24 Nov How to select snowboard equipment correctly?
Criteria of equipment selection
For people starting their adventure with snowboard and for the more advanced ones we created a short guidebook connected with selection of equipment. The most important thing when selecting equipment is defining our skill level, style of snowboarding which we want to practise and how much money we want to spend. Answers for these questions you will find in our text – you are welcome to read.
For beginners we recommend to rent snowboard. Renting of snowboard will let you enjoy the first slides with no worries about damage of snowboard. Secondly, you will be able to try a few snowboards what will allow you to spend good money in the future. You will find rental in our snowboard centre. Before purchase of snowboard it is worth to think about following criteria.
How much experience do you have?
Let’s adopt for our needs 3 skill levels:
- Beginner – you have never practised snowboarding or you had a few lessons.
- Intermediate – you feel secure on standard slopes and you try the first jumps.
- Advanced – you ride in all conditions and on every piste, and tricks are your bread and butter.
How much do you want to spend?
For beginners we recommend snowboards for less than 1 000 PLN. Intermediate snowboarders can jump higher and spend more than 1 000 PLN and even, if they feel freely enough, they can select snowboards on the top shelf – for more than 2 000 PLN which can be used by the advanced ones.
Along with the price of snowboard, its properties grow as well. Expensive snowboards are built from better materials and their driveabilities are much better. These characteristics will be, however, appreciated by those who spent several dozen days snowboarding. The beginners, aside from significant damage to the pocket, will not feel much difference.
What kind of snowboarding style are you interested in?
- Freestyle – tricks and flights in air.
- Freeride – journey outside of appointed pistes to feel total freedom.
- Alpine – speed and blurring outlines of figures on slopes.
The beginners should select, however, a snowboard, which will enable them to try every of mentioned styles. The best choice are AllMountain snowboards, which allow to try deep powder and appointed pistes, and the first jump will not be painful. Intermediate and advanced riders know their way of the Samurai.
How long should snowboard be?
The length of snowboard is one of the most important factors influencing selection of snowboard. It has probably the greatest impact on what kind of joy the snowboarding itself will bring to us. The basis of snowboard selection is fitting the length to your height. However, this is not the only indicator determining the length of snowboard:
- Short snowboards, preferred by Freestyle followers are of a length reaching to area between clavicle and chin.
- Medium snowboards, dedicated to everybody, from the beginners to advanced riders, but liking every style of snowboarding. These snowboards reach to area between chin and the height of eyebrows.
- Long snowboards, reaching to area between forehead and a few centimetres above head, are destined to fast snowboarding.
The appropriate selection of a length of snowboard is also influenced by your weight.
- The lighter people should select shorter snowboards, because the longer may not cooperate with us the way we would like. Choose the shortest snowboard from selected for the height and style of snowboarding.
- Those who are more gifted in weight by nature should select heavier snowboards, because the shorter may occur oversteer and get out of control. It is best to select a snowboard which is the longest from chosen for the height and style of snowboarding.
- People with an average weight should select snowboards which are placed between the lowest and the highest length point of snowboard for chosen style of snowboarding and the height.
- For Freestyle select shorter snowboards and for Freeride – the longer ones.
- Longer snowboards are better for snowboarding outside of appointed pistes and in deep powder.
How wide should snowboard be?
The width of snowboard is mostly determined by size of boot. The bigger its size, the wider should snowbard be and, of course, backwards. If you buy too narrow snowboard, you can catch snow on boot, what may cause „beautiful”, uncontrolled and painful flights. If you buy too wide snowboard, you will not have full control of snowboard and you will need to put more effort in turns. Every snowboard is precisely described and for sure you will find preferred size of boot on it.
- Wider snowboards should be purchased by people of a greater weight and rather by male part of us.
- Narrower snowboards are dedicated, of course, to women and men of a lighter weight.
- Always read descriptions of snowboard, there you will find the hints.
- Nowadays, every new snowboard is very well described and there you will find the hints who it is destined to. To begin with the length and width to style of snowboarding, everything is described in specifications of snowboard.
- Ask the seller for advice. In good shops, experienced snowboarders are the sellers. If it is a shop led by people loving snowboard, you may be sure that they will help you with appropriate selection of snowboard according to your needs.
- Enjoy every moment of snowboarding and care about your snowboard.
Purpose – currently, the majority of bindings has very universal purpose (FS-FR), however models dedicated to specific style of snowboarding characterise by specific details of construction, mainly by shape and inflexibility of top strap as well as height and inflexibility of highback.
Fitting – the most important feature of bindings is its capability to fit to boot, what directly translates into control of snowboarding. Good fitting reduces also injures of foot or ankle. In bindings, the fitting is relized by „size table” (e.g. S,M,L), regulation system as well as shape and properties of strap. After fastening of boot there may be not too much space, heel has to be well immobilized in „horseshoe” and upper – strongly pressed to highback. Clamps have to provide proper dosing of strength of clamping of strips.
Inflexibility – this parameter defines purpose of boots, however we select its value also according to own tastes, remembering that stiffer boots (and properly fitted) may reduce risk of injuries of ankle and mid-foot. Toughness of boot may be best checked after putting it on, because boot bends in a different way in hands and when it is lace-up on foot. Boot should bend forwards (of the value determined by its inflexibility), a little from side to side (more and more producers give this parameter), but never backwards!
Fitting – it decides about comfort and safety, so it is the most important feature of boot. Proper fitting depends on lacing system and material which inner boot is made of. The basic rule is that boots can be neither too big, nor too small. To achieve this perfect condition, we need to:
- use socks which are specially dedicated to snowboarding (rather slim),
- remember that toes should reach as close as possible to the end of liner – thanks to it we minimize loss in load transfer for front snowboard edge,
- select size „a little too small” – mainly widthwise – because with the passing of time, inside boot there will appear some space – the bigger, the thicker is the material of liner. We do it „sensitively”, because too small boots are a source of pain in mid-foot and freezing of toes,
- pay attention to heel – it should be blocked after lace-up and when bending knee and pressing on tongue of boots it should not break off the sole. The liner in this place „expands” mostly, so all reinforcements reducing this process are advisable,
- choose, as far as possible, thermoformable liners and appropriate lace-up system – both of inner boot, and of outer part of it.
Modern materials used for thermic isolation cause that liners (and socks) may be slimmer – the profit is better fitting and „feeling” of snowboard, and above all smaller outer part of boot.