Snowboarding checklist: what equipment you need

Snowboarding’s a wonderful sport but before you head for the mountains, you’re going to need to invest in some equipment that will keep you safe and warm. Before you even step on your first snowboard, you’re going to need to invest in some equipment that will keep you safe and warm. Whilst some of this snowboarding equipment can be hired at Club Med resorts, it’s always good to have items suited to your needs and fitted to your body shape. Here are some snowboarding basics that you should think about buying before hitting the slopes.

Snowboarding helmet

Everyone falls over when they snowboard. Wearing a helmet is simply a no-brainer if you don’t want to spend a week in bed with a splitting headache or something even worse. Snowboarders are lucky in that their helmets tend to be lighter than those used by skiers and they also look nicer. Don’t go for an obscure brand with no safety rating and try it on to make sure it's a comfortable fit and protects your forehead where most injuries take place. It needs to be tight but you should also have mobility as there is a lot of head turning involved in snowboarding. We’ll let you choose your colour.

Snowboard jackets and pants

You want to look cool on the slopes whilst feeling warm, right? No matter what type of jacket you choose, style will always be a factor. That’s down to you and your individual taste. But when choosing your jacket and pants there are other factors to consider such as whether you want a tight fit or something looser, There are clothes that are insulated and those that are waterproof but will require you to wear a separate layer of insulation. If you’re looking for the ideal solution, Gore Tex is 100% waterproof and breathable, but it can be pricey. Go to a shop, try things on and choose what suits your individual tastes.

Snowboard boots

There are some occasions when internet shopping isn’t the best idea. When purchasing snowboard boots, once again we highly recommend going to a shop and trying them on in person. A day on the slopes in ill-fitting footwear can ruin your holiday before it even gets going. You need to be sure the boots are perfect for your feet. Going to a shop means being able to try different styles and getting advice from someone who knows what they’re talking about.

There are different types of lacings and, whilst you’ll want them tight, you also have a choice of traditional or those that are easy to lace. Boots have different combinations of shell and liner offering a range of flexibility. You’ll also need socks and ideally wear them when choosing your boots. In short, try before you buy and find the boots you’re comfortable with.

Snowboard bindings

Bindings are vital as they attach you to your snowboard and therefore need to be compatible with your style. Experts will want as much flexibility as possible while beginners will just want to be sure that they stay on the board. All Mountain bindings are the ideal starter equipment but those who love pulling tricks should go for Park or Freestyle bindings.

There are also three main ways you can get into your bindings: strap in, rear entry and step on. Once again, it will be down to individual taste as to the type you choose, but Strap In is the most common type and recommended for beginners. Of course your bindings should also match your boots so buy the footwear first and check what type of binding will be the most compatible.

Snowboarding goggles

Being blinded by the sun or incapaciatated by a face full of snow is not helpful to a snowboarder. Your goggles are an essential piece of kit to protect your eyes and cope with glaring mountain light. Invest in a good pair that are comfortable and won't need to be adjusted while you’re zooming down the slope. Start with dark lenses as the sun is likely to be your biggest problem. When you start snowboarding in lower light then get another pair designed for those specific conditions.

And don’t forget...

Gloves. Warm hands are a must on the slopes so choose a pair that insulate you from the mountain cold. You’ll also need layers so those particularly sharp days are less intense. Choose layers that are breathable and won't leave you a sweaty mess at the end of your session. Bring some sunscreen and lip balm because it’s as easy to get burned in winter as it is on a beach holiday. Finally, don't forget your camera phone because you’ll want plenty of selfies in your cool, new gear.

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