Help sorting through the tech
OK, I've done a lot of reading since my first post on here asking for help, but I can't say I still quite "get" what I should be looking at or looking for in my first board. I've been boarding a couple times, ridden the Burton LTR, Cruzer and some Rossignol board with step ins that made me cringe. There was broad differences in how each performed (techniques I learned on one were all but useless on another), but I really don't understand why, or how to get what I want in my first board purchase. Let me outline what I *do* know:
*Brands to look at: Ride, Rome, Atomic, Burton, Never Summer (not heard much on Gnu, Lib Tech, Forum, K2, Salomon, Rossignol. Told to avoid Lamar, LTD and some others)
*Look for an all mountain board, since I'm still finding my way (found at least 3 or 4 models from each brand, so not really narrowing the playing field)
*Sintered base will be faster than extruded (I don't think "too slow" will be an issue for me for a little while)
*Torsional flex is good for easier turn initiation, unstable at high speeds. Mid trending towards soft flex board is a good beginner choice.
*2-3 degree bevel on base edge will help prevent catching an edge but be enough to hold on icier conditions
*At 6'2" 205 lbs, I want to look for something in the 160-164 length
*With size 11 boots (got a great deal on super comfy Hails), I want to look for a mid-wide to wide board (min 254 Waist)
There's still a lot about sidecuts and board shape that I don't quite get (and wish I did get while riding to better understand what my boards were/were not able to do).
Not sure what to look for in bindings (but I know my left foot was numb from the Burton Progression bindings my last day out).....
So there's what I know. I would love to get a board/binding set up to go with my Hails for <$250 (looking at 40-50% off end of season sales) but want something that I won't outgrow in a couple years (call it 15-20 actual days on the slopes) Is a true "entry level" board like the K2 Illusion paired with decent bindings (though I don't quite yet know what those are) a mistake?