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Beginner/Intermediate Snowboarding Gear

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,

Around 18months ago I had a 'learn to snowboard in a day' lesson at Tamworth and loved it. So I finally managed to get away a couple weeks ago to Morzine to test my skills! To be honest, I spent the first half of the holiday picking myself up off the floor. Ended up having a private lesson while I was there and by the end I was whizzing down the easier slopes and absolutely loved it!

Now I just used some hire gear. As I remember it was just beginner stuff (Burton boots, burton bindings and a Burton cruzer 159 board). Having caught the snowboarding bug I was looking into getting some second hand gear for myself. As I am sure you know there is SO much out there and I'm getting a little confused about what I (as a beginner, hopefully getting better though Very Happy) really need. Questions going through my head are:

Should I buy a second hand board?...there are so many
Invest in some nice boots??

Any recommendations/help/input would be greatly appreciated!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
i would recommend getting fitted for a new pair of decent boots. you can pick up a 2nd hand board and bindings if needs to be go to your local dome with, but if you are still planning to hire when on holiday decent boots will make your life easier.
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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?
ewanmalone Thanks for the reply.

Yh, I always thought I'd be better off investing in some decent boots first.

In terms of snowboard/bindings: I Hear a lot of people saying 'go for a flexible board because it is better for beginners'. Is this truely the case?
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Boots first, definitely, though how soon depends on how much grief your feet give you IMO. If you've had no discomfort so far then it's probably not a big pressing issue.

Basically it's all down to how much you *want* stuff Very Happy

Second hand is a reasonable idea but there's some pretty good deals on new stuff at the moment - I managed a current season Salomon board and Burton bindings for under £300 about 6 weeks ago which seemed pretty good.

If you're looking at a board, think about how much time you're going to spend in fridges vs how much time you think you'll realistically spend on the mountain. If you're going to be a reasonably regular visitor to a fridge then you'll maybe enjoy a more flexible board that allows you to mess about a bit. If you're not then you would perhaps consider stiffer boards that will give you more stability in real life situations like flat bits. eg my Salomon stick (classed as a backyard board) is great fun in the domes but out on the mountain it's not great at speed - you know, the bits when you've got a flat bit coming so you're trying not to fall off whilst picking up a decent amount of momentum.

I think what it boils down to is pick a brand you like, then pick a board from their range that suits you. Have a demo if you can, just to make sure it's not a terrible idea. FWIW I've not disagreed with the reviews on either of my boards on thegoodride.

Have you got any preferred brands at this stage?

edit: re the flexible board for beginners thing, it's kind of true right at the start IMO. I started off with an intermediate rated all-mountain board which was if anything, a little too quick for where my confidence on the board was at. I found it difficult to turn as well, and it did seem quite rigid. So I picked up the aforementioned Salomon freestyle/backyard board and it made the transition from being always preparing for the accident and picking the easiest route down to taking on the challenges a lot easier. However, like I said, it was pants on the mountain so I dusted off the all-mountain stick again and have been enjoying that recently.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Thu 4-04-13 12:30; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
No problem

i guess a flexible board could be better but im not really sure to be honest. i just rode what i was given to start with then bought a board i liked after testing a couple. its all personal preference. not the greatest of help im afriad
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
TBH I'm not fussed about brand name. In my lesson I used a burton board. On my holiday I also got a Burton board. It's all I've ever used and so have no idea what other brands are like. I'm sure all the respected brands are much the same aren't they? i.e. you get what you pay for.

The boots that I used were nice and comfy (size 9 burton boots with boa windy thing). Didn't cause me any problems. So I'm inclined to purchase some Burton boots of my own. Which specific bruton model...I have no idea. Guess I'll pop into a shop and try a few on.

I don't think I'll be spending much time in fridges and I'd rather have a board that's better on the mountain as I won't be thrashing around in parks etc.

I think what I am worried about is thinking I've bagged a bargain on ebay only to find I can't use the damn thing. I was given a 159cm board on holiday from the hire shop but I've checked on the burton website and they've recommended 160/161 boards. FYI I'm 5ft9 and 12.5 stone. Guess I should be looking for boards anything between 158 and 161cm. I've only really had a look on ebay (there seems enough choice), but can you recommened other sites/shops for second hand gear?

I'll be sure to have a look at thegoodride
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I'd not be keen on second hand boards or boots. Boards don't usually live soft comfortable lives. MOst of them have been dinged a bit off rocks and will be scruffy if bought second hand. I'd be too embarassed to sell anyone my current board because it is totally wrecked, but I am sure there are evil sorts out there who would rip you off.

I wouldn't buy second hand boots because...YUCK.

Second hand bindings might be OK, but to be honest, i'd say just buy it all new because you can get decent deals if you shop around, and it'll pay itself off in a few years anyway.

The biggest decision you have it what type of board. I wouldn't get too hung up on the beginner/intermediate/expert label. Mostly what manufacturers mean when they say "beginner" is "cheap". Beginner boards tend to have extruded bases rather than sintered bases so they don't perform as well. There's nothing inherently wrong with extruded bases, they just aren't as good as sintered bases.

As far as board length and shape are concerned, you should give some preliminary thought to what you want to do. If jumps, rails, and tricks are your thing, look for something less directional, shorter, and more flexy. If all mountain cruising is for you, you can get a more directional board that is longer and stiffer. Since you are only beginning I'd say don't get anything with too much bias towards one discipline (i.e. don't get a purely directional board, or a pure park board), since you will to some extent want something that performs tolerably well everywhere.

Oh, and welcome to snowheads!
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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!
chaniobi, go to your local store and see what boots they've got in your size. Try them on. Buy the ones that fit the best.

In terms of board length you're looking in the right ball park, but board length versus weight is the most important aspect, almost every board will have a specific weight range for each length. This info should be on the manufacturers website.

If you happen to be at a shop at the fridge and you happen to be buying stuff (ie boots) they'll usually have some demo boards to try. Just ask and they'll lend you one. You might even be able to make a cheeky offer on the 'used' model if you really like it.........
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Thanks for the responses, helps a newbie out a lot!

Guess I said earlier that I'm more inclined to get a directional board because I can never see myslef doing tricks/rails. But in time...you never know Smile

The local fridge to me is tamworth snowdome. May be worth a visit. Didn't realise you could demo boards. Guess the thing is, it does look like I could grab a baragin on ebay. But without seeing/demo-ing the board there is always that risk factor.

Is now a good time to purchase gear? Or shall I hold fire till the summer? Will prices further drop? This is my first time looking into stuff like this and I have no idea TBH.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
So much kit out there to chose from, and it all feels so different. You'll probably end up with a quiver of different boards if you keep at it for a while. I'll just try to highlight the decisions you've got to make in each area:

Boots-wise I really enjoy almost a ski-boot feel - very tight all the way up the leg, even to the point of putting booster straps on round the calf to keep the upper boot done up tighter. Other people I know enjoy a much softer flex with a lot more freedom of movement. Perceived wisdom is stiff/supportive boots for freeride and carving, soft/wallowy boots for fine adjustments when jibbing. In real powder conditions a lot of people favour a very soft setup, but I still like stiff boots.

Bindings-wise you've got the same decision - it's mostly about the flex. Here more response often leads to a bit less comfort - a softer pair of bindings that I have are a lot more comfortable than some ultra-stiff ones. You want to be able to adjust the amount of forward lean on your bindings while you're still learning what you like - can't think of any that don't offer this anymore, but some systems are easier than others - and you want to pick the size to fit your boots. Flows are an interesting choice - very quick to get into on the flat but very hard to get into when standing at the top of a couloir! I used to ride them and found them very supportive and quick edge-to-edge - great for carving.

Board-wide you've got a lot of choice on offer - here you want to pay attention to the shape, size, flex, camber pattern and base type.

Easy one first - 2 types of base. Extruded is apparently tougher, sintered is definitely glidier on flats and more expensive.

Shape - a deep sidecut will be very carvy, a shallow sidecut very pointy. Wide boards will float beautifully, but be a bit of a handful in quick turns. Just demo as many as you can.

Flex - how stiff is it? Be careful of a board that's very stiff - I've got one that's just full of carbon and it only responds at high speed, great fun to just sit on the tail of the board in a carve though and pop onto the other edge. Boards can be designed for going forwards only, mostly forwards or to be ridden both ways with equal competence.

Camber pattern - you can get full camber (grippy), full rocker (spinny), S-rocker (grippy but spinny round the feet???), cam rock (floaty and grippy???) and then other weird stuff. Best way to decide on what you like is to demo as many as you can!

Enjoy the riding, and remember to keep on taking lessons! However good you are, a good lesson will always make you a lot better!
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