Hey, just got addicted to snowboarding and sick or borrowing my friends, so i am trying to buy a board and some equipment. im not to worried about the boots or binds, but im being real picky with the board i buy, but where do i start? i understand the height/weight and board length ratio, so thats not the problem. Biggest questions are:
does brand really matter?
what's a good website to buy snowboards?
Is it a bad idea to buy online?
Are there any brands i should avoid?
how do u know the difference between beginner boards and advanced boards?
whats a good budget to stick with when buying my first board?
Please keep in mind, im not a complete beginner, but im definitely ready for rails or half pipes
IMO, brand doesn't really matter, though certain brands have a wider variety of boards in ride style and ability. I like my Rossignol, but everybody has their own preference.
(as jmoes mentioned) is awesome and they have pretty much anything you could need.
Buying a board online is a pretty good idea, I think. You get better deals, and The-House offers free shipping. Just buy your boots and probably bindings in a store so you can try the fit. Or at least try the fit, then find them online if you want to pay a little less.
Beginner boards usually have an extruded base and a single sidecut. Go for an all mountain style for your first board, since this will let you try out everything there is and let you know what kind of riding you really want to do. The more intermediate and advanced boards have a sintered base and a radial or a progressive sidecut. And for your height and weight I'd suggest probably a 157-159 size board.
If you know what sizes you need for boots and bindings you can get a pretty good deal buying a package (board, bindings, and boots) at The-House for about $300. For the board itself, for your first, I'd stick around a $200 price range. But it's ultimately your budget you're working with.
So go get your gear and have some fun, man!