So you’ve never been skiing or snowboarding? If you’re going to start, we think snowboarding can be a little easier for starters. The main reason is that it’s much easier to sit down and get up on a snowboard than skis. Also, if you’ve ever surfed or skateboarded, it will be a more familiar feeling. So what do you need:
- Board - Tough to go snowboarding without a board. You should start with an all-mountain board rather than a specialty board. It is perfect for beginners. Your snowboard length usually depends upon your weight and ability. Where you get your board will help you with this. Burton is our favorite. Average prices are $350-$500
- Bindings – Binding are what tie your boots to your board. There are several types of bindings, but best to start with a simple pair of step-in bindings. Make sure you have your boots before your bindings , as you want to make sure your boots fit in your bindings. Flux bindings are our favorite. Average prices are $175-$300
- Snowboard Boots – Boots also come in a zillion shapes and sizes. We recommend getting ones where you have a little room around your toes for thick socks and the new models don’t have lace up show strings…we hate trying to do these with frozen fingers. Vans are our favorite. Average prices are $150-$300
- Jacket and Pants – Now you need to look the part. Colorful outfits are in, so go crazy. You’ll probably end up with multiple jackets, if you go snowboarding a lot. Remember, it’s easy to layer so get a good jacket and then layer when it gets really cold. A good Jacket will be at least $150 and pants about $100
- Googles – Depending upon how often you go snowboarding, you’ll probably end up with at least two pairs. One for sunny days and one for low light days. Googles are critical, if you can’t see, nothing else matters. Oakley or Smith are our favorites. Average price is $100-$200 for good ones.
- Helmet – It use to be only kooks and momma’s boys wore helmets, then came trick riding and jumps and everyone has them now. It’s cool to wear a helmet and you need to! Don’t ever risk not wearing one. Anon is our favorite. Average prices are $45-$100
- Gloves – We link gloves in the Googles bucket, as you get what you pay for. Gore-Tex gloves are expensive but waterproof. Get as good and as warm of gloves as you can afford. Get high wrists to keep the snow out of your gloves and remember you can always add hand warmers. Better a little big than too small for easy take off and make sure they have a leash. I can’t tell you how many gloves I see below the chair lifts…frozen fingers are nothing to mess with. Hestra is our favorite model. Average prices are $50-$200
- Apps – We love Ski Tracks, it’s free for Android and iOS and it tracks your distance, speed, elevations. It’s great to compare how you did today vs. yesterday.
- Gear Rack – How could we not mention the Malo’o DryRack. Whether it’s break time or you’re hanging out at the car after the day’s session, with a few cold ones. Just hang the DryRack from your side mirror and get the drying process started. Get yours for only $40
Ok, now that you’ve got the right equipment for the slopes and the parking lot, what’s next? DO NOT take lessons from your friend. Unless your friend is a trainer instructor or Olympic gold medalist, you’ll end up struggling all day. Go get a lesson. Private or semi-private doesn’t matter. These trainers grew up on the mountains and have trained people probably far less coordinated that you. They will show you the right way, and most importantly how to get on and off the chair lifts without wiping the rest of us out! Be safe and have a blast.