Make Your Own Snowboard Package

Make Your Own Snowboard Package
Putting together your own snowboard package almost always provides a superior result over purchasing a retailer's package. You want to spend some time hand-selecting your equipment to be sure that it will give you the best ride for the money. Don't rely on someone else to tell you what gear to buy when you can determine for yourself. It may cost a bit more time and money, but it will serve you well over time.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Boots

Step 1
Avoid the temptation of snowboard shopping first and start with the least exciting aspect of your purchase--the boots. Since your boots are fitted directly to your body, the rest of the package will be fitted around your boots, so they are the best place to start. Remember to wear your snowboard socks to the store.
Step 2
Select a few pairs of boots that you'd like to try on. Some things to look for are style (freestyle, freeride, all mountain), which is sometimes designated in boots, speed-pull systems or BOA lacing for an easier, tighter fit around your foot, and zonal lacing, in which you can tighten the toes and ankle independently.
Step 3
Try on one or several pairs of boots. Insert each foot and tighten the bladder and boot completely, as if you were actually riding. Feel your toes; they should be in the front of the boot just barely touching the inside front and able to wiggle.
Step 4
Stand up, bend your knees and lean forward. Your heels should stay put without rising up in the boot. If they move, try another pair. Walk around the store and make sure that the boots are tight without causing you to be uncomfortable or in pain. Check that they have ample stiffness or flexibility for your riding style (stiffer for freeride, more flexible for freestyle). If you're not sure if you like one pair, try on a couple of pairs to compare.

Bindings

Step 1
Grab the boots that you selected and bring them over to the binding wall. Seek out bindings in your price range and riding style.
Step 2
Consider some factors of binding design like the type (rear entry vs. strap), how smoothly the ratchets or mechanisms operate, how adjustable the bindings are, and added features like toe pedal, cushioned base plate and tool-less adjustment hardware.
Step 3
Size the bindings with your boots. The bindings should completely tighten around your boots with the straps centered on your boots. The backs of the bindings should be comfortable and shouldn't dig into your calves.

Snowboard

Step 1
Move on to the best part of the package. First, find a board that meets two main criteria: it reflects your riding style and skill level. For instance, if you're a beginner who intends to spend day after day in the park, get a beginner-level park board. While getting the right type of board is obvious, it is tempting to buy a slick advanced board if you have the money, but an intermediate or expert board is not well-suited to a beginner, so buy equipment that's right for you right now.
Step 2
Get the right length. Roughly, the right board for you should stand up somewhere between the chin and eyes. Weight and riding style also influence sizing. Beginners, freestyle and underweight riders benefit from shorter boards while more advanced riders, overweight riders and freeriders go longer. When available, size up according to a manufacturer's height/weight size guide.
Step 3
Size the boots to the board and ensure that the waist width of the board is roughly equal to your boots. Avoid toe overhang for the best on-snow performance. Boot sizes over 10 may necessitate a wide board.
Step 4
Consider more detailed specs. If you really want to compare boards, use factors like flex, sidecut, shape, base type and effective edge to make a decision. For a first package, you'll probably be better off sticking with the basics like type, length and skill level to save some unnecessary confusion.
 

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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