Snowboarding Gear Necessities, For Your First Time On The Mountain

So you’ve decided to jump into the awesome world of snowboarding. Good for you, it’s an epic sport and you’ll love it. Keep in mind that it’s an expensive one too. This is especially when you buy the wrong gear, or purchase the wrong size on sale. However if you follow this guide, and the guides I’ve attached to them. You’ll have an epic time on the slopes.

In our list below we’ll be going over the basics for anybody going to a mountain resort for the first time. If you’re looking for backcountry information, you’ll need some more extensive gear, I’ll place that information in another blog post sometime in the future.

Just for the sake of covering everything, I’ll go from top to bottom and tell you what is mandatory, why it is, and why sometimes it might not be.

Snowboarding Helmets; Mandatory Gear

In years past snowboarding gear has not included helmets. Even looking back 7-8 years ago I laughed about wearing one. Then I received multiple concussions one season and my whole tune about helmets changed.

If you’re not wearing a helmet, you might as well not snowboard. The chances of you getting a head injury are pretty high especially when you’re a beginner.

I’m not trying to scare you here, I want you to have a good time on the mountain, and learn to do the sport I love, however, I don’t want anybody to get hurt. concussions are awful, minimize your risk. You’ll thank me for it.

If You’re Unsure What Kind Of Helmet To Get, Check Out Our Helmet Purchasing Guide Here.

Snowboard Goggles; Mandatory Gear; Color, Style Depends

These are condition-dependent, you don’t need sunglasses at night right? However, during low light conditions, you could use some goggles with yellow lenses.

Some people don’t like them, however, I’m a fan because they block the wind and with certain lens color combinations you can see better on the hill. Other people might have a different opinion, but I’ll tell you to grab a pair or borrow some from a buddy.

If you’re purchasing goggles, make sure to use the correct lens for the correct conditions. If you don’t know what that is, check out our Blog Post where we break down goggle shapes, colors, and tech. It’s pretty epic, and I had a fun time writing that post.

Balaclavas; Weather Dependent

Balaclavas are cozy, warm, and they protect your face, neck from the cold. In temps where you’re shredding in the 20s or 30s, they’re not needed. In the mountains I always ride with a bandanna just in case, but if it’s not cold there’s not a need for these.

Pro Tip: If you choose to not cover your face use sunscreen. I know it seems weird, but you can get a bad burn if your skin is unprotected.

Jackets; Weather Dependent Snowboarding Gear

I have a couple of snowboarding jackets and they work great. They’re classified a bit differently than normal. One is a heavy one that I wear under 15 degrees F, and the other is lighter. I do that so I can wear multiple layers while shredding and not be freezing.

As a good rule of thumb, when you’re out snowboarding, you’ll want to be a tiny bit cold when you start. Not a lot, just a little. People generate a lot of heat snowboarding and you’ll heat up quick.

That’s where layering comes in handy, you can always take layers off, but if you’ve only got a heavy jacket on, that makes the temperature hard to adjust.

Snowboarding Pants; Mandatory Gear

I consider these mandatory because they’ll keep you dry. Once your butt is wet, the day is over. Not to get graphic but chaffing and wetness don’t give you a lot of fun on the mountain.

There are multiple styles of snowboarding pants with different sweat drying to waterproof rations. Check out our blog post on snow pants for more details.

Snowboard Bindings

The next 3 items are the most important on the list. Without a snowboard/boots/ or bindings you won’t be able to snowboard. In fact it’ll be called something totally different, and I’m not going to name it.

If there’s somewhere you need to save money, save it on the bindings. Especially if you’re just beginning. You can purchase some bindings with low flex and you’ll be fine for a season or two.

Check out our Binding Guide For More Information.

Snowboard Boots

When I bought my first snowboard at a snowboard shop. They had a decent sale going on. One of the deals involved upgrading your bindings or boots. I choose boots, and will ALWAYS say choose the boots.

My reasoning is simple, foot pain will ruin your day on the mountain, and having ill fitting boots is the fastest way to foot pain. Always upgrade the boots.

Check out our latest blog post about Snowboarding boots a purchasing guide.

The Snowboard Itself

Now we get to the fun post, the snowboard itself. By now you’ve probably seen me put links to other posts and that’ll happen here as well. However there’s a few quick questions we can go over here too.

What Kind Of Snowboarder Are You? Are you going to ride park, the resort, or everywhere?

You might be too new to the seen, and don’t even know what you’ll enjoy. That’s totally fine. When you purchase your snowboard use our guide to breakdown the difference in snowboard type and different tech build into it.

However before you jump over there, here’s a few quick tips.

  • Find out if you’re regular or goofy footed.
  • Grab A Snowboard and stand it on its tail next to you. When the top of it is between your chin and nose. It’s around the correct length. (I ride shorter but its a preference)
  • Get something with softer flex, it’s more forgiving for beginners and you’ll have a better time. Harder flex is great and responsive, but it’s better when you know what you’re doing.

My Current Favorite Snowboard Companies are GNU for snowboards, ride for all my binding needs, and DC for epic boots.

My opinions might change, but currently I love these companies. They make great gear and I’ve had epic experiences with them all. I’ll probably create and epic snowboarding gear page sometime in the future where I can talk about awesome companies too.

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