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Are you getting ready to go snowboarding? Is it your first time? Do you go infrequently? If any of these apply to you, we’ve got a list of essential snowboard gear you need. If you’re a seasoned boarder, then you already have your favorite gear, but a couple of these items you might need also.
1) Snowboard – There are a zillion places to rent snowboards at the resort or close to it, but if you are going to buy a board we suggest you go with Burton. They have boards for every type of rider and an all-mountain board is a good place to start. Here is a good tool for sizing to make sure you start with the right one.
2) Boots- Make sure whatever boots you choose, you try them on. I know you can get great deals on-line but…you’re going to be in your boots for 3-8 hours a day and you’ll keep them for several years, so make sure they fit and are comfortable. The Burton Invader boot is a good starter one and moderately priced.
3) Bindings – Are what attaches your boots to your board. Again, way too many options to list, but we like Burton Freestyle bindings. It’s usually a good idea to get boots and bindings from the same manufacturer and then make sure the binding work with the hole pattern in the snowboard.
4) Gloves – This is where you should spend some money. Typically, new boarders will buy a cheap set of gloves. Then their hands freeze and they upgrade to a middle tier. They still need hand warmers and still have frozen hands and need to upgrade again. Our favorite is Hestra Army GORE-TEX. They are expensive at $190.00, but you’ll save money in the long term and you’ll have these for 10+ years.
5) Base Layers – Better known as Long-Johns. Getting a good set of thermals is critical as its most common to layer these days based upon the weather and conditions. In spring you may wear your base layer and snow pants and tee. In the coldest of winter, you’ll have base layers, pants, jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, and more. A moisture wicking base layer is important and you’ll find them inexpensive.
6) Jackets & Pants – Oodles of options here. Some are based upon the conditions you are going to use them in and some on fashion style. Since you’re just starting out, look for sales and get a set that fits and allows you to layer underneath.
7) Googles- We recommend Oakley. I know you could go Dragon, Smith, Glade, Bolle, Sky and a zillion others. The Prism lens on the Oakley’s hold up to everyday use and several models have interchangeable lens for light conditions.
8) Snowboard Gear Bag – Boots, gloves, base layers, backpacks, socks, jackets, pants, and more all need to be brought to the mountain. Your board and binding will typically be transported on a roof rack to trailer hitch rack, maybe even a board bag, but what about the rest of your gear? We recommend a big waterproof duffle bag. At least 55 liters and capable of carrying all your gear. If it’s traveling on the roof rack, the bag will keep your gear dry and if inside the car, it will keep your vehicle dry when getting off the mountain.
9) Seat Covers – There is usually not an issue getting to the mountain, but afterwards you’re probably wet and have snow in places you didn’t know that you had. Even if you’re just driving back to the condo, you’re going to get your nice leather or cloth seats soaked as the heater starts to melt anything attached to you. We like a towel seat cover so you can use it to dry off and then protect your seats.
10) Butt-Pad – Funny right? But if you’re just starting out you’ll find these a God-send. You are going to be landing on your butt and hips a lot, and a little padding can go a long way. No one knows you’re wearing it, they are cheap and you’ll thank us for this recommendation.
We could keep the list going but these are our top 10. These will provide you with the basics and if you are brand-newbie, we recommend a lesson. We have seen way too many boyfriend-girlfriend combinations trying to teach each other, and it get ugly soon. If you a parent and teaching a child under 5, have at it. Any older than this, a group lesson is best as they will learn faster with peers.
Have fun and be safe!