freestyle snowboard boot buying guide

Where I live, the days are starting to get colder. The brisk air of autumn has replaced the humid breeze of summer. Gone are the days at the beach with long hours of daylight.

But fortunately, there’s also excitement. Instead of daydreaming about the beach, we can look forward to endless days on a hill as we race to the bottom with a few friends.

Yet, not everyone is interested in speed. Some want to test their limits as they glide down a rail or perform a death-defying jump. In other words, you are part of an adventurous minority who either enjoys freestyle snowboarding or who wants to enter the sport.

Freestyle

What is freestyle snowboarding? Freestyle is basically the branch of snowboarding where tricks are performed on man-made structures.
Those who enjoy freestyle snowboarding need courage, quick reflexes, and specialized equipment. One such item is the snowboard boot.

Flexibility

There are several factors to consider when purchasing a pair of boots. One such factor is flexibility.

Overall, the boot should have some flexibility. But the amount of movement depends on the type of activity.

freestyle snowboard boot buying guide

If you do something calling jibbing, then you need a medium amount of flexibility. Jibbing is sliding along a structure like a rail. The flexibility rank would be about a three with one being very soft and ten being very stiff.
If you feel like more massive jumps are more your style, then you’ll need something stiffer. A stiff boot will give more control. This would move the flexibility more towards a ten.

If you want to try a little of everything, then the best option is a boot with medium flexibility. The boot should thus have a ranking between 3-6.

Response

To perform tricks, there should be a good sense of response between your muscles and lift of the board. This means there should be a good heel-hold.

In other words, there should be a minimum amount of heel lift when doing a trick or jump. Also, too much heel lift from the board will result in more work. This means fatigue will happen sooner and less time at your favorite snowboarding park.

Shock Absorption

Another factor to consider is shock absorption. In freestyle, there will be times when you’ll be airborne. You’ll need something that will give you a good landing.

Some use padding material to give their boots some extra cushioning. Padding material or insoles also make for a more comfortable boot for walking.

Some use padding material to give their boots some extra cushioning. Padding material or insoles also make for a more comfortable boot for walking.

Adjustability

Having boots that adjust adds to comfort and performance.

Many freestyle snowboarders prefer boots where the upper part can be adjusted differently from the lower part. Specifically, the lower part of the boot is given a close fit while the upper part of the boot has more give.

A traditional lacing system works well for making different adjustments. While a single boa and single speed lace system would not work.

freestyle snowboard boots buying guide

Comfort

This can be easily dismissed as unimportant, but no one really wants an uncomfortable boot.

One item to consider is the liner. Get a boot where the liner molds around your foot.

The same idea should be for the footbed. A footbed should hold your foot in place, making for a more comfortable ride.

For a woman, it’s important to consider the height of the boot. The calf muscle of a woman sits lower so I would suggest that women make sure they buy boots specific for them.

Snug fit

Typically, the advice given for getting the right boot size is to have a slight gap between the end of the boot and the toes. Normally about a thumb’s width. But for snowboard boots, there shouldn’t be a gap. Also, it’s important for the heels to stay in place as the knees bend forward.

Conclusion

Now you have all the information you need to make a wise purchase. The only thing missing is going out and getting to a store. There are many great places with friendly staff waiting to help you. So stop dreaming and start doing before you hibernate all winter.

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