- My feet naturally point out a little. In the rental I got, the bindings were straight, and I kept feeling like I wanted to turn my feet out. I've been reading that there are different ways to set up bindings. The next time I get a rental, should I request a certain binding angle? And if so, what?
Rental bindings SHOULD be set up to accommodate a standard beginner. Something like +12/-6 or +12/0 would probably suit you well. Don't be afraid to try one set of angles, then go back to the shop and ask them to adjust it. There's no better way to find out your best angle than to experiment.
- How are boots supposed to feel? I was in a size 10 or so, but my toes were hitting the end. Also, my heels kept lifting up inside the boot. I don't know if they're supposed to do that or not.
Boots should fit tight and snug, but should not pinch. The problem with your rentals was likely, well, that they were rentals. They were probably heavily used and ill-fitting. That's why you should not buy used boots. All of those problems are typical with rentals. If your toe was hitting the end, that's ok. You should not feel pressure, but you won't have as much room as street shoes.
- I don't think I got the nuances of turning. I either wouldn't push down enough or I'd push too much and fall. The instructor wasn't very good in explaining heel turns and toe turns. Are you supposed to push down with both feet, just the front, or the front and then the back? Also sometimes I felt like I was standing on my toes (my heels were lifted inside my boots, so I was basically standing on my toes) but I wasn't turning. Any suggestions?
Head to the videos Snowwolf posted for this info. He's an instructor, so I'm confident he can help you more than the rest of us. Knowing what to do is one thing, but conveying it to others is different. Not everyone is good at it. Sorry your instructor wasn't top notch.
- Since I fell a lot, what type of knee pads, wrist guards, etc would you recommend? Would regular skating ones do?
The limited amount of time I was actually standing up and riding (mostly straight before I tried to turn and fell) was fun, so I'm willing to give it a couple more goes in hopes I'll eventually get it.
Regular skate pads will work. You can just do a general search for snowboard pads as well. Butt and knee pads will be the most useful to a beginner. Wrist guards are almost necessary if you find yourself catching your falls with your hands. Broken wrist is the most common injury with snowboarders.
Don't get discouraged and have fun. It gets better!