First Board - What Does All of this Information Mean?
Hey all! I really hate to start off a post like that, but I'm looking to pick up a board very soon (under two weeks) and have finally accepted that I am a little lost after hours of reading and searching.
Background and necessary stats:
- 5-6 trips made thus far, average of 2-3 days each
- between beginner and intermediate largely because of infrequent boarding here on the Ice Coast
- I'm probably more of a cruiser speed wise, and enjoy both freeride and park
- roughly 5'8" and 185lbs, size 10 foot (for most boots)
When I say beginner/intermediate, I can pick up speed and carve pretty well. I still tend to catch edges occasionally when linking turns, but have never ridden anything other than a rental board. I will hit small jumps and boxes, but wouldn't consider myself a serious park rider right now. I like to cruise, but like to keep speed at controllable levels.
There are two boards I am seriously considering right now, the K2 Brigade and the Forum Recon. I've been wearing K2 skates for years now and always liked their quality for the price. From what I've seen, the Brigade would match some of my current abilities and wants, but I'm afraid that it may not have as much growth room as I'd like. The 2012 Recon appears solid and a good match for my style, but I can't tell if it is too advanced (some reviews suggest it is, others say beginners). I do like the idea of a rocker board, especially for learning park/tricks. It seems that both of these boards should be fairly smooth and composed, is this true? One particular concern is how the board handles groomers and ice, since that is all I really have available (Snowshoe had the best conditions I've ridden so far).
It looks like something in the 156cm range is about right for my build and speed preference. I think the board I rode at Snowshoe was an Atomic 155, which was comfortable, and the Burton LTR 157 or 158 (I guess that is the range?) I rode at Sugar was just a bit much to swing.
I'm trying to keep a decent budget (~$300 for the board, $150 each for bindings and boots), but am flexible if there is something really worth the extra cash. I'm quite committed to sticking with the sport, despite how goofy I might look on the hill.
Am I on track here?
And for the bindings and boots. Is it wise to just match the bindings for now (Forum Recon or K2 Sonic)? I have very little in the way of a reference point here, so I suppose it may not make much difference.. The boots are one place that I am definitely willing to splurge on, in light of the number of foot and lower leg injuries I've had in the past year. I want ankle (twisted it last season) and arch support here, and a comfortable overall experience. Any thoughts on the K2 Haymaker, Curfew, and Ryker?
I'm open to any thoughts and suggestions, since I am quite lost despite all the reading I've done. Unfortunately, it's pretty much impossible to find anything related to snowboarding within a few hour's drive of here. I'd like to have my gear in hand rather than having to make a quick decision when I get to the slopes this year.