Advice for a noobie's first snowboard?
So I live in Washington, and this season, I switched from four years of skiing/skiing blacks, to starting snowboarding. I have been up four times, two of those times on the actual lift (doing both green and blue each time). I'm at the point where falling isn't AS common, I can get off the lift normally, etc. I'm a regular rider, or so I think anyway (I've been riding switch somewhat, but to be frank I am still a bit unsure. It feels natural, but so does goofy. Haha, how vague).
I used my friend's old board for those four times. It is a Ride Control, and it's a year or two old. I forget what the bindings were. He's offered to sell it to me for $150, bindings included.
So I'm a male, I weigh somewhere between 130-135. I'm 5'7" or 5'8". My shoe size is either 10 1/2 or 11, the former I think. The ride board served me well, and it was pretty flexible, but I'm still uncertain. So I'd like some help on this, haha.
1. So should I buy a "good" model from a previous year, but used, or a new model from this year?
2. I'd be willing to shell out $500ish max.
3. I've heard great things about NSI, GNU, and Libtech. I hear these three use special patented technology which makes riding easier/more efficient/what have you. But is it worth a relatively new comer's money to buy a 2011 board?
4. I don't think I'll be doing the park any time soon.
5. What brands should I look for? Or should I avoid the brand-idea and go for individual models from an array of companies. There are ALOT of snowboard companies...
Uh...ya. I guess that's it for now. If you could also recommend some goggles, bindings, and a helmet, that'd be great too!