my honest opinion is... a board is a board, you can learn the board and master it, but bindings are like shoes. if you get a crappy pair of shoes that dont fit right, then your feet will hurt all day (just like bindings). so put the money down on the bindings. as far as who has the best boards... i believe each company makes good boards, and if you are a beginner (not throwing any big tricks into the flats) then the board isnt a huge factor. i cant stress how important a comfortable pair of bindings are. the cheapest pair of bindings might be the most comfortable to you. you just need to go to your proshop, try them on, and demo them and see how they feel. okay im done with my personal views...