Snowboarding can be an incredibly dangerous sport if not done the right way. Before hitting the slopes, check out your local ski resort for lesson times and dates. With a little help, you'll be snowboarding like a pro in no time. After you know what you're doing, make sure to get the best equipment for your riding style!
Looking for help shredding? See our guides on beginning and expert snowboarding.
Snowboards are a pricey investment so try out a few rentals first and find the best fit for you. It is important to take into account whether you board goofy or regular. Goofy means your right foot is forward and regular is when your left foot is forward. If you prefer riding goofy, you may want to look into specially made bindings and even specially made boards so you have the perfect curvature for your riding style.
Take into account the size of a snowboard. It should come up to the area between your nose and chin when it's standing upright on its tail. The width should give you enough space to strap your bindings and boots without any overhang. Lastly, if you are a heavier person or have particularly strong legs, look for a stiffer board. For females or lightweight individuals, search for a flexible board: Burton makes special women's boards for those who need a thinner option.
Now figure out your preferred riding style. All Mountain, or Freeride, is the most common style and it gives you the most options. Freeriding is for someone who enjoys everything (getting a little air, carving up the mountain side, etc), while Freestyle and Technical riding includes trick riding and stunts; these boards are more technical and will give you slightly fewer options. Because these boards are very responsive, this also makes them a good choice for beginners. Carve/Alpine style is for speed demons--this equipment is ideal for high speed carving, but just remember it's not so good for doing tricks.
When it comes to choosing a brand, there is quite a large selection. Some may choosebased on their favorite pro snowboarder, while others want to endorse a local shop's boards. Although you want a good brand, focus on the specific board: a good name can still make bad gear. Also think about your price range and graphics: the latter will represent your personality but these details should just be the icing on the cake, not the dealmaker or breaker. If you're looking to save money, consider buying last year's models, and start your search around the summer time so you're more likely to benefit from sales.
Snowboard bindings come in three main types: strap on, step in or plate/lever.
* Strap on bindings are the most common; they have a more flexible fit but should keep you safely in place during your ride.
* Step in bindings will require corresponding boots. These are super options for easy step in and out, but for trick riding you will want to steer clear of these. Oftentimes they will dislodge during hard landings or big falls.
* Plate/Lever bindings need to be fitted with matching boots. These are the most uncommon type of bindings and are made particularly for fast riders.
Accessorize! Make sure you have the latest gear this season so you're prepared for the slopes and will look good as well.
* Snowboarding Gloves
** Look for some killer gloves from Grenade: they keep you warm and can be an awesome form of creative snowboarding expression.
* Stomp Pad
** A snowboard stomp pad is something that comes into play while exiting a snow lift. When they are not shredding, snowboarders walk around with one foot unlactched. When you get off the lift, you usually have to make a quick turn, so a stomp pad is where you put your free foot until you can get strapped in again. It gives you traction to make a few turns before getting situated.
* Snowboarding Socks
** These socks are higher than your average one so you'll have the comfort and warmth you need while keeping snow and slush out.
* Snowboard Bag
** Keep your board free of nicks and scratches in transport, or bag it over the summer to keep the dust off. A snowboard bag is a wise investment for the safety of your board.