How best to spend my snowboarding equipment dollar

I recently bought a new snowboard, after realizing that my old one was incapable of being polished and waxed to the point where it would actually slide across snow in an effective manner. When I bought the new board, more than one person at the shop expressed amazement and shock that I would keep my 10-year-old bindings, but I didn’t think there was anything wrong with them.

Now I do.

After going up last weekend, I love the new board, but I’m starting to think that either my boots or my bindings are a limiting factor in my improvement. The problem is that, when I get moving and want to cut a hard toe-side turn, I can feel my heels rise up out of my boots. I have tied my boots as tight as I can get them, and racheted the bindings as tight as they’ll go, but I still end up unable to control the board as well as I’d like because my feet are slipping.

So, my question, to people who know more about snowboarding than I do: would this be improved with new bindings? New boots? What is the best way to spend my money at this time?

Boots are going to be more expensive, but you’ll probably notice a bigger difference with new boots. I just upgraded from an old pair of K2 lace up boots to some Salomon Malamute boots.. The difference is pretty impressive. They’re stiffer and more comfortable. They also have a different kind of closure system. It’s kind of hard to describe without seeing it, but there’s an inner lacing system attached to a leather tab. Pull up on the tab and it locks into place. The outside lacing system has locking laces in 2 places. You still have to lace them, but you also pull up on a handle attached to the laces and they lock in place.

Pretty much every manufacturer makes some sort of closure system like that and it makes a huge difference IMO.

ETA: You may be able to get a package deal on boots and bindings. I got a discount and extra warranty coverage for buying Salomon bindings when I bought my boots.

Go to Coming Soon - Start Bootstrap Theme and wait for bindings or boots to show up. Just a few hours ago, they had some $225 bindings for $50. Right now they have some$200 Burton Boots for $85.

For your specific problem with your heel, I think a well fitting boot would be the first thing to change. I upgraded bindings last year because my old ones were breaking and the only difference is the new ones were a little easier to get into at the top of the mountain.

So, it looks like boots are the thing.

That website looks great for people who know exactly what they need, but if my issue is ill-fitting boots, I don’t think I can expect to order them off a website and have that work.

Do a search on the Dope for Snowboarder Bo - he hangs out in Cafe Society - and PM him. I get the impression he 'boards a LOT…and if he is as articulate about snowboarding and gear as he is about music, you should learn everything you need…


WordMan sent me a message about this thread, so here I is.

No, you won’t be able to order new boots off the website and know that they will fit. BUT you can check the return policy and if some you order don’t fit, most places will accept them back for a full refund.

What you can do is get out there and try on some new boots. Hit every pro shop, board shop and ski chalet you can find, and just keep trying on boots until you find a pair that feels great right out of the box.

I cannot stress this enough with regard to footwear: It should feel like a perfect fit right out of the box. There should be no “breaking them in” period required; if they need that they don’t fit. New boots should feel like velvet sex for your feet.

Once you find the right pair, then you can go online and order a pair, since you will likely be able to save some money that way. The downside is that since this season is almost over, you prolly won’t get much (if any) use out of them until next season.

Boots and bindings are the tough call for snowboarders. Boards are easy to come by, and for most people, little differences in construction will have absolutely no effect on their snowboarding. But the boots and bindings need to fit you, specifically you, well or you will be uncomfortable (at best) or unable to do what you are trying to do on the slopes (at worst).


I forgot to directly address the OP, but yeah, that’s gonna be a problem with your boots, not your bindings. People here already have you on the right track.

<on soapbox>
I’m with you up to this point. If you find the pair of boots you want by visiting local stores, then you should support the local stores. They’re providing a service and should get paid for it.

If, after all your searching you find the right sizes but they don’t have the boot model you want, go ahead and order online. But it’s good to support the local stores; they’re already in bad shape.
<off soapbox>

I totally agree, Telemark, but from the tone of the OP, I thought cost was an issue that might prohibit buying locally if a substantial savings could be found online.

Since this is about a sport, and since the OP is soliciting opinions, this is better suited for The Game Room than GQ.

General Questions Moderator

Thanks for your advice, everybody.

I agree with you about supporting local stores, although it won’t do much good in this case. I tried going to the local store yesterday and they had 0 pairs of boots in my size, and the only pair of bindings they had were $300+, which is really not in my price range.

I’m headed up this weekend, so I’m going to check out the stores in Mammoth and see what I see.

You must have pontoon feet like me or something. Always takes me forever to find new shoes of any kind.

No, not at all. I have size 9 feet. I think the store is just out of almost everything since it’s nearing the end of the season. All their snow equipment was on sale.