Snowboard Buyers Guide
Picking your boots can be the most important part of buying your gear, especially if you are a beginner rider. Having the wrong size or style of boot can ruin your day and sometimes even force you to get a new pair of boots. Abilitly level and riding style will play a big part in deciding how stiff or soft your boots should be and what type of materials your boots should be made out of.
All boots will come with a flex rating usually between 1-10, 10 being the stiffest and 1 being the softest. Softer boots usually have little or no extra materials for strengthening or padding and a soft EVA foam sole . Stiffer boots are usually made more strong and stiff with extra material and usually a heavier rubber sole.
Different ability levels will benefit from having different styles of boots. Beginners are better off with a softer boot, this will allow for more flex and forgiveness when learning to ride it will also allow riders to stand more upright and take a lote of strain off the legs. More advanced riders will tend to use a stiffer boot most of the time. A stiffer boot will be more reactive and transfer your movements much quicker to the board.
Riding style and where you ride will also help in your quest for the perfect boot. As stated above beginner riders are better off with softer boots and advanced riders with stiffer but some advanced riders may like a softer boot. It is also fine for a beginner to get a medium stiffness boot and progress into it. Riding style can help you decide on the lacing system best for you.
Boots have had laces since the beginning of time, you'll have to get down and use some muscle when your getting into lace boots but the juice is worth the squeeze. Lace boots give you the ability to tighten the boot in sections and keep some areas tighter or looser than others. Laces are also easy and cheap to change when they break and are still used by a lot profesional riders.
Speed Lace Boots
Speed lacing systems are made with a thinner more durable lace than regular lace boots and allows you to tie your boots in two pulls. In a speed lacing system boot there will be two laces coming out of the boot that are marked upper and lower zone, where the laces come out of the boot to pull there is a locking mechanism. Pull the laces through the lock and your good to go. Every brand has a different approche to the lacing system but all are pretty similare and come with instructions on how there system works
The Boa system is in many different products one of them being snowboard boots. Boa is not owned by any of the snowboard manufacturers, the manufacturers licence the boa system for use in their boots. Boa has been used in snowboard boots for over a decade now and is quickly becoming the most popular lacing system available. The Boa uses a mechanical reel to tighten and lock the lace which is made of steel and threaded through nylon guides. The steel lace has zero stretch and will not loosen when riding and all components of the Boa have a lifetime quarantine!
Single Boa Boots
The single Boa has one mechanical reel that tightens the entire boot at once.
Double Boa Boots
Double Boa boots have two separate mechanical reels, one to tighten the foot area and the other tightens the calf area of the boot.
All boots are similare in the way they are made but the main difference is the materials used to make them. The more you spend on your boots the higher quality material and technologies you will get. For example
Boot fit will make or break your boot, picking the right boots is just as important as picking the right board. All boots will expand to your foot when they are brand new, this means when you are trying on your boots the must fit perfect. With a perfect fit in a brand new boot your toes will just touch the end of the boot and you should have no heel lift.
When you are buying your gear it is always good to bring your other gear in to make sure everything matches up and fits together. Most bindings and boots will fit together fine but there always times something might not fit, figure it out in the store so your not figuring it out on the hill.
When your done for the day it's important to air out your boots properly to prolong the life of them. First thing after the boot is off is to fully loosten your boot and remove the liner, now you can dry the liner and the boot seperatly for a quicker fuller dry. When putting your boots away make sure they are done up and all the tongues and liners are in the proper place and not twisted. If you put your boots away all twisted up they will be very hard to untwist!