Christmas has come early for everyone who loves to ride Mammoth Mountain. With nearly 100 of the 154 trails open and more snow in the forecast the 2018/19 season is officially here, and that means every day you spend off the mountain is one more day you’ll wish you could’ve had back when spring rolls around, or at least that’s how the team at ASO Mammoth sees it.
While we’re as eager as anyone to get on the mountain and enjoy the snow, after all of the seasons the staff at ASO has seen we know without a doubt that stepping onto the mountain without the right gear is the easiest way to ruin your day.
To help make sure you don’t miss a single day this season, we’re breaking down the most important pieces of gear every week. Click here to see our basic guides for snowboards, skis, and hardshell jackets.
This week, we’re focusing on Ski and Snowboard boots. Here’s what you need to know.
It’s All About the Fit
A day on the mountain means balancing and shifting your weight constantly, so it’s incredibly important to buy or rent boots with an exact fit.
While most people probably think of boots that are too small and the ensuing blisters, the number one mistake people make when buying boots is getting boots that are too big.
Ski and snowboard boots are not measured out like regular shoes and they aren’t supposed to fit like them either. While it depends on the make, many boots are designed to be broken in by your feet as you wear them. As a result, many new boots feel tight when first worn and there’s a temptation to size up, but that only leads to your feet moving around inside your boot once it is broken in. Not only will boots that are too big effect your riding, but they’ll give the same or worse blisters that you were trying to avoid with smaller boots.
If you’re renting or buying, boots, make sure you’re properly measured before you make any decisions.
But Understanding Flex Helps Too
Like a board or set of skis, your boot is designed to be a certain stiffness based on how you ride.
The more flexible your boot is the more slack you’ll have to learn and get comfortable. Imagine someone who is learning to ride and how erratic their movements are as they try to balance and you can see why boots that let you move without an instant response are appealing to beginners.
While flexible and forgiving boots may sound ideal for beginners, as riders progress many move away from flexible boots because they are comfortable riding and need their boots to respond as they ride more technical lines or at fast speeds. You’re the one has the last say in how stiff
your boots are, but if you plan on making riding a long term hobby then you’ll want to consider starting out with stiff boots. The learning curve may be harder, but you’ll be ready to ride more serious terrain sooner.
And of Course There are Plenty of Bells and Whistles
The fit and stiffness of your boot is important, but they’re not everything. If you’re looking at renting or buying boots, and especially if you’re a beginner, take into account the features that are going to make your day easier. Whether it means finding a boot with a quick-pull or Boa lacing system that let you get in and out of your boots in a flash or simply a rubber sole that makes it easier to walk on slippery surfaces, these details make a huge difference when you’ve been riding all day.
If you have any questions about buying or renting boots, need your new set molded, or just want someone to show you how to lace-up, stop by ASO Mammoth on your way to the mountain for the best rentals and information on the mountain.