Effective edge is one of those tech terms that is thrown out there in snowboarding that has most people nodd thier head in approval with a fake it till you make it look like, Yes! The effective edge on my board is right where I want it, thank you! The truth is not many people know exactly what it is and more importantly what it does. There are a few conflicting terms out there that people like to swap like “running length” or “contact length”, but the simple break down is this. Effective edge is the length between the widest points on the nose and tail of a board along the entire sidecut. It’s the edge section that touches the slope while ripping.

A longer effective edge traditionally is a smoother freeride kind of vibe. Better at higher speeds. Whereas, a shorter effective edge tends to have a quicker more responsive feel. This will fare better for park riding and quicker turns or micro adjustments under your feet. 

Understanding this can give you an edge in progressing your ability. If you’re a powerful rider, have solid edge control, and like to send it off larger features. A longer effective edge will benefit you. If you find yourself zipping around parks, maybe you’re a slower and much jibbier rider; a shorter EE is going to feel nice under your feet. Most riders do have a few boards for different types of riding or a change in conditons. The right board in the right conditions will make your day. 

If you’re learning something new here and you want to play around and measure your effective edge and begin to understand it more - here’s how and have fun!

  1. Weighted (5lbs at reference point) 
  2. Slide a pcs of paper under the table and edge until it stops.
  3. Make a mark on the side of the board where the paper stops.
  4. Transfer the line you made on the sidewall to the base using a square/straight line.
  5. Repeat steps 1-3 on both the tip and the tail. For tapered boards you must raise the tail up to compensate for the amount of taper. For instance the YUP has 25mm of taper so you must raise the tail 25mm so that the line transferred to the base is semetrical. 
  6. To get the effective edge measure the distance between the two lines that you transferred on to the base.