Like snowboarding, choosing your LEIF size is mostly based on your height. However, there are also nuances to riding different sizes that you should be aware of before choosing your model.
Deck Kits Available this Spring
Before we get started, it is important to note that LEIF components are the same throughout each size (the only difference is the deck and bottom cover size). Therefore, we will be offering deck kits this summer where you can step up or down in size without having to purchase another complete board. We enjoy riding different sizes, and we want our customers to enjoy this experience as well.
How the different sizes work
The different deck lengths change the distance between the SR360 assemblies. These can be thought of as your pivot points, and making them very far away from each other will make turning more cumbersome (like driving an SUV). Making them too close together will make turning too tight and unstable (like driving a go kart). Everyone needs to find their perfect balance, which can be found by combining a few factors like height, stance width and riding style.
Start with your height & stance width
Your height and the sizing chart are a great first match, especially if you've never snowboarded before. You can also use your stance width to determine if the size is right for you. The best way to measure stance width is to lay a tape measure on the floor with about 3 feet of tape laid out. Then get in your preferred stance and measure from the outside of your feet. Then double check that this stance is within the deck size you are considering.
Consider your riding style
If you are on the fence between sizes, then consider how you like to ride. Choosing a larger size will make your ride more stable - but will also force you to put more effort into sliding or spinning. Choosing a smaller size will be more nimble and easy to spin, but will also feel more unstable. In snowboarding terms, it is the difference between a powder board and a park board.
My experience riding LEIF
Aaron Aders, Founder, LEIF Technologies Height: 6'1" Weight: 175 lbs Snowboarding style: tree riding, powder jumps, side hits, 180 and 360s I started riding the 87cm deck because for one it was the first prototype we had and it made more sense with my height.
However, I quickly stepped down to the 82cm as soon as it became available and I saw how much easier it was to maneuver. I would say the difference is driving a Rolls Royce versus a Ferrari (I've actually never driven either one, but this is what I imagine both would feel like). I have rode the 82cm for a long time and I'm very happy with it. It is very stable and I'm able to spin and even ride through a crowded NYC office!
But my world changed when we came out with the 77cm model. The first time I rode it almost felt like the first time I ever stepped on the LEIF. The 77cm is almost like a skateboard in length and is probably far too short for my height. But something about it really intrigued me.
As I was testing and shipping more 77cm, I really started to like it. For my height, it turns almost before I even think about turning! It is like the board is an extension of my brain and I almost telepathically control the board. The 77cm is also much lighter and can ollie the hell out of that thing.
So in essence, I'd say that the 82cm is definitely my commuting board since I like stability but I also like riding more aggressively than the 87cm can provide. I haven't commuted with the 77cm yet since we are short on supply, but I'm curious to try it more this summer.
I'm guessing that once we start doing competitive events, I believe all the boards in the field will be 77cm models.
Thanks for reading - I hope this helps you in your search for the perfect LEIF size!
CEO, LEIF Technologies