Buying new snowboard gear can be a fun exercise, but at the same time it’s easy to make silly mistakes that leave you with the wrong sized snowboard equipment.
So, here are 3 simple mistakes that can be the difference between ending up with the right sized gear and having to head back to the shop to exchange your brand new snowboard gear:
1) Bring snowboard socks when buying snowboard boots
When you try on boots, you should be trying them on with the same snowboard socks you’ll be wearing when you go snowboarding.
Snowboard socks tend to be different thicknesses from a normal sock and it can and will change the fit of your boot. Not to mention, using rental socks at the shop that 50 other people have worn is nasty.
Oh and if you don’t have any snowboard socks, I highly suggest investing in a pair because good snowboard socks can make your day so much better (I’m serious).
2) Bring your snowboard boots when buying bindings
If you’re buying bindings, bring your boots with you because you can’t always trust size estimates to fit your boot. Every company has slightly different sized boots and a size 8 in one brand may be a lot thicker and longer than a size 8 in another brand.
The last thing you want is to get home and find out your binding straps are too long/short to fit your boot properly. Bring your boots with you and check the fit in the store when you buy your bindings.
When I bought my first pair of K2 bindings, my Celsius Cirrus boots were within the large size range, so I just picked up a pair of large sized bindings as suggested by the K2 binding size guide. It ended up being too big and I had to crank my bindings an insane amount to get them semi-tight around my boots.
Needless to say I brought my boots the next time I went binding shopping and found out medium was a far better fit despite what the K2 binding size chart told me.
I’m sure the K2 sizing guide was accurate for K2 boots, but every company makes their boots slightly different, which is why you can’t always trust binding sizing charts.
3) Bring your snowboard boots when buying a snowboard
This last one doesn’t apply to everyone, but if you’re someone with above average foot size, I’d suggest bringing your boots with you when you buy a snowboard. Much like buying bindings, you don’t want to get home and find out that the waist width of your snowboard is too small for your boots.
A lot of people are in that ‘bigger than average, but not quite mid-wide/wide’ range for snowboards and it’s honestly a lot simpler to just bring your boots with you, stick them onto the snowboard and see if you get too much toe/heel hang.
Either that or measure your boots and write it down on a piece of paper if you don’t want to lug boots around with you.
One more thing…
Notice all of this advice of this starts with getting the right boots first? Boots are your most important piece of equipment and are always the first thing you should focus on buying.
My universal rule with snowboard gear is to buy boots first, then fit everything else to your boots because the rest of your gear is secondary to making sure your feet are comfortable when snowboarding.