When I first started snowboarding, it was a completely new activity to me. I remember how unfamiliar everything was, and how awkward I felt. One of the problems that I definitely faced was what to bring and wear/use. A lot of items were very new to me, and I didn’t know my preferences, nor what to look out for when buying something
For most items, I had to buy several different kinds before I found something that I liked. Eventually, it took me multiple snowboarding trips, but I finally got a much better idea of what I need. Nowadays whenever I go snowboarding, I bring the same set of gear. I wish I knew about this packing list when I first started, so I hope this helps you out, especially if it’s going to be your first time snowboarding
Snowboards/bindings/boots: I have two snowboards, a 151cm Burton Name Dropper 2018 for park and a 154cm Burton Skeleton Key 2018 for all-mountain use. I first started with the Skeleton Key, but as I realised I wanted to do more of switch riding and tricks, I decided to get a more park-focused or freestyle-focused snowboard.
I have one set of bindings (Burton Genesis EST) and I transfer my bindings to whichever snowboard I’m planning to use for the day. I also only have one pair of snowboarding boots – a pair of Burton Ion BOA. It’s a great pair of boots which is lightweight and comes with dual BOA zones. Having dual BOA zones is important because loosening/tightening becomes a breeze, and that’s something that you always do as you take breaks throughout the day when you’re snowboarding. The only modification to the boots that I had to do was to install Burton’s J-Bar cushions. I’d have so much heel lift without them, and installing them has practically removed all that heel lift.
Snowboarding Clothing (Jacket/pants): You can get any kind of snowboarding jacket and pants that you’d like, as long as they are waterproof and windproof. I prefer mine with some insulation, so I don’t have to layer up. Make sure your jacket comes with zippered pockets, and has a ski pass pocket, preferably on your jacket forearm. If I were to make a recommendation, get something that’s made from Helly Henson, or The North Face.
Padded shorts: Your butt and tailbone can get into pretty bad falls, and I found that a padded short helped save me many times. Even now when I’m more comfortable at snowboarding, I still wear these because you’d never know when you’ll have a bad fall.
Wrist guards: I went through several wrist guards before I found these Dakine wrist guards. Personally, they offered me the best mix of comfort and protection. I also like how it’s low-profile so that wearing mitts over them is easy enough. This is important, especially since I take on and off my mitts multiple times throughout the day.
Glove liners: At first, I didn’t believe in glove liners, but then I realised it not only added warmth, but also prevented your wrist guards and mitts from stinking up after a few days of snowboarding. I went through several pairs before I found one that worked really well because the ENTIRE glove liner is touchscreen-compatible, which is really convenient. Most glove liners only give you a small part of your thumb and index finger to be touchscreen-compatiable, which gets really annoying because the contact is intermittent. When these gloves give out, I’ll get GliderGloves, which works the same way and has good reviews.
Snowboarding Mitts: Unlike
Wireless earphones: After I became more comfortable with snowboarding, I bought a pair of wireless helmet earphones so that I could listen to songs while I snowboard. These also drop right into my helmet’s ear pads, and last the whole day and more. This is important, because I typically try to snowboard the full day from 8am to 4pm.
Snowboarding Helmet: I chose the Smith Vantage helmet because it had MIPS technology, was lightweight, and had ear pads that could accept my wireless earphones. With these ear pads, I could hide my earphones away completely within the helmet, and there would be no wires to annoy me.
Snowboarding Goggles: Absolutely essential for snowboarding. I used to buy cheap goggles, but they would always fog, and visual clarity was not great. So I went around shopping and tried many different goggles. Eventually, I found that Dragon Alliance X2 goggles had a great Asian fit, and had a wide range of lenses. I typically use the reflective orange lenses, and only switch to the rose-tinted lenses for cloudy days.
Balaclava/Face Mask: It took me some time to find one that was good quality, warm enough, and has a cut-out for breathing. In addition, this has a hinged design, so I can choose to pull down the face mask, or pull down the top. I’d highly recommend this balaclava.
Volleyball knee pads: A pro tip that saves your knees. Low-profile volleyball knee pads allow you to rest kneeling forwards while on your toe-side edge. Especially important if you have a long day of snowboarding and are with a group of friends (lots of waiting!).
Snowboarding socks: Unlike regular socks, snowboarding socks have more padding in areas like your shin, your heel, and the top of your foot. These give you more comfort, especially if the socks are made from wool or merino wool.
Base layer: I wear a top and bottom base layer, and that’s pretty much all I wear underneath my jacket and pants. At the end of the day, I just hand-wash these and they’d be dry the next day.
Snowboard bag: To store all of this gear, and keep it safe while I travel around the world, I use a 156cm Burton wheeled snowboard bag. It’s well-padded, has wheels, and also has a shoulder strap so that it’s relatively easy to carry around. If you travel on planes, something wheeled is very much more recommended in terms of protection because it has a lot more structure than the bags without wheels.
Hopefully this list helps you out, especially if it is your first time snowboarding. Have fun!