WHEN TO HEAD TO THE RENTAL SHOP
Head to the rental shop beforeyour first day on the hill. Try and go either in the late morning or early afternoon when crowds are going to be lightest. Find a snowboard shop near you with our quick and easy Shop Locator: http://www.snowlink.com/resortretailfinder.aspx.
Be truthful about your weight, height and skill level, and if you're planning on all-mountain riding or are going to spend most of your time in the terrain park. The technician will set your bindings appropriately.
Read the fine print of the agreement. It will probably tell you you're responsible for damages or stolen equipment. Some shops allow you to exchange equipment for better fitting gear or a refund. Make sure to ask about it!
WHAT'S YOUR STANCE?
The first thing you'll need to know is your stance: goofy or regular. Put on a pair of socks and slide across the floor. Which foot did you lead with? If it was your right foot in front, you're goofy-footed. Left foot in front is regular. Go with what feels right. If you get on the mountain and want to switch, you can either stop at the rental shop at the lodge or use the tools by the lifts to adjust your stance.
Your stance should be about equal to your shoulder width. The angle of your feet is also important. A forward stance is best for beginners. It setsyour front foot forward (around 20°) and your back foot facing only slightly forward (around 6°). As you advance, you'll be able to help direct the technician to the riding style and stance you prefer.
Shops try to cover all the bases by carrying several classes of equipment packages. Beginner riders will be leased a more forgiving board that will absorb bumps. Once you've gotten into your groove you can rent a more advanced board.
Snowboards should be about chin height, and not higher than the upper lip. Edges should be sharp and the base waxed and smooth. Make sure they're not lending you out a dud. It's always okay to ask questions if you're unsure of the equipment.
Bring or wear your own dry socks. Remember to wear a single pair of wool or synthetic socks so they wick away moisture instead of soaking and freezing your feet like cotton. When trying on boots point out any foot anomalies or problems so the technician can adjust the boot.
Make sure you tie/tighten your boots up as you're going to wear them. Bend, twist and walk around. Make sure your toes almost touch the edge but aren't cramped, and make sure your heel doesn't lift out when move. Also, don't tuck your pant legs into your boots;the boots are designed to hug your shin and calf, so you don't want any extra fabric to interfere. Plus, it doesn't look that cool.
Content courtesy of SnowSports Industries America | SIA and Snowlink.com.