Ok, so I just finished my 3rd and final lesson at Mtn High via their 3-peat package (killer deal) and am officially hooked after a 15 year hiatus from my first attempt at boarding when I gave up after a few hours (advanced skier). By the end of my 3rd lesson last week (helped a lot) I was completing edge to edge turns pretty smoothly and can get into and hold a basic carve....haven't tried any tricks yet. I rode a POS Head cambered 163 board for all 3 lessons, and am sold on getting my own gear.
Here's my dilemma...I 'm a big guy...6'4" 275 lbs (losing weight) and Size 13/14 boot...so my board choices are definitely limited to a W. From the sizing charts I've seen, I need anywhere between a 163 and 167, depending on rocker (size down?) or camber, so that's where I've narrowed my choices, but that also further complicates things. I've been learning on a cambered board and doing ok progressing so far, but have read all the hype about rockers helping beginners progress faster and not catching an edge, blah blah, etc....so I started to get sold on a rocker board and looked high and low for a Burton Joystick which I couldn't find anywhere in a 163W. But I have also read the anti-hype saying that beginners should learn on a cambered board to learn and master the fundamentals of boarding, and that cambered boards can actually be more stable when carving for beginners, which I definitely want.
The other question is, do I start with a solid camber beginner board/binding set to start out on or go with an intermediate/advanced rocker board and better bindings that I can progress with for a while. Not sure I will end up being much of a park rider, prob more an all mountain cruiser/bomber with a few jumps here and there. As for bindings, I want a good solid binding that will help me progress and last me a while.
So here are the board/binding choices I'm looking at:
Beginner Camber Boards
- Flow Merc (163W)
- K2 Podium (163W or 167W)
- Flow Flite 3
- Burton Custom
- Union Cadet
Intermediate/Advanced Rocker Boards
- Burton Joystick (163W - wait for 2011 model - '10 sold out)
- Never Summer Legacy-R (166) or Heritage-XR (165)
- K2 Parkstar (163W)
- Nitro Team Gullwing (162W)
- Gnu Riders Choice (166)
- Ride Machete (164W)
- Burton Cartel Reg or EST
- Flow NXT AT
- Union Force
- K2 Auto
All these options are kind of overload for a newb, so I appreciate the input.