This might just be in our heads but we swear we’re better riders on our new Burton board and have the sales associate who helped us pick it out to thank. We strolled into the Vermont brand’s Soho location last week and not only did leave with a board in hand, but we also left with more knowledge about gear in general and the skills to set up the board ourselves.
We were at the store to check out a women’s board called the Feather and it wasn’t long before we were greeted by sales associate. We asked her to help us with an entire thing (we needed boots and bindings as well). “Let’s start with the boots,” she suggested and guided us to a chair where we could sit-down so she could measure our feet.
Here was our first lesson—we’d aways worn boots that were size 9. “It looks like you’re actually a 9.5,” she said. We couldn’t believe it. We thought snowboard boots were supposed to fit tightly. She suggested we try on the larger boots and brought us over a few pairs. Sure enough, the 9.5 fit like a dream. It sounds obvious but the fit of the boot will make or break your day. “Especially in snowboarding when you’re leaning into your toes so much,” she reminded us. We selected a pair of Startstuck Boas in a mix of blues and greens.
She helped us select bindings (we went with the Scribe EST in green and purple—we’re suckers for green) and then directed us to a display of snowboards. She pulled out the model we were there to see, the Feather, and started to explain to us how the features worked. Among other things, the board is slightly tapered which helps with stability. She asked us what we were used to riding and we explained that we found the icier northeast snow challenging. She suggested we purchase a shorter board than we were used to for better control and headed to the back to find the right size.
The best part of the entire Burton experience happened after we had selected all of our gear. Our new best friend propped the board up on a table and asked us how we liked to ride. We’re goofy footed so she suggested we set our front foot at a 15 degree angle and our back foot perpendicular to the board. The bindings we selected are made to work with Burton’s channel system which allows for the bindings to slide up and down inserts in the board before securing them with screws. This means it’s easy to adjust the bindings to the perfect stance and angle before securing the bindings. The sales associate tightened one binding but had us tighten the other so we’d be able to adjust the setup by ourselves later. This was something we’d watched others do on our behalf for years and it was great to finally learn how to take care of this on our own.
She wished us well and sent us on our way. We’re sure she gives the same overview to all customers but we were stoked to leave with a new skill set. We were already pretty big fans of the brand but this experience made us that much more enthusiastic. And how does our new board ride? We tested it out at Mountain Creek a few days later and had one of the best times on a hill we’ve had in a few years.