If you live within a short drive of the mountains, you may be thinking of taking up snowboarding as a winter hobby. Snowboarding can certainly be a thrill, but there is a learning curve when it comes to technique, stamina, and even gear. Technique and stamina might need some hard work and patience, but gear you can conquer from day one. Here’s what to wear snowboarding so you stay comfortable and warm out on the slopes.
A Few Quick Tips
It’s a bit of a conundrum to decide how to dress for your first time snowboarding. You’ll be working hard physically, so you don’t want to overdress—but you’ll also be in the snow! That means it’s going to be cold, so you have to balance your need to stay warm with your desire to be comfortable once you start working up a sweat.
Unlike some other sports, where you can get started without buying much specialized equipment, you’re going to need a few sport-specific items to have a good time on the mountain. If you have never skied or snowboarded before, it’s unlikely you have everything you’ll need already in your closet.
A Warm Core
The foundation of any good snowboarding outfit is long underwear. As a base layer for both your upper and lower body, long underwear will help keep body heat in while moving moisture away from your skin.
When you go shopping for long underwear, keep your personal needs and preferences in mind. Some sets are rated as lightweight, while others are heavy and will hold in more heat. Think about how you usually fare personally in cold weather to determine if you need a lighter or heavier option.
Snowboarding Jacket & Pants
Next up are the two big items that you probably don’t yet own and will need to purchase: a snowboarding jacket and pants. You shouldn’t have trouble finding something you like, as there are plenty of companies that sell jackets and pants specifically designed for snowboarders. The pieces will range in price, so if you’re just getting started, lower-cost items are a safe bet until you decide whether you’ll stick with the sport or not.
The key with both the jacket and pants is that you want them to keep water out. Remember: Snow might be nice and fluffy in frozen form, but it will melt when it meets your body. So, you’ve got to keep that water—whether liquid or frozen—out if you want to stay comfortable and warm all day long. High-end jackets and pants will be completely waterproof, while lower-priced options are typically only water-resistant. A waterproof model is ideal, but if your budget is limited, at least make sure the jacket you choose fits well (so snow can’t creep inside a too-short sleeve, for example).
If you don’t want to invest in a snowboarding jacket quite yet, a waterproof rain jacket can work well as a top layer. If you go this route, just make sure you wear enough layers underneath to stay warm.
Check out our blog post on how to wash your snowboarding jacket.
The Rest of Your Outfit
So far, we’ve got some long underwear, a snowboarding jacket, and snowboarding pants. Is that all you will need? Absolutely not! This is a sport that requires a lot of gear. Here are other items you will want to keep in mind:
- Socks. Be careful about the socks you choose. They should be long enough to stretch beyond the top of your boots, and you don’t want them to be too thick, as thick socks can actually reduce your circulation and make your feet colder. Look for a pair of socks made from synthetic materials, which will dry faster than traditional cotton socks.
- Fleece jacket. A light fleece jacket will typically fit under your snowboarding jacket and can help you stay warm. This doesn’t need to be a particularly heavy garment, as something too thick will limit your mobility. If you layer well, you should have plenty of warmth.
- Gloves. This one is non-negotiable: You need to wear gloves while on the mountain. Not only will your fingers get cold otherwise, but you are also sure to hit the snow at least a few times during the day, which will hurt without gloves. Protection and insulation are the name of the game here.
- Goggles. Like gloves, these are for protection and also comfort. Speeding down a mountain sans-goggles will make your eyes water in no time, and you’ll run into an even bigger problem if it is actively snowing. Protect those peepers—plus, many goggles feature polarization, which will help to further protect your eyes from the sun’s glare on the snow.
- Helmet. Finally, protect your head with a helmet. A hat might look “cooler,” but you won’t look very cool laid up in a hospital room—which could very well happen if you take a hard fall and hit your unprotected head. Wear a helmet.
Smell Great in the Snow
Most of your snowboarding gear will be made from synthetic fibers. Unfortunately, most regular laundry detergents are designed to treat cotton—which is why your snowboarding clothes may still stink even after washing. To properly clean your synthetic activewear, give WIN Sports Detergent a try. WIN is designed to clean and remove odor from modern synthetic fabrics with every wash. Order a bottle today!