In the Store: Park? Pipe? All-mountain? Powder? Directional or twin? If you can have only one board, make sure it's right for the way you ride and the terrain you frequent most—not the terrain you see once a season. If you're unsure, try a few different types of boards before buying.
In the Field: Keep a tool kit (like the Dakine Mini Tune, $25; dakine.com) handy for on-mountain binding adjustments, a quick wax rubdown after lunch, and occasional detuning for park runs.
Check regularly for burrs on the board's edges and use an edge tuner to file any down. Even the new base materials need regular waxing. It's best to apply temperature-appropriate wax, but if in doubt, an all-temperature wax like Hillbilly's Coffin Polish Wax ($18; hillbillywaxworks.com) will suffice.
At Home: Before storing it for the off-season, wax your board and scrape it while it's still hot. Then apply hot wax again.
Store your board in a cool place out of direct sunlight to prevent the base from drying out.