When hitting the slopes on a snowboard, there is more to consider than just grabbing your winter coat and boots. Proper attire can make all the difference between an enjoyable ride and a miserable one.
The right clothing not only keeps you warm and dry but also allows for mobility and protects from potential injuries. With so many options available, it may be overwhelming to decide what to wear.
To simplify the process, we have compiled some tips and tricks to help you choose the best outfit for your snowboarding adventure. We will cover everything from base layers to outerwear, as well as accessories that can enhance your performance and comfort on the mountain.
Whether you are a beginner or seasoned pro, dressing appropriately for the weather conditions and terrain is crucial. By following our guide, you can stay comfortable, look stylish, and focus on enjoying the ride without any distractions. So let’s dive in and uncover what to wear to snowboard!
Start with a Moisture-Wicking Base Layer
Choosing the right base layer is crucial when figuring out what to wear to snowboard. It’s important to use clothing that wicks moisture away from your skin, keeping you dry and warm. Look for base layers made of synthetic materials like polyester or polypropylene. Avoid cotton as it absorbs sweat and moisture, leaving you feeling cold and wet.
You can also consider wool base layers, which naturally regulate body temperature and are odor-resistant. They’re great at insulating even when wet, making them ideal for snowy outdoor activities like snowboarding.
“When practicing winter sports, such as snowboarding, wearing breathable moisture-wicking fabric against the skin will help keep you both safe and comfortable.” -Taryn Eyton, Women Who Explore
Add an Insulating Middle Layer
The middle layer provides insulation to trap heat between the base and outer layers. Fleece jackets or pullovers work well as mid-layers because they offer excellent warmth-to-weight ratio while still being lightweight and easy to pack.
If you prefer something thinner, consider down jackets or vests for more warmth without adding excess bulk. However, always make sure your down apparel has water-repellent treatment so that it doesn’t clump up if wet.
“A good layering system allows us to stay warm in winter, whatever the activity, by trapping hot air that our bodies create.” -Dr. Andrew J. Graciano, Teton Gravity Research
Top it Off with a Waterproof Outer Layer
The outer layer acts as the first defense against wind, rain, and snow. A waterproof jacket and pants are essential to keep moisture out and stay comfortable while snowboarding. Gore-Tex is one of the most popular waterproof fabrics, but there are many other options available as well.
Look for a jacket with vents to release heat, and don’t forget about essential features like powder skirts, adjustable cuffs, and zippered pockets. For pants, choose those with reinforced knees and scuff guards that reduce wear and tear from boots and edges.
“Dressing in layers includes using quality outerwear designed for your activity. It should be insulated, water-resistant or waterproof, wind-resistant and breathable.” -Mark Elling, Snowshoe Magazine
Layering up properly when snowboarding can make all the difference between an enjoyable or miserable time outdoors. Be sure to start with a moisture-wicking base layer before adding insulating middle layers and topping it off with a waterproof outer layer. Remember to look for key features like ventilation and durability when choosing clothing items for your upcoming winter activities.
Don’t Forget Your Head and Hands
Snowboarding can be a dangerous sport if proper safety precautions are not taken. Wearing the appropriate gear can make all the difference in the world during a fall or collision. Protecting your head and hands is crucial to avoiding serious injuries, such as concussions and broken bones. Here’s what you should know about keeping your head and hands safe while snowboarding.
Cover Your Head with a Helmet and Hat
The most important piece of gear for any snowboarder is a helmet. Helmets are designed to absorb impact, preventing skull fractures and other serious head injuries. When choosing a helmet, make sure it fits correctly by measuring your head before purchasing. Some helmets even come equipped with specialized features like adjustable vents and built-in speakers.
In addition to a helmet, wearing a hat is also recommended. A hat will keep your head warm and add an extra layer of protection against the cold. Make sure your hat is snug enough that it won’t fly off during a particularly rough ride but also loose enough that it doesn’t cause any discomfort.
Protect Your Hands with Gloves or Mittens
Your hands need protection from the cold and from potential injury while snowboarding. Proper gloves or mittens can provide both. Look for waterproof materials such as Gore-Tex and insulation ratings ranging from light to heavy depending on your needs. Try them on before buying to ensure they are comfortable and fit well – tight fitting glove-like versions might give you better control, whereas mittens may be warmer overall.
If possible, try to find specific snow sports gloves that offer reinforced padding at key points of contact like the palms and fingers. In this way, minor falls and grabs don’t pose a threat to your fine motor function but do protect the appendages themselves.
Consider Wearing a Neck Gaiter or Face Mask
If you’re going to be facing the elements for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to protect your neck and face from the cold with either a balaclava (ski mask), or a neck gaiter that can be pulled up over your nose and mouth. Both options also offer protection against harmful UV rays reflecting off snow. Newer designs of these pieces will often include unique breathable materials to prevent condensation inside them throughout the day.
If you’re opting for a fresh air feel while shredding through the snow, sticking with a simple face mask is recommended as something like a full ski mask could restrict airflow and lead to difficulty breathing – similarly to feeling extra chilly on a windy day if you pull a sweater over your head too tightly!
“Safety First! Always wear protective gear, including a helmet, wrist guards, and instructor-certified gloves. Don’t try tricks beyond your ability level, don’t get in over your head, and don’t forget that what goes up must come down.” -Shaun White
Wearing appropriate clothing and equipment can make all the difference when it comes to staying safe and comfortable on the slopes. Covering your head and hands should be at the top of your priority list, as they are the two body parts most likely to suffer injury during a fall or collision. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, goggles, and layered clothing because unpredictable mountain weather can change drastically throughout your ride!
Choose the Right Snowboarding Jacket
Look for Waterproof and Breathable Materials
The most important aspect to consider when selecting a snowboard jacket is its ability to keep you dry. Most jackets have waterproof membranes or coatings like Gore-Tex, which keep out moisture and precipitation, ensuring that your under layers stay dry. Additionally, breathable materials allow sweat and body heat to escape, dampening chills and moisture build-up during extended use.
“When purchasing a snowboard coat, look for one with an impermeable membrane such as GORE-TEX fabric technology which helps prevent internal condensation while still allowing perspiration to exit.” -Mark McMorris, Olympic Snowboarder
Check for Adequate Insulation and Ventilation
Snowboard jackets should also provide sufficient insulation to protect against inclement weather, sustained cold temperatures, and windy days on the mountain. Typically, synthetic fills perform better in wet conditions compared to natural downs, but they may not be as warm. Your jacket should feature good ventilation options for times when you overheat from physical exertion yet want to remain protected from the elements. Zipper vents underneath armpits are usually included in high-quality designs and help regulate temperature quickly.
“It’s important to find the perfect balance of comfort and performance to keep us athletes properly tuned so we can ride all day long without breaking too much of a sweat or overheating!” -Jamie Anderson, Olympic Snowboarder
Consider Additional Features like Pockets and Powder Skirts
A lot of people overlook extra features available on snowboarding jackets. If you go through different terrains, adjustable hoods and powder skirts will help stop snow from getting in around your neck or back areas. Also, pockets play a vital role by providing safe storage options. You must have ample pockets to store essentials like snacks, goggles, hiking maps and other tools during your mountain outings.
“Make sure you get a jacket with enough pockets– sometimes I carry 3 pairs of gloves.” -Anna Gasser, Austrian Snowboarder
Make Sure the Fit is Comfortable and Allows for Movement
The most important factor along with all crucial features that come with a snowboard jacket is comfort. To ensure that your movement isn’t restricted while maintaining insulation from harsh weather, it’s essential to select a jersey designed with flexible fabric. After sightseeing different types, try on various sizes to feel which one provides more unrestricted movements. Finally, remember that roomier jackets offer better breathability because there’s much space between your layers reducing any respiratory limitations from sweating.
“The jacket needs to be comfortable enough so I can perform in every situation and condition.” -Sven Thorgren, Swedish Professional Snowboarder
Get the Right Snowboarding Pants
Snowboarding is an intense physical activity that requires proper gear to ensure you stay warm, dry, and comfortable throughout your time on the slopes. When it comes to deciding what to wear to snowboard, one of the most crucial clothing items is a good pair of snowboarding pants.
Choose Waterproof and Breathable Materials
The first thing to look for when buying snowboarding pants is the material they are made from. You want to choose a fabric that is both waterproof and breathable. This means your pants will keep out the snow and moisture while also allowing sweat and heat to escape, preventing overheating and discomfort.
You can check the waterproofing rating of your pants by looking for the number in millimeters (mm) assigned to them. Generally speaking, anything above 10,000mm or more can be considered highly waterproof. As for breathability, there is no official rating system, but materials like Gore-Tex or similar membranes are well-known for their ability to balance water resistance with airflow.
“Choosing a good pair of snow pants can make all the difference between having a great day on the mountain or misery.” -Peter Pan
Ensure the Pants have Adequate Insulation and Ventilation
Another important consideration when choosing snowboarding pants is how much insulation they provide and whether or not they have adequate ventilation. Depending on where and when you plan to hit the slopes, you may need more or less insulation. A general rule of thumb is that the colder it is outside, the more insulation you’ll want in your pants. However, if you tend to run hot or prefer to experience minimal bulk and maximum freedom-of-movement when riding, lighter options might be better suited for you.
If you’ve found a pair of pants you like but they don’t provide enough warmth on their own, you can layer up underneath. However, make sure to avoid cotton base layers as it becomes unusable once it absorbs moisture from sweat or snow. Opt for fabrics that wick-moisture and insulate without adding too much bulk.
In addition to insulation, ventilation is also critical when it comes to choosing proper snowboarding pants. You want your pants to have adequate vents that will allow excess heat and moisture to escape while providing enough coverage from the elements. Generally, better-quality snowboarding pants come with mesh-lined venting located along the inner thighs or buttocks area.
“Layering is subjective based on an individual’s level of comfort. Each person has their threshold temperature where they feel comfortable.” -Karen Ruby
When picking what to wear to snowboard, remember that having the right snowboarding pants are essential if you wish to stay warm, dry, and comfortable throughout your time on the slopes. Choose waterproof and breathable materials that have adequate insulation appropriate for the conditions you’ll be facing. Make sure they also have good ventilation to prevent overheating. Investing in high-quality snowboarding pants may cost more upfront, but in turn assure greater durability and longevity over time, saving you money in the long run.
Invest in Good Snowboarding Boots
Snowboarding requires a specific set of gear to ensure your safety and maximize performance. Choosing what to wear to snowboard is important, but buying the right boots should be at the top of your list.
Look for Boots with a Stiff Flex
The flex rating on snowboarding boots refers to their flexibility, or lack thereof. A higher flex rating means less give, while a lower one allows more movement. For most riders, it’s best to choose boots with a stiffer flex rating as they offer better support and control when carving through powder or aggressively riding down terrain park features.
According to REI Co-op, “A stiffer boot gives you greater precision and edge control, as there’s less room for error when making turns.” Their experts suggest choosing boots with a stiffness level between 6-10 on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being ultra-flexible and 10 being extremely stiff).
Ensure the Boots Fit Properly and are Comfortable
Ill-fitting boots can ruin your day on the mountain. When trying on snowboarding boots, make sure they fit snugly around your foot without causing any pressure points or discomfort.
As outdoor retailer Evo recommends, “Try them on with the socks you plan on wearing while snowboarding. Your toes shouldn’t feel cramped, but not too much wiggle room either. Pay attention to any uncomfortable tightness, especially around the arch or ankle. Try walking around and standing on your tiptoes to get an idea of how they’ll perform on the slopes.”
In addition to comfort, properly fitting boots also affect your performance. As Red Bull notes, “The right pair of boots will help keep power transfer consistent underfoot and help you feel more connected to your equipment. This will enable better response, control, and ultimately lead to greater performance.”
Investing in a good pair of snowboarding boots may seem expensive, but it’s worth it for both safety and comfort on the mountain. Remember to choose boots with a stiffer flex rating and make sure they fit well before hitting the slopes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I wear for thermal insulation when snowboarding?
When it comes to thermal insulation for snowboarding, layering is key. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, followed by an insulating mid-layer, and finish with a waterproof outer layer. Materials such as wool, fleece, and synthetic fibers are great for keeping you warm. Don’t forget to wear insulated socks, a neck gaiter, and a beanie to keep your extremities warm.
What are the key factors to consider when selecting snowboarding gloves?
When selecting snowboarding gloves, there are a few key factors to consider. Firstly, make sure they are waterproof and breathable. Insulation is also important, with options ranging from lightweight to heavily insulated. Make sure they fit well and allow enough dexterity for handling gear and adjusting bindings. Lastly, consider the type of terrain and conditions you will be riding in, as this can affect the level of protection needed.
What type of pants should I wear when snowboarding?
The type of pants you wear when snowboarding should be waterproof, breathable, and have good insulation. Look for pants with adjustable waistbands, reinforced cuffs, and plenty of pockets for storing essentials. Bib-style pants are a great option for added warmth and protection, as they offer full coverage up to the chest. Consider the conditions you will be riding in and choose pants with the appropriate level of weather protection.
What accessories do I need to carry when snowboarding?
When snowboarding, it’s important to carry accessories to ensure your safety and comfort. A helmet is a must-have, as well as goggles to protect your eyes from glare and wind. Carry a small backpack with essentials such as water, snacks, and extra layers. Don’t forget sunscreen and lip balm to protect your skin from the elements. A tool kit for adjusting bindings and making repairs is also a good idea to have on hand.
What type of boots should I wear when snowboarding?
When it comes to snowboarding boots, it’s important to choose a pair that fits well and offers good support. Look for boots with a stiff flex rating if you prefer more control, or a softer flex rating if you prefer more freedom of movement. Make sure they are waterproof and have good insulation. Boots with a BOA or lacing system are easy to adjust and provide a snug fit. Try on boots with your snowboarding socks to ensure the perfect fit.