Snowboarding requires a lot of equipment. The types of equipment we will be giving you information about are: boots, bindings, types of snowboards, safety straps (leashes), and helmets.
There are two basic types of snowboards. One is Freeriding or Freestyle, the other is Alpine. They are designed for different types of activities. Freestyle boards are used for doing tricks and jumps. Alpine boards are used for racing. Here is some information about them.
These boards are probably the most commonly used snowboards. They are usually shorter and less stiff. They have "twin tips" which means that the nose and tail are shaped exactly the same. This lets you ride down either backwards or forwards.
This type of snowboard is more narrow and stiff. They are usually longer than freestyle boards. There is more of a side cut to help with carving. Most of them have are flat in the back like down hill skis.
Here is a picture of these two different types of snowboards.
When you are snowboarding there are two different kinds of boots. There are soft boots and there are hard boots. To get boots that fit your bindings is very important. The boots that are in your bindings are designed for different purposes.
Most beginning snowboarders wear soft boots. Soft boots are very light but still help you get the support that you need. People who ride freestyle types of boards use soft boots because they are more flexible for doing tricks. Soft boots have two parts: an inner liner that gives you support, and an outer boot that has as sole with treads to help with traction.
Most people that race use alpine snowboards and hard boots. Hard boots are a lot better for edge control then soft boots. They look like the kind of boots that downhill skiers wear.
The bindings are a piece of equipment that attach your boot to the snowboard. When snowboarding began they didn't have bindings so they had to drill a hole at the top of the snowboard and tie a long rope through it. They grabbed the rope to keep control of the board while going downhill. In the 1970's they began making bindings.
There is a difference between a skier's binding and a snowboarder's binding. A snowboarder's foot doesn't come off the binding when you fall, but a skier's does. Also, a snowboarder's binding is round and shaped like a shoe. A skier's binding looks like a long piece of metal.
If you buy soft boots then you have to get bindings that have a back with a high heel to support your ankle. Bindings for soft boots have straps that you adjust so you will know that your feet are secure.
For hard boots the bindings look like a metal plate. Many people call them clicker bindings. You step onto them with your hard boots and they will clamp onto your boots. The rider can adjust them to change their stance. You want to get bindings that fit your board and that are comfortable for you.
To put the bindings onto a snowboard they have to drill holes in the board. They use small bolts to connect the bindings to the board. Make sure that you put your bindings at the right spot so that you will be comfortable.
Many ski resorts require that you wear a safety strap. They don't want snowboards going down the hill without a person on it. This strap connects your front leg to the front binding. If your front binding breaks the strap will be connected to the board and it keeps you from having to chase your board down the hill.
Many snowboarders are starting to wear helmets. Helmets help to prevent you from injuring your head when you fall down. They are a lot like bike helmets. You should read the directions that come with your helmet to know the correct way to wear and use it.