It’s easy for experienced skiers and snowboarders to forget what it’s like to be new to either sport, but at ASO Mammoth we are constantly reminded just how unfamiliar skiing and snowboarding are to some people.
Whether it’s because they’ve never seen snow before or they just can’t imagine sliding down a steep slope with their feet strapped to a piece of wood, many of the people who come into our Mammoth shop to rent ski and snowboard gear aren’t only new to the act of skiing or snowboarding, but the entire concept. If you’re one of those people and are planning on changing that with a trip to a ski slope soon, check out the ASO Mammoth guide to what you need to rent for skiing and snowboarding.
A Board or Skis
Even the greenest skier or snowboarder knows that they will need some sort of board between their feet and the snow, but beyond that things get a little more complicated.
If you plan on renting snowboard gear, then you can get a head start by figuring out what your stance is. Your stance is simply which foot you’re most comfortable having on the nose, or front, of your board. In other words, the foot that is in front when your board is pointing downhill. Although your rental technician can help you determine your stance, you can also figure it out by having someone push you forward from behind or by standing, leaning your shoulders against their hands, and having them let you fall forward. Whichever foot you step forward with to catch yourself is most likely your dominant foot.
Although skiers don’t have to worry about their stance, the other factors that determine which snowboard is right for you are similar to choosing the right rental skis. Your height, weight, shoe size, and a few other factors will all help your rental technician choose the right board or skis for you.
Skiing with poles may seem awkward at first, but they are an important piece of gear no matter what type of skiing you’re doing. Make sure to work with your rental technician to find poles that are the appropriate length so you will be as comfortable as possible.
Most rental packages will automatically include bindings, so if you’re in the unique situation where you have your own bindings but no board or skis then you will need to let your rental shop know ahead of time. Rental technicians will also set the stance for a beginner automatically, so you don’t have to worry about that either. You may have the option to ride strap, rear-entry, or step-on bindings though. If this is the case, then choose the binding system that is most convenient and comfortable for you to use.
Although other pieces of equipment have more impact on your performance, nothing determines your comfort more than your boots.
Your rental technician should be able to match you with the right boot, but they will give you a chance to try the boots on in the shop to make sure that they are the right size. You want your boot to fit just right. If your feet don’t move at all or if they move too much, you run the chance of getting blisters, and don’t forget, having the right socks can make a huge difference!
Although helmets are not required on most mountains, most ski schools do require them, and everyone should be using them regardless of their skill. Be sure to include a helmet in your rental package!