Go snowboarding in style
Snowboarding ranks right up there with skiing near the top of the list of the world's most popular outdoor winter activities. Getting the right snowboarding gear will help you perform at a higher level when you hit the slopes, enabling you to tackle more challenging hills and build better and better skills.
Choosing the right snowboard is the first and most essential challenge you'll face; from there, move on to the other snowboarding gear you'll need, which includes snowboard bindings, eye and head protection, and specialized apparel.
Snowboards should be purchased according to your preferred riding style. Freeride and splitboards are best if you want to hop on a local hill (which isn't necessarily a professionally maintained course), but there are also freestyle boards for those who want to learn tricks and hybrid boards that offer a cross-section of numerous styles. Sizing a board has more to do with your weight than your height; the heavier you are, the longer the board you will need.
Essential Snowboarding Gear
Beyond your board and snowboard bindings (the clips which hold your feet in place), you'll need a few other important pieces of equipment:
- Eye protection. Hurting downhill through flying snow and blustering winds isn't something you want to do with naked eyes. Snowboard goggles are strongly recommended for all experience levels, but if you don't like how they feel on your face, a good pair of protective polarizing sunglasses will minimize the glare of the sun on snow and keep your eyes safe.
- Head protection. Snowboarding can be a dangerous sport, and falls and spills happen to even the most experienced and skilled riders. Thus, snowboarding helmets are (or should be) a mandatory part of any snowboarder's repertoire, as the potential of injury is just too great to risk.
- Specialized clothing. You need clothing that will keep you warm, yet won't impede your movements. Gore-Tex jackets are very popular with snowboarders, as is high-performance thermal underwear that keeps you warm without forcing you to wear bulky sweaters and pants. Fleeces, gloves, winter hats and ski masks are also an essential part of any snowboarding wardrobe.