The Complete Snowboarding Gear Guide – 2018

If you’re eager to hit the slopes as soon as possible and finally learn how to snowboard like a pro but still lack the essential equipment and gear needed for snowboarding , here’s a quick snowboarding gear guide and equipment list so you can purchase all the gear you need for snowboarding in the shortest time possible! 

Please note this guide is 100% about the gear needed for snowboarding, if you are interested in skiing gear please check our guide on Buying Ski Equipment

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The Complete Snowboarding Gear Guide - 2018 snowboarding gear
Printable Snowboarding Gear Checklist

A List of Essential Equipment and Gear Needed for Snowboarding

The Complete Snowboarding Gear Guide - 2018 snowboarding gear

(1.1) Snowboarding Helmets

Snowboarding is very high risk activity and should not be taken lightly. Hundreds of people get injured annually on the various ski slopes while snowboarding, some of them even end up dying due to falls and head injuries. Even if you are only on the easy slopes or you have been snowboarding for a very long time, accidents can take place. One of the best safety measures against this is to wear a helmet. Take the time to make sure your snowboarding helmet is a good snug fit. It isn’t going to do you any good if it goes flying off while you are out there on the slopes.

Features to look for:

  • MIPS impact system
  • Goggle clip / strap
  • Easy size adjustment
  • Comfortable padding
  • (optional) thermal lining

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(1.2) Snowboarding Goggles

Goggles are a very important piece of equipment for anyone that engages in the sport of snowboarding.  They serve two important primary features; blocking UV light (be sure to choose the appropriate lense based off the conditions), & keeping snow and cold air out of the eyes.  Together these two features provide visibility regardless of conditions (excluding whiteouts).

Features to look for:

  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Double layered lenses
  • Fog resistant
  • Scratch resistant
  • Proper fit with helmet

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(1.3) Face Mask

Face masks come in many shapes, styles, and materials; but regardless of form they should serve two primary features: blocking UV light to your face and neck, keeping snow and cold air from reaching as much skin as possible.  

Features to look for:

  • Breathability
  • Full coverage
  • Flexibility of use
  • Comfortable

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(1.4) Helmet Liner / Winter Hat / Ear Muffs (optional)

While some helmets have built in thermal liners and many face masks cover the top part of the head, sometimes the two do not overlap and leave a gap in your thermal shield.  If this is the case for you, or if you are just looking for extra warmth around the top of your head there are many options to aide in your battle with the cold.

Features to look for:

  • Fits under helmet
  • Does not interfere with goggles
  • Covers majority or all of the ear

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The Complete Snowboarding Gear Guide - 2018 snowboarding gear

(2.1) Base Layer

Your choice of upper body base layer can make or break your entire skiing experience.  An improper choice such as wearing a cotton t shirt can lead to a miserable afternoon on the mountain.  

Features to look for:

  • Moisture wicking
  • Thermal material
  • Comfortable

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(2.2) Mid Layer(s)

There are a vast array of different mid layers available on the market today. You have many different choices of materials, styles, & designs to choose from.  One of the most important things to look for when buying mid layers is that they complement other mid layers in your wardrobe and work with your jacket. On warmer days you may want a mid layer that doubles as a jacket so adding one with waterproofing to your collection isn’t an awful idea.

Features to look for:

  • Breathability
  • Adaptability
  • Thermal material
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(2.3) Jacket

You may want to consider investing on a snowboard jacket before hitting the slopes on winter. Although it is important to have a good snowboard and other snowboard clothing accessories, spending a few more cash on your snowboard jacket will make this winter sport activity more fun and pleasurable. Remember that your jacket creates your distinctive mark among other snowboarders on the slopes. This also serves as your protection from the extreme cold making you warm and dry throughout the run. Don’t think twice when you’re buying a good snowboard jacket. Eventually, you will appreciate its great value making it your best friend at the end of the season.

Features to look for:

  • Waterproof material over waterproof coating
  • Venting
  • Breathability
  • Taped seams
  • Insulated zippers
  • Insulation
  • Room for multiple layers underneath
  • Pockets
  • Cuffs
  • Snowskirt

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The Complete Snowboarding Gear Guide - 2018 snowboarding gear

(3.1) Base Layer

Thermal pants (or long johns) are an absolute must have for any snowboarder. Many companies are currently innovating with their base layer technologies resulting in a fabulous array of choices for boarders.

Features to look for:

  • Moisture wicking
  • Thermal material
  • Comfortable

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(3.2) Mid Layer

Most snowboarding pants have sufficient insulation to make wearing a mid layer unnecessary in a majority of conditions.  However, a thin mid layer can add a lot to overall comfort on those frigid cold days.

Features to look for:

  • Thin material around ankles
  • Moisture wicking
  • Breathable
  • No cotton
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(3.3) Snowboarding Pants

Like any piece of sports’ wear, snowboarding pants serves one main purpose and that is to ensure your protection from injury, weather conditions, and any other external force.

Features to look for:

  • Waterproof material over waterproof coating
  • Insulation
  • Padding
  • Vents
  • Pockets
  • Comfort
  • Flexibility

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The Complete Snowboarding Gear Guide - 2018 snowboarding gear

(4.1) Gloves / Mittens

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(4.2) Glove Liners / Hand Warmers

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The Complete Snowboarding Gear Guide - 2018 snowboarding gear

(5.1) Socks

(*Pro Tip: 1 Pair of appropriate socks is enough, do not double up. If you feet get cold with one pair it likely means laying and gear elsewear is not appropriate for the weather or improper circulation, a problem 2 pairs will only worsen.)

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(5.2) Snowboarding Boots

The snowboarding boots are the most important equipment in the sport. The boots serve as your connection to the snowboard itself; without a secured and comfortable link to your board, you can be exposed to all sorts of accidents and the chance of enjoying snowboarding is jeopardized. Therefore, choosing the right snowboarding boots for you is of utmost importance if you ever want that peak performance in this extreme sport. Choosing the best pair of boots for you can be a challenge in itself. But the improved performance and the unparalleled experience of a perfect slide down snowy slopes is well worth your efforts to find the most comfortable snowboard boots that will meet your snowboarding needs. Besides offering comfort and warmth to your feet, they also prevent this area – which includes the ankles – from physical injury, or at least reduce the risk of encountering it. Again, there are several types of snowboarding boots that you can choose from – hard boots, soft boots, and those that mix the features of both. Step in vs Strap On Boots Both types of snowboarding boots work very well so it is largely a personal choice what you want to use. It is a good idea to try on both types and then to see which one will feel the most comfortable to you. Many people don’t want to mess with a strap though when they have gloves on. Others don’t mind the strap and they feel that it provides them with a more secure fit. Listen To Yourself And Yourself Alone So what if your friend has an expensive pair of professional grade snowboarding boots? When you are buying boots avoid being influenced by other snowboarders’ choices. Your feet are unique and you alone can decide the kind of snowboarding boots that will work for you best. Comfort, while foremost on your list, should not eliminate your control and stability on the snowboard. Do Not Rush Looking for the perfect snowboarding boots for you can take a chunk of your precious time. Avoid committing the folly of rushing thru your shopping for boots.

  • Try out every pair available for sizes as fits very by brand
  • Try on while wearing a pair of snowboarding socks
  • Try on at the end of the day, as you feet will swell while snowboarding
  • Resist The Urge To Buy Bigger Boots
    • The problem with snowboarding boots is that they are hard and they seem inflexible unlike ordinary shoes. So some people tend to buy snowboarding boots that are a little oversized to give more room for the feet, but this can lead to injury.
 *If your snowboarding boots are oversized, try wearing thick socks to compensate for too much space inside your boots.

Resources:

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The Complete Snowboarding Gear Guide - 2018 snowboarding gear

(6.1) Snowboard

Now to the most crucial piece of gear needed for snowboarding: the board. Your choice of snowboard will determine the quality of performance you’ll expect from yourself and from the snowboard itself. Your choice will also determine the level of agility and speed you’ll enjoy when you’re snowboarding.

Renting or Buying

Let’s start with the most basic decision to rent or to buy. Many people choose to rent what they need at the ski resort, but you will find that having your own equipment is a better choice if you will get plenty of use out of it.

Tips For Renting Snowboarding Equipment

  • Reserve it well before you take your trip to ensure availability of appropriate sized equipment, especially if you’re going during peak season.
  • Research & compare rental shops. While renting at the mountain may be convenient most of the time you can get a better deal elsewhere.
  • Leave yourself plenty of time to rent before riding or preferably pick up your gear the day before.
  • Take out the optional insurance on the equipment.

Buying a Snowboard

Buying a Snowboard isn’t as trouble-free as it used to be. There are approximately 20 various types of Snowboards. With so many enormous choices, the snowboarder in the present day needs to be knowledgeable, so I put together this resource in hopes that it helps.

Your, height weight, riding style and foot size are the chief features that will classify the suitable width, shape, stiffness and height of the board you’ll buy.

Although there are other factors to be taken into consideration, a few of the ones you should be familiar about is your riding ability and riding style. The riding style you have a preference for will lend a hand in determining the sort of board you ought to buy.

Three main categories of riding styles.

  • All Mountain and Freeride style- makes use of the whole mountain. You enjoy catching air, carving and basically all riding aspects. This is the essence of snowboarding. These riders take pleasure in the whole thing about snowboarding: the imagination that can only be understood sliding the half-pipe, the astounding feel of carving a turn on slopes, the sense of flight you get at lift-off from the big-air jump, and the feel of freedom one gets sliding on new snow. It is still inconceivably first-rate fun on spruced slopes.
  • Freestyle or Technical riding- involves mostly jumps, trick riding, rail sliding, grabs, jibbing, spins and tearing it up. Technical freestyle riding is usually set up in the parks or near the halfpipe. For a beginning snowboarder, freestyle and technical boards are the best choice. This style is well-liked among the younger snowboarders. Many of today’s technical freestyle riders come to snowboarding with an understanding as a BMX, in-line skater, skateboarder, or other action sports conditions. While the gear specific to this category of rider excels in park and pipe riding, it can also be very adaptable across the whole mountain at less than full-speed. We now will move on to the last category.
  • Carve/Alpine style-pulls together speed and deep turning and make the most of everything the mountain has to put forward. Alpine riders are repeatedly transitioning from one turn into the next. It is all about hard carving and high speed. Expert skiers who decide to learn snowboarding tend to like the performance of carving boards, although stiffer flex and narrower width can make them intolerant for beginners. These types of riders are recognizable out of the crowd; they are always seen laying a trench in the snow with each turn. These riders “use” a snowboards edge like no others, while using authoritative body movements and gravity as their friend, alpine riders enjoy the sport only when they are attached to the snow.

Three primary types of snowboards:

  • Freestyle Snowboards
    • Short and most suitable for novice snowboarders because of their size and flexibility . You’ll be able to control freestyle snowboards more easily than other types of boards.
  • Freeride Snowboards
    • Best for intermediate  snowboarders. Freeride snowboards are arguably the most popular type of snowboard as it allows people to gauge their snowboarding skills and explore their talents without putting themselves in too much danger.
  • Alpine Snowboards
    • Rigid build. Great for players with highly advanced snowboarding skills and enjoy the thrills of going downhill in incredible speed. This is also the right type of board to use if you wish to make perfect turns and curves.
  • Other types:
    • Backcountry boards, Park/Pipe boards, Kids boards, Women’s boards, Boardercross boards, and Signature series boards.

Resources:

(6.2) Snowboard Bindings

There are several types of snowboard bindings for you to choose from:

strapped, flow-ins, plated, step-ins, and those without base (baseless)

Resources:

The Complete Snowboarding Gear Guide - 2018 snowboarding gear

– Backpack

– Food/drinks

– Headphones

– Change of clothes for ride there/back or apres

– Extra pair of socks

– Extra mid layer or 2

– Board Wax

The Complete Snowboarding Gear Guide - 2018 snowboarding gear

Resources:

The Complete Snowboarding Gear Guide - 2018 snowboarding gear

Ski Pass Resources: 

Lift Ticket Resources: 

Get Your Après Ski On

Thank you for checking out my complete snowboarding gear guide and checklist

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