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Old 01-12-2010, 02:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
Glydan
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Default Questions from someone considering buying his first board

Hey guys,

I've been a stalker of these forums for the past few days, soaking everything in as I consider getting my first board. And with that, I have some questions:

1) How troublesome/costly is storage and travel with regard to a snowboard?
I'm currently a college student, and I'll be studying abroad for a year and a half, during which I would either bring the board with me (One destination is London, and boarding the alps just sounds amazing). Is storing a snowboard a hassle with limited space? And how much does it actually cost to maintain the board (waxing, etc)? I probably won't be able to board for more than one or two trips every year... Would it be better to rent for now? Do airlines charge a fee for checking in a snowboard? How much?

2) Buying the board.
I see a lot of people buying models from past years, and I would preferably like to do that because the costs are lower (though sites like wiredsports.com do have decently priced boards for around 150). Do people find them off ebay or in stores or what?

3) Budget for the whole board package.
I want to try and stay below 350 dollars for the board, boots, bindings, and a bag to travel with. I'm looking for an all-mountain style board as I like to hit the parks occasionally. I'm 5'10" and about 175 bounds with a shoe size of 10.5 (I wear 11s for normal shoes for comfort, but for snowboarding I go for a smaller size to get better fit and control over the board). What length board should I get? I'm thinking 158 or 156? Or would those be too short for my weight?

At the moment I'm okay with any brand of board, but for bindings, Flow bindings really interest me since I do feel the regular 2 strap bindings tend apply pressure to my feet unevenly, and I'd like to try out Flow's bindings. Is it too risky to actually purchase Flows for my first set of bindings? (I've never tried them, sadly). That or Union bindings look quite nice (There was an orange one that I liked, but I don't remember the name, starts with a C).

Anyways given my budget and preferences, anyone have any recommended set ups?


Thanks for your help!

Last edited by Glydan; 01-12-2010 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you go to Sierrasnowboard's sale section right now (Discount Snowboards, Discount Snowboard Bindings, Discount Snowboard Boots, Snowboard Sales, Burton Snowboard Sales) you can get some pretty decent equipment for 70% off:
Forum Eddie Wall Destroyer 156 (2007) - $135
Forum Recon Bindings (Large) (2008) - $54
Vans Mantra (10.5 - Not on sale) - $139

The orange Union bindings are the 2010 Union Contacts. No opinion on the Flows, but I've heard that their strap-in system is all preference. If you're only going to ride once or twice per year though, it might just be better to rent equipment.
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Mmm, my bad, forgot to clarify that bit. I would like to/plan on snowboarding a lot during the winter seasons. It's just with school and all the moving, I will not be able to board for long periods of each season.

The main reason I'm leaning towards buying a snowboard is that I want to get used to one board so I don't have to adjust every time I rent. Sort of like a baseball glove I guess. It just feels more natural and at home to be using your own gear that you've broken in.

Do you know how much Union Contacts are? And I've read that I should definitely try on the boots instead of ordering them online. How long is the sale at Sierra?
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Not sure when the sierra sale ends, but it has been going on for a while. Probably until they sell all of their older merchandise. Check out geartrade.com too for some discounted snowboards.

The Union contacts are usually $150+, but they are great bindings for freestyle riding. I'd say given your situation, go for a cheaper pair of bindings, and split the rest on comfortable boots and a snowboard around the $150-200 range. If you're just starting out, I'd actually look more for a freestyle/park type of board, as they are typically more forgiving when it comes to turning. The Flow Era is a nice board that I've seen on sale a lot (New Flow Era 156 snowboard 2009 - eBay (item 380163261848 end time Jan-26-10 23:09:23 PST))

As for air travel, I know that you can either store your board in the overhead bins if there is enough room, or you can put it in the locker that they have in front. Travel bags can get expensive if you're looking for ones that can store your board, boots and bindings. Maybe you can look for a cheaper travel bag just for your board and bring it as a carry-on, and check-in a separate bag for your boots and bindings.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ah, okay. Yeah, things are starting to add up. It almost seems like 350 isn't going to work out. :S

I've actually snowboarded for awhile already. I'm new the buying my own equipment though.

What size board would you recommend? I don't think I need a wide board since I'm a 10.5, but I'm iffy on the length.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Haha ok my bad. I think you can do it with $350, just check ebay a lot for deals. Best time to buy (good) gear though is in the off-season, as that's when websites have their big sales.

I have a Size 10.5 boot too, and ride a wide board (K2 Darkstar 154w, waist length 259cm). You can check the specs on the board that you are buying, but I wouldn't recommend getting anything below a 250cm on the waist, otherwise you might experience some toe-drag during turns. That makes it a bit harder to find a snowboard, since you'll either have to go for a true wide board or a mid-wide (252-259ish). Length...I'd suggest looking around for one around 152-156, more towards 156 if you're going to ride more mountain than park.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ah, alrighty. Are snowboard boot sizes the same as regular shoe sizes? Cause I dunno if I've ever had problems with toe drag. Maybe they've always given me smaller boots, haha. I'll keep an eye out for when my friends and I go up this month to see what boot size and board width and length seems to work. Thanks for the all the help Albertos. =)
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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No prob Glydan. If you wear a Size 10.5 shoe, boots can be either Size 10.5 or 11. If you can, try them out first before buying. Keep in mind too that most boots expand a little bit after wearing them a few times.
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