Originally Posted by jamesgig
As I am not into snowboarding, I am unaware of prices and $1,500 was the figure he gave me. So, what would be the best freeride/freestyle board. Is there a specific brand that is better or is it a style? Burton seems to be a name I hear tossed around alot, are they good or just hype? I do not know what flexes I should be looking for or much about snowboarding at all. (except when I tried it, I got really wet and cold due to the "wonderful" instruction I got from a friend.) So any advice would be great. Thanks
Burton makes great stuff. For boots, the "right" boot is one that fits your foot, including holding your heel down, which may or may not be Burton depending on foot shape. Your friend should get thin "liner" socks if he doesn't have them yet, which will be the only socks he wears while riding, and try on lots of boots to get a good fit. THink firm handshake - not crushed, but not loose either. The softest flex boots should be avoided -- a good rule of thumb is to get a middle of the road boot at first, say a Burton Hail or something similar.
Your friend should then buy bindings at the same time & make sure they're the right size for the boots, & get the shop to help him adjust the straps for a good snug fit, & SHOW him how to step into the binding to get the heel snugly in the highback.
For boards, there is no one "best" board. Burton makes a board called a Custom which is a great all-around shape, but the Air is very similar, your friend will be just as happy on it for a first board, and it's $100 or more cheaper. Some people confuse priciest for best, the Burton Vapor is roughly 3 times the price of the Air, for instance, but would be a dumb choice for your friend.
Your friend should also ask the shop about tuning, "detuning," and wax. The shop can detune tip and tail of the board for him, but he should ask to watch them do it, this is important to have fewer hard falls and make it easier to go edge to edge. Burton boards aactually carry tuning instructions on the top. www.tognar.com
is a good tune website, too.
I don't know this year's prices, but I'd say your friend should get out for $900 or less for board, boots, bindings. Buying last season's gear on closeout should allow for even less. SOme snowboard shops are great, some will try to take advantage of an unknowledgeable consumer; if he feels he's getting inattentive service or being pushed or switched into pricey gear, there will always be other snowboard shops within a 45 min drive or less in most places.
Your friend should then budget some extra $$ for lessons, preferably a season-long development program. Great way to meet new friends and well worth it.