the response will be too slow, and conversely, for a man, if they ride a light snowboard, then the responsiveness of the board may be too drastic.
What about a snowboard’s ability level?
Knowing that a man can ride a women’s snowboard depending on the board and the person is all good and well, but there is also another factor that you will need to consider: the level (ability) of the snowboard. This concept is the same for surfboards, and it applies to snowboards as well.
Depending on your proficiency level as a snowboarder, you will typically get a beginner, intermediate, and advanced snowboard. It is important to use the snowboard associated with your level of ability. Riding a board made for professionals will make it difficult to ride whether you are a man or woman and will hinder you and make it difficult for you to progress.
On the flip side, if you ride a board that is below your level of expertise, you may find it lacking in responsiveness and performance, affecting your overall enjoyment. This aspect applies to a man who is able to ride a woman’s snowboard. Even if he is able to ride a woman’s snowboard, he may “not be” due to the board’s ability level, or if he is more experienced, then riding the board will provide a lackluster experience.
What happens if you are too heavy for a snowboard?
If you are too heavy for a snowboard (a man on a woman’s snowboard), then the board will consider one of the factors we spoke about prior, and it will flex more. This means that the snowboard will be difficult to control, and you will not have a lot of stability. In short, it will be too responsive.
Conversely, if you are too light (a woman on a man’s board), then the responsiveness will be sluggish because of the weight reduction and amount of pressure and power that is being relayed to the snowboard.
We discovered that a man and a woman’s snowboard are actually designed differently in terms of length, width, weight, and flex. This is so that each gender has a snowboard that caters to their height, weight, and degree of power.
If a man who was in similar size and structure to a woman wanted to ride a woman’s snowboard, he could, but there are factors that he would need to consider, such as the board’s length, weight, and flex.
Even if the man is the same size and weight as a woman, a woman’s snowboard will be structurally different, and It would not be optimal for him to ride, so even if he could, he should, if able to, stick to man’s snowboard.