Snowboarding tips

Some tips from the staff at REI:

  1. Snowboard shopping? Choose boots first, then bindings, then a board. Comfortable feet are your top priority. Take the time to ensure your boots offer you the right fit and flex for your riding style. If you can afford to spend a bit extra on any snowboard component, splurge on boots.
  2. Boots offer 3 lacing systems: traditional, quick-pull and the Boa system. Traditional laces are inexpensive to replace but can be tough to tighten with cold hands. Quick-pull laces are simple, though some riders can't pull them as tight as they might want. The Boa system (thin steel strands adjusted by a dial) is simple and secure, though a touch too firm for some tastes. Your choice is a matter of personal preference.
  3. Want to test a board's flexibility? In a store, stand its tail on the ground (preferably a carpeted surface) tilt it at a 45° angle and wrap an arm around it behind the higher binding mount. Use your other hand and press down on the lower mount. This more accurately mimics how body pressure is actually applied to a board.
  4. Get into the habit of waxing your board every other outing, particularly if it has a sintered base. Fresh wax will make it will ride faster and actually protect the base from abrasion caused by granular snow. Rub-on wax is OK; hot wax is best.
  5. Inspect your board's binding screws every day to ensure they are tight. Some riders put a dab of nail polish on the binding's screw threads to help keep the screws in place.
  6. Enjoy playing the park, making quick turns or are just getting started? Look for a board with ample flex, a small sidecut radius, narrower waist and shorter effective edge.
  7. Keep your energy bar from freezing by stuffing it somewhere close to your body, or even inside one of your mittens.
  8. Are your hands always cold? Try mittens, where fingers are not isolated from one another.
  9. Don't go alone into the backcountry, even if just for a few powder turns. Let other friends know where you are headed and always carry a probe, shovel and avalanche transceiver.

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