When I started snowboarding, I also cranked down my bindings to a ridiculous level. I think it may be a psychological thing -- and you probably don't actually need the bindings that tight.
Specific advice: Get boots first. Try on a lot of boots, get the perfect boots. THEN get bindings.
I'm a 1-1/2 yr. NooB, with NO skiing exp., so keep that in mind.
I was cranking my 32 ST Boa's & Cartel's so tight my first few months riding, that I couldn't stand to stay strapped into my board for more than 2-3 runs! At first, it felt like I couldn't control the board without getting everything
super tight! But I was getting some incredible foot pain!!!
Got some serendipitous good advice on the lift one day & confirmed it later with the guy's here,.. Now I ride with a "Much
" less cranked down setup and as a result, my riding & control Improved
! I can stay strapped in way longer and need far fewer breaks to give the "dogs" some relief!
...as a reformed skiier,
...maybe you are just used to the feeling of boots that "Lock" you onto your ride??? Not to mention, rental shit, is ridden to death and probably super "sloppy"! (...I know my rentals were!)
REI would be a great choice for trying & buying boots & bindings, if it's available to you. 100% satisfaction guaranteed returns. (...for members. Lifetime membership is $20) I rode & returned several
pairs of boots & bindings before I got it right! Hope that helps!