Hello everyone. I am a new member here and I need some advice. I am brand new to snowboarding and am looking for my first snowboard. My girlfriend is into the sport and wants me to become involved with her. I want to go with her and support her but in reality Iím not going to become a serious snowboarder. I will probably only go with her a half a dozen times per year. But I want to go and take part and I may end up liking it. So with that being said I am in the market for a snowboard. My finances are somewhat limited and I would like to get the best snowboard I can for the cheapest price. I have been doing a lot of research online but thought I would ask for your opinions.
I am 6 feet tall and weigh 185 with a size 12 shoe. Based on what I will probably be doing, I would want an all mountain board. And I think I should get a board between 160cm and 164cm and should get the wide model. But I am unsure what to buy.
I donít live in a snowboard friendly area. Dickís and Sports Authority are the only places in my town that carry snowboards. Dickís has a 5150 Vice that is in my price range of $200. The Sports Authority has a Simms Quest from 2009 for $180. Looking online I have found Lamar has a few boards in that price range. The Trooper, the Tripper and the Ultra are comparable to the Vice price wise. I also saw a Morrow Fury and a Sapient Yeti. Unfortunately I have found very little information online about any of these boards. Some of these boards appear to be older models like the Simms one I found. I believe that is why they are cheaper. The model year really doesnít matter that much to me.
I donít want to break the bank on a snowboard because I doubt that I can justify spending a lot of money based on the amount of use I am going to put into it. Plus I donít have the finances for that right now. But I donít want to get a terrible board that will be discouraging trying to learn how to ride. I am looking for that happy medium. I would like to hear from you if you know anything about these boards or would recommend a budget board that I could start out with. Thanks in advance for you thoughts.
I think you're on the right track getting a wide for those big feet. I would probably go smaller than 164cm as a larger board is going to be harder to maneuver. I'm thinking 157-161cm would be about right. I personally wouldn't recommend any of those brands you've mentioned but if that's all you can afford well at least it will get you down the mountain. You can find a discounted board online for $200-$250 from a good brand that will make learning to snowboard much funner. I've been deal hunting my self so I will keep my eyes open for wide boards and I'll post you some links here if I find anything. Bindings are going to cost a bit too but some places have package deals so that might be something to look into.
On a side note you're lucky to have a girl that is into snowboarding. I hope you learn to enjoy it because it's a great thing to do with your lady and I know many guys who would be really stoked to have a girl that rides.
I suggest looking at boards on sale from last year. you'll find some really sick boards from top end brands for 200-250 bucks. also, you should look at riding something more like a 157-160. it will just be easier to handle, especially if you're new to the sport.
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At the low-end pricepoint snowboards tend handle very similar to each other(from my experience). The only difference I see is newer boards tend to be rocker, while boards from a few years back are usually still traditional camber. I learned to snowboard on a traditional cambered board so I can't say how much easier a board with rocker is to learn on, though I always hear it's much more forgiving when you're figuring out how your edges behave on snow. If you're unsure if the board is rocker or camber have one of the store clerks lay the board on a flat surface. If it arcs up at the tips it's a rocker board; if it arcs down to the tips it's regular camber.
Anyways, ss long as you get a board in your weight range you shouldn't have any problems learning with it; in your case a 160 sounds about right. And yes you'll most likely want a wide board at a size 12.
Cheap out on the board and bindings, but don't on your boots. Comfortable boots can make/break an enjoyable experience while snowboarding.
Good luck learning but don't count on not becoming addicted to snowboarding. It's a drug. Once you get a real taste you'll come back for more.
If $350 isn't outside of your budget for a board and bindings I don't think you can beat the Sierra Stunt Wide combo at Trusnow.com. It's basically a re-branded Burton Blunt if I recall. With V-rocker and a softer flex it will be a very forgiving board to learn on and the Rome S90 bindings it comes with will be much better than anything you can find at Dick's. They have a 159 Wide and a 162 Wide. I would go 159 unless your local resort gets tons of powder in which case the larger board might help.
Guys thanks for all the advice. Kesson I am pretty lucky. I sort of don't want her to know I am doing this as far as asking her advice. First I want to surprise her that I am all in with this. And two if she knows she will go out and buy me something. And that sort of defeats the purpose. Any reason why you wouldn't go with any of the boards I found? Just curious. Thanks for the link.
5150/Lamar stuff like that mostly sold in Dick's/Sports Authority are just cheapo generic crap boards. As a beginner you may not notice but once you get to know what you are doing you may very well regret the purchase. Though you may unexpectedly like it, some do. Most often you will get a much better ride out of an Burton/Rome/Capita/Gnu/Arbor so on and so on.
You can even rent a setup for the entire season for under 200 bucks. Then buy something during late season sales with enhanced knowledge of what you are looking for in a board, along with much better prices than mid/late December.
After doing a ton of research over the past week I am leaning towards Kesson's suggestion and going with a Sierra over some of the other models I was looking at. Just thought I would ask everyone's opinion on the Sierra line for a beginner like me. Thanks guys. You all have been a big help to me.
If you're down with that price tag, the Sierra is going to be your best bet out of the mentioned boards and the route I'd take. Good solid, quality board that will be forgiving to your learning and hold up to a bit of thrashing. As a few members have stated, if you research online (I'm similar to your size and weight) they'll say you need a much larger board than many prefer. I'd stay on the short end, especially if you're not extremely physically fit and wanting to really flex the muscles to keep the board turning back and forth.
I like that you're wanting to surprise her, that's great. Another point I'd make on the board subject is if you buy a cheap generic board you will probably never be able to sell it for anything whereas if you get something a little nicer you can probably get back a portion of your money some day. So if you decide snowboard is not for you you can get some of the money back or if you get into it you might want to upgrade down the line so you'll be able to sell the board, keep the bindings or vice versa and be able to have a little money for new gear. Anyways, let us know how it all goes, I'd be interested to hear.