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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

My kids (ages 8-11) decided they want to try snowboarding this year, so I will be enrolling them into an 8-week program at MSLM.

Since they have never snowboarded before, and may decide they don't like it after all (and go back to skiing next season), I wouldn't want to spend a lot at this point and would probably buy used.

With that in mind, can you please give me general recommendations for selecting equipment (boards, boots, etc.)?

My main objective is for them to have fun (eating snow is not), get some basic skills and, if they like it decide to continue, I can get them other stuff next year (probably will have to, they grow...)

Questions:
- Board size, based on rider height/weight/ability?
- Board shape?
- Camber/rocker/flat/hybrid?
- Boots...

And in particular, what to avoid?

Thank you!
 

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Take a look at used sales. Burton has a LTR series, (learn to ride), look there. Most newby boards are usually rocker based from what I remember. Board shape won't matter much if you're debating between directional or twins since they'll be learning to ride they'll likely not riding goofy anyway. Also boots won't matter at that size, just buy them whatever is comfortable and take them to a boot fitter. They will likely be wearing softish boots. Avoid stiffness because it's more likely to harm their learning curve.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Couldn't answer that without knowing their height/weight/riding style. There is no universal formula for length it depends entirely on the individuals preference amongst other factors.
As I said in the original post, they have never snowboarded before so there is no riding style / individual's preference at this time.

Surely there should be some age/height/weight to board-length formula for complete novices?
 

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As I said in the original post, they have never snowboarded before so there is no riding style / individual's preference at this time.

Surely there should be some age/height/weight to board-length formula for complete novices?
there's really no formula.

Just rent for the mean time, from a shop that offers cheap season rentals

What the shop may typically do is size them to about chin level. They would be getting cheap camber board...

If they want to continue to snowboard in subsequent years, continue to rent, until they practically stop growing (then it's time to buy something)
 

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Might want to check out GearTrade.com to find some good deals on used gear or Craigslist if you plan to buy instead of rent... You might consider just renting at first at least a few times as this will give you a better idea of sizing before you buy any equipment and save yourself the hassle because used gear can't be returned if it doesn't fit right...
 

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there's really no formula.
This is bullshit above, disregard. Here's a size chart, it's driven by weight only not height.

Kids' Burton Snowboard Size Chart - 2014 | evo

I think you're better off buying used than renting, the hassles of rental lineups 8x at mslm will make you mental.

Burton grom bindings are good, only one ratchet instead of two.

In the past couple years kids boards have gotten easier to ride as they are less cambered, so try to buy used stuff from about 2010 on, although my kid started at 6 on some crap board she found in the garbage can at skis and bikes that was probably 10 cms to long and 10 years old, but she liked the graphics, and was riding like a champ after a season on it.

Consider going new on the boots, comfort is really important, and sizing is key.

I have a 125 wide burton LTR (aka the rental board) and some grom bindings I could could sell cheap, pm me if I interested or if you have other questions.
 

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This is bullshit above, disregard. Here's a size chart, it's driven by weight only not height.

Kids' Burton Snowboard Size Chart - 2014 | evo

I think you're better off buying used than renting, the hassles of rental lineups 8x at mslm will make you mental.

Burton grom bindings are good, only one ratchet instead of two.

In the past couple years kids boards have gotten easier to ride as they are less cambered, so try to buy used stuff from about 2010 on, although my kid started at 6 on some crap board she found in the garbage can at skis and bikes that was probably 10 cms to long and 10 years old, but she liked the graphics, and was riding like a champ after a season on it.

Consider going new on the boots, comfort is really important, and sizing is key.

I have a 125 wide burton LTR (aka the rental board) and some grom bindings I could could sell cheap, pm me if I interested or if you have other questions.
That guide is bs. But thanks for being a goon and talking shit. My buddy is about 20lbs lighter than me and rides the same exact size. It's all preference. And everything you said is exactly what I said besides sizing. Thanks again for the post though.
 

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I think it's that time of year when the tension of waiting for the season to get in full swing has everyone edgy. :D

As everyone has said, there isn't some precise formula that will give exacting advice on what size board someone should be riding, but there are guides as mentioned. The Burton one isn't bad, IMHO (especially for Burton boards). Most manufacturers have their own. Generally speaking, weight is the most important determining factor, but foot size and height are considerations as well. Of course it's ultimately personal preference, but you have to start somewhere. As for "riding style", I think what NoOtherOptions may have been getting at was what type of riding they anticipate wanting to do most, i.e. park, halfpipe, powder, etc. Though it's not a problem if they aren't sure either. Generally speaking, you don't want too large a board when learning. The exception to this might be learning in powder, but since you're in Ontario that's unlikely an issue. If your kids have large feet, you need to make sure heel/toe drag is not an issue. As for board shape and camber, a basic twin or directional twin is typically a good starting point. Hybrid cambers frequently offer raised contact points that many people find preferable for learning, but of course many of us learned on traditional camber boards without issues, so it's not essential.

REI's guide does a pretty good job covering the basics of gear selection in general.

Also Frosty Rider's Sizing Guide is the closest you're going to get to a formula, but remember, it is just a rough guide. Once you have a specific board in mind, you probably want to check the manufacturer's guide as well.

Boots are definitely one of the most important choices, not so much brand as fit. While probably not quite a critical as ski boot fit, it's still the most important factor in boot selection. Your safest option is to find a respected local boot-fitter. Also, generally speaking, softer boots are preferable for learning.

Craigslist and GearTrade can be good sources for used gear, but you have to be a little careful and do a little research to get an idea of pricing. Craigslist especially, at least where I live, can have a lot of ancient stuff with ridiculously high prices. Another option is to look for previous-years models and closeouts, both locally and online. Although at this time of year the pickings maybe slim already.
 

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surprisingly, to me, goodwill, pawnshops, thriftshops etc have tons of boots...here anyway. got my kid some spankin new burtons last winter for $10

don't buy anything sight unseen, long diststance...gotta try things on
 

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I'm no expert by any means... I am as green as green can be. My son and I started last year in feb

I wound up buying him a used 2005 burton chopper 126 with the burton jr freestyle bindings, and used burton boots found it at local ski shop. whole thing was less than 125
Way cheaper than renting. He loved that setup. he was doing all the greens 2nd day out, (I however am just graduating the blues) He also was tearing up the terrain parks, with no fear. He is just going on 10 this year.
He wound up dinging the ege of the board, little seperation so the board will prob not last the season, so this year for the holidays I picked him up a 2013 super hero with 2012 ride phenom bindings both new all at quite the discount (still less than 200 for the pair)

so there are deals to be had. I would suggest trying local ski/snowboard shops as many by me are now having thier tent sales and things are going cheap . as well as many online retailers and local shops are all clearing out older gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all for your replies!

Another question:
I read that, on groomed runs, rocker is boards are easier for 1st-timers than camber boards. Can you please comment?

Thank you!
 

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Thank you all for your replies!

Another question:
I read that, on groomed runs, rocker is boards are easier for 1st-timers than camber boards. Can you please comment?

Thank you!
They are easier to avoid catching edges and to build bad habits on. It's a compromise. I would get them rocker, because if they're hitting the deck all the time, especially already being skiers, they're gonna get sick of falling fast.
 

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That guide is bs. But thanks for being a goon and talking shit. My buddy is about 20lbs lighter than me and rides the same exact size. It's all preference. And everything you said is exactly what I said besides sizing. Thanks again for the post though.
The guide is very useful for kids, works fine.

Even the OP who's here with no knowledge has caught you out in an earlier post, you want to know his never ever been before kids riding style? Of course they don't have a style yet.

Do you have any experience with kids and snowboarding? Doesn't sound like it.
 

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the formula is FUN...with good fitting boots...they can ride most anything...cause they don't know any better...take a few of their good natured friends along...lessons and they will figure it out. That way you can go rip some laps while they are in lessons and figuring it out with their buds.
 

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Another option is to look for previous-years models and closeouts, both locally and online. Although at this time of year the pickings maybe slim already.
The previous-year model is the approach I take. I just bought boots and bindings a month or so ago. (Board I bought in the summer.) I had been watching stuff and jumped when the prices dropped. But, yeah, right now the pickings are slimmer than a month ago, probably because of people like me.

Not to totally shill Flow gear, but there are a handful of last year's Micron board in several sizes still kicking around at a discount on eBay. So roughly $100 for last year's model, instead of $180 for this year's. You can find a sizing chart, based on weight, on Flow's website.

flow micron mini | eBay

(There's some old, old stuff and some stuff still at MSRP in those results. Buyer beware.)

Their kids bindings MSRP for $120-130. When the 2014 models came out a month or so ago, the 2013 models on eBay dropped to about $60, I think. I bought a pair at the time, but now they're all gone. I also got my kid the next size up in Flow boots for $50 (2012 model, actually) in case he needs the bigger size sometime this winter. I knew the model fit OK in general because that's what he has now.

Where I live, the swaps are pretty bad for kids' stuff, so I don't even bother any more. I just keep an eye out online for the price drops.
 

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I think the about chin level for length should work out pretty good for a 8 and 11 year old. I found for me when I was learning a shorter board was easier to link turns on. And a higher performance board made it easier to learn. So don't get the cheapest board you can find but also don't get an expensive new one.
I also agree that owning a board is better for learning rather than always getting a different rental. Plus if you have snow where you live your kids will probably be hiking hills with their boards instead of tobogganing this year.

Don't sweat it too much they will probably have fun with anything you get them.
 
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