Snowboarding is huge around the world. Whenever snow starts to fall, big fans of the sport start taking their boards out and getting ready for snowboarding season. Although there are several different competitive snowboarding events of many different modalities, like half-pipe and big air, most of the people who practice snowboarding do it recreationally, as a way to have fun during wintertime going down mountains and slopes. Regardless of what your plan is, snowboarding requires many pieces of equipment, which you can check out below.
Without the right equipment, there is no way to practice snowboarding. To begin with, you need the snowboard, bindings, and snowboard boots, which altogether will get the board attached to your feet and allow you to cruise through the snow. However, that is still not enough. Snowboarding involves a whole lot of risks, and regardless of your level and mastery of the sport, you'll need gear to protect you from the possible freezing weather and eventual falls.
To protect yourself from the cold, you'll need thick snow-proof jackets and pants, many base and mid-layers, good gloves, a hat, and goggles. You can also add other things such as sunscreen, heat pads, and face masks. To protect yourself from getting hurt when falling, it is essential to always wear a helmet, and maybe even airbags.
Avid snowboarders who practice the sport on a higher level need more equipment. Having your boards, boots, and beacons also requires maintenance and care, making it a good idea to have wax irons and special snowboard bags to carry gear around. More experienced snowboarders looking for bigger challenges also need more equipment, such as shovels and avalanche beacons.
There are numerous types of snowboarding accessories that are essential when going onto the mountain. Without having the proper pieces of equipment and knowing how to buy the proper types, you will likely have an unsuccessful day on the hill. Boots, bags, jackets, headphones, helmets, and more are all necessities for a snowboarder. Brands such as Oakley, Burton, and North Face serve as great suppliers to these types of equipment.
An airbag is something that you bring with you to the backcountry in case of an emergency. This product will cost around $500. When you are caught in a slide, you simply pull the handle that is attached to the shoulder strap of your bag and a pressurized cartridge inflates the airbag. This will help you stay near the surface of the avalanche and more visible to rescuers. When choosing an airbag, you want to determine what type of riding you will be doing. For example, heli-accessed lines will require a smaller more streamlined pack. You also want to ensure that the pack is easy for you to use and carry.
A very popular thing among skiers and snowboarders is enjoying a beer and some snacks after a long day on the mountain. This is often done in the lodge, where there is live music and a lot of fun to be had. Your apre ski clothes will be similar to what you wear for your mid layers. You are going to want to take off your jacket, so what you are wearing below that (flannel, hoodie, fleece, etc.) would suffice as a perfect piece of apre clothing.
If you are ever going to explore the backcountry of the mountains, then you MUST be in possession of an avalanche beacon. An avalanche beacon emits a pulsed radio signal to other beacons if one is to get buried in an avalanche. The receiving transceivers interpret the signal into a visual and audible display that will help with the search of finding who may have been buried in an avalanche. These beacons will cost around $300, but will do a very good job in keeping you safe in case of an emergency.
Almost all beacons sold these days are digital models, as they are much easier to use and are faster at locating victims. When buying an avalanche beacon, you do not want to spare expenses because you want a proper device if there is an emergency. You want one with a display screen, multiple burials, audio reinforcement, and strong range.
An avalanche kit will carry everything you need to keep you protected while backcountry snowboarding. An avalanche beacon is not the only piece of equipment you need when you are going in the backcountry. One thing you will need is a shovel. A shovel needs to be strong and should also have an extendable handle shaft to maximize efficiency when digging. You also want to buy a probe. A probe will help you pinpoint the exact location of a victim and measure the burial depth. It should be a minimum of 280 cm long, as average avalanche burial depth is 150 cm. When buying these products for your kit, you want to make sure you avoid brands that do not have a reputable history. When it comes to avalanche protection, you should buy the best product possible to guarantee your safety.
Having a small to medium sized backpack is a good thing to bring with you when you go to the slopes. This will cost around $50. You can store extra layers, water, and snacks in the bag so you do not have to leave the mountain during the day. If your bag is light and easy to carry, you can bring it with you on the slopes. If you would rather not have to worry about it, there are many places in the lodge where you can safely store a bag. When purchasing a bag, you want to think about how much stuff you normally bring to the mountain, and if you want to be able to ride with it on your back.
Balaclavas are very similar to face masks and neckwarmers. Like neckwarmers, the best balaclavas are made of fleece, wool, or other synthetics. What is great about balaclavas is that most come with openings in the nose area so it is much easier to breath. You can stay completely warm, without blocking any passage of air. This will also allow your goggles to not fog up when using them. If you want to keep your face completely covered at all times without having trouble breathing or fogging up your goggles, then a balaclava is likely the way to go. A balaclava costs around $10.
A balance board is a great home piece of equipment that you can use when you are not on the mountain. A balance board is about the size of a skateboard, and it is on top of a cylinder that you will stand on to keep your balance. It will drastically help your coordination and balance, which will hopefully translate directly to riding a snowboard. A balance board is something that can keep you occupied for hours, and is a great way to improve your skill on a snowboard when you aren't actually on the mountain. A balance board costs $130.
Bandanas have become a fashionable piece of snowboarding equipment, first popularized by snowboarder Shaun White. Bandanas are a bit more cheap than a balaclava, costing $5. A snowboarding bandana is a piece of clothing that many riders like to use as face masks. It is a bit more stylish and thinner so it is often used on warmer days. This is another good alternative to sunscreen, as it will cover your skin from the sun while not overheating you. The traditional bandana for snowboarding is made of cotton, so you really should not wear one when it is extremely cold out or snowing. But on a warm sunny day, a bandana could be the perfect stylish option for you to wear.
Base layers are the first articles of clothing that you put on to start your day. They cost anywhere from $15 to $70 depending on the material. Base layers all depend on personal preference. Some people do not think nice layers for the base are necessary, and just wear something like shorts and a t-shirt. Others however, will wear things such as long underwear and underarmour. This is made of stronger material that will do a much better job of keeping you warm when you are on the slopes all day.
Snowboard bindings serve as the connection point between you and your snowboard. It is very important that you have a sturdy and well built pair of bindings. When you buy bindings, it is important to make sure that your boots are compatible with your binding. You are going to need to reference each binding manufacturer for their sizing chart, as it is crucial that you have a pair of bindings that can keep your boots attached to the board at all times. A pair of bindings cost around $100.
If you are going to be putting a lot of days in on the slopes during the winters, it is a good idea to acquire some snowboard tools. Bindings take a big beating from all the riding that you do, and sometimes they get a little bit loose and need to be attached tighter to the board. When you are buying tools, it is important to know whether or not you need a ton of equipment, or just a screwdriver. Most mountains have tool stations at the top of the chairlifts, so in some cases you may not even need one.
A camera is a great thing to have if you want to show off your skills to all your friends and family. The GoPro is the most popular type of camera for action sports. You can put it on your helmet, or attach it to a pole to film your friends. It is a great way to show point-of-view riding for you to watch and relive later in the day. They are pretty pricey, costing about $300. Therefore, when you are buying, you want to make sure you know exactly what you are looking for in a camera and how to use the GoPro.
Hand and foot warmers are sometimes extremely useful when it is really cold out. A pack of 10 will cost you around $5. They can keep your hands and feet warm for up to five hours so you can enjoy the mountain and won't have to keep on going to the lodge to warm up. The best thing to know about these devices is that even though the bag may say they last for about 12 hours, it is best to buy extras and change them out when you eat lunch or halfway through your day.
Gloves and mittens are made to cover up your hands when you are riding on the hill. It is extremely important as your hands are very sensitive to the cold. A buyer needs to decide whether he or she wants to buy gloves or mittens, and that is entirely based on preference. Gloves are great because they have more dexterity for handling gear.
Among snowboarders, mittens are often a bit more popular. Skiers like gloves because it is easier for them to control their poles, but snowboarders do not have to worry about that. Since mittens often provide more heat and comfort than gloves, a snowboarder will often be seen in mittens. The average pair of gloves or mitten cost around $80.
Headphones are a great thing to have with you to keep you energized and pumped up on the hill. It is also great if you are out riding by yourself and stuck in a long lift line. The music will help you pass the time. Any type of earbud will suffice just fine when riding. There is also a more expensive option where you can purchase a helmet that includes ear pads with built in headphones which cost around $250.
Knee guards are a nice optional piece of protection that can protect you from knee injuries. About a third of snowboarding injuries happen at the knee, which makes having knee guards a very good idea. A pair of high-quality pads will go a long way in protecting you from injury, and will only cost about $40. There are different types of pads that are sold, so it is important to find a pair that is comfortable, yet safe.
Knee guards come in soft shell and hard shell. A hard shell is likely better for beginners, as when you learn to snowboard you are going to do a lot of falling. However, as you improve, you are going to want to be more comfortable and allow to have a padding that is more versatile. Therefore, advanced snowboarders would likely be better off with just a soft shell, that will still protect your knee, but have more of a low profile look.
Buying a lift ticket can be considered the most essential part of snowboarding because without one, you can't get up the mountain! In order to have access to the chairlifts and get up the mountain, you need to purchase a lift ticket. Unfortunately, these are very pricey depending on what mountain you are skiing at. When you are buying a lift ticket, you should look into finding any discount you can, as many mountains offer discounts for certain groups of people. You may fall under a category who applies for a discount and you may not even know!
For example, college students get discounts very often, as well as senior citizens. Also, if you are going to be snowboarding for more than 1 day, do not buy each pass day by day. If you buy a 7 day pass, the price per day will often go down in some scenarios. All discounts often depend on the mountain you are skiing at, so it is important to explore the website beforehand to discover any possibilities.
Mid layers are another very important piece of equipment. When it is cold, you are going to want to wear more than just your base layer and jacket, and will likely need something in between. There are a variety of different pieces of clothings that you can use as a mid layer. The best options would be a flannel, fleece, hoodie, or a light jacket. The flannel can be used for when it is a bit warmer, and the light jacket or hoodie for when it is really cold. Before choosing the mid layer you wear for the day, it is very important that you know exactly what the weather is going to be. Choosing the wrong mid layer could ruin your day as you will be spending your time on the mountain either too hot or too cold. Mid layers can be anywhere from $20-$100, depending on the product and quality you want to use.
Neck warmers are great to have when it is really windy out and you want to keep your face and neck warm. It can also be used on sunny days if you would like to avoid sunburn. Neck warmers are a bit more expensive than balaclavas, costing $30. When purchasing a neck warmer, you want to make sure that it has the proper material. If it is made of poor material (like cotton), then when water and snow get on it will freeze and be extremely uncomfortable. When you get a neckwarmer, you want it to be made out of something such as fleece polyester, as it will be far more comfortable and will be able to withstand any conditions.
A slope meter is another tool that is necessary for backcountry enthusiasts. You are going to need one in the backcountry because if a slope is too steep, then that makes the possibility of an avalanche more likely. Calculating the slope is simple when you have this device, and it is actually one of the most affordable items that you need in your kit. This product is pocket friendly, and easy to carry with a lanyard. Most have a range of 0 to 60 degree angles, and also have a built in compass. Slope meters cost anywhere between $80 and $200.
The slope can be considered the field of play for riders on the mountain. The mountain has many different types of terrain for riders of all difficulty levels. There are green circles, blue squares, black diamonds, and double black diamonds. A green circle is the easiest, as it is groomed with no forms of natural terrain. Blue squares are also almost always groomed, but they are slightly steeper than green circles.
A black diamond is the advanced slope. They have a steep slope and are often ungroomed with lots of natural terrain such as bumps. The double black diamond is for experts only. It is extremely steep, and contains lots of terrain such as moguls, rocks, trees, and more. The great thing is that most mountains offer slopes of every difficulty, so snowboarders of all levels will be able to find where they want to go.
Snacks are a great thing to bring with you on the slopes. You can either put them in your jacket pocket or in your backpack. Packing snacks like granola bars, apples, or other healthy options is a great idea to keep you energized throughout a long day on the hill. You can eat these snacks on the chairlift, and they will be able to get you through the day. This is also great because you will not have to worry about purchasing ski lodge food which can be expensive at times.
Snow pants are one of the most vital pieces of equipment in terms of keeping you warm because they cover your entire lower body. The sizes are sometimes adjustable, but often come in sizes that are most similar to your regular pant size. A typical pair of snowboard pants has a price of $100. There are lightweight options and also heavier and thicker styles with insulation for when it is colder out. All snow pants are waterproof to help prevent you from getting frostbite or even hypothermia. Adult snow pants are often made to look similar to regular pants for fashion purposes, but you can also purchase a pair with suspenders if you would like. There are also snow pants that come with extra padding to help protect you from falls.
You can not just fit any type of shoe into a snowboard binding. You need to have specific boots. Luckily snowboard boots are far more comfortable than ski boots. When you are assembling a setup of board-boots-binding, boots should be your first purchase. Boots are going to cost anywhere from $70 to $200. You want to buy boots that fit comfortably so you can move onto the bindings for a great match.
When you are buying boots, there are four things you want to consider. You want the boot flex and riding style to be able to fit your needs. You also want to choose which type of system you want. You can pick between traditional, quick-pull, and boa systems. Liners are also important as you want to decide whether or not you want to customize them for better fit.
Finally, you simply want to make sure you purchase the right size boots that will fit you most comfortably. Follow those four rules, and you will have the perfect boot that will allow you to ride to the best of your ability.
Goggles are an important piece of equipment for snowboarders as they protect your eyes from the wind. Goggles are a favorite among young riders as companies make extremely fashionable ones. Since they first became popular, companies have come up with a variety of lens and goggles styles for all different kinds of riders. Lenses are extremely important because you are going to want to have different types depending on the sun. Polarized lenses that have UV light protection are great when it is sunny out. However, when it is cloudy out, you are going to want a lighter pair of lenses to help you see in the clouds better. A nice pair of goggles typically costs around $175.
In terms of protection from injury, a helmet is likely the most important piece of equipment. Helmets are what keep your head protected and will prevent serious injuries such as concussions. Depending on the quality it can cost between $90 and $200. There are numerous types of snowboard helmets so it is important to buy the right one. You will want a helmet that is comfortable, as if it is too tight it can give you headaches. You also want to make sure it is certified and has proper padding. There is no point in spending money on a helmet that will do a poor job of keeping you safe.
A quality snowboard jacket is often determined breathability. Jackets are never completely waterproof since the fabric still needs to breath, but they are normally "water resistant". Typically a jacket costs around $200. The majority of jackets are shells, insulated jackets, technical shells, soft shells, or 3-in-1 jackets.
Shells are extremely versatile and generally waterproof enough for most conditions and offer a lot of breathability. An insulated jacket is best for extremely cold conditions. The jacket will feature an outer shell and a layer of insulation that is built in. A technical shell is lightweight and highly breathable and is best used for packing or skinning to peaks. Softshell jackets are great because they appear as hoodies, but they do not get soaked when they touch the snow. A 3-in-1 jacket is the most versatile of all the jackets., as you can wear just the shell or the entire insulated inner jacket depending on the conditions.
The snowboard leash is what attaches your boot to your board. Back in the 90s when snowboarding became popular, it was assumed that there could be serious injuries if a snowboard got loose from a rider. This was due to the lack of understanding of how bindings work. It used to be a requirement for riders to have leash, as liftees would examine riders to make sure they had one. The policy lost its steam and began to fade away, as people began to realize just how difficult it is to pop off a snowboard binding when you crash. Therefore, you will rarely find anyone with a snowboard leash on the slopes today.
If you are planning a winter snowboarding trip, then snowboarding insurance is strongly recommended. Snowboard travel insurance will cover issues that are designed specifically for snowboarders. This type of insurance will cover things standard travel insurance might not. For example, if you injure yourself snowboarding, you might not be able to claim medical treatment costs with regular medical insurance. Snowboarding can be a dangerous sport and without insurance, a crash or injury can leave you with tens of thousands in medical bills.
Snowboarding wax is great to have for two main reasons. Waxing your board will allow you to ride fast and smooth. Another reason is that wax will do a great job of protecting your board from damages. For only $15, a waxed board will provide better slide on the snow, which will lead to less time getting stuck in flat areas and needing to unstrap. Waxing your board also protects and hydrates the base, making it last longer. Snowboarding is already physically challenging, and the last thing you need is a board that won't cooperate with you.
It is impossible to go snowboarding without the actual snowboard itself! You can rent a snowboard at the mountain or you can purchase one at any ski shop you like. The average snowboard is typically $300. There are numerous types of boards for riders who are looking for different disciplines. If your main focus is in the terrain park, then you are going to want a board that is on the shorter side. If you are looking to explore the whole mountain and find some powder, then consider a board that is on the longer end of the size range.
Snowshoes are a great way for snowboarders to get into the backcountry. While splitboards may be the prefered way to get around the backcountry, snowshoes are definitely a valid alternative. When you use snowshoes, you can use your existing board binding and boots, making exploring the backcountry a bit more affordable at $70.
Simplicity is another great characteristic of snowshoes, as you can simply detach them and stow them in your bag when you are ready to ride down. When purchasing a pair of snowshoes, you are going to want snowshoes that pack flat with the teeth facing each other and away from you. These will carry nicer and are less cumberstown to stow for the downhill aspect of your backcountry trip.
Socks are a far more important piece of equipment than people think. You do not want to wear any average pair of cotton socks, because you will sweat, and then they will freeze which will lead to a horrible day on the mountain. Ski and snowboard socks are tall enough to offer warmth from the foot all the way to the knee at a price of $30. They also have padding to completely protect your skin from the boots. The best performing socks are constructed with merino wool and synthetic fibers. Socks can be thin or thick, and that is completely up to the preference of the rider of what her or she would prefer.
A splitboard is basically a normal snowboard that splits in two halves. The two halves become skis for traveling uphill with adhesive skins that are attached to the base of each. Once the rider reaches the top of the slope, he or she removes the skins, and attaches the skis together transforming it back into a snowboard. The best model depends on your riding style and the preference of terrain. For all terrain performance, you would likely want a model with soft flex, whereas stiff flex is more for technical terrain and speed. Splitboards are pretty expensive costing around $600.
Sunscreen is extremely important to wear when you are snowboarding. Especially when you are skiing in tall mountains where the elevation can be over 10,000 feet, you are extremely close to the sun and can actually be at risk of some pretty severe sunburn if you do not apply sunscreen. You can buy a bottle around $30 that will do a good job protecting your skin. When snowboarding, you should apply at least 50 SPF just to be safe. If you do that, you should have no issues in getting sunburnt.
A sweater is a great example of something you can wear as a mid layer, or as an outer layer on a warm spring day toward the end of the season. Companies such as Burton, Oakley, and more make great sweaters that are extremely comfortable and fit very well. These sweaters can also serve as great pieces of clothing for apres as well. If you want to buy a sweater as a midlayer, you should make sure that it is not made of cotton. However, if you are just buying a snowboard branded sweater to wear for fashion, then it does not necessarily need to be made out of anything specific.
A trail map is a great thing to have with you if you are at a mountain that you are not familiar with. They are offered at the lodge for free and you can easily fold it up and throw it in your jacket pocket. If you get lost or want to find directions to a certain trail, it is always good to have a trail map for you and your friends to take a look at when you are on the chairlift or gondola.
A tuning vise offers a platform for somebody when tuning a snowboard. The vise will clamp the edge of the working surface and secure the board firmly in a horizontal position as you wax and tune it. A good vise will determine how you will tune your boards and should also be part of the maintenance equipment you carry on a snowboarding trip. When buying a vise, you want something that is not only durable, but also versatile. You also want to ensure that it will accommodate the surface of your working space as well.
Having a water bottle is a very good idea since snowboarding is a very active sport. Any type of water bottle will work just fine, as it will be based on preference. Another option would be to buy a Camelbak bag. This could serve two purposes, as it can act as a bag and form of hydration. The Camelback has a tube coming out that you can drink out of since you have a bag full of water in the Camelbak.
The fact that snowboarding can be dangerous and takes place in extremely cold weather is what makes it unique. Some of the protective gear can also be used when skiing, but the most necessary pieces of equipment are exclusive to snowboarding, and without it, you can practice the sport. Many brands specialize in making only snowboard equipment, given the particularities of the sport.
The most important equipment to buy when planning to snowboard are pieces of gear that will protect you from the cold like jackets, gloves, face masks, socks, and pants. That is because most snowboarding equipment like boards, beacons, and helmets can be rented at ski resorts or local shops. Snow protective gear is also very personal, and can also be used on occasions other than just when snowboarding. With that, if you plan on going snowboarding, it is a good idea to invest on some warm and light winter clothes.
However, depending on your level and on how often you snowboard, buying snowboards, helmets, boots, and beacons can be a good investment. By doing so, you have control over the quality of the equipment you use, while rent shops might have limited options and not all of the best brands. Also, if you snowboard a lot, it gets expensive to rent equipment every time, and although you might have to spend some more money, it can turn out to be a good investment.
Buying all of the equipment necessary to snowboard can be a very costly thing to do. Thankfully, the majority of places where the sport can be practiced, such as ski stations and mountains, have shops around where the gear can be rented for however long one plans to snowboard. Some ski resorts and ski stations have packages made for beginners, which are around $60 dollars a day. However, adding the necessary winter apparel and lift tickets increases the price. Winter clothes alone can cost around $350 to $700 dollars.
People more dedicated to the sport also need to have their own equipment. When purchasing a good snowboard, snowboard boots, and binders cost, it will cost around $1,000 dollars, especially if it is high-quality equipment.