The winter season is upon us and lots of you will be considering purchasing new boards, bindings etc. I have made a few purchases myself this year, so thought I would share some of my experiences.

As I’ve been progressing and steadily building up my skills I began to feel like my old bindings (from 2004) were holding me back. I decided to start doing some research and spent probably too much time during my day job lusting after pretty much everything on Absolute Snow.

It was only a matter of time before I became fixated on the Burton Lexa bindings, unable to resist the promises they made about flex and feel, plus, the sassy snow leopard print would definitely match my mittens. So I pounced on a second hand set on eBay.

The day they arrived I was slightly confused, questions popped into my head like ‘where are the screws?’ and ‘What’s this weird slidey part for!?’. It quickly dawned on me that I had purchased the new EST channel system bindings and they were useless to me on my old board. Note to self: I should have purchased the Re:Flex bindings (changes between between the channel system and regular four hole set up). Fucked it.

Lesson number 2:
Do your fucking research and don’t rush into it!

Lucky for me, I had a birthday coming up and a 10 of a boyfriend who treated me to the Burton Socialite board. I have been riding this board (indoors) for a few months now and love it. It’s a 147, which is the smallest I can go for my height. It gives me great control, flex, speed and has really helped me to progress in freestyle (more on that coming up).

Snowboarding is a pretty expensive hobby, it’s important to make the right purchases for you and make a sound investment. Here’s a few top tips from my experiences so far.

1. Do your research, read descriptions, reviews and watch videos about your preferred purchases. You don’t want to end up with something that’s not what you expected. My local slope also has demo days, which is a great way to try out different boards.

2. You don’t need a pro-board to improve. Would you learn to drive in a Ferrari? Don’t invest in something you can’t handle, choose a board for your level – it will work best for you.

3. Don’t be precious. Does it need to be new? If you are trying out snowboarding for the first time check Gumtree and eBay first. As long as the items have been cared for, you will get great use from them.

4. eBay is awesome. It’s all about timing, I’ve picked up new and second hand kit for as little as £10. The best time for deals is post season March / April. If you’re unsure about an item, contact the seller with questions or ask for more photos. When I contacted the seller who sold me the EST bindings, they were super helpful and even sent me some additional screws.

5. My all time fav, TK Maxx. Most stores will have an ‘Outdoors’ section, you gotta trawl those rails bro! You’ll probably find some hidden gems from the likes of Roxy, DC, Quicksilver, Patagonia and more.

If anyone has got any more bargain shopping tips, I’d love to hear about them!

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