If we can believe our fashion ed Britta and her feeling for trends, snow is just around the corner and to make sure that you’re all fully equipped with the best gear you can get out there, here’s our exclusive Gear Buying Guide!
Words by Anna Langer
Since the board is the most important part of your set up, finding the most suitable for what you want and what you can is crucial above all. Which is why we dedicated the whole Stick Up, Kids! feature in our last print mag to that topic and didn’t spare neither trouble nor expense to ensure you have all the deets you need to make such a life-changing decision. And to make sure you can share your newly acquainted wisdom with your not-yet-enlightened friends, it is now online and free to share!
On the way to true snowboard enlightenment you also have to choose and set up your bindings right, otherwise the sickest stick will be shiiiit.
Take your boots shopping with you to make sure they fit the bindings, as brands vary tremendously in the chunkiness of their boots. Finding the best position on your board can take a while, but the more you play with it the closer you’ll get. Try to work out how far your legs have to be apart for you to comfortably bend you knees while holding the upper body straight and imagine a line from your thighs to your feet (with knees bent) to find the right angle and stance. These days the “duck stance” with the front foot at a positive angle and back foot at a negative angle is most common, if you’re a full on freeride queen you might want them both positive though.
For perfect power transmission it is also vital that you’re standing exactly in the middle of your board. The slots of the base plates should be vertical to the edge of your board (instead of horizontal) so you get neither heel nor toe drag. The Ride Fame even allows such fine tune without unscrewing the base plate.
Unless you’re riding a back entry binding such as Flow, K2, Apo, Gnu or Roxy have in stock, you should also rotate your highbacks so they’re in line with the edge of the board (rather than being in the right angle for the bindings), to give you the best possible edge pressure.
The last step to true snowboard enlightenment is a bit trickier as feet are almost as unique as fingerprints and the preferences on footwear even more so.
Fortunately there is some basic advise to give, so here it comes. Try loads of different brands and models before you buy a new boot and try to keep them on for a while. They should fit snug, but without pressure points, so walk around in them in the shop for a bit. Try running up a staircase if you can, if your heels lift here they will also do so when you turn your board.
Opt for a softer flex if you’re a beginner or a stylo who likes to get her tweak on, if you’re more for charging and challenging conditions you will have more fun with a stiffer boot, as it will give you more response.
Lacing is even more a matter of taste, so all we’re going to say here is that traditional laces are more work to tighten, but Boa and Speed Laces can be a real pain in the ass to get fixed when they break (which they most probably will at some point). The only really important thing to watch out for is zonal lacing, as it allows you to tighten different parts of the boots separately.