The Importance of Good Ski Equipment and Snowboard Equipment
The importance of good ski equipment cannot be overemphasized, and the same is also true of snowboard equipment. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced skier or snowboarder, you should use the best equipment you can afford unless you only get onto the slopes once a year on vacation.
If you ski or snowboard seriously or live in an area when you get out onto the slopes fairly often, then the better the ski equipment the better. The same applies to snowboard equipment, when it is also very important to understand exactly the type and design of snowboard you want and what you want to use it for – freeride, freestyle or Alpine. Each of these requires a different type of board.
Freeride is what most snowboarders do on the mountains, and freeride boards are fairly versatile with both ends curled up and the board fairly soft and flexible but able to hold a fast turn. This snowboard equipment is recommended for anybody learning the sport or who has no wish to specialize.
In freestyle, on the other hand, a great deal of agility is needed in the board, and these boards are normally seen around the parks and halfpipes, but can also be used on most parts of the mountain. If you are a good skateboarder, then get a freestyle board. For fast downhill rides the Alpine or carving board is great for carving tight turns as you slalom down the slopes, generally longer and narrower than the other boards. Downhill skiers often switch to a carving snowboard as they cross over between skiing and snowboarding.
If you are not sure what type of snowboard equipment you need, then you should seek out a snowboard and ski shop that is run by people know their snowboarding. Ask for advice, since some stores will try to sell you an Alpine board because they tend to be more expensive. The snowboard shops run by real snowboarders will keep you right, so whether it’s an offline or online store, check where it’s situated. If it’s in a snow or mountain area, then the owners likely know the sport and can keep you right on equipment.
Much the same applies with skiing and ski equipment. Whether it is the type of ski or the binding you need some advice on, a general sports store selling skis is unlikely to be able to give you any advice other than what’s on the sales brochure. In fact, many people are tending to leave the slopes nowadays and head off cross country with their skis, and if that is your main type of skiing, then you will be best with skis made for that type of skiing, and fitted with telemark bindings.
However, ask the store selling you the ski equipment, and you can often tell by the way the question is answered whether or not they know what they are talking about or simply regurgitating something they have learned. It is very important with any sport or pastime that you get the correct information when buying the gear – it can be fairly expensive, so you want to make sure you are buying the right stuff.
This is particularly so with skiing and snowboard equipment, because get it wrong and you will soon notice. You don’t want to be going down an artificial slope in a set of cross-country skis, or loose boots than can break your ankle. Maybe you want step-in bindings for your skis or snowboard, so you can avoiding sitting in the snow to put them back on if they come loose. You really need to take advice on that because some bindings are suitable for experienced snowboarders or skiers, but not for beginners.
Ask about the flex point, camber and waist width of a particular snowboard, and if you get a sensible answer without you having to explain what you mean, then the sales staff can likely be trusted to help you. If not, then find somewhere else where the staff is more knowledgeable. Not all skiers know about snowboards of course, but if you find a good offline shop or a website that can answer your questions intelligently then that’s where to buy your ski or snowboard equipment, whichever you are after.
It’s not always the prettiest website or best stocked sports shop that can offer you good advice – it’s the knowledge and the experience of the people running it that’s much more important and you can find that out using a few simple questions. Whether it’s ski equipment you are looking for or snowboard equipment and accessories, the people that can help you most are those that do the sport themselves.