Winter is right around the corner, do you have everything you need to get started snowboarding? Personally, I couldn’t be more excited. Tons of my friends are not as stoked on winter as me, maybe because they don’t have a solid winter hobby. Minnesota winters are long and brutally cold, finding yourself a hobby makes it a lot better. This winter, take up snowboarding and realize why so many people enjoy winter on the slopes. Below are 13 essentials for beginner snowboarders.
Choosing your first snowboard can be tough. You’ll most likely want a snowboard that is on the smaller side of your size range, this will give you more of an ability to maneuver the board. A twin-tip shape on a board will also assist in your learning because you will be centrally placed on the snowboard, providing you with the ability to ride both ways. Check out our snowboard buying guide on our website and if you already know what you want, be sure to check out our snowboarding gear over at this page here at The-House.
[The snowboard shown is the Capita Birds of a Feather]
Find a pair of snowboard bindings that fit your boots, are compatible with your snowboard, compliment your desired riding style, and are comfortable for a full day of riding.
[The snowboard bindings shown are the Union Triology Bindings]
Boots come in an array of lacing systems, styles, flexes, and fits. You’ll want a boot that fits just right, as they’re one of the most important parts of your gear. As a beginner, you’ll be taking a few diggers and moving in all directions. Having a boot that secures your foot and fits properly is highly important in developing your snowboarding skills. If you’re unsure about how to fit a boot, check our boot buying help section.
[The snowboard boots shown here are the DC Search BOA Boots]
This should be obvious with all the research out there about safety and sports, however, helmets will give you some protection against concussions by lessening the blow and ultimately protect the rider from the potential of skull fractures. Protect your noggin (head) every day on the slopes by throwing on a helmet. Before picking up just any old helmet, be sure to brush up on our helmet buying guide and how to pick out a snowboarding helmet.
My personal favorite is mittens because all my fingers get to huddle together for warmth. My suggestion in purchasing a pair of mittens/gloves is to go with a GORE-TEX® material. GORE-TEX® has one of the best waterproofing materials out there. As you are learning to ride, your hands are in the snow a lot, to protect them and keep them dry treat yourself to a GORE-TEX® mitten or glove.
[The mittens shown here are the Burton Reverb Gore-Tex Mittens]
Depending on the type of lighting you’re typically riding in during the winter months, you’ll want to get a goggle lens with a tint that matches your typical sunlight exposure during the winter. For us in Minnesota, you’ll probably want a low light lens, like amber or clear. For all who are blessed with numerous bluebird winter days, a dark lens will do. This can get overwhelming and complicated, if you’re concerned, purchase a pair with multiple lenses or talk to a product specialist.
Most importantly, find a jacket you’re comfortable in. You can absolutely love the style or color, but if the fit isn’t satisfactory, then you’re not going to want to stay on the slopes. When you purchase a jacket, make sure to wear a hoodie or what you’d wear snowboarding underneath when trying it on to gain a true feel of how the jacket will fit. I personally love jackets that are a little bit longer because they help block snow from getting up my jacket or down my snow pants. You might also want a jacket that has jacket-to-pant connections which allows you to connect your jacket to your pants and prevents snow from getting into unwanted places.
[The snowboarding jacket shown here is the DC Riji Jacket]
Just like with mittens/gloves I highly recommend GORE-TEX® winter gear. When learning to snowboard, you’ll realize you’re sitting on your bum a lot or on your knees more than expected. Stay dry and warm in a pair of GORE-TEX® snow pants. Just like with a jacket, you might also want to consider a pair of snow pants that have jacket-to-pant connections, or the popular bibs style.
Underneath a helmet can get chilly without a hat. Your head radiates the most heat, and when it is cold, your whole body cools. Keep your head warm means keeping your body warm.
You’ll want to pack lots of layers. These are clothing items that are worn underneath your jacket and snow pants. You’ll want to avoid cotton clothing because they’re not at all waterproof and don’t breathe well. Wool and synthetic fabrics will keep you warm and dry when you’re working up a sweat learning to ride. Think of base layer tops and bottoms as well as a warm and comfy hoodie.
Snowboard socks are essential to snowboarding. They keep your feet warm, dry and cozy so you can spend the whole day on the slopes and not inside complaining about cold feet.
[The socks shown here are the Burton Party Socks]
Along with the necessities, like a snowboard, these items are super nice to have with your setup, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro.
- Stomp Pad: They are huge in helping you not fall and feel like you’re going to get hit by the chair when you’re getting off the lift. They help create a stable spot on your board that you put your foot down on when exiting the lift and gliding with one foot out of your bindings.
- Wax: This will help you glide over the snow smoothly. Watch House employee, Guf, show you how to properly wax a snowboard.
- Tuning Kits: If you’re going to wax your snowboard, you might want the proper tools (a tuning kit) to do so.
- Protective Gear: This is not necessary, but some people really do not like falling on their bum or knees. This gear is a perfect way to protect the main places like butt and knees when you are falling while learning.
- Snowboard Bag: Whether it’s just to the local hill or out to the Rockies, be prepared with a snowboard bag for all of your gear.
Photos by Stephan Jende