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Old 01-05-2009, 12:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default advice on a setup for a beginning rider

About me:
28 years old
Intermediate skier but decided to switch to snowboarding this season
5'10"
170 lbs
Budget - I'd like to keep it under $1000 for the whole setup, the lower the better. I don't need top of the line stuff, but i definitely want a setup that will progress with me for at least a few seasons.

I'm a beginner rider but i feel like i'm at least a little ahead of the learning curve. I've only gone three times but i'm riding blue squares and i can link turns/carve no problem, i can stop heelside and toeside, and i control my speed pretty well. Each time i go i'm fine-tuning my body/board control and keeping my balance better. Usually when I fall itís when I slide out on ice or when I hit a spot where it goes from ice to powder or something where the terrain changes quickly and I get thrown off balance when Iím turning.

I rented gear (boots, bindings, and board) for $125 for the season and I plan on keeping my eye out for some deals during the season and getting my own setup that i can hopefully ride at least a few times before the season is over. I'm looking for an all-mountain board because i'll primarily be riding hills but i also like doing jumps and would like a setup that will let me play in the park a little once i get a little better.

Based on the criteria of wanting an all-mountain board and having graphics that I like (black/dark board with simple, clean graphics), Iíve come up with the following list of boards to consider, although Iím certainly open to other suggestions:

Ride Cartel (155) - $350
Ride Prophet (155) - $460
Atomic Hatchet (156) Ė I think around $360
Never Summer SL-R (155) - $500
Lib-Tech TRS-BTX (154 or 157) - $540

I want a board thatís worth the money and that will still be good as I progress. I also want something that handles ice, hard pack, and powder really well.

For bindings, again I want something solid for all-mountain riding thatís pretty much plain black and I was also leaning towards something with the bottom strap that goes around the toe rather than across the top of the foot.

For boots I think i'd rather stick with a traditional lacing system. My friend who's been boarding for about 10 years loves his 32 TM-Two's but i've read some of the posts on boot fitting on this forum so i plan on shopping around and trying a bunch of different boots before i buy anything.

My plan was to find a board/binding setup towards the middle/end of the season and then use my rented boots for most/all of the season. After reading some of the guides, it seems like it might be best to do boots before bindings to make sure i get boots that are comfortable and then the proper bindings to fit them.

Any and all comments/suggestions would be great. Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I was checking out bindings yesterday and came across the Union Force bindings. From what I've read online, they seem to be a solid all-mountain binding and I really like the plain black look on them. Can anyone offer some opinions?
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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For bindings, I hear good things about the Rome line-up (390 or Targa for all-mountain), as well as the Union Forces, and K2 Formulas (asymmetrical highback actually works).

I have the K2 Sweaters (same tech/flex as Formulas) and I love them for everything. I usually just cruise groomers, pop off rollers and hit medium-sized jumps. And the 09 Formula toe strap can be worn as a normal toe strap or as a cap.
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I was in a similar position as you are at this time last year. I was just getting into boarding and I wanted to get my own gear to get used and eventually excel. I shopped around a lot and I ended up buying all of my equipment that was one year out of date. It's all still really great stuff that is mid to top of the line. I took it out for the first time this year and I felt like I was driving a cadillac instead of a honda (not that there is anything wrong with a Honda). Here's what I bought.....if you are a Burton hater I apologize, but don't judge, because this stuff worked out really great.

Burton Custom ICS 2008 Board (The ICS system is really cool and allows you to figure out what stance works best for you)
Burton Mission Bindings 2008 (Very Responsive)
Burton Moto Boots with the Quick Lacing System (It works, but I understand your concerns)

I got all of this equipment for under $600. I used maning Snowboardfusion, and The House to buy my stuff online.

Hope this helps.

-J
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you still are willing to hunt around, there are still good deals to be found on 07-08 equipment. If you're willing to wait, you'll find some good deals on 08-09 stuff at the end of this season. I picked up a 07/08 Bataleon Jam and some 07/08 Rome Targa's about a month ago just hunting around. 50% off and pretty much the same thing as this years (Cept for colors, graphics, etc.)
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