It’s important that your board, bindings and boots all match your ability level and preferred style of riding. Your first priority should be to find a comfortable pair of boots.
If you’re new to snowboarding or mainly looking to ride the park, it’s better to opt for a softer flex. These will be more forgiving and easier to tweak when doing tricks.
Aggressive riders focused on speed, big jumps and quick turns should opt for a stiff boot. These offer more support and more instant response.
Having narrowed it down to a shortlist, try them on – you can check out our other episode for how to select the perfect fit.
Next up, the snowboard. Don’t judge them purely on looks or price. Again, the crucial factor is flex. Softer models are better suited to learning and tricks – especially rails – whereas advanced riders who are more interested in piste, pipe or powder should look for a stiffer flex.
For a more detailed look at board selection, take a look at our dedicated episode.
The final piece of the puzzle is your bindings. If your focus so far is on freestyle then you should opt for a softer model to match the flex of your boots and board. Likewise, rigid bindings featuring aluminium or carbon are a good match for freeride set-ups.
It’s vital that your bindings are compatible with your chosen snowboard. The Burton EST range is designed exclusively for the Burton Channel system; these bindings will not fit on standard 4x4 inserts. On the other hand, most regular bindings featuring disk plates CAN ALSO fit the Channel system if required.
Now that you’ve made a selection, fix the bindings to the board, put on your boots and try strapping into your proposed set-up. Check that the sizing of the binding is correct and that the shape of the straps are a good fit for your boots – you don’t HAVE to buy everything from the same brand, but it’s worth considering matching the binding and boot.
Adjust the length of the straps and toe ramp if necessary, flex the board from a standing position and make sure that everything feels comfortable. There should be no painful pressure points or sloppiness. Ideally, go to a test centre or demo day to actually try your set-up on snow before buying.
Finally, if you’re new to snowboarding then many retailers offer starter packages complete with board, boots and bindings. These are cheaper than buying everything separately, but before you take the plunge, do make sure that the boots are comfortable since they will make or break your day!