The Best Advice for Purchasing Boots, Bindings and Board


  • Board length: Some rental shops follow the rule of thumb that a board should be long enough to touch the beginner's chin and nose. When you ride a board, it feels different. You might be interested in a 155 of one model and a 165 of another. There are no hard(solid) and fast rules in anything. To begin, rent and try out your equipment before purchasing.

  • Board width: Board width, usually measured as waist width, has a significant impact on how a board works for a specific rider. The boot toe and heel should be parallel to the board's edges. A small amount of toe overhang is acceptable, but too much will cause the toe (or heel) to dig into the snow when turning, reducing control. If the toe and heel are too far in from the edge, getting the board onto the edge becomes much more difficult, requiring the rider to exert excessive force. 
The optimal board width for you is determined by two factors: 
Stance Angles 
•The Sole Length Of Your Snowboard Boots

When riding with your feet straight across (0 degrees), the board width at the binding locations should be close to the sole length of the boot. The board should be significantly narrower if you ride with your feet at 60 degrees. The standard newbie advice: suitable for most new riders who are unsure whether they want to specialize in any particular area and do not have knowledgeable friends to assist them.

  • Brands: Because you (presumably) know nothing about the manufacturers, stick to the big names: Burton, Sims, Nitro, Morrow... They've been producing high-quality goods for a long time, so you won't be disappointed.

  • Style: Purchase a freeriding board (such as the Burton A-Deck), soft boots, and soft bindings.

  • Set up: Set your stance to 20′′ wide, 1′′ back from the center, 30 degrees in front, and 15 degrees in back. Learn to ride, then experiment with your stance to see what works best for you.

  • New or used: Buying a used board can save you a lot of money. Purchase one that isn't too old (it has inserts instead of drilled bindings), isn't too beat up (the base and edges appear to be in good condition), and hasn't been pounded to death (it still has camber). Learn to ride by taking a lesson. Really. I don't care how good your friend is or how much evil shit they can pull. They have no formal training in teaching. Save yourself some bruises, spend $20, and have a MUCH better first day.

  • Disclaimer: This is an old-school setup. Can you guess why? It is effective. It's not ideal for jibbing, racing, or anything else, but it's fantastic for learning. If I didn't mention your favorite brand, this isn't meant to be a comprehensive list, just a simple and reliable one. If you buy a Burton, Sims, or Nitro, it may or may not be the absolute best board available (give or take taste), but it will NOT suck, and it will retain its resale value, allowing you to sell it and buy something more specialized later.

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