Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What You Need to Snowboard for the First Time

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So you have finally convinced your mates that a week in the snow will be a great holiday. You have managed to book a great snowboard trip even though organising your friends was like herding cats. But now is the fun part, a snowboarding holiday is going to be amazing, what's not to like, messing around on the slopes with your mates, great apres ski and a cosy hotel or chalet to come home to. A snowboarding holiday is amazing you will love it!

But what to take with you? The snowboard shopping list can be quite daunting and expensive the first time around. So speak to your friends and family first, you may be able to borrow some or all of gear you will need. 

Below I have included a full list of things you will or might need for a snowboarding trip. I have broken this down into four sections, clothing, protection, essentials and those nice to haves.


Salopettes / Board pants
Base Layers
Ski socks also known as tube socks
Gloves or Mittens
Snood (neck warmer)
Snowboard Boots (although you can hire these)

Tip- TK Max has a great range of branded Snowboard gear; it's by far the cheapest place I have found I always shop there for my snowboard stuff (I promise I don't work for them!), but you do have to get in there early, December or January.

Failing that online could be your answer there are lots of good Snowboard gear retailers and they are usually much cheaper than dedicated stores like North Face etc. eBay is another great option as you can sometimes pick hardly used bargains, especially if you shop out of ski season. My girlfriend picked up a pair of nearly new boots (originally priced $150) for $25 in summer this year.


This list could easily fit in the Essentials section in my opinion, especially wrist guards and helmet.

Wrist Guards
Impact shorts (Bum guard)
Snowboard lock (you don't want it stolen)
Pain killers always come in handy as well

You will fall over when learning, fact! The first day me and my friends learnt to board, none of us brought wrist guards with us, of course we are all tough men "we don't need protection". By lunch time we had all purchased an overly expensive pair of wrist guards from the local ski shop, as our wrists took such a bruising in the morning.

When learning to snowboard you normally fall over backwards and either break your fall with your bum or hands, putting excess pressure on your wrists. Wrist guards in my opinion are essential, I don't teach people unless they are wearing some, have seen too many broken wrists. Buy before you get out there to save money, but make sure they fit underneath your gloves.


Snowboard (you can hire this)
Ski travel insurance - check you are covered and what you are covered for!
Holiday money
Foreign plug adaptor
Small sun cream
Phone charger
Alka Seltzer

Essential tip - Make sure you are fully insured, I cannot stress this enough. One boarding holiday I was on, 50% of the group I was with needed treatment in hospital, a dislocated shoulder and fractured arm, luckily they were both insured. Treatment costs a lot of money. You can be the best boarder in the world, but that doesn't stop someone ploughing into you, these things happen, insurance is a must.

Nice to haves

Back pack
Helmet cam 
Tunes (MP3 player)
Sun glasses (although some may say these are essentials)

A long list I'm sure you will agree, but see if you can borrow or hire the gear (snowboard and boots) for your first time as this will save you a lot of money. It is possible to buy things cheap if you look around; you don't need all the top designer gear first time round as it will cost you a fortune, unless you are lucky enough to afford it of course. Whichever way you choose to get hold of the gear, I hope you have a great time, I'm sure you will love it and if you don't, there's always skiing!

As a qualified CASI Snowboard instructor and digital photography enthusiast I have a lot of experience being amongst the mountains and capturing those great images. I have also produced the hemlet camera mount Camera Demon so that everyone can capture their own memories.

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