For a new snowboarder, the gear selection can be daunting. With no reference point, it's hard to know what type of board will best suit your needs, let alone the boots or bindings. Renting gear is a great option for those looking for a taste of what snowboarding is all about, but aren't ready to commit to one type of setup. It's just as easy to learn the fundamentals of snowboarding with rental gear as with a brand new setup, and renting gives you the option to test out different types of equipment to find your personal preference. Make sure you ask questions about the gear you're using. As you learn about your own likes and dislikes, you should be figuring out how that applies to the equipment you're using.
Renting isn't without pitfalls, though: rental gear can sometimes give you a mistaken impression of how a product is supposed to perform. Overly broken-in boots, especially, don't give the same level of support as a new pair. Riders replace their boots as often as every season. Even if you haven't decided on a board yet, a good pair of boots is a great first investment for a new snowboarder. In addition to improving your comfort and performance on the slopes, it's much easier to get an idea of how a board performs when you aren't changing your footwear every time you ride.
If you've taken a liking to a certain board but aren't ready to commit to buying yet, many shops will allow you to rent equipment for a full season. This has the benefit of being cheaper than purchasing your own board, while letting you grow accustomed to one setup and avoid the awkward adjustment period that comes with using new equipment. As any athlete will tell you, it's much easier to progress when you're comfortable with your gear.
When you're ready to buy your own equipment, make sure you are fitted properly. Your local snowboard shop will be able to help you find the right size board, boots, and bindings to fit your needs. The length and type of board you buy will have to do with your height, weight, and the style of snowboarding you prefer. The staff will be able to help you better the more information you give them about your snowboarding experience.