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Hooked new boarder in need of kit advice please!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I have been reading the forums for a while and have done a lot of research and think its finally time to ask for some advice on kit. Snowheads helped me choose a great location for my first ever ski trip in January and i spent a week in L2A learning to snowboard.

I AM HOOKED.
I'm male, 30, 5'9 and 75kg, size 9-10 feet.

I dont know why i waited till i was 30 to take my first ski holiday but i dont want to waste any more time, if i had realised there are summer camps i would have gone away for a week in July, gutted.

In france i got to the point i can link my turns reasonably well. Since returning i have been to snozone in Milton Keynes three times and my boarding has come along loads, yesterday i was riding switch for the first time and i did my first jumps, and i can float around on the board turning through 360deg without concentrating now. Well happy.

I want to freeride, im not really interested in the park, i just want to enjoy the mountain. I am keen to be able to ride switch as well as i can goofy, i had my bindings at -15, 15 yesterday for the first time and i was riding a 155. I want to be able to play on the slopes, hurling down at supersonic speeds doesnt interest me at the moment.

I intend to buy myself boots soon, i am well aware that they are the most important piece of kit to own. I am really confused about whether to buy a board yet or not. The staff at snozone openly admit the hire kit is cr@p and its to be expected, the board in france was the same Burton black hire board as at snozone, but i have mates who board who are saying just ride hire boards for a while, other mates say its amazing having your own kit. I'd love to buy my own board but obviously dont want to get the wrong kit and have the extra hassle of transporting it and looking after it if there is no point.

The point of my post? General advice, how to move forward, but mainly, should i buy a board? I'm committed to going on 2x 1 week holidays this winter (like i said i'm now hooked). If buying a board is the right call, what suggestions can you make about flex, length, make. I've looked at the burtons but by no means have to have one, the K2s look nice too.Smile

Thanks for reading my little story and many thanks for any help i get.

Smile
Andy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
naryn, welcome to the wonderful world of single planking! Smile

You sound like you've done it all the right way, getting lessons and learning properly. The guys at MK are right - the hire gear leaves a lot to be desired. Smile

A few winters ago I found boarding like you, but I just went out to La Plagne, had a 1-hour lesson and then tried to teach myself. Since then I've just picked things up through trial and error. You sound like you've had a better learning experience.

Anyhow, I bought my board, boots and bindings before I went. Got a £180 kit off eBay, which was okay but soon showed its flaws. The boots were pants and the binding fell to bits. The board is good (a 166 merrier keano) and it's my powder board now.

If I were you I'd seriously consider buying a setup but really do some research into what you want. The shop at Mk is very good and the staff are helpful. It's expensive though - I've been in there in the past to try stuff on and then buy the stuff cheaper elsewhere.

Boot are deffo the things that I realised were the most important buy when I started. I still think it's kind of hard to be 100 per cent confident that what you buy in the shop will work out on the slopes – trying on boots and having a walk around the shop is totally different to hammering down the slopes. However, actually physically trying kit on is much better than guessing when you buy blind' off the Internet.

From my (limited) experience you can hire a good board in the resort but there is something great about buying your first board. If you do one of the 'try before you buy' things at somewhere like Mk then you may get a good idea about what you want. I'd say a set of bindings that fit you is just as important. I use FLOWs but you may like strap-ins - it's a debate that rages constantly on here and there's no right or wrong.

I have three boards (I'm a sucker for them); a 166 stiffish board for powder, a 156 Elan paragon, which is very flexy and good for the park and a 157 Stepchild Sick freestyle that I haven't used yet but will sit in-between the two in terms of flex.

I bought my missus a K2 and it's brilliant. It was pricey (£350) but it's helped her no end. I'd deffo say that you get what you pay for but brands like Ride, Atomic, Elan, Nitro and the cheaper Burtons definitely seems to be popular at the low end of the market. I'd say for £350 - £400 you could get yourself a brilliants et-up of boots, bindings and board, especially as most of the big UK dealers are having summer sales at the moment.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
naryn, welcome(ish) to snowHead

I would suggest a reasonably stiff directional 159 or 161 board and no need for any of the 'wide' boards for your size 9/10 feet size - especially duck stance at +/-15. All the board web sites will list their boards as beginner, itermediate or expert and this may largely be due to the stiffness of the board, the stiffer it is the more difficult it normally tends to be for beignners to turn with any easy. So if i was you I would pick a 159cm, medium type 'all mountain' board, last years model that should be cheap, so that you can grow in to over the next year or so.
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Any problem with riding +/-15? I did it for the first time yesterday, tbh it didnt really feel any different from +30/-10. But then again maybe thats why things were so good yesterday, i just think im no where near good enough to notice those small differences yet.

ok so it sounds like you think 155 is too short. That i should be riding somewhere near 159 for my height and medium stiff. I hope that still means that i can play with the board. I guess not wanting to use the park and not bothered about long boards puts you bang in the middle for an all rounder for free ride. Question is, will my boarding improve faster on my own board over the first couple of years than on the rentals?

thanks for the first 2 posts, i keep checking to see if i have any more snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
naryn, I did about 20 days and then bought my own board, a 163 Flow Infinite (which is quite stiff) but you learn to ride it and develop in to it. For freeriding you should get a slightly longer board because you are likely to get a bit of powder riding and 159/161 is not really a long board, infact for you height and weight I would say it is average.

Stance - what ever works for you really and +/- 15 sounds ok

edit - as an example of spec, size and quality and maybe intermediate/expert level that will suit for a good few years for you to grow (experience wise) in to it. Do not get a beginners board any way !

http://onboardsnowboarding.com/features/category/season-06-07/flow-infinite-board/
http://www.bargainboards.co.uk/P/Flow-INFINITE-W-Snowboard(3291).aspx


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Mon 18-08-08 13:25; edited 1 time in total
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dont get a bottom of the range board as it wont last you long
try to get a good quality base,sintered 4000 i use
dont get a flexible board,and there is some really horrible ones out there
try a board above 156 and check what weight range you are compared to what is recommended for the board
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
nigel b, good advice there matey - flexible = wobbly at speed, mostly Very Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
naryn, welcome to snowHead

I'm no good with binding settings, OH does mine Embarassed but I know I ride duck. Def need to get a board longer than 155, nothing shorter than a 158 (if you decide to mess in the park) & longer if you decide to stick to the piste.

I'd echo the others feelings about boots being the most important thing to buy 1st and also again don't buy a beginners board. I did and traded it in after 2 weeks as I had out grown it. (a good excuse to buy new gear though Razz )

You should also visit a board shop not the main stream ones in the snowdome (they don't always know what they are talking about) There is a good shop just 5 mins down the road from MK dome ( BBC - Bucks Boarding) & they have another shop in High Wycome.
I got my 2nd board & bindings from there and several others I know get their stuff from there. Avid boarders and knowledgable about the gear & what you want from it.
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Actually thats a good question, i live in Kingston in Surrey but work in the city, anywhere good and knowledgable near me i can get my boots that also hopefully do heat moulding Razz
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naryn, I got my boots in TSA in covent garden and they did the heat molding there for me, they had quite a big range of boots but they are not that knowledgable on gear. But boots is more about comfort so was happy to get them from there.

But if you are going to MK again I would def recommend visiting BBC
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
OMG i didnt know that was in Covent Garden Shocked I know where i am going after work!

All the board advice is wicked. Should i take it as read then that everyone advocates getting my own board this season rather than waiting till i'm a better boarder? And if i do get my own will my boarding improve faster perhaps?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
naryn, its down stairs in Ellis Brigham (the strand side of Cov Gdn)
Its up to you about buying the board, several of my mates are into their 5th year and still havent round to buying boards !
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
look more towards a beginner to intermediate board more so than just a beginner one
you might want to think about having de tuned edges so you dont catch your edge too much
make sure you are 100% comfortable with any boots you plan on buying and they fit you perfect
once you have bought boots look for bindings that the boots fit in well
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Its right what these guys are saying,ive just got my first proper board and the only way im going to find out if its perfect for me is to get to a mountain and ride it.Do a bit of research on what size and style of board you need but in the end you just have to bite the bullet and buy one Very Happy as for boots,you want them to fit snug,if they are comfy to walk around the shop in doesnt mean they are comfy to ride in.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
if you go to one of the snowdomes, the shops (certainly the TSA at tamworth) will lend you demo boards to try out. i bought one last year and was in your situation ie i'd done a week and was off again this jan. i was worried that i wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the boards, but it is really obvious. i really got on with my Rome Solution, but didn't like the salomon and other board i tried. also talk to the guys in the shop (the guy i chatted to in TSA tamworth was really good) and thay'll steer you to the right type of board, mine was a bit more intermediate/improver rather than beginner which means you can grow into it a bit (so the blokie said).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Well i went straight from work and found it but theres only a few boards and fewer bindings and boots out at the moment. I guess i have to wait till closer to the season, but how do you go about getting a good deal on last years gear when theres nothing on display? Will it all be put out on the shelves at the same as the new stock?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
if you're based in london and you can spare the journey (time/cost/etc.) head up to mk to bucks boarding. email them if you're thinking of heading up. they come highly recommended on a few forums for really good boot fitting and kit help from craig and the rest of their excellent staff. they were brilliant when i needed to get a decent pair of boots.

alternatively, have a browse through the stuff they have at the tsa at the mk slope. they defo let you test drive the boards - for a tenner, which is refunded against the cost of the board if you buy it. when i was there at the beginning of august, they still had some sale stuff out as well as the new season kit. happy shopping/driving! Very Happy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
i phoned tsa in bristol last week to find out what they had left of last seasons boards,i told the guy my weight,size and style of riding and that i have no interest in the park.He tried to sell me a board that is FREESTYLE specific.Do your research first so you have an idea what you need,theres no worse feeling than walking into a shop and knowing more about the product than the person selling it(and theres so many of them about).
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I'm sorry, I read the thread title as "boarded new hooker" and was going to suggest antibiotics.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
David Murdoch, Laughing

naryn, it is a bit early yet, but you get another recommendation from Sherlock for BBC / Bucks Boarding

http://www.bucksboarding.co.uk/
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Choosing kit is a minefield, there is such a thing as too much choice! Oh for a communist state where there was only 1 choice for all then i could moan about there being no selection!.

Some sweeping statements to narrow the field:

1) I dont want flow bindings. Havent heard any reason why i would and i can do my strap bindings quite happily standing up.
2) I dont want Burton bindings. Have read a few times that Burton bindings dont last so happy to go another make. This basically rules out ICS as well.
3) I like the idea of having a true twin, as my boarding improves i'm now going back to basics to teach myself switch and i intend to transition between goofy and switch regularely on the slopes for the pure fun of it.
4) I had Burton hire boots in France last season and they were suppremely comfortable all week, i could walk around town in them all day without a hint of discomfort, thats the only starting point i have for choosing boots really so suggestions would be greatfully received.

Overall i will not buy rubbish kit, i will spend the money and buy good gear that will last me and that i will be happy with. I will buy good boots, good bindings and a good board, they dont have to be the top of the range, im no pro, but kit i can improve and grow into.

Andy
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
naryn, it doenst really matter about the brand of boots as that should purely be about comfort with style/colour etc.. being secondary.

For boards I would thoroughly recommend the Rome or Ride, but I know there are some other decent cheaper brands that someone else can give their opinion on.

For bindings Ride are excellent. Sturdy, great release system that doesnt ever freeze up & above all they look great. I had a burton board & bindings, I ditched them after the 1st season.

If you can stop the itch for a month or 2 , the 1st couple of Snowboard mags have gear reviews, and might help you with your choices
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
naryn,

bindings - whatever you fancy as long as they suit you
twin tip - I fancied one of those but there was not a huge choice - most 'all mountain/freeride' boards are directional but to be honest you can ride switch on these anyway
boots - can be soft or stiff, more towards soft than stiff for beginners. I think the main point is that should find a fit for the shape of your foot/ankle (narrow? fat?) and have them them properly fitted/heat moulded. at the risk being berrated by boot fitters I would suggest trying loads of boots on under the guidance of a fitter at a shop, get something that fits (in comparison with the other boots) based upon the 'should be tight and toes touching the end when standing' guidance from the fitter. If in doubt just get a pair of Kill Bill yellow boots and to hell with the fitting Very Happy
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naryn, here is my experience just in case it helps. I bought my kit last year, having 4 days snowboarding under my belt.

Boots: I have been lucky with my boots I think. I got a pair of £100 Salomon Symbio. They did feel amazingly comfortable from the word go compared to anything else I had tried before(Burton, 32). They're mid range in terms of stiffness it seems. I did not have them fitted/heat molded, but they did not hurt once on the slopes and/or during apres. I have had them on quite a few days from 9am till past midnight and no sore feet! Cool

Board: by the comments here, it seems I might have made a mistake with my board, i.e. I bought a beginner one...It's a Decathlon one. Very pleased with it though (despite the cheap and cheerful graphics) and I progressed well last season I think so it's just an excuse to buy a new one maybe next year. snowHead

Bindings: Decathlon again and they are intermediate strap bindings.. All black, simple..good... although K2 Cinch are winking at me! Very Happy

Total cost: £200, which was good as I had a limited budget...

then I spent close to £100 in carriage fees.. for a week boarding in total... rolling eyes Laughing
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Kruisler, but how much would a weeks hire have been, with boots that might have not fit, an un-waxed cr@p board that was too small/big/narrow/wide because there was no choice and bindings with straps that break when you head to ValD from Tignes and have to get a bus back ! Shocked
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rayscoops,

Yep...that's what I told the wife!! Toofy Grin

Realistically, with the amount of boarding I do each year ( I am not working "part-time" in the winter season like you! wink ) and with the carriage fees going through the roof, hiring will always be the cheaper option...

But not hugely so, and owning/looking after your own stuff is just great even if it's cheap stuff...
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Kruisler, it is all to do with how much you ride in a season i suppose, i did 20 days in my first season and worked out that i could have paid for a board with the hire charges i paid. I try to take only a well stuffed board bag with me these days to reduce the carraige fees. you should drive to the alps this season so you can take both your old board and your NEW soon to be bought board Very Happy
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
rayscoops,

Well, I have serious withdrawal symptoms at the mo so spending a lot (too much) time thinking of how to increase my "on slope" time in 2008/2009.

First I have just started job hunting again. Can't be doing with my miserly 20 days holidays anymore! so looking at new stuff including contracting (which is tad scary when responsible for two little girls) which will mean that I can take as many holidays as my wallet can take.
Secondly, I am trying to combine my usual "christmas" trip to see the family in Toulouse with several days in Andorra. Better yet, I am going to try and bribe the parents into a return to "Good ol' days" and see if they want to meet up in a chalet in the Alps rather than Toulouse..
Thirdly: I am already trying to plan the usual lads trip to Soll
Finally: maybe fit in a couple of "day trips" via eurostar/bus if prices and dates work well...

I don't think I'll quite reach 20 days on the snow but will hopefully do more than a week.
As for the car, I will certainly look into it...especially as longer term I plan on getting my own skis/boots as well.... Cool
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
naryn wrote:
Well i .......I guess i have to wait till closer to the season, but how do you go about getting a good deal on last years gear when theres nothing on display? Will it all be put out on the shelves at the same as the new stock?.......


there are 2 ways of checking what they have:

1) online. most big shops have websites, and you'll find they have sale/clearance areas with their stock listed.
2) ask in the shop
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
naryn, good websites that all do last season's gear are:

www.snowboard-asylum.com/shop.htm
www.bargainboards.co.uk
www.chainreactioncycles.com/Default.aspx
www.freeride-snowboards.co.uk
www.filarinskis.co.uk
www.e-depot.co.uk
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
naryn wrote:
I've looked at the burtons but by no means have to have one

At least you haven't fallen for Burton hook line and sinker... good first move! Cool
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
naryn wrote:
2) I dont want Burton bindings. Have read a few times that Burton bindings dont last so happy to go another make. This basically rules out ICS as well.


I had over 200 days on my customs and broke one strap in that time, the older burton bindings were a piece of shoite though I'll give you that.
I did half a season on nidecker bindings and used up all the spares in the shop before I binned them for the customs. Awfull bindings.


Salomon relay pro or the K2 cinch, for me the relay pro just edges it but it's not gold.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

relay pro just edges it but it's not gold


Laughing
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stab, how does that saying go ..... All that glitters is not ...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
burton?
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Ive just bought a Ride board from ebay,but the seller lived down the road from me so i could see what i was buying first,otherwise i was ready to hand over cash for a rome solution which seems a safe bet board.ive just ordered a set of ride spi's which cost more than the board snowHead

I cant freaking wait for the winter snowHead snowHead snowHead
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Well i have done alot of looking based on the great help you guys have given, Its all just research till i get some boots and that isnt going to happen till the shops start stocking properly, unless i hit MK on sunday in which case im going to visit BBC afterwards, we werent planning on going this week but our puppy died and we need to take our minds off it. Crying or Very sad

Here is what i have taken from this thread:

Boots - Going to buy whatever fits me best, no real best choice here other than comfort. I'm going to get the boots heat moulded for fit. I presume beginner boots are soft and intermediate are slightly stiffer?

Bindings - Ride, K2 cinch and salomon relay have all scored here so i will look into these.

Board - 159-161, medium stiffness, all mountain type free-ride board for me to progress on, recommendations seem to be Rome, Ride, K2.
Presume that means boards like the Ride Antic, Rome Anthem, K2 Gyrator.

Going to get some new flexmeter wrist guards while im at it too.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
dont forget crash pants
youll need it for a few heavy falls you will have Very Happy
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
and helmet
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DebbiDoesSnow, yes, better say that one quietly away from the hoards wink
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