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Old 01-14-2011, 09:02 PM   #1
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school me on snowboards

Hi guys, looking to buy myself a snowboard and wanted to ask you seasoned pros on the types to get.

I've never owned my own skis/board and always rented. I am fairly good at skiing doing double blacks and a newbie at boarding but still being able to go down a black run. Although i broke my tailbone last season dicking around too early on the bunny hill at the end of a day on the blacks lol.

anyhow. I am not familiar with whats out there but was going with a safe choice of burton branded gear. Looking to spend around $600 for boots, binding, board combo: obviously on sale items for a decent brand name set for that price.

Is there other good brands you'd pick over burton or specific ones to avoid? also where are good places to go for sales. thnx
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:03 PM   #2
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I am a skier so I don't know much about snowboarding gear.
However, I do know a great place to get discounted items. On west 4th avenue in Vancouver, there's a store called the Boardroom clearance. It's really close to the actual BoardRoom store where they sell the in season stuff. My sister picked up some decent gear there for around $700 for board, boots, bindings, helmet, and goggles. There are lots of salespersons who can help you out at both stores.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:27 PM   #3
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thnx for the info! will check that out this weekend!
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:53 PM   #4
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go into any or all of the stores along W4th and talk to them and ask to see what they can set you up with in your price range.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:05 PM   #5
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When in those shops spend the most on your boots. Good ones will keep you dry, provide support and comfort. You will not enjoy the sport if you have crappy boots. Then bindings next. I like ones from Flow since you are in and out of them in a jiffy with their design. Boards can almost be anything and you can upgrade later as long as they are the right length for you and waxed with sharp edges. Good luck and thanks for the advice re: mobilicity and wind bro.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:02 AM   #6
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i'd look into burton, ride or k2. Seem to be three popular brands out there for snowboarding equipment.

Bindings
Burton Custom and Burton Mission bindings are the two higher models for bindings. Burton bindings are well built and come with optional mat covers (cover binding bolt pattern) for extra comfort. Burton Bindings also come with Exclusive 3 Bolt pattern discs exclusive to burton boards and 4 Bolt discs for competitor boards. If you do decide to by a Burton Board with a competitors binding, make sure that the binding has 3 bolt discs in order to mount your bindings to the board. *local shops may have extras if your bindings do not come with them

K2 and Ride bindings are also really nice. They come in a wide range of sizes colours and ofcourse features. Some will have back adjusters and toe caps, while other models may be made out of cheaper material.

Overall my experience with all 3 brands have been good, but I prefer Burton.

Boards
Watch out for proper sizing. Your board should measure anywhere from your shoulder to your top lip. The size of the board will make your board more balanced or more squirrely

The two most common styles of boards are flat and camber. Both have been on the market forever. A flat board is your average board. Targeted towards your average boarder, this style of board is made by almost every snowboarding manufacturer in the industry. The camber board gives you a nice raised camber in the middle of the board, giving you good control of the board. This style of board is great for air aswell.

A new design has been making a huge appearance over the last couple of years: The banana board. This style of board is designed to give you nice float in powder and quick and easy turning capabilities. The banana style board also has a catch-free feature: keeping you up on the board vs down on your ass. The disadvantage of this board is speed.

Boots
The more you spend on a boot the better. Usually cheaper boots have very cheap lining in them. Cheap lining will pack (stretch) very easily and will not have good insulation.

More expensive boots will come in three designs: laces, pull strings or boa Laces are the most common but will eventually loosen over time. You'll find yourself tightening and retying after 3-5 runs. However, laces allow you to control the tightnness in individual areas of the boot. If you have a wide foot but a small shin, your able to tighten them differently.

Pull strings are similar to laces but less hassle. You pull tabs to tighten the boot and tuck the tabs into the side of the boot after. Disadvantage of the pull strings is that they could break and may be costly to replace. I wouldnt worry about that issue unless your going boarding once a week+.

Boa is the newest design on the market. The boa is a disc with stainless steel cables. you twist the disc to tighten the cable. This is the easiest and most convenient design when it comes to tightening or loosening your boots. you'll be able to do it in a matter of seconds. These boots are usually backed up by a nice warrenty for the boa piece. The disadvantage of these boots is that they tighten the boot evenly, which can be a con for people with an odd foot or shin size.
PuBurton boots fit quite narrow so if you have a wide foot or an odd sized foot, i would strongly recommend K2 or Ride Boots.

Accessories
Invest in a nice stomp pad. The pad is placed next to your back binding to allow better traction when riding a tow-rope or coming on/ off a chair lift. Its a very inexpensive tool that can make a difference in your snowboarding experience.

Locations
I would strongly recommend trying sport chek. Sport chek is a good place to get a good idea of price-quality. A majority of there hard goods staff are pretty knowledgable. Although a majority of the clearance boards from 08-10 are most likely sold, I think it is still worth a shot to try Sport Chek. I would recommend trying small businesses within your area.

Hope this helps. GL
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:29 AM   #7
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A lot of your information is slightly biased and misguided, however withouit risk of sounding like a complete know it all, I will take time and pipe in suggestions at a later time
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:12 PM   #8
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Thnx for all the great info guys! there just seem to be so much variety in snowboard, ie. the camber vs banana style that makes a huge difference but noobs like myself wont know. I'll invest in a good boot first as I imagine it lasting the longest without much change. I looked and love the idea of the Boa lacing design, however a rep at a board shop told me they tend to break easily compared to the others? I would imagine the SS lines to be very durable. My Foot is normal sized so the boa's even tightening wont be a problem, however the mentioned durability issue (or not) was holding me from picking it over a laced style. Are they durable compared to the lace types? tia
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:15 AM   #9
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Thnx for all the great info guys! there just seem to be so much variety in snowboard, ie. the camber vs banana style that makes a huge difference but noobs like myself wont know. I'll invest in a good boot first as I imagine it lasting the longest without much change. I looked and love the idea of the Boa lacing design, however a rep at a board shop told me they tend to break easily compared to the others? I would imagine the SS lines to be very durable. My Foot is normal sized so the boa's even tightening wont be a problem, however the mentioned durability issue (or not) was holding me from picking it over a laced style. Are they durable compared to the lace types? tia
the boa designs are quite durable. Usually the boots are backed by a nice warranty aswell. keep in mind that the lines are put through metal loops and then covered with fabric for better durability. Yes, everything does wear over-time but the boots should last you at least 4 years. the boa coupler is the most fragile part but ur only going to break it if you hit a rock or park rail. You can always buy replacements and they are pretty interchangeable between brands.

Def look into the flat or a banana. Banana boards are harder to find. The first was originally designed by Libtech: Giving it the name "banana board"
Burton also has a few boards on the market this year with the reverse camber technology. Burton's line of reverse camber boards are called "EZ-V". They can be found at places like sport chek, coastal riders, etc. The Banana board is a good beginner-intermediate rider and its a great park board. Don't expect to find to many of these boards as it is new technology for 2010+

If i were you i would go with the boa's and a nice banana style board if you can afford them.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:00 PM   #10
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My take on gear, pretty lengthly read.

Here's my take on gear.


The most important factor when it comes to snowboarding is the boot, it's pretty extensive and pretty necessary since you're spending 90% of the time on a hill in a snowboard boot.

What is your riding ability?

Beginner - First time, taking lessons, snowboarded 1-3 times.
Intermediate - Ride 10+ days a year, solid linking turns, ride switch, basic airs.
Advanced - Category of your own.

Determine riding style:

Freeride - Utilizing the entire mountain. Powder, trees, groomers, carving, dropping, bonking, catching air.
Freestyle - Technical aspects on the mountain such as Snowboard Parks, Pipe, and Rails. Includes mostly airs, slides, spins, inverts, grabs.
Alpine/Boarder X - High speed, carving and transitions.

Taking riding ability and style into account will point you in the right direction to have a boot perform the way you want it to. Freeride specific boots will be stiffer in flex and have a taller cut. Freestyle boots will have additional cushioning to soften landings and a softer flexing shell, giving the rider more freedom of movement.

Features:

Many different features are used to control how a boot feels and reacts. Five key features to look for are:

Lacing systems - Traditional lacing, speed lacing and boa cables. These will ensure a performance fit and proper foot hold.
Dual Density soles - Phylon, Vibram, or air bag designs. Provide cushioning for hard landings and optimal grip on icy terrain.
Memory foam liners - Offered in most high end boots. Conformable for the ultimate in comfort and fit. Also provide additional warmth for cold days.
Liner Styles - Intuition, Foam injected, and stitched. ULTRALON EVA foam - a patented foam developed specifically to be moldable, flexible and durable for users at all skill levels.
Shell Construction - Synthetic Leather, Cordura, and textiles. Todayís most sophisticated and advanced technologies provide customizable fit and excellent performance.

Fit:

A good fitting boot feels tight out of the box and may remain very snug during the first few days of riding. Ideally, your big toe should brush the tip of the boot while standing up straight. As you flex forward (bend your knees in a natural riding stance) your toe should pull off the front of the boot. Your heel should feel comfortably secure with minimal heel lift. Your boot will break in (usually after a couple days riding in them) and will compress to a comfortable level. Take into account the thickness of your socks. One pair of thin to medium weight, non-cotton socks, will be sufficient.

Types of Snowboard Boots

Below is a summary of the three main styles of snowboard boots. It is important to realize that the boundary between the three is not distinct, but most boots will cater more towards one style of riding than the other, and any of the snowboard boots that we offer can be used everywhere you ride.

Freestyle Snowboard Boots

Freestyle snowboard boots are designed to offer comfortable, flexible support for riders that spend the majority of their time in the snowboard park or half-pipe. Freestyle snowboard boots benefit from increased lateral range of movement to facilitate tweaking grabs, and also have a more progressive forward flex for accommodating a deeper knee bend while riding.

If comfort is paramount for you, and you plan on spending the majority of your time refining tricks or jibbing rails, a freestyle oriented boot will offer the best performance and comfort for how you ride.

Freeride Snowboard Boots

Freeride snowboard boots are designed to allow you to conquer the entire mountain, regardless of the conditions or type of terrain. A boot that is geared more towards freeriding will generally be stiffer than a freestyle boot, which offers increased control, power and edge response, at the deficit of some comfort and tweak-ability. The additional support provided by a freeride style boot is welcomed by many snowboarders with ankle injuries due to the additional support the boot provides.

If you spend much of your time riding the entire mountain, carving hard pack or value additional support for your ankles, a freeride snowboard boot will offer the control, power and stability you need, while also pampering your feet with technology and comfort.

Snowboard Boot Technology

Below is a review of the basic technology that is used in current snowboard boot design and construction.

The laces on a snowboard boot provide the tension that holds the boot together, surrounding your foot and leg in a supportive, comfortable position. Although technological advancements have changed the way a snowboard boot is laced, the end result is the same.

BOA Lacing System:

BOA lacing system mimic their traditional counterparts, but feature a very thin titanium cable where the lace material would normally be. Additionally, tension in the cable is supplied by a small ratcheting dial mechanism. A rider simply puts their foot in the binding, and spins the dial on the tongue to dial in just the right amount of support and tension. At the end of the day, pull out on the dial and the tension in the cable is released allowing you to open the tongue of the boot and remove your foot. the BOA system is a great piece of technology that takes much of the work out of lacing your boots and can be found on many intermediate to high end snowboard boots.

Lace Assist Systems:

Recently, manufacturers have worked hard to simplify the system that is used on their snowboard boots, without compromising the effectiveness. The result as been a lace assist system which takes much of the work out of the actual lacing process, and makes it easier to supply the necessary tension to ensure a correct fit.

The names vary depending on the manufacturer, but goal of providing an easier to use system, that reproduces the same fit each time you ride is the same. This style of lacing system is fast replacing traditional laces, and offers a world of improvement in terms of performance and convenience for the rider.

Traditional Lacing Systems:

The standard for snowboard boot lacing is a traditional lace system, similar to what you find on most athletic shoes. With a traditional lacing system, the laces are secured up the front of the boot manually, and the tensioned is supplied by pulling on the free ends of the laces. This style of lace is consistent, strong and affordable, which makes it a perfect choice for beginner to intermediate level snowboard boots.

Boot Liner

The liner is the part of the boot which surrounds your foot and is responsible for being supportive and yet forgiving at the same time. Since you are in contact with the liner everyday, it is important that it serve its purpose extremely well. Recently, snowboard boot manufacturers have invested a great deal of R&D into making liners that offer a better fit with more comfort. At the end fo the day, a high quality liner made with multi-layer foams will make your foot much happier, which leads to better riding and more fun. When shopping for a snowboard boot, liner technology should be at the top of your list.

Bindings

Snowboard bindings serve a simple purpose; they anchor you to the board. Beyond that though, a state of the art set of bindings will also offer increased performance, convenience and safety over snowboard bindings that were made just a few seasons ago. This snowboard binding tech guide will outline what features and technology you should be looking for as you shop for your new snowboard bindings.

When choosing a snowboard binding, determine the type of riding you prefer and your ability level. Many bindings offer different levels of performance that can be broken down between flex patterns and functionality.

Strap bindings provide flexible adjustments for a perfect fit. Choosing a binding can be solely the riderís preference, but certain characteristics can help narrow down the search and provide the ideal interface between a board and boots.

For the best interface, you may want to choose a boot and binding combination from the same manufacturer. Manufacturers tailor their bindings and boots to provide the rider with optimum fit and control. Bindings typically come in three to four sizes - Small, Medium, Large, X-Large. The sizing will depend on the boot size. Snowboard binding manufacturers offer sizing charts to determine the specific size range for your foot. Choose a size that allows you to comfortably get into and easily adjust the straps.

There are many companies that offer many different bindings. The more expensive a binding, the more exotic the materials are. Think carbon fiber, high quality aluminum....etc....

materials

Many different materials are used to control how the binding feels and reacts. Base plates are constructed from plastic (nylon), carbon fiber, or different grades of aluminum. Binding straps are made from leather or synthetic textiles combined with plastic or aluminum ratcheting systems.

Some argue that aluminum bindings are superior to plastic in that they are stronger and more responsive. Aluminum can be light and stiff, giving you more control and quicker reaction time over your snowboard. Plastic can be light and stiff by blending it with fiberglass or carbon. The dampening characteristics are better than aluminum and do not require as much rubber or foam to lessen vibrations.

The materials of most binding straps are leather and synthetic textiles. Leather is great for precise fit and comfort. The strapís natural tendency is to form fit and wrap your boot, eliminating hot spots.

Overall, snowboard bindings have become lighter, more comfortable, and include more adjustment options as the price increases.


Last but not least.

The snowboard.......


First things first......Determine your riding style:

Freeride - Utilizing the whole mountain. Powder, trees, groomers, carving, dropping, bonking, catching air.
Freestyle - Technical aspects on the mountain such as Snowboard Parks, Pipe, and Rails. Includes mostly airs, slides, spins, inverts, grabs.
Alpine/Boarder X - High speed, carving and transitions.

Once you have narrowed down your riding ability and style, move on to more important board buying decisions. The board length and width, which depends on your height and weight.


There are 3 basic styles of snow boards on the market now, with one latest emerging into the scene.

- cambered board, where the waist of the board is pointed upwards when laid down on the base.

- flat cambered board, where the waist of the board is FLAT against the ground when laid down on the base.

- reversed cambered board, typically known as a banana board. the board has the waist pointed downwards on the ground where the contact points of the nose and the tail are pointed towards the sky, a very playful board with lots of positive rider feedback.

And lastly.

- Hybrid camber, hybrid camber emerged the last 2 years as a combination of traditional cambered board, and reversed camber. The jury is still on the fence on this style of snowboard, but some of my friends that have one say positive things about it. The ability to spring towards a turn, AND still have a playful feeling when on the snow is good. However the price of them is a little higher, and it has yet to go towards the mass majority.

Types of Snowboards

Freestyle/Half-pipe
Freestyle snowboards are designed primarily for riding in areas like the terrain park. Because of that, freestyle snowboards have a softer flex pattern that is a little more forgiving and easier to butter around on. However, freestyle riders who spend a lot of time in the half-pipe like to have a stiffer flexing board because it is more responsive. The shape of freestyle boards tends to be more twin-tip, allowing you to ride switch easily.

All-mountain/Freeride
Designed more for all mountain performance, a freeride snowboard will typically be stiffer for more stability at higher speeds. As a result, a freeride board will not be quite as responsive as a freestyle snowboard, and will not turn as well at slower speeds. A freeride snowboard is best suited to the rider that plans to spend most of their time riding the entire mountain in all conditions.

Back Country
Snowboards designed for the back country are typically longer and have more surface area, which makes them ideal for riding in powder and crud. These boards will perform in all the conditions one would typically find in the back country, so youíll be sure to get home, but they are poorly suited for riding in a park or pipe.
Snowboard Technology

Snowboard Sizing:

All snowboard manufacturers offer sizing charts to determine the specific weight ranges for the different shapes and lengths. it used to be......a general rule of thumb the length of the board should stand anywhere from your chin to the bridge of your nose, however, that isn't much the case anymore.....with more riders sizing down, and more ridings leaning towards reverse cambered sticks, it's no longer the norm to size up towards your particular height. The width of the board directly relates to your foot size. Small feet equals narrower width, big feet equals wider width.

Your weight can be a determining factor in the flex pattern of your board. Generally speaking, heavy riders should look for boards that are stiffer, while a lighter weight rider would choose a softer flex. Core ingredients and the construction of the board can give a better idea of what the flex pattern will be.

Snowboard Construction:

The performance of a board is greatly affected by the materials used in the construction. Different material types include wood, fiberglass, and carbon. Most board cores are made from wood stretching tip to tail. The choice of glass or carbon will determine the weight and flex pattern of the board. Fiberglass is used in all snowboards to give the board its liveliness and carbon is sometimes added, enabling the board to snap back to its original shape quicker.

The boardís base has a big impact on how the board will handle in varied temperatures. Two common base methods are Extruded and Sintered. Extruded bases are easy to repair but tend to be slower on the snow. Sintered bases are more durable and faster in most conditions.

Below is a review of the basic technology that is used in current snowboard design. If any terms are unfamiliar, check the glossary at the end of the page.

Base
The base of the board is a durable material that also allows your snowboard to glide across the snow with little friction. Base material is made from a polyethylene typically called P-Tex, and is designed to be both durable and fast, with low friction. Different manufacturers use other materials to achieve these properties, but the basic concept is the same. There are two types of bases that are used depending on the application the board is intended for, these are extruded and sintered.

Extruded Bases:
An extruded base is made by melting polyethylene and then molding it into the shape of the base. An extruded base will be durable, simple to maintain and easy to repair, but it is also the slowest type of base available. An extruded base will also hold less wax than other types of bases. For these reasons, extruded bases are usually found more on entry level boards where longevity, lack of maintenance and easy repair are important.

Sintered Bases:
A sintered base is made by grinding up the polyethylene material, then melting it and slicing it into the layers of the base. A sintered base is also very durable when compared to an extruded base, but is a little more difficult to repair if damaged badly. The biggest advantage to a sintered base is in the amount of wax it will hold, and its glide. Sintered bases are the fastest out there, and the best option if you want a quick board that glides well. A sintered base will require a bit more work to maintain in order to get the best possible performance out of it.

Core
Most snowboards now are using wood (typically Aspen or Poplar) for the core due to itís attractive qualities and low cost. Depending on the type of wood used, these cores usually have a snappy feeling and are a good compromise between ride quality and weight.

Manufacturers have recently started using synthetic carbon, Nomex or other materials in the core construction of their high end boards. These types of materials are lighter, stiffer, and allow the designers to control the flex and energy distribution characteristics of the board for higher performance. A high end snowboard will also have a core that remains stiff and stable longer than an entry level snowboard.

Sidewall
The region joining the top of the board with the base is the sidewall. While designs vary depending on the manufacturer, the purpose is the same; the sidewall holds the board together and transfers the force you apply when carving to the edge of the board.

There are two basic sidewall designs that are currently being used, a classic sidewall construction and monocoque construction.

Classic Sidewall
This type of construction joins ABS plastic between the top sheet and base of the board to form the sidewall. This style of construction is less expensive to make, and also holds up well especially when enhanced with an elastic material to cushion the edge of the board. A snowboard constructed with a classic sidewall with have a perpendicular sidewall along the length of the edge.

Monocoque Sidewall
A monocoque construction is achieved by tapering the sidewall of the board down gradually to meet the base of the board. There are many variations on this type of construction, but in all of them the deck of the board wraps down to meet the edge in a low profile design. This style of construction is extremely durable and help to prevent sidewall blowout and delamination. Monocoque construction also helps to focus the energy applied while turning directly onto the edge for more aggressive carving.

Sidecut
Sidecut is the amount of curve in the edge of the snowboard, from the contact point at the nose to the middle of the snowboard. Sidecut helps the snowboard turn, and dictates how quickly it reacts, A bigger sidecut will result in a shaper turning, more aggressive snowboard, while a smaller sidecut will result in a snowboard that does not turn as sharp and requires more effort to get on edge.

Snowboard Shape:

Choosing a riding style will narrow down a variety of boards that will perform exceptionally well.

Directional shapes are ideal for Freeriding. The directional board has a longer nose than tail and the stance is set back, keeping the rider naturally over the tail. The side cut will be tapered with a longer arc in the nose and sharper tail radius. Enabling the board to float in powder with more control.

Freestyle boards tend to have a nose and tail with the same geometry and length. Insert patterns are centered putting the rider directly over the top of the board. The side cut is continuous throughout, making the board handle equally, whatever direction the rider is going. This stability and balance aids in switch riding.

In Conclusion:

With so many great choices, buying a snowboard isnít as easy as it used to be. Take the time to read any technical information to help narrow down the search. This guide is a general rule of thumb and choosing a board is ultimately a riderís preference.

Glossary of Snowboard Technology Terms

Base
The base is the surface of the snowboard that is in contact with the snow while riding.

Core
The core is the central component of the snowboard and is responsible for many of the snowboards properties. Flex, weight, vibration dampening, pop and more are all directly related to construction and technology used in the core.

Edge
The edge is the metal portion of the snowboard that joins the sidewall to the base. The edge allows the snowboard to carve a clean path through the snow when turning.

Effective Edge
This is a measurement of the length of the snowboard edge that is actually in contact with the snow during a turn.

Flex Pattern
The flex pattern of a snowboard determines where throughout the length of the snowboard and how much a snowboard will flex when pressure is applied to it. A softer snowboard is more forgiving and easier to turn, while a stiffer board will edge better on hard snow, and will be more stable at high speeds.

Inserts
Inserts are metal nuts that are laminated into the construction of the board and are used to secure your bindings to the deck of the board. Some manufacturers use higher quality inserts that are backed to prevent a bolt from penetrating all the way through the base of the board.

Nose (tip)
The nose is the part of the snowboard that faces forward. The shape can vary, the nose of the board is designed to prevent the snowboard from digging itself into the snow.

Nose Width
The widest part of the board measured at the nose is referred to as the nose width.

Overall Length
This is the total length of the snowboard, usually measured in centimeters. A longer board will be more stable and is better suited for heavier, taller riders, while a shorter board will be more responsive, and is best for shorter, lighter riders. Refer to the size charts available when shopping for the correct size snowboard for you.

Sidecut Radius
The radius of the arc that the sidecut creates is referred to as the sidecut radius. A smaller sidecut radius will results in a board that turns tighter, and vise-versa for a larger sidecut radius.

Tail
The tail of the board is the end which faces away from the direction you are traveling. Many boards have a similar design at the tail as the tip to facilitate riding switch stance.

Tail Width
This is a measurement of the width of the tail taken at the widest part.

Top (Deck)
The top sheet of the board that includes the top graphic and the binding inserts that are used to secure your bindings to the board.

Waist Width
This is the width of the snowboard at the narrowest point, which is usually measured in millimeters. A narrower board will result in a more response ride with quicker edge-to-edge transitions. Narrower snowboards will also have less surface area and will be limited to riders with large feet.

*as an aside*

I have a comprehensive information guide specifically for snowboards.

It was compiled by myself, and a few friends for review towards a magazine.....the article never became published, however i still have a copy.

I maybe inclined to post it, however i need permission from others prior
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Old 01-18-2011, 04:22 PM   #11
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It really all depends on your preference.. If you wanna go with a "general solid board," go with a Burton. They're the biggest brand for a reason.
For size, I like to keep it somewhere between my nose and chin.

Bindings, personally I'd avoid stomps.

Boots are all up to you. I personally don't trust the Boa for some reason, even though most of my friends have them with no problem.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:21 PM   #12
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great post vangruver.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Impulse_x View Post
It really all depends on your preference.. If you wanna go with a "general solid board," go with a Burton. They're the biggest brand for a reason.
For size, I like to keep it somewhere between my nose and chin.

Bindings, personally I'd avoid stomps.

Boots are all up to you. I personally don't trust the Boa for some reason, even though most of my friends have them with no problem.
I don't quite understand the statement "general solid board" or "biggest brand", something about that is really odd. But whatever.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:31 PM   #14
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That is a great post Vangruver! We should have that stickied!
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:33 PM   #15
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That is a great post Vangruver! We should have that stickied!
that's not the better post.

I have a 5 pager that is MUCH better than this. And that's specifically on snowboards.........

this was just quickly typed up this afternoon when I was bored at the office :P
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:08 AM   #16
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I'd like to have a read Hopefully your partners are willing to share. For now though, what you have there is some pretty good information for someone who is just a beginner.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:30 AM   #17
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holy Vangruver, thats GREAT info for newbies like myself. Although I'm too noob to be able to feel a difference in many of the variations, it's great info to know as I develop skills. I'm a beginner, boarded less than 5 times in my life but picked it up pretty quick and can carve easily, and have no issues with most runs. Strangely though I find it super difficult on a bunny hill Vs. a black run... is this the case with you guys? It just doesnt seem steep enough to stay on a defined edge, leading to catching an edge and face palming. I'm definitely reconsidering the boa system again since you guys mentioned the durability is decent. I loved the ease of them when I tried them on the first time they came out. Thanks again!
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:17 AM   #18
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Vangruver's post is definately accurate from a technical stand point, but since you are more of a beginner i would offer my 2 cents.

Boots:
Definately most important part of the set up as its the part thats touching your body. Whats more important than the "quality of boot" is the fit. Make sure you are getting a boot thats not too big. And your heel doesnt lift when you are flexing the boot. Good fit should be that when you are standing up stright, your toes should touch the front, and when you bend your knees, your toes will feather the front of the boot. (it is crucial that your toes are still able to gentally touch the front of the boot with your knees bent). Remember that the snowboard boot will be the smallest when its in the store, and will pack out anywhere from 4-9mm, so buying a boot that fits "comfortable" in the store means that it will probably pack out to be just a bit too big.

The next important thing with snowboard boots (and ski boots), is the footbed, manufactures dont spend a lot of $ on the footbed, and the stock footbed offers little or no support (even the harshmellow footbed used in higher end K2 boots). Custom footbed is obviously the best way to go if $ is not an issue, if you want to keep the price down, Superfeet is a great option. A good boot fitter will be able to choose a good footbed for you, but a general rule of thumb is that a flexiable arch requires more support, while a ridgid arch requires less support.

The other factor to look at when determing flex is not just your weight/ability but the flexibility of your ankle (dorsi-flexion). If you have a limited range of motion in your ankle, you will require a stiffer boot and probably a heel wedge/lift of some sort and also a boot with less inital forward cant. If you have a hybermobol (overly-flexiable) range of motion in your ankle, you again want a stiffer boot. Once again a good boot fitter will be able to determine this for you as well. Just dont get a soft boot just because your a beginner, as thats not always the case.

Lacing systems is mostly personal preferance, I personally prefer traditional lacing as you are able to ultize lacing tricks such as the pretzel or double pretzel to get more ankel hold, and you can also create your own custom zoning on traditional laces. Boa lacing is definately getting more and more popular in North America, if you do decide to go with Boa, I reccomend K2 or Ride, as they offer a "life time" warrenty on their boa system. (not sure with other brands, I know Head doesnt offer this warrenty on their boa, i know they all use the BOA brand, but my understanding is K2/Ride has a special agreement with Boa to warrenty the system for the lifetime of the boot). Personally I'm not a fan of Burton's speed lacing system, and if you were to go with burton I'd reccomend a tradtional lace.

Binding:
One of the most important thing to look for with the binding is if it fits the boot. Certain brands just dont mix well, a brand with a "big/wide" outer boot will not fit in a brand of binding with a narrow heel cup. Burton/Fourm design thier boots to work "best" with their own binding as they alter the forward lean of the boot slightly to fit the natrual unadjusted forward lean better for their own brand of binding. But usually you cannot go wrong with matching the binding brand to the boot brand.

Material wise, it depends on which rep you talk to. Burton choose to go with a poly-carbonate (plastic) material as they can alter the stiffness of the material easier and create a binding to better suit the purpose. Basically the point in which burton's plastic breaks is the same point aluminum bends. Nylon/Poly-Carbonate will have better dampening properties, which means it will ride smoother and be easier on the joints when you are just starting out. However, a good aluminum binding will have extra foam padding on the base and highback to dampen the vibration. Again fit is the most important thing in this catagory.

Most bindings are universal, almost all bindings will have plates that will fit the Burton 3D pattern, and some even have plates that will fit the channel mount as well. However if you do decide to go for a Burton Channel board, I reccomend you to go with a EST binding for optimal results.

Board:
Vangruver covered the technical aspect of the board, so I wont go too much into it, but instead I'll touch more on fit/size/baseline profile.

When you are starting out, do not go too tall on a board, the shorter the board the easier it is to turn, and learn tricks. However dont go too short either. Weight is the ultimate deciding factor when it comes to length, the board only knows how much you weigh and has no idea how tall you are. For a beginner, usually if you are average height for your weight, I reccomend a board thats between your chin to lips, if you are lighter for your weight you can go from chest to chin, and if you are heavier from lip to eyebrow. Again your "style" will affect what size you choose as well, but the above is a good gauge for a beginner/intermediate freerider.

The exception to the rule is the K2 "Jib Nose" (Not sure if another brand uses a similar technology with a differance name) where they shave 2.5cm off the tip and tail of the board while maintaining a effetive edge of 5cm longer....the sales person should point this out if the board has this feature. This is great for park riders, as it allows them to reduce the swing weight without losing edge length.

Do not go for a wide board unless your footsize dictates it, unlike skis, there are no real benifits.

Rocker vs Camber? while for starters, most company offers a Rocker that takes away the "catch zone" of a traditionally cambered board (K2 Catch free rocker, Burton EZ-V Rocker etc). This will drastically make the learning process easier. I would reccomend against going with a full Rockered/Reversed camber board like the Fourm Chillidog Rocker, or a Banana rocker for beginners as I find it takes away the edge hold confidence when carving.

Construction, Cap vs Sidewall.
Cap
Pro: Lighter, more flexible
Cons: Harder to repair if Cap was to crack, not as good edge hold.

Sidewall:
Pro: More durable, better edge hold
Cons: Heavier

Most higher price point boards are going to be sidewall construction. K2 does offer the "best of both world" in their "Hybridtech" construction where they use Sidewall under foot and tip and tail Cap construction, this allows the board to have a lighter tip and tail for reduced swing weight, and a softer tip and tail for easier initiation and exiting of turns.

If you have to choose one over the other, i would reccomend Sidewall construction.

As you can see, my post is a lot less technical than Vangruvers, however my reccomendation is to find a shop that spends more than FITTING than selling. there are plenty of good boards on the market that would be good for a beginner/intermediate rider of all kinds, but the best board/boot/binding is ones that fits best.
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:15 AM   #19
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i don't wanna start a new thread. but where's a good shop to get your board waxed in the GVR with reasonable priced? not comfortable doing it myself yet.

under $15 would be ideal. best priced one seems to be boardroom at $10. open to suggestions.
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:48 AM   #20
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$15 gets you a handwax at sportchek.
$10 gets you a machine wax at a bunch of different place.
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:20 AM   #21
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i don't wanna start a new thread. but where's a good shop to get your board waxed in the GVR with reasonable priced? not comfortable doing it myself yet.

under $15 would be ideal. best priced one seems to be boardroom at $10. open to suggestions.

if you want to learn to do it yourself, or if you want to learn with a buddy [go in together on wax and eq] there's a thread that I started 5 years ago on how to wax your stick.

I used to offer the service for the same price however I'm far too busy with work to consider it again.

look it up and read it through, and if you still don't feel comfortable then i'm sure places like sports check would do it for yah.



Boardroom costs more for a hot wax, as 10 bucks gets you a machine wax.
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:18 PM   #22
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I don't quite understand the statement "general solid board" or "biggest brand", something about that is really odd. But whatever.
You go to rent a board, most, if not all the shop's boards will be Burtons. You go to a shop and ask for a recommendation, they'll immediately point you to Burton. I think it's safe to say they're kind of the staple snowboarding brand.

Having said that, I ride a 151 and an Option
Might pick up a Lib Tech soon.. or my first ever Burton.
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:45 PM   #23
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You go to rent a board, most, if not all the shop's boards will be Burtons. You go to a shop and ask for a recommendation, they'll immediately point you to Burton. I think it's safe to say they're kind of the staple snowboarding brand.

Having said that, I ride a 151 and an Option
Might pick up a Lib Tech soon.. or my first ever Burton.

I gotcha.

well hey, i guess they got big some how.

Mind you, you buy a Forum snowboard, it's a burton.

You buy 4 square outerware it's burton,

you buy Special Blend outerware it's burton.

You buy Analog clothing, it's burton.

You skateboard? You buy Alien workshop decks? Yup, it's burton.

*note* they do own Anon, Red and a few others as well, but they are marketed along side burton products, not against it.

Well, safe to say it's like the google of the snowboard world. Somewhere they have their hands on a product you bought.

I have no gripe against burton, fact is they make a damned good product. Their loss leader in snowboard technology just trickles it's way to the mass majority a few years down the road when it's adopted by other companies.

*think Burton Vapor*

Then again, if i wanted to buy a 1000-1300 dollar snowboard, I'd just go out and buy 2 and have twice the usage.

one thing they do well...and I'll give them 100% backing on this, is their bindings......they've always had some of the BEST bindings on the market.
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:21 PM   #24
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Yup. I'm not trying to hold Burton up on a pedestal, in fact, I've only ever ridden rented ones. I just wanted to point out there's a reason why they're as big as they are. It's crazy how they monopolize most of the sport; so you can't really go wrong with them. I've just never bought one simply because I wanna try the less-popular brands. (Graphics are a huge deal for me too )
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:24 PM   #25
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Before you buy bindings, do check out Flows ... once you get used to them, gazillion times more convenient.

Boardroom clearance has some GREAT deals. Take a look at some of their last year (but new) Never Summer Boards.
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