If you’re planning to hit the slopes this winter, it’s important to have all the right gear for a safe and enjoyable experience. From helmets to boots and everything in between, having the right equipment is crucial to your performance on the mountain.
Whether you’re a seasoned snowboarder or a beginner just starting out, knowing what gear to bring with you can be overwhelming. With so many different brands, styles, and options available, it’s important to research and choose carefully to ensure you have the best possible set up.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the must-have items you need for snowboarding. We’ll cover everything from clothing to accessories, as well as providing tips on how to choose the right gear for your needs.
“Investing in quality gear will not only improve your performance but also keep you safe while on the mountain.”
So whether you’re headed to your local ski resort or planning a backcountry adventure, read on to discover the essential gear you need to hit the slopes like a pro!
A snowboard is an essential piece of equipment for anyone who wants to enjoy the thrills of snowboarding. It consists of a flat board with bindings that strap your boots onto it. Snowboards come in different sizes, shapes, and styles, depending on what type of riding you prefer.
Types of Snowboards
There are mainly five types of snowboards:
- All-Mountain Snowboards: These are versatile snowboards that work well anywhere on the mountain, whether you want to ride groomers, powder or hit the park.
- Powder Snowboards: These snowboards are designed specifically for deep snow conditions. They have a wider shape, which allows them to float over the snow better than other types.
- Freestyle Snowboards: These snowboards are perfect for riders who like to spend their time in parks and halfpipes, doing jumps, rails, and tricks.
- Splitboards: These snowboards split into two pieces, allowing riders to hike up the mountainside like a pair of skis and then clip back together for the descent. Designed for backcountry enthusiasts, these boards offer full freedom.
- Carving Snowboards: These snowboards are specially designed for high-speed carving turns. They have a narrow waist, and stiffer flex, giving them more edge control when turning at speed.
The size of your snowboard will depend primarily on your weight and height. A board that’s too small or too large can greatly affect your performance. To ensure you select the right size board, look for a snowboard size chart and measure yourself.
The most critical factor when sizing your board is the waist width. The waist width determines how well your feet will fit on the board, so it’s crucial to get right. If your feet hang over the edges of the board too much, you’ll have trouble turning because the snow touches your boots instead of the board.
Caring for Your Snowboard
To ensure that your snowboard lasts as long as possible and performs optimally, it’s important to take proper care. Here are some tips:
- Storage: Store your snowboard in a dry place where it won’t get exposed to moisture or temperature fluctuations. Don’t stack anything heavy on top of it as it can change its shape.
- Waxing: Keep your board waxed regularly to ensure optimal performance. Waxing helps protect the base from damage caused by rocks and other obstacles while riding.
- Edges: Keeping the edges sharp will help with turning and carving, essential components of any good ride. Check them periodically for burrs and minor imperfections and sharpen carefully only if needed.
- Fiberglass: A fiberglass coating surrounds the wood part of the board and helps with durability and speed. Examine it regularly after wipe-downs as damages like deep cuts or scratches might impact both life span and performance.
Choosing the Right Snowboard Boots
Snowboard boots provide comfort, support, warmth, and responsiveness during a day of riding down the mountain, making them one of the most vital pieces of gear. When choosing boots, riders should consider the following factors:
- Fit: The best snowboard boots should fit snugly but not to the point of being uncomfortable or restricting movement. Make sure you try on a few pairs before making your selection.
- Flex: The flex rating determines how rigid or soft the boots are, which impacts rider comfort levels and overall responsiveness during riding. Soft boots cater well for freestyle riders who require more flexibility for performing tricks whereas stiffer boots offer better performance in carving lovers and backcountry enthusiasts actions.
- Lacing: Snowboard boots come with three types of lacing: traditional lace, quick-pull, and BOA systems. Each has its advantages, so pick what works for you – Traditional is the most affordable, Quick-Pull provides easy tightening and loosening while Boa represents the quickest boot system available.
“Snowboarding was something I never thought I could be good at until I believed in myself.” -Shaun White
Selecting the appropriate gear is vital if you want an enjoyable day-ride experience. Remember that every snowboarder will have different preferences when it comes to boards, bindings, boots and other equipment, so don’t be afraid to experiment once in a while. Whether you’re sliding down groomed runs or flying off jumps, having properly maintained and fitted gear can help make each ride a memorable one.”
When it comes to snowboarding, bindings are one of the most important pieces of gear you’ll need. Your bindings connect your boots to your board and allow you to control your movements while riding down the mountain.
Types of Bindings
There are several different types of bindings on the market today. The most common types include:
- Strap-in Bindings: These are the traditional type of binding that use straps to secure your feet to the board.
- Rear-Entry Bindings: With these bindings, you can simply step into the back of the binding and then snap them shut by using a highback lever.
- Step-in Bindings: These bindings require two special components, compatible boots and bindings, which fit together with no extra effort required. Step-ins have been around for nearly as long as strap-ins.
The type of bindings you choose will largely depend on personal preference and riding style. Strap-in bindings tend to be more versatile and generally offer better performance. However, rear-entry bindings may be easier to use and require less time to get in and out of.
Adjusting Your Bindings
In order to ensure maximum comfort and performance while riding, it’s important to adjust your bindings correctly. Here are some tips for getting the perfect fit:
- Your boots should fit snugly into your bindings without being too tight or too loose.
- The forward lean of your highbacks should match your riding style. More experienced riders may prefer more forward lean, whereas beginners may prefer less.
- Your stance width (the distance between your bindings) should match your shoulder width, or slightly wider if you prefer a more stable stance.
It’s also important to check your bindings regularly throughout the season, as they can become loose or damaged over time. Make sure that all screws and bolts are tight before hitting the slopes.
Maintaining Your Bindings
To ensure that your bindings last as long as possible, it’s important to take proper care of them. Here are some tips for maintaining your bindings:
- Clean your bindings after each use with a damp cloth to remove dirt and debris.
- Regularly inspect your bindings for any signs of wear or damage.
- Store your bindings in a cool, dry place when not in use to prevent rust or corrosion.
By following these simple maintenance tips, you can help prolong the life of your bindings and get the most out of your gear investment.
Choosing the Right Bindings for Your Riding Style
When choosing bindings, it’s important to consider your individual riding style. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- If you’re just starting out, look for beginner-friendly bindings that offer easy entry and exit.
- Freestyle riders may want bindings with extra cushioning and flex to allow for maximum mobility and creativity.
- For more aggressive riders who focus on speed and control, stiffer bindings with less flex may be preferred.
The right choice of bindings will depend on your skill level, style preferences, and budget. Do your research and try out different options to find the perfect fit for you.
“Bindings play an essential role in how well you ride, along with ensuring comfort and leg support throughout the process. A good pair of bindings can elevate your snowboarding game, so make sure to put ample thought into finding the perfect pair.” -Julian Kunster, contributor at The Adventure Junkies
Types of Snowboard Boots
Snowboard boots are essential for any snowboarder. They provide support, comfort and warmth to your feet, which can help you stay on the slopes longer. When it comes to selecting a pair of boots, you have three types to choose from – soft boots, hard boots, and hybrid boots.
Soft boots are the most popular type of snowboarding boots. They are flexible and provide superior comfort, giving the rider much-needed mobility while snowboarding. If you’re just starting and plan on riding all over the mountain, these are the boots for you.
Hard boots are designed more for speed and carving on groomed runs. They are made to be stiff and reinforced with carbon or plastic materials for additional support. These boots offer better responsiveness and control; that’s why they’re often used in racing competitions.
Hybrid boots feature the best of both worlds. They combine the flexibility of soft boots with the stiffness of hard boots. As a result, hybrid boots offer riders versatility and the ability to use them across different terrains. Hybrid boots are perfect for those who enjoy freestyle snowboarding as well as alpine activities.
Fitting Your Snowboard Boots
One crucial aspect of snowboarding is ensuring that your equipment fits properly. Ill-fitting boots can lead to discomfort, lack of control, and even injuries. Here are some tips for finding the right fit:
- Try on boots at the end of the day when your feet are slightly swollen as this will mimic how they’ll feel after several hours of use
- Your toes should barely touch the front of the boot when standing up straight. However, when you flex forward into a riding position, your toes should pull away slightly from the end of the boot.
- Make sure there’s no heel lift when you’re walking around with the boots on. This indicates that the boot is too big and will affect control while riding.
- The boot should fit snugly, but should not be so tight that it causes discomfort or restricts blood flow to your feet. You should also be able to move your toes freely within the boots.
Fitting snowboard boots can sometimes take time and patience since each person’s feet are different. However, taking the time to find the perfect fitting boots will greatly enhance your snowboarding experience.
“The proper fit makes all the difference in staying warm, comfortable, and in control out there.” – REI Co-op Journal
Types of Snowboard Goggles
Choosing the right snowboard goggles is essential for a comfortable ride and good visibility on the slopes. There are several types of snowboard goggles available, each with its own set of features:
- Flat Light Lenses: These lenses enhance contrast in low light conditions, making it easier to navigate through foggy or cloudy weather.
- Mirrored Lenses: Mirrored lenses reflect more sunlight than other lenses, which makes them ideal for bright, sunny days.
- Polarized Lenses: Polarized lenses reduce glare from sun reflecting off the snow, reducing eye strain on very bright, sunny days.
- Photochromic Lenses: Photochromic lenses adjust automatically according to the lighting conditions, increasing their versatility on changing weather conditions.
- Cylindrical vs Spherical Lenses: Cylindrical lenses sit flat but offer limited peripheral vision, while spherical lenses curve around your head improving peripheral vision.
Fitting Your Snowboard Goggles
When buying snowboarding goggles, fitting is one of the most important factors to consider since poorly fitting goggles can be uncomfortable and affect visibility. Here’s what you should keep in mind when fitting your snowboard goggles:
“You want to make sure the fit of your goggles is snug but doesn’t pinch anywhere. You also don’t want any gaps between the goggle lens and your face. When trying on different styles, try moving your head side-to-side, up-and-down, and around to ensure that there aren’t any areas where unfiltered air creeps in.” -Lindsey Vonn, Olympic Gold Medalist Snowboarder
- Face Size: Goggles come in different sizes to fit the diverse variety of head sizes. Make sure you purchase a pair that fits your face size accordingly.
- Helmet Compatibility: If you’re planning on wearing a helmet while snowboarding – and you should be – make certain the goggles or compatible with your helmet. Wearing goggles over a helmet can cause discomfort if they don’t fit together correctly.
- Strap Adjustment: Check that your goggles’ strap length matches up with what is comfortable for you. Most models have an adjustable strap to ensure precise fitting.
By keeping the above tips in mind, choosing the right snowboarding goggle can make all the difference when it comes to comfort, performance, and style on the slopes.
Types of Snowboard Helmets
Snowboarding is an adrenaline-rushing sport, but it can also be dangerous. Falling off the board at high speeds can cause severe head injuries that might lead to fatal accidents. Therefore, a helmet is one indispensable piece of gear that every snowboarder must have.
There are mainly two types of snowboarding helmets: In-Mold and Hardshell. The majority of snowboarders prefer In-Mold helmets because they are lightweight, comfortable, and offer better ventilation than their Hardshell counterparts. However, if you want extra protection for your head, then a Hardshell helmet could be a better choice as they provide more shock-absorption capabilities.
Choosing the Right Helmet for Your Riding Style
While considering purchasing a new helmet, there are several factors to keep in mind like the type of terrain you will ride on, how fast you plan to go, and your skill level.
Besides providing adequate protection, a well-fitting helmet should feel snug but not too tight. It should sit securely over your forehead with the chinstrap well adjusted. Before making a purchase decision, make sure to try out different models to find the perfect fit.
If you’re a beginner and most likely going to spend time on soft powdery slopes, any standard In-Mold or Hardshell helmet would do the job. But if you’re planning to hit some rails or attempt jumps regularly, you may opt for a Full-Face helmet that offers better coverage for your chin and mouth area.
Helmets having removable ear pads could also come in handy for warmer days, allowing better air circulation while still keeping the top of your head protected.
Maintaining Your Snowboard Helmet
Once you’ve selected your ideal helmet, remember to maintain it properly for long-term use. A good habit is to wipe the outer shell of the helmet every time after wearing with a damp cloth and let it dry before storing.
Avoid using strong detergents or solvents that could damage the helmet’s structural integrity. If possible, store your helmet in a soft bag away from direct sunlight and high temperatures.
If you fall off while wearing the helmet, inspect it thoroughly to look out for any cracks or dents, which could signify permanent damage to the helmet’s surface. Such damages may reduce its protective capabilities over time as they weaken the material.
“Helmets are one piece of equipment drivers can buy, walk into the party store, pick up their friends, and everyone has something to wear all season.” – Mitch Stamm
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of board and binding do I need for snowboarding?
For beginners, a softer flex board is recommended. As you progress, a stiffer board may be better suited for your riding style. Bindings should match the board’s width and have a comfortable fit. Look for bindings with adjustable highbacks and straps for personalized comfort and control on the mountain.
What type of boots should I wear for snowboarding?
Your boots are a crucial component of your snowboarding setup. Look for boots with a comfortable and snug fit that offer ample support and cushioning. Consider the type of riding you’ll be doing when selecting boots. For freestyle riding, softer boots may be preferable, while stiffer boots are better for carving and high-speed riding.
What kind of clothing do I need for snowboarding?
Layering is key when it comes to snowboarding clothing. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add a warm mid-layer, and finish with a waterproof and breathable outer layer. Don’t forget to wear waterproof gloves, warm socks, and a hat or helmet to keep your head and hands warm. Lastly, invest in a pair of waterproof snow pants and jacket to keep you dry and comfortable all day.
What accessories should I bring with me when snowboarding?
Bring a backpack to carry extra layers, snacks, and water. Sunscreen and lip balm are also essential to protect your skin from the sun and wind. A neck gaiter or balaclava can keep your face and neck warm, and hand warmers can provide extra comfort on colder days. Lastly, a portable phone charger can come in handy for staying connected on the mountain.
What safety gear is necessary for snowboarding?
A helmet is a must-have safety item for all snowboarders. Wrist guards can also be beneficial for beginners, as they help prevent wrist injuries during falls. Additionally, consider investing in impact shorts and a back protector for added protection while riding. Always ride within your ability level and stay aware of your surroundings to avoid accidents.
What should I consider when choosing goggles for snowboarding?
When selecting goggles, consider the lens color, fit, and ventilation. Choose a lens color that suits the lighting conditions you’ll be riding in, and look for goggles with a comfortable and secure fit. Ventilation is important to prevent fogging, so choose goggles with good airflow. Lastly, consider the shape of your helmet and make sure the goggles fit well with your helmet for maximum comfort and performance.