Im looking to buy my first board but am a little lost in all the researching i've been doing..a little about me: im a girl, age 21, height ~5'3"/4", weight ~115, boot size: 4.5..
ive technically been riding for about 6 years but only since last season i finally passed the learning curve and really started enjoying myself. i would consider myself a beginner/low intermediate with mostly all-mountain intent. i doubt ill do any park riding since the person i go with is a skiier and i enjoy just riding down groomers with her. i might hit a few small jumps now and then.
i usually go to bear mountain/snow summit in southern california but would really enjoy going to mammoth this season as well. if it matters, i just got a pair of salomon f20w's for boots and i am just as lost with how to purchase bindings haha i might rent my first trip this season to get a feel for the boots i purchased, because i dont really know what to feel for with boards yet.
if anyone has suggestions on good boards for me, id really appreciate the help! ive been getting so excited for this season its sort of taken over my free time :P
What have you been riding over the past few seasons?
I would go with an all-moutain freestyle board that will be stiff enough for the whole mountain, but soft enough for you to continue to progress on.
I'm glad you posted your boot size because I wear the same size and have found that it has really affected my riding. In fact, it took me FOREVER to learn to link turns, even on a freestyle board. Once I switched to a softer park board, I was turning immediately. In general, your feet should approach the edge of your board for optimal control. If they don't, you'll have a hard time turning and boards will feel much stiffer torsionally than they actually are. Choose board with a thinner waist and soft torsional flex.
Good all-mountain options if you're not worried about torsional stiffnes: K2 Fling or Ecopop, NS Infinity, Ride Compact, Rome Vinyl, Bataleon Violenza, K2 Lunatique, Gnu B-Nice
If you are worried about stiffness, go with a high-end park board: I ride a Gnu B-Street 141 all-mountain and it's treated me well. It is soft enough for me, yet handles groomers, trees, and powder exceptionally well. Also consider: Roxy Eminence, Roxy Ollie Pop, Capita Space Metal Fantasy, Arbor Cadence, NS Pandora, Bataleon Distortia
As for bindings, I guess it depends on how much you want to spend. Cheaper bindings are obviously more affordable, but aren't well made and are usually pretty soft. My first bindings were a pair of Burton Stilettos - the ladders were so sticky and the ankle strap was so stiff and hard to get into that I threw them away after just a few days on snow. I traded them in for a more mid-range binding: Ride Vxn. I liked them a lot better and rode them for the rest of the season. If you can swing it, go for an upper-end binding that you can try with your boot. I have Salomon boots in a 4.5 and love my K2 Virtues. I also have a pair of Rome Madisons, which are some of the best on the market, but do not fit my boot well. I've heard great things about Burton Lexas and Ride DVas.