Snowboarding Made Easy    "How-To" for Beginners


The Snowboard Has Two Basic Features: The Snowboard and The Bindings

 How Do You Know Which Is Right For You With So Many Different Snowboards And Bindings To Choose From?

Easy! Rent your gear the first couple times and it will be right for you. Snowboarding is a diverse sport with all sorts of different gear for different situations. Let's find out if you love snowboarding before you pick which gear is right for you to buy.

O.K., Now You Love Snowboarding

How Do You Pick What To Buy?

Easy! Go to your local snowboard shop(s) and talk with them about what you are looking for from your gear. The sales agent will make sure that you have what you need. Shop around. A typical rule of thumb is that a snowboard should be standing up from the ground to somewhere between your chin and nose in length. If you have big feet (mens sizes 11 or larger) make sure you get a snowboard wide enough for your feet. There are a bunch of different styles of snowboards to choose from. You need to consult your local snowboard shop(s) to make sure you pick the correct one for your body size and desired activities (free-style jumping/tricks or just cruising around the mountain are two examples).

The Most Critical Part Of My Snowboard Is My Boots And Bindings Fitting Well


I STRONGLY PREFER Binding That Have “Straps” In Comparison With “STEP-IN” Bindings

Bindings are the interface that hold your boots to the snowboard. Since I prefer strap style bindings, I will discuss only strap style bindings. These bindings have two straps per foot – a toe-strap and a heel-strap. There is a base-plate which has a place to screw your bindings to your snowboard. Tighten these screws before you go snowboarding!

How Do You Know How To Set Your Bindings?

Easy! When you walk up stairs, which foot do you step up with first? That will be your “front foot.” If it is your left foot it is called “Regular” if it is your right foot it is called “Goofy”. It has nothing to do with your personality! Maybe it does... The front foot is the binding that needs to have a “LEASH” on it. A leash is a devise that is required at some resorts, so just get one when you buy your bindings and snowboard. A stomp pad is also something that you may want to get. The stomp pad helps with traction for your back foot when you are unloading from the chairlift. (Detailed in Chairlifts Section)

How Far Apart Do Your Bindings Go?

 I like my bindings to have my feet spaced between my shoulders and armpits apart.

Where On The Snowboard Should I Place My Front And Back Bindings?

There are typically sets of holes where you can screw your bindings to your snowboard. I like to mount my bindings so that the center between my bindings is centered between the sets of holes. (i.e., Typically, I like to ride my snowboard where it was designed for me to ride, centered between the two sets of holes).

How Do You Determine The Angles Of Your Bindings In Relation To Your Snowboard?

Easy! Lay your snowboard on the carpet in your living room. Walk up to it so that your “front foot” is towards the front of the snowboard and your back foot is towards that back of the snowboard and your feet are out from where the holes where you mount your bindings are. Now jump in the air and land without moving your feet once you land. Look at the angles of your feet and place your bindings in the same direction as your feet are. I usually do this jumping and checking a couple times just to make sure I didn't land “weird” that first time I jumped. Now you need to determine what the angles are by looking at the binding base plate once the screws are placed in the holes and before you tighten the screws down all the way. Zero degrees is exactly across your snowboard. My Angles are 18 degrees forward with my front foot and 12 degrees backwards for my back foot. Yours may be different and that is just fine. Now there is the issue of centering your binding between your edges of your snowboard. Now that your bindings are at the correct angles, centered between your edges and centered between your holes in your board with the correct distance between your feet, you can tighten your bindings down tight.

Almost Done Setting Up Your Snowboard.

Now get your boots and place them in your bindings. Adjust each strap so that it will tighten all the way down on your boot with a little extra to over tighten if needed, and at the same time make sure that you can get the straps together while your boot in the binding. Now adjust the “High-Back” of your binding (The part that sticks up behind your boot). You will want about as much forward lean as your boot has. Not too much more or you will be uncomfortable when snowboarding and not too much less because you will have a difficult time placing pressure on your high-backs when riding.

TADA! Your Snowboard Is Set Up!

Last thing to do is put your boots on snuggly and step into your bindings and strap them up so that they are tight on your boots. Make sure that nothing feels “funny.” If something feels really wrong, make the appropriate adjustment. Now unstrap your back foot and strap it back in a couple times. Then unstrap both feet and strap them back in a couple times. You want to make sure that you know how to do this before you get to the snow. Make all minor adjustments as required right now and make sure everything on your bindings  tight.


When I am not using my snowboard, I will always put my high-backs down and strap my straps over the top of them so that I do not lose any pieces of them if they should come loose. I maintain my board regularly during the season which means that I wax it and tune the edges when needed. Most snowboard shops will offer this service and I recommend at a minimum every 4th time you go snowboarding to service your board.
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