Sports & Wellness
What Kind of Sporting Equipment Do You Need to Go Snowboarding?
Snowboarding requires some sporting equipment for safety and protection. Learn about how to get started with snowboarding here.
Winter is here, and along with it come winter sports. Snowboarding is one of the most popular winter sports around, and it's easy to see why.
It's fun, it's fast, and it's a little bit extreme. And because it can be extreme, you need to make sure to pick the right equipment for your safety and protection.
The amount of equipment on the market can be intimidating, but don't worry. We've put together a guide to help you get started snowboarding that covers everything you need to know. Read on to learn more!
While it may seem obvious that you need a snowboard, there are a lot of different boards out there. Choosing the right snowboard for your needs and skill level can be difficult.
There are four main types of snowboards. Each has a different purpose.
For a general-use snowboard, look into an all-mountain board. These can handle a little powder, some trick riding, and some backcountry. However, they don't excel at any one particular thing.
For trick riding, you will want a freestyle board. These have symmetrical twin tails and are generally shorter in length. This makes doing tricks such as grinds and grabs much easier.
Freeride boards are perfect for more adventurous snowboarding. They handle ungroomed snow well and are also built for more speed and carving. They excel at long descents and backcountry riding.
Powder snowboards handle deep, untouched powder the best. They have a wide surface area so they don't sink into deep snow.
Most snowboards are made with a core of hardwood, sandwiched between base layers of fiberglass.
There are two main types of snowboard bases. The first is extruded bases, which are the cheapest. They are also less durable and speedy. These are a good choice for a beginner board.
Sintered bases are for more experienced riders. They are more flexible and fast but require waxing to maintain their speed.
Snowboards come in a variety of flexibility ratings. Newer riders should stick with a more flexible board, as these are easier to maneuver. Flexible boards are also preferred by freestyle riders.
Riders looking for speed and carving ability should buy a more rigid board. This gives more control over the board at high speeds.
Camber Vs. Rocker
Snowboards with a camber have a convex shape across the board. This gives them a springy feel which is good for increased speed and carving.
Rocker snowboards are preferred by trick riders and newbies. These have a more "surf" feel and also handle powder well.
There are a variety of board shapes in between, including flat boards and hybrid camber-rocker boards.
After choosing a snowboard, boots are the second-most-crucial piece of snowboarding equipment.
Getting comfortable boots that fit your preferred riding style will make a huge difference in your snowboarding experience.
There are three basic types of boots:
- Standard boots. These are the most flexible boots. Newer snowboarders and freestyle riders prefer these boots for comfort and ease of use. They are connected by the bindings only.
- Step-in boots. These boots have a more rigid sole that clips into the snowboard bindings, giving a more secure attachment.
- Hard boots. These boots are made of stiff plastic and are used in racing and downhill snowboarding for ultimate control. Hard boots use special bindings built into the snowboard.
Each style of boot will have different features, models, and prices. Newer riders should stick with standard boots for comfort and ease of use.
Bindings are what attach the boots to the snowboard. High-quality bindings are crucial for safety, so don't skimp out on this purchase.
Like boots, there are three different types of bindings. The first is straps. Strap bindings feature a hard plastic strap and a ratcheting clasp. These work best with standard boots.
Step-in bindings are meant to work with step-in boots. These allow you to step in and "clip" the boots into the binding without having to adjust straps.
Hybrid bindings combine step-ins with straps. The rider steps into the binding then pulls the straps down on top of their boots.
Hybrid bindings are the most popular for freestyle riders, casual riders, and beginners. They are compatible with a variety of standard boots but offer more safety and security than strap bindings.
Before you hit the slopes, don't forget to get a snowboarding helmet. Snowboarding head injuries are unfortunately very common but you can reduce the risk of injury significantly with a proper helmet.
Injection-moulded helmets are made of a piece of high-impact foam fitted inside of a hard shell. These are the most common type of snowboarding helmets.
Injection-moulded helmets tend to be cheaper, but are also on the heavier side. They hold up to daily bumps and bangs better than in-mould helmets, however.
In-mould helmets are a single piece of foam that is heat-attached to the shell. This cuts down on weight and bulk considerably. However, these helmets are only meant to protect from a single impact.
When choosing a snowboarding helmet, make sure that the fit is secure. It should not move freely on your head. The strap should hold the helmet tightly to your chin.
Snowboarding Apparel And Accessories
Snowboarding-specific clothes are more than just fashion accessories. They keep the damp and snow from soaking in, block wind, and even offer a level of protection.
At the very least, you should purchase snow pants and a waterproof outer jacket. There is nothing worse than snowboarding with wet, cold clothes.
Snowboard riders should also consider purchasing protective pads. These come in a variety of styles from under-the-clothes impact protection to hard-shell outer layers. Hip pads are also popular for newer riders to cushion falls.
Many riders also use polarized goggles. These not only keep the wind out of your eyes but also cut down on snow glare and sunlight.
Getting Started On Snowboarding
If you're ready to hit the slopes but not sure how to start snowboarding, consider private lessons.
These one-on-one sessions will get you up and riding in no time while teaching you the basics of safety. We offer experienced coaches for many sports, including snowboarding.
And if you're looking for an even more in-depth snowboarding experience, check out our experience page for backcountry tours, Alpine descents, and more. Contact us any time at +44 (0) 2038837806!