How to choose your basic snowboarding gear

cover-blog

It is essential that you properly choose your snowboarding gear to optimise your on-piste and off-piste descents and make you feel comfortable. So, how do you start?

The first thing you should choose are your boots since they are in contact with your feet and must perfectly adapt to your needs. A bad choice can ruin your best snowboarding day. You should find the shape that best adapts to your foot anatomy, i.e. which provides an optimal grip in the ankle and heel area, preventing the heel section from coming off.

You should use the length or size of your trainers or shoes and try to match them as far as possible. When you stand up, your toes should touch the end of the boot liner; and when you take on the snowboarding stance (bending your knees), you should stop touching this. All of this is about the shoe size, now you must choose what type of boot best meets your needs. This will depend on your level and preferences.

Regarding the snowboard boot flex, the manufacturers use a 1-10 flex rating system (1=super soft, 10=very stiff). Remember that there is no standardised flex rating for boots since some brands use a different rating system.

The stiffer the boot flex, the greater the energy will be transferred to the snowboard; and if the boot flex is softer, you will gain in sensitivity and touch. The choice will depend on your level and preferences. For example, beginners should choose softer boots so that they can properly apply pressure to their snowboard. However, if you are an intermediate or advanced rider, this will depend on your preferences. If you prefer speed, you should choose a stiffer boot to better apply pressure to your snowboard. On the other hand, if you are a freestyle fanatic, you should choose medium flex to better absorb the impacts.

Which is the best lacing system?

Laces usually come in three systems: the traditional standard laces; the laces that usually combine with a lock in place so that they remain tight; and the Boa wire laces, which crank tight by turning a knob at the top of the boot. The Boa laces are clearly the easiest to tie and untie and, depending on how skilful you are when putting on your boots, this could be a very good way to start your day.

Bota BOA


Laces usually come in three systems: the traditional standard laces; the laces that usually combine with a lock in place so that they remain tight; and the Boa wire laces, which crank tight by turning a knob at the top of the boot. The Boa laces are clearly the easiest to tie and untie and, depending on how skilful you are when putting on your boots, this could be a very good way to start your day.

It used to be said that the Boa system tightened the whole boot in the same way but the system has been optimised in the last few years. Nowadays you can tighten the lower and upper boot independently (double Boa system) by using knobs.

Tying standard laces every morning is more time-consuming. However, you can tighten your boots as much as you want and, if the lace breaks, it is easier to replace.

Another important thing when choosing a boot is its sole since this is what enables you to maintain contact with the floor.


Bota Cordones

If you are a freerider and like hiking, we highly recommend that you choose a specific sole for the mountain such as the Vibrant or Contragrip sole. The latter will give you a better feeling in low grip situations. However, if you tend to move more on terrain parks and spend more time in the air than on the ground, you should choose components that can absorb the impacts of the landings such as the Eva foam.

Now that you are ready to choose your perfect boots, you now have to choose your snowboard. The first thing to do is decide what level you are and, if you are not a beginner, you must choose the snowboard style that you like most: freestyle, freeride or all-mountain.

If you are a beginner, there are specific snowboards at relatively good prices that make it easier to learn.

Freeride snowboards tend to be directional, i.e. they only go in one direction. You can use a setback stance on these boards since they float more easily. There are very unique and specific boards in this category such as swallowtail and fish snowboards. They are very easy to ride on ungroomed snow and are the most advisable for fresh powder days. However, these boards are not very functional when moving around the resort.

On the other hand, freestyle snowboards are twin-tipped. This means that the nose and tail have the same shape and stiffness. In this case, you will have a centred stance on these boards so that you can move both ways. These boards are quite reactive and provide a good pop that will help you to snap ollies and handle landings. They are also quite functional on groomed runs, but they do not float sufficiently on ungroomed snow.

The all-mountain snowboards are usually somewhere in between the previous two. You can find directional twin snowboards. This means that, apart from being twin-tipped, they also enable you to move with your front foot while ride switch easily. These boards provide the best of both worlds and are easy to ride on all terrains.

The snowboard shapes in the market are many and varied.

The best thing to do is group them according to their camber.

They can be classified as follows: traditional camber, double camber (camber combination) and banana (reverse camber).

Traditional cambers provide more stability at higher speeds and help you enjoy the turnings. They are fine boards used on unforgiving terrain that needs to be worked on, depending on the board flex.

On the other hand, the bananas are much more flexible when learning and playing on the piste. However, they are not effective at high speed or for balancing on the edge.

Tipus de Camber

Double camber boards are an evolution from the bananas. They have a small camber on each foot, providing greater grip to the edge. In that way, the board is more reactive and is independent from the feet. The board is aimed at floating in soft snow when exercising pressure on the back foot. This pushes the board’s nose upwards.

The flat snowboards are not very reactive and are easy to turn and flex, so they are recommended for learning, performing tricks on the slopes and grinding.

As you can see, you should think about what type of snowboard and boots you should choose. Now that you have the necessary information, you can make the right decision.

I hope that this advice helps you to choose your gear and enjoy your snowboarding.

In any case, I always recommend that you visit a specialist store and find out more about the snowboarding gear by touching it and seeing it first-hand.

Now that you have your gear ready, all you have to do is open the app, record your activity and win a prize or two. If you take a look at all the challenges available, you will probably find one or two prizes that you can show off on the ski runs.

See you on the slopes!

Signed: Marcos Iglesias, instructor at ETEVA and The Valley Snowboarding

Did you enjoy this article? If so, don’t hesitate to share it.

Do you have Ski Attitude? We know you do! Join our community #ihaveskitude on social media and check out all of our news to come on Skitude.

Download and discover the Skitude App!

Download Skitude App Store

download Google Play Skitude

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Leave a Reply