BUYING A NEW SNOWBOARD SETUP
The more questions you ask, the better
Before you walk into a snowboard shop to buy your gear, we recommend you read up, like you're doing here on snowlink.com; Familiarize yourself with the basics. But when it comes down to the shopping and fitting, you can trust a good snowsports specialty retailer to know their products and to find the right ones for you. After all, they're the experts! They've fitted thousands of novice boarders just like you. Take advantage of their knowledge and feel confident they'll guide you to the best decisions.
They're going to ask you some questions you've thought about, and some you probably haven't. But in the end, each answer will help better select the length, width, flex, and tech specs that are best suited to make your days on the mountain the best they can be.
Questions you will/should hear:
Do you own any equipment now? What is it?
What is your skill level? How often have you snowboarded before?
Note: Do. Not. Lie. You don't need to impress the salesperson. Equipment that's too advanced will only hamper your development and progression. Be honest.
Where do you plan on riding? East coast, west coast? Which resorts?
How often do you ride each year?
What terrain do you prefer? What types of trails? What do you aspire to ride?
Note: Are you a blue square kind of person? Not everyone likes ungroomed trails and moguls are not in most snowboarders' vocabulary. But if you want to try them, or want to try your luck in the terrain park or the pipe, make sure to let the salesperson know. It might change what they recommend to you.
Have you outgrown a pair of boots—why are you replacing them?
How did they fit?
What brand were they?
Note: Some manufacturers fit wider, narrower, shorter, etc. than others. A boot that fits great can help the salesperson know what brands you can go with this time around.
Do you have any special foot conditions, history of surgery, breaks, protrusions?
Note: Boot fitters can make any boot more comfortable for you, accomodating idiosyncrocies like a second toe that's longer than the first, a heel spur or a bunion. Not a time to be embarrassed. Your feet will thank you all season long!
Time to head to the shop!
Do your research, but don't try to memorize it. Just familiarize yourself with important questions and be ready to answer them. An important thing to think about: whether the shop is the new spot in town or a long-time business, if you're not being asked any questions, you might want to go someplace else.
Find your local snowboard shop with the Shop Locator: http://www.snowlink.com/resortretailfinder.aspx.
Content courtesy of SnowSports Industries America | SIA and Snowlink.com.