SNOWBOARDING: FIND THE RIGHT SETUP FOR YOUR RIDING LEVEL & STYLE
Your new setup should consist of a snowboard, snowboard bindings and snowboard boots. Besides freestyle, jib, freeride and all-mountain boards there are also splitboards. They can be transformed into a pair of "touring skis". On the summit they can be easily put back together again to ride down the hill on a complete snowboard.
1. SNOWBOARDS: THE PERFECT BOARD FOR YOUR RIDING STYLE
When choosing your new board there are several factors to consider. First, you should decide which kind of terrain you want to ride. This choice will determine whether you need a freestyle, jib, freeride or all-mountain snowboard. Don’t forget to take your riding level into consideration, because as a beginner you will not have much fun on a board for experts. Your height and weight also play a major role when choosing a snowboard. Manufacturers usually state for which weight class a board is suitable. You should choose a longer board for more stability, a shorter one for more maneuverability. Your chin is usually a good reference point for what length you will need, but a few centimeters more or less are not a big deal.
2. BINDINGS: THE CONNECTION THAT KEEPS YOU ON YOUR BOARD
The connection between your boot and your board is called the binding. Snowboard bindings come with classic straps or a rear-entry system (spend-entry system). There are also models which combine the two. Depending on the brand there are usually three different sizes. S, M and L are the standard sizes for brands like Burton, Nitro and Ride. Others, like Rome and Union, have their sizes in S/M to L/XL. There are different types of toe straps available too, such as regular toe straps, cap straps or a combination of the two. You should adapt the angle of your binding to your riding style: for freestyle, jib, freeride and all-mountain, different angle settings offer the perfect adaptation to each terrain
3. SNOWBOARD BOOTS: SOFT BOOTS FOR FREERIDE, FREESTYLE, JIB AND ALL-MOUNTAIN
The fit plays an important role when choosing the right soft boots. Ideally the boots should fit snugly. The true size will unfold after a few rides so they should be a little tighter when bought. If you stand upright, your toes should touch the front of the inner shoe. If that is already the case when you bend your knees, the boot is too small. Your heels should stay in place when you move your knees forwards and backwards. If you have too much room, on the other hand, and your heel is lifted, the boot is too big. With the right fit, you will have maximum board control and avoid pressure points or heel lift. Finding the appropriate flex, however, highly depends on your preferences and riding style. Softer boots are usually suitable for park riders and beginners whereas advanced riders prefer a stiffer boot for all-mountain and freeriding. In addition, you have the choice of different lacing systems, like classic lacing, quick lacing and Boa. Furthermore, different kinds of shock absorption offer you maximum protection from hard landings.
4. SPLITBOARDS: SPECIAL BOARDS FOR TOURING
Splitboards are a peculiarity among snowboards, because they have been particularly developed for touring to remote destinations for riding. On the ascent you can split the board in half and use the two parts just like touring skis. Before you ride down you put them back together to have your standard snowboard. Manufacturers like Burton, Jones Snowboards and Rome offer splitboards on which you can mount your own bindings. All bindings mount on the Voilé insert pattern Voilé is also available as a “Do It Yourself” kit. With this kit you can build a splitboard out of any snowboard yourself – whether freestyle, jib, freeride or all-mountain. This procedure is only recommendable if you have the right tools: a circular saw, a drill and the necessary DIY experience. Manufacturers like Karakoram, K2 and Rossignol have adopted the trend and customized their own systems to the Voilé insert pattern. When you buy a splitboard you can mount the system that suits you best. The Voilé system allows you to mount any kind of soft binding on your splitboard while other brands’ boards only function as a combination of their system and binding. For example K2 have their own soft boot for their Kwicker step-in system when it comes to splitboards.