Snowboard Packages: How to ChoosePublished on 05/15/2023 · 11 min readIt can be overwhelming to figure out which snowboards, boots, and bindings are compatible and will make for a smooth ride! But don't worry! We break it all down below!
Photo by Yaroslav
TL;DR: Snowboard packages provide most of the gear one needs—a snowboard, bindings, and boots—to hit the slopes, and offer convenience and cost savings for beginners or experienced riders alike. When buying a package, you should take into account your riding style, skill level, and personal preferences. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the top considerations when choosing a snowboard package, then offer a few, customized recommendations.
Hi, my name is Gaelen, and I’ve devoted more than half of my life to snowboarding. Over the past 11 years, I’ve worked as a snowboard rental technician at multiple mountain resorts and in a snowboard shop. I’ve also worked with thousands of customers on Curated to help them find the right gear for their specific needs and wants. In addition, I’ve had the privilege of snowboarding more than 50 days each year in locations such as Vermont, Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska.
Choosing a new snowboard set-up can be a daunting task. With so many options out there, the amount of possible board, bindings, and boots combinations are endless. Plus, it can be confusing when making sure you’re choosing a combination of gear that works well together and is right for you…that’s where snowboard packages come in.
What Is a Snowboard Package?
A snowboard package refers to a bundled set of the snowboarding equipment needed to get started. This gear is typically all sourced from the same brand, and is guaranteed to be compatible and work well together. Further, packages are also typically offered at a slightly lower price than buying all the individual pieces of gear separately.
A basic snowboard package typically includes:
- Snowboard: Available in various shapes, sizes, and designs to cater to different riding styles and preferences.
- Bindings: The equipment that attaches a rider's boots to the snowboard, allowing for control and maneuverability. Bindings come in different types and sizes to match a rider's boot size and riding style.
- Boots: The specialized boots designed for snowboarding, built with the goal of providing support, comfort, and a good board feel. Snowboard boots are available in various styles and sizes, with a choice of different lacing systems and stiffness levels to match an athlete's riding style.
Some packages may also include additional accessories like a helmet, goggles, gloves, or snowboard-specific clothing. Snowboard packages are a convenient way for beginners to purchase everything they need to start snowboarding, or for experienced riders to upgrade their gear without the hassle of ordering everything individually.
What to Consider When Buying a Snowboard Package
What Is My Budget?
The first step to buying a snowboard package is to determine how much you’d like to invest in new gear. Snowboard packages can vary widely in price—anywhere from roughly $600–1000 or more. Typically speaking, beginner-oriented snowboard packages or “all-mountain” packages will be on the lower end of this price range, whereas packages meant for specialized riding (like freestyle or powder) or packages meant for more advanced riders will be closer to the higher end of this price range.
Investing in quality equipment will usually provide a better snowboarding experience and last longer. Whereas more affordable options may be suitable for beginners or those with budget constraints.
My advice is to avoid simply choosing the cheapest package because it seems like a good deal, or the most expensive package because it “must be the best''. Take time to look over each package and determine if it would fit your needs.
What Is My Riding Style and Skill Level?
Consider whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or advanced rider, as well as your preferred riding style (freestyle, all-mountain, freeride, or powder). This will help you determine what sort of package you’ll need, and provide you with a jumping off point for your search.
What Size Snowboard Is Best for Me?
Snowboard size is mainly dependent on one’s weight—with height, shoe size, skill level, and riding style also playing a role. While sizing is not an exact science, each rider has a 3–5cm range within which their recommended board length should fall based on their specifications.
The right size snowboard provides optimal control, stability, and overall performance—factors that are super important on the mountain. If you want to learn more about how to size your snowboard, chat with a Snowboard Expert.
What Type of Bindings and Boots Should I Choose?
Your bindings should match your riding style and skill level, and should also match the level of responsiveness and adjustability you’re looking for. Further, they must be compatible with your boots. When looking at boots, focus on finding the correct fit, appropriate flex, and a lacing system to suit your preferences.
One of the main benefits of buying a complete snowboard package is peace-of-mind, as the bindings and boots you receive will certainly match. If this feels overwhelming, simply focus on picking a package that includes a board you know will match your skill level and riding style.
What Are the Different Kinds of Snowboard Packages Available?
There are various types of snowboard packages based on the riding style, skill level, and specific needs of the rider. Here are some common categories of snowboard packages you might encounter.
Designed for those new to snowboarding, these packages typically include a softer-flexing snowboard for easier turning and control, basic bindings, and comfortable boots. They are often more affordable and geared towards helping the rider learn and progress. They’re best suited for those still working on green circle trails and maybe the occasional blue squares.
- Affordable and easier to learn on
- Softer-flex snowboards for better control
- Comfortable boots for beginners
Keep in Mind:
- Limited performance for advanced riders
- May need to upgrade as skills progress
Aimed at riders with some experience, these packages feature versatile, all-mountain snowboards, typically with a medium flex, more responsive bindings, and boots with a better balance of comfort and performance. These packages cater to riders refining their skills and exploring various terrains. They’re best suited for those who are comfortable on green circles, blue squares, and may tackle the occasional black diamond trail.
- Versatile, all-mountain gear suitable for various terrains
- More responsive bindings and improved boot performance.
Keep in Mind:
- May not cater to specialized riding styles such as freestyle or powder
- Not ideal for extreme conditions or advanced riders.
Tailored for experienced riders, these packages offer high-performance snowboards, typically with a stiffer flex, high-quality bindings for precise control, and boots with a performance-oriented fit. Advanced packages cater to riders who demand top-tier equipment for aggressive riding and specific styles. They’re best suited for riders who want to know they can rely on their gear anywhere on the mountain.
- High-performance snowboards suitable for aggressive riding
- Precise control with bindings, and performance-oriented boots
Keep in Mind:
- More expensive
- Not suitable for beginners
Ideal for riders interested in riding in terrain parks and hitting jumps, rails, boxes, and doing butters. These packages include freestyle-oriented snowboards with a softer flex, twin shape, and centered stance, along with bindings and boots that offer flexibility and responsiveness for performing tricks.
- Ideal for park riding, softer-flex snowboards for tricks and jumps
- Flexible and responsive bindings and boots for maximum range of movement
Keep in Mind:
- Not ideal for aggressive all-mountain or powder riding
- Lack support and stability for high-speed riding
Designed for riders who prefer off-piste and backcountry terrain but still want some versatility. These packages feature freeride snowboards with a stiffer flex, directional shape, and a set-back stance. Further, more responsive bindings and boots offer more advanced control and support in challenging conditions.
- Designed for off-piste and backcountry terrain, with versatility for groomed runs
- Stiffer flex for stability
- Responsive bindings and boots for demanding terrain
Keep in Mind:
- Less suited for park riding
- Difficult for beginners to handle
Specifically tailored for riders seeking deep snow and powdery conditions, these packages include powder-specific snowboards with unique shapes and designs for better floatation. Plus, bindings and boots that offer stability and responsiveness in deep snow.
- Optimized for deep snow and powder conditions
- Unique snowboard shapes for better powder float
- Stable and responsive bindings and boots
Keep in Mind:
- Specialized gear that is not ideal for groomed runs or park riding
- Typically expensive
Features to Look for When Buying a Snowboard Package
When looking for a snowboard package, consider the following specific features in snowboards, bindings, and boots, and how they’ll affect your snowboarding.
- Profile: Choose between camber, rocker, or hybrid profiles based on your riding style and preferences.
- Flex: Look for a flex rating that matches your skill level and riding style (softer for beginners and freestyle, stiffer for advanced riders and freeride).
- Shape: Select a directional, twin, or directional twin shape according to your riding style and terrain preferences.
- Construction: Consider materials and technologies like carbon or basalt reinforcements, sidewall construction, and lightweight cores for improved performance and durability.
- Base: Choose between extruded and sintered bases, where sintered bases are typically faster and more durable, while extruded bases require less maintenance.
- Binding type: Look for strap-in, rear-entry, or step-on bindings, depending on your personal preferences.
- Flex: Choose a binding flex that matches your riding style as well as your board’s flex for optimal performance.
- Compatibility: Ensure the bindings are compatible with your snowboard's mounting system and your boots.
- Adjustability: Look for bindings with adjustable straps, highbacks, and baseplates for a customized fit and comfort.
- Fit: Prioritize finding boots with the right fit to ensure comfort and optimal performance.
- Flex: Choose a boot flex that matches your skill level and riding style (softer for beginners and freestyle, stiffer for advanced riders and freeride).
- Lacing system: Select between traditional laces, BOA, or speed-lacing systems based on your personal preferences.
- Liner: Look for boots with removable, heat-moldable liners for a customized fit and improved comfort.
Additional accessories like helmets, goggles, and gloves should also offer features like proper fit, adequate ventilation, and reliable protection.
How to Choose the Right Snowboard Package for You
Below are several examples of customers I’ve helped at Curated. I’ll go over their specific needs and wants, what they should look for in a snowboard package, and provide examples of relevant snowboard packages so you can see all this information in action. If you relate to any of the scenarios I’m about to cover, consider checking out the packages I’m recommending as a starting place for your snowboard gear shopping!
Hailey: Moving Onto More Advanced Terrain
Hailey is looking for a snowboard that will help her take on more advanced terrain. She’s totally confident on green circle trails, is comfortable with most blue square trails, and is considering trying some black diamond trails, but she knows her current equipment won’t hold up to this gnarlier terrain. She’s in search of something versatile that can handle the advanced slopes she might find at a ski resort.
Features Hailey should look for:
- All-mountain board for maximum versatility: medium/stiff flex and hybrid profile
- Bindings with a medium flex performance and comfort
- Boots with a medium flex for performance and comfort
Michael: A Blooming Freestyler
Michael just started riding in the terrain park, but he’s quickly becoming an avid freestyle rider. His current all-mountain board is starting to hold him back from his freestyle progression, so he wants to invest in a playful freestyle board that he’ll ride almost exclusively in the park.
Features to look for:
- A freestyle-specific snowboard: soft flex and hybrid profile for pop and playfulness
- Soft-flexing bindings for easier ability to press and flex the board
- Soft-flexing boots for maximum range of movement
Joel: An Ambitious Beginner
Joel has only ever been snowboarding once but he loves it! He’s ready to invest in some beginner-friendly gear and thinks a package is the best way to go. He’s a bigger dude with large feet so he knows he needs a board that can handle him.
Features to look for:
- A beginner-friendly snowboard that’s wide to accommodate for his weight and boot size.
- Soft-flexing bindings for comfort and easy maneuverability.
- Soft-flexing boots for maximum comfort.
Chat With a Real Expert
Now that you know what factors to consider when choosing a snowboard package—including riding style, skill level, and personal preferences—it’s time to make your choice. Though if you’re still undecided about which package is best for your needs, reach out to a Curated Snowboarding Expert, like me. We provide real-time answers to any questions you might have, and offer free, customized gear recommendations to get you out on the slopes sooner!