as a 32 yr old noobie. I found it was alot easier to learn on my own gear then it was on the rentals. The place I went had some good quality rental ( the place has nothing but burton ), but I think having my own gear made a huger difference. I am 5'10 over 200lbs, my setup is a K2 AfterBlack 157wide, Ride Beta UL Bindings and ThirtyTwo Lashers. I am happy with the setup.