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Old 10-11-2008, 06:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
smijy&burgs
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Default Newbies From The North, An Intro And Info Post

Greetings all!
As I write this I am sitting on the balcony of my penthouse suite over looking the fall colors on the face of Blue Mountain.
My girlfriend has family in the Wasaga Beach area that we are visiting for thanksgiving, and we decided to have a nights get away at the Blue Mountain Resort.

If you have never been during the thanksgiving season, it's a must, with the "turkey sale tent event" all equipment and clothing, etc, are 50 60, 70, and even 80% off.

Which brings me to this forum, we have been bitten by the wanting to try boarding bug. She has never so much as downhill skied, I have a few times and quite enjoyed it, but both of us have friends who snowboard and find the possiblity of us partaking, quite exciting.

After talking it over we decided that this winter we are going to partake in lessons from a certified instructor at our loca hill.

I am 25 and she is 30, we are looking for advice, that should we enjoy our lessons and the sport, and decide to get into it, what equipment we should look at purchasing. We don't need top of the line half pipe shredding gear as that is not our intentions, something comftorable, durable, and reasonably priced, (and fashionable according to the mrs ) that will last us a few seasons.

Our goal is to have some fun and laughs and spills on the hill, carving and taking in the scenery. I am 6 feet tall and just about 300 lbs, I am very active and play on a competitive hockey and baseball team, as well as paintball, hunt, fish, camp, golf, race and jump sport quads, and powder carve and hill climb with my snowmobiles.

My girlfriend is about 5'4 and won't tell me her weight, however I will just throw a number out, around the 200lb mark. She is also very active, plays baseball, snowmobiles and four wheels.

I look forword to being a part of this forum, and sharing our new adventure with the rest of you enthusiast, and hearing your feedback.

Sincerely`

smijy & burgs
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
bravogrl28
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Default From my newb exp last year, here's my 0.02 so far...

So she's active but on the heavier side for her height then... my friend I go snowboarding with is that way too (she's into softball, very active, but a larger girl, etc.). You're both going to fall a lot so make sure you have baggy pants with a lot of room. My friend ripped a seam in her pants (right on the crack!) last year... I'm still a newb myself but for attire have found that I prefer pants and a jacket that has a lot of pockets (so you can carry your camera for the first snowboarding blunder picture memmories... cash & ID if you're planning on hanging out in a lodge/getting a drink/buying food/etc... car keys, etc...)

I don't know if her weight/size had anything to do with it but for some reason my friend had an awful time getting up compared to me... some people just get up naturally while others really struggle, but even when she turned over and faced the mountain, she had a hard time just flipping herself over... some of the boards she was demo'ing didn't help because they were so heavy and outright painful when she was up on the lift...but all that was just trial & error/learning for her...

There's different ways to go about gear when you're first starting out. I went to Big Five before Christmas and got a cheap Lamar starter board set (came with board, bindings & matching boots). I didn't know it until I started learning about boards from the guys in the rental shop but Lamar is pretty crappy, especially the bindings (they can break while boarding...)... at the same time, I saved a lot of money in that starter set because we were at it snowboarding almost every weekend for a few months... so all I had to budget was my weekend bunny hill lift ticket and my part of the gas... whereas my friend had that plus rentals and lessons... and she ended up ditching her lessons and wanting to teach herself (didn't feel she was ready for the day 2 lesson and just wanted to keep working on day 1 on her own... so it would have originally been a good package deal--the discounted rental & lift that comes with the beginner lessons, but she ditched it so she ended up not getting such a good deal afterall...)... However, all that said... my friend stopped renting the regular snowboards after just a few weekends and started demoing boards right away. These are not as cheap to rent, BUT, at the end of the season, you know what you like and what you don't like and can take advantage of the end of season sales. The rental shop was selling some really cool boards for half off, but she got an even better deal on the internet... ended up paying less than what I'd paid for my starter set and on quality gear.

Personally, if you're not sure if you're going to like something then it's a toss up. You have to calculate out how often you expect to commit to going, figure out the costs of lessons, rentals, gas, and lift tickets (assume that you'll at least be going on the bunny hill and then eventually you'll venture up to the adult lift... you could save money by only going half day on the regular adult lift and not pay as much for the full day prices)... and then have that information on hand when you go to the tent sale. It's not a bad idea to do what I did and get a cheap starter set (or to get decent equipment pretty cheap)... just do it realizing that it's your first set, you'll probably decide to get something better in the future once you know what you like & don't like, so you just don't want to shell out a ton of money quite yet. Figure out what a good budget is for you and the max you think is reasonable to pay to get started compared to what you'd pay if you just rented each time.

For snowboarding attire, it's all pretty basic, just stay warm! I like under armor or helly hansen long johns (the kind that are cool-warm... that don't allow moisture to seep in, don't let you sweat or get stinky, keep you dry, keep you warm, etc...) You don't have to go to tent sales to get a good deal on these. I was an eager beaver & got some helly hansen long underwear being too focused on the color & sizing... then a month later I was down in their outlet store and they had the same stuff 50% off... I got stuff there and am going to take my full-priced items still in the box back up and exchange for other things... Big 5 usually has good snowboarding socks on sale around Thanksgiving & Christmas... I used my one pair all season and they kept my feet nice & dry, warm, etc., without being too big for my boots.

Whatever you get, have someone working there help you out. I noticed the board I got has a crappy little safety strap/leash that's really hard to get on. There's a leash law in Washington state and people always checking to see if you're strapped in... in my case though the leash doesn't do much good because it's a cheap plastic little thing that could probably easily break off... so that's something else to make a note of. You want to be able to get your left foot in & out easily so whatever bindings you get, even if you don't know how to snowboard yet, you want to make sure you can open & close them okay... my lamar board was really frustrating at first... there was this stupid little flap that the plastic buckle has to go through after I'm strapped in and every time I had to take my gloves off and spend too much time trying to squeeze it through... I fortunately had patience but my friend said she would have gotten really frustrated with my boots/bindings. Of course by the end of the season I was a pro at it, but some people get frustrated and don't hang in there...

My friend also refused to get a helmet, whereas I wore one... ironically, she was the one who was constantly crashing (including summer saulting... my goodness she could get really theatrical in her crashes... part of it was maybe her weight making her go faster? That's what she thinks anyway... so she would just go really fast and not know how to stop...)... I was completely opposite, I had to sometimes even push or jump to get myself going forward, could maneuver better and stop easily, but had a hard time getting much speed up... we were on pretty flat area though so that made it harder too... I think for starting out that one shouldn't be concerned about looks and should think about safety... Good to invest into some helmets "just in case." What I liked about my helmet was that it had these cool insulated ear straps too and kept my ears nice and warm... if you get a helmet, be sure to get a liner cap to wear inside.

Oh, another thought on attire... if you have friends who can loan you attire that fits, that's also a plus too... I had family who kept wanting to loan me their ski bibs but I didn't like them... when I was down in the snow and trying to get back up, the ski bibs were too tight and uncomfortable... I prefer baggy snowpants so that I can feel I have more room and it's not as uncomfortable trying to flip over or stand up... If you with pants over bibs, make sure to wear a belt or have a jacket that connects on the inside... last season I was constantly getting snow in my lower back... I was fine when I was snowboarding, but when it was time to take a pee break... well, getting constant cold shivers and getting wet isn't fun... I much prefer to stay dry (I'm someone who gets cold really easily)...

Have fun at the tent sale and report back on your findings.
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Click this link about the snowboarding show this weekend; 2008 Toronto Ski, Snowboard&Travel Show (its a bit of a drive from Timmins), but you can get some good advice there or an idea of what you want just by asking around. Or if you do some online research, you might want to check out the show sometime to have a look at things in-person.

Welcome to the forum!, I'm a Greater Toronto Area resident, myself and make weekly trips up to Blue Mtn. when the white and fluffy's on the ground up there

Maybe you'll catch me ridin out there this year.

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