For those interested in sampling snowboarding, the same rules apply as in skiing. Rent the gear. You can practice the basic elements by yourself, but to become proficient after that you’ll need to take lessons.

Rental shops generally offer beginners an all-mountain, or freestyle board with an easy flex and a slightly tipped-up nose and tail. The average length for men is from 150 to 170 cm; for women, 140 to 160 cm. Rental shops usually recommend chin height for newcomers.

Beginners will find it easier to learn how to handle the stubborn boards if they start out in soft boots, but avoid those that are extremely low cut. Some snowboard instructors also recommend boots with the extra support of stiff overlaps. Make certain rental boots fit snugly and hold your heel firmly.

Snowboarders can also wear specifically designed hard boots. These are similar in appearance to regular plastic ski boots, but the two are not interchangeable. Riders’ boots curve up at the toe and heel so they won’t drag in the snow.

As for bindings, the most popular for beginners are the two-strap high - back models, which give added support behind the leg. Traditionally, each binding is snapped on individually, though a step-in binding - a blessing skiers have long enjoyed - is now under development.

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