Getting started in snowboarding can be expensive. There’s equipment such as boards, boots, bindings, jackets, pants, goggles and helmets to consider and let’s not forget those expensive lift tickets. Let’s review the equipment and then talk about safety on the mountain.
The most common boards you are going to want to look at are your All Mountain boards. They’re meant to be a very good overall board for many different kinds of mountains. If you’re a beginner this is probably the board you’re to start out on.
Examples are: Burton Custom, Ride Antic, Venture Zephyr, Never Summer SL and Burton Feelgood.Freeride boards are big mountain boards made for big lines, dropping over cliffs, hitting kickers and charging powder. These boards are very stiff and are made for backcountry snowboarding – which, takes serious knowledge and skill.
Choosing your boots are going to be important as they not only connect you to your board but your feet are going to be in them all day and they need to be snug but comfortable. Most boots will fit bindings with step-in bindings being the exception.
Finding the right binding is just as important as finding the right boot fit and board. For park riding you’ll want a softer more flexible binding, All Mountain binding, for more give. Stiffer bindings are going to be more for control and less energy loss such as mentioned above in back-country boarding.
Most all-mountain/recreation snowboarding helmets are designed to offer protection to the top, sides and back of your head. These helmets are typically three-quarters with a bucket-shaped shell. Some things to consider are venting, brim or no brim, goggles and audio compatibility.
When choosing goggles make sure there is no space between your face and foam or else the goggles will fog up. Try to get ones that are scratch and fog resistant. Consider lens color depending on the climate. Gold seems to be the most common lens type.
Education and Safety
Now that you’re outfitted for the slopes it is recommended you take a class on how to snowboard. Your instructor will cover basic safety precautions such making sure you have a safety line on your board so it won’t get away from you. Not only will you learn common boarding techniques such as linking turns and stopping you will also learn ways to always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid other people. This is important to know before going on any mountain.
Some of the basics to safety on the mountain are knowing that the people ahead of you always have the right-of-way and that it is your responsibility to avoid them. You must never obstruct the flow of traffic on the slope. Observe all posted signs and warnings and keep off closed trails.
Some basic board etiquette is making sure you always leash your board, when in the lift line avoid scraping your board against others. Once off the lift get out of the way as quickly as possible. If you need to adjust your bindings then do so off to the side and out of the way of others.
With the right equipment, training and board etiquette you’re bound to be a success in snowboarding!