Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Beech Grove, Indiana *sigh*
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First off, let me just say there is NOTHING wrong with e-bay. I bought my first board off e-bay and, as long as you do it right, it isn't a problem. Make sure the board isn't damaged and get lots of pics. Just be careful with you're buying and you'll be fine.
I bought my boots off e-bay, too. The only thing you want to avoid is boots that have been USED. If they are new you will be fine. Used boots just tend to conform to the wearer's foot and can make them fit poorly on the second person. If you try on the boots at a store, you will be fine buying them off the internet. Vans boots have always fit me just like street shoes, so I didn't try on my new ones and they fit flawlessly.
There isn't really a specific brand of board you SHOULD buy. Just make sure that whatever you buy is suitable for you. Your weight/height will probably warrant a low 150's board, but no one can tell you what is perfect for you. I recommend going to a demo day and trying out some boards for yourself. You don't buy a car without driving it. I don't drop $X00 on a board without riding it.
As for jackets, I don't like layers of bulk. I wear an UA Cold Gear shirt and a Quicksilver Space Station jacket. I have been warm in near 0 degree weather. If you spend a little more money, you can cut out some layers. Cold Gear shirts are expensive, but worth every penny in my opinion.