Buying your first set of snowboard and ski equipment is one of the most exciting parts of being a beginner. You can pick your own snowboard or skis, jackets, pants, helmets, gloves, etc. and look forward to your first trip down the slopes with your own equipment instead of a rental. But with so many different brands pushing out tons of ski and snowboard equipment, finding the right pieces for you can be quite difficult. In fact, whether you’re snowboarding or skiing will also influence the type of equipment you need, as snowboarders usually wear baggier clothes than skiers. Buying ski and snowboard clothing is a pretty straightforward task, but picking skiis, boards, boots and bindings is slightly more complicated.
Snowboarding and Ski Boots
The best way to buy boots is in person so that you can try them. However, most people don’t have that option and need to buy boots, like the rest of their ski and snowboard equipment online. For that reason, shop with a retailer that has an excellent return and exchange policy in case you mess up the number the first time.
The boots should fit your feet snugly, have a high top that offers ankle support and insulation so that your feet are dry and warm. The heel should stay firmly flat on the bottom of your feet when you lift it. You’ll find snow boots with different lacing systems, and you should pick the one that’s most convenient for you. Some of the most popular boots brands are ATOMIC, XTM, ROJO, SALOMON, LANGE, Sidas and DALBELLO.
Snowboarding and Ski Gloves
You can pick between wanting to go for conventional gloves or mittens. Most people prefer gloves, as you can use your fingers and do your bindings without having your hands out in the cold. Mittens, however, usually provide more warmth and waterproof since they have fewer seams. Snowboarders will wear through gloves much faster, simply because they’re handling the board far more than skiers handle the skis. Some of the most popular ski and snowboard gloves manufacturers are BURTON, DAKINE, LENZ, XTM, ROJO and INFERNO.
Snowboarding and Ski Helmets
Not too long ago, you would rarely see people wearing helmets while riding their snowboards or skis. However, nowadays, you’ll rarely see anyone riding without one, which is how it should have been all along. Helmets are the most essential pieces of ski and snowboard equipment. Most modern helmets are light, comfortable and come with different graphic designs making you look cool while riding the mountain. When buying a helm, make sure it meets safety standards, covers your entire head properly and fits snuggly. Popular helmet manufacturers are BURTON, ROJO, XTM, ANON and GIRO.
Snowboarding and Ski Goggles
The goggles are one of those pieces of ski and snowboard equipment that you should consider spending serious money on. Most of the time, cheap goggles are not worth it, and they may actually impair your performance instead of enhancing it. The goggles you pick should fit your face properly, and you should pick goggles with lenses appropriate for the conditions you ride in. You’ll want paler lenses for low light days and dark lenses for bright days. Some goggles have interchangeable lenses, which will require you to only buy multiple lenses instead of multiple goggles. The same brands that manufacture helmets also make goggles that are compatible for wearing together with the helmets.
Snowboard and Ski Jackets and Pants
While some of it will come to personal preference and style, you’ll have to put in a fair amount of consideration into the jacket and pants you get. You can pick between insulated and shell outerwear, with insulated jackets and pants, as their name implies, insulating you from the elements to keep you warm, whereas shell jackets and pants are only waterproof, so you’ll need to wear an extra layer of clothing underneath that does have insulation. You can see the breathability and waterproofness of the jacket and pants by their ratings. Waterproof ratings range between 5.000 to 30.000mm, whereas breathability ratings range between 5.000 and 20.000 grams per centimetre per 24 hour. Some of the most popular brands that make jackets and pants are 3CS, BILLABONG, BURTON, DC, ROXY, SALOMON, SPYDER, PROTEST, Vigilante and ELUDE.
And last but not least, you want a bag that you can pack all of the equipment in. Douchebags are one of the best bag manufacturing companies that make the best bags for snowboards and skis. They’re size adjustable and lightweight, so you can roll it down to fit the length of your board or skis. There are no saggy ends, so you can easily cart your bag through the airport. When you reach your destination, you can fold the Douchebag in and stash it in your cupboard or anywhere else.