So you've probably heard a million of these questions so far. The snowmakers are working overtime and the season opener at a nearby hill is next weekend. I've (almost) never snowboarded before. Anyone remember those $20 Black Ice snowboards from the 80's? That's about as much experience as I have, but I've wanted to try it "for real" ever since. So I booked a 2 hour one-on-one lesson and signed up for a 3-pack of 1 hours group lessons. Figured I might as well do it right and meet a few other newbies while I'm at it.
I'm not too pressed to buy a board, I will be renting for the first little while. I will most likely buy a pair of boots first so I can break them in, I'm not too fond of the idea of renting boots. But nonetheless, spring will be here soon which means big sales at some of the local sports shops so I want to be ready to snipe a good deal if I see one. There are a bunch of "beginner boards" in stock that look to be good deals, but what do I know aside from "ooh, look at the pretty graphics!".
I realistically have the following to chose from: Salomon, Burton, K2, 5150, LTD, Option, and Firefly. Firefly seems to be specific to Sportchek, I can't find any information on them aside from a news report (CBC - Street Cents
) which makes them seem good, but I never hear about them on any of the big sites. Burton is a bit pricey. K2 (Illusion, A Star) are also a bit pricey, but more affordable than Burton. 5150 and LTD both have reasonable priced boards, but not sure about the quality on their low end designs (Nomad and Fury models, respectively). The Salomon Select is likely the top of my board price range (not including bindings). I just want to know what to avoid and what to consider should the prices bomb. Most of my riding will be on small hills (damn prairies!) so freeride should be the board of choice, no?
Now, to sizing. I'm 5'9", really broad shouldered, and have tree-trunk legs, bringing my weight to 190 pounds (srsly, I'm not fat!). I'm a size 9.5-ish in shoes so a standard width board should suffice. I'm thinking something in the 155-160 range?