Nothing beats the thrill of heading down steep slopes with the wind blowing past you and the sun shining down on your path. Snowboarding and skiing continue to gather a huge following. If you want to make the most of your time on those slopes then don’t forget to bring along the right snowboarding and skiing gear.
You may also require a camera backpack for hiking and travel.
To access skiing and snowboarding gear, there is always the option of renting the gear. Always remember to try out the gear before renting it. In this way, you will be able to choose the right gear or gain the experience you need when you finally want to buy your own.
This guide is all about skiing and snowboarding gear.
1. Ski Boots
Of course, you will need ski boots. These are perhaps the most important part of your gear. Special care needs to be taken when choosing ski boots. Comfort should be given priority. Ensure that they fit snug and that the toes can move inside the boot. However, the foot should not move from side to side. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that your feet will expand and the boots should have a bit of space for this.
When choosing your ideal boots, you will realize that they will come with different levels of stiffness. As a beginner goes for shoes with a bit more flex as these will feel more comfortable.
Women should always go for ski boots that are designed for women. This is because they are shaped to fit under the lower calf muscles of the female feet.
Lucky for you when renting or buying your skis, you will receive a size chart. This allows you to pick the right skis depending on your weight and your height. If you are a beginner, however, it is always a great idea to pick shorter skis rather than longer ones. These will enable you to learn how to turn faster.
Also, note that skis are designed to handle different types of terrain. For example, there are fat and broad skis that have a rocker feature. This means that they bow in the middle and are excellent for powdery snow.
There are also free-rider skis. These are ideal for pack and pipe. Carving skis are for hard-packed snow. Lastly, there are all-mountain skis, these will handle a variety of different terrain.
If you are new to skiing, then the all-mountain skis are your best bet. You want to record the awesome moments as you go downhill. While you can carry a GoPro camera also consider some Gopro camera alternatives.
When you are racing down that steep skill, poles will help you maintain your balance and change direction easily. Some models will be heavier or lighter than others.
An important factor to consider is the length. To pick the right length pole, wear your ski boots, and stand up on a hard surface. Take the pole and hold it upside down. The handle should be on the floor or ground. Then hold right under the basket and you should notice that your hand should be at a 90-degree angle.
4. Ski Bindings
Yet another type of ski gear that you will need is the ski bindings. These feature a streamlined design. Note that some are heavier than others. When choosing a ski binding, ensure that you set the tension to allow for easy release between the ski binding and the ski. The width of the binding should also be compatible with the width of the ski.
1. Snowboard boots
Similar to choosing ski boots, you should go for snowboard boots that are snug on your feet. They should also have a bit of space to allow your feet to swell after you have started being active.
Also, go for softer boots that have a bit of flex. These will be more comfortable to wear over longer durations.
When women are choosing snowboard shoes, they should go for women’s boots. This is because they are designed with the shape and structure of the female feet.
While you make your way up the slope, the sun may be glaring down on you so it’s important to protect your eyes with hiking sunglasses.
When choosing your snowboard, you are also going to take a look at a chart. This compares the different height and weight of individuals to the length of the snowboard. Note that you should go for a board that is a bit shorter than the recommended size. This allows for much easier maneuvers and changes in direction.
Snowboards will also come with different designs meant for different terrains. Broader and fattier snowboards are for powdery snow. For doing tricks and for park roading, you will need snowboards that are much more flexible. However, for carving, you will need a stiffer snowboard.
3. Snowboard Bindings
Just like how snowboards come in different sizes, lengths, and flexibility, the same is true for the bindings. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you opt for the more flexible binding. You may also prefer to use the toe straps for much better control.
Some may be tightened higher on the foot while others are brought close to the tip of the toes.
Also as you are likely going to be in the backcountry, it’s a good idea to pack a survival kit.
Before getting on those skis or on that snowboard, one of the main pieces of ski gear and snowboard gear to have is a helmet. This is not an option and should be worn every time. In case of a fall, the helmet will protect your head from any injuries and trauma.
Note that not any helmet will do. Go for a skiing specific helmet and never use any other type of helmet such as a bike helmet.
It pays for the helmet to not just offer you sufficient protection but is also comfortable as well. It should be snug and warm. They should also be lightweight a breathable.
You will also need goggles. You should pick these two together so that they fit.
To protect your ears, you will require a high-quality pair of goggles. Avoid wearing sunglasses. This is because they will allow the breeze to reach your eyes which will make them watery.
When choosing the right type of goggles, take note of the climatic conditions of the area in which you plan on skiing. If you will be skiing in bright sun, then go for googles that are mirrored or rainbow. If it’s in mixed conditions, go for orange or rose mix.
Of course, the goggles should fit neatly with the type of helmet that you are wearing. Often this is easier to do when using the same brand for both helmet and goggles. That is not to say that you cannot find different companies that are compatible with each other.
The wind may pick up. To ensure that you are always protected, make sure you are wearing the best windbreaker jacket.
3. Gloves and Mittens
Some people will prefer gloves as they allow for better finger movement than mittens. Others will prefer mittens as they are much warmer than gloves. It’s all a matter of personal preference. Whichever you choose, just make sure that they are snug and comfortable but not too tight.
Pick a material construction that is waterproof such as Goretex. Also, the sleeve should be long and go under the jacket to prevent cold air from blowing in.
4. Neck gaiter
A neck gaiter is important to keep you warm. They can be wrapped around your face to keep out the cold air while also preventing it from blowing down your neck.
The type and look of the jacket that you are going to use will depend largely on your preference. However, one thing remains key and that is the jacket should be designed for snow sports.
This means using a waterproof jacket.
Often there is not much of a big deal if skiers wore brands meant for snowboarding and snowboarders wore brands meant for skiing.
This is because they are all designed for similar functions and that is to keep you warm, comfortable while maximizing movement. Both will come with a rating for waterproofness. Look for at least 5000mm. The higher this rate the better the jacket is at waterproofing.
Consider getting a high-quality ski jacket.
Also, you will need to watch out for breathability. Things can start to feel hot especially with jackets or pants that are waterproof and windproof. Look for leg vents and armpit vents to allow breathability when you start to feel hot. This is especially important when skiing or snowboarding in the spring.
The socks you wear to your skiing or snowboarding should be specifically made for the sport. They are mainly made from wool which is excellent at wicking moisture. They also have padding on the heels as well as the balls of the feet for optimum cushioning and comfort.
If you do not have access to these, however, you can always opt for hiking socks.
Instead of wearing multiple pairs of socks, these are better. What’s more, is that they are thick to keep your feet warm and to ensure blood circulation. It’s important to make sure that the type of boots you are wearing is not too tight that they cut circulation.
7. Base liters
For optimum insulation, you need base layers. As the temperatures change, you can add or remove the base layers. The undergarments need to be fast drying. The last thing you want is to feel wet from all the sweat.
The base layer should be made from wool due to its moisture-wicking properties and fast-drying nature. Avoid wearing cotton undergarments as these absorb the sweat but remain wet.
How to prep your snowboard gear
Before winter arrives and before you pack your snowboarding gear and head up the slopes, there are a few things that you can do to prep your snowboarding gear.
1. Waxing your snowboard
This is perhaps an obvious way to make sure that your snowboard is in top form. The trick is in the method to ensure that the wax remains on the snowboard for much longer. Use your iron to spread your wax evenly.
Dot rush to scrape off any excess wax. Instead, store your board for between 12 and 24 hours on a rack. This allows the wax to penetrate the base material of the snowboard.
Once you have hung the board overnight, it’s time to repeat the whole process. The benefit of this is not just making the snowboard smooth and fast, it also becomes more durable.
2. Doing a hardware overhaul
The snowboarding gear is not the only thing that needs to be in top form. The mounting hardware needs to also be in check. This means new bolts and new washers to ensure a tight and secure fit for transporting the hardware.
Something to keep in mind is to use bolts that are the right size. If they are too long, for example, the snowboard may get damaged.
Also, check the screws on the bindings and tighten them to ensure everything is secure.
Note that when climbing up the slope in rainy weather rain pants for hiking will keep you dry.
Your board is going to have burrs along the edges from last season. This makes the board sluggish when riding on its edge. While it is possible to have this fixed at a shop, it is also entirely possible to fix it yourself.
You will need the right type of tools, however. If you invest in good tools you can use them every other season.
A medium grit file is a great tool to have with you when prepping for next season snowboarding. The way you use it is to run the file along the edge of the board while applying medium pressure.
Having made the edge smooth go ahead and use the finer side of the file.
4. The boots
Snow boots also need to be in top shape. It doesn’t matter how good the board is, ultimately your feet need to be comfortable. The first step is to check whether your boots are comfortable. If not, you may need to replace them. Also, have the boots molded.
While you can easily find shops that will model your snow boots for a small price. The difference, however, can be huge. This involves putting the shoes in the heat for 15 minutes. Then you will wear the shoes until the foam slowly molds around your feet.
Note that during wet or snowy weather having a backpack cover will keep your gear dry.
This may not be the most common strategy but it is a well-known trick by experienced snowboarders. It involves high back counter-rotation and it increases the bindings surface area. This allows for more hillside turns.
The great thing is that this is a very simple thing to do and you will feel the difference almost immediately. Start by joining the hardware which is holding the high back in place. This now allows the high back to freely move.
Next, twist the high back bringing it parallel to the edge of the heel. Then place it back. This will have changed the initial position. It is a very old yet effective trick.
Prepping the ski gear
If you have your ski gear and don’t plan on renting, then it needs to be fixed the next time you are out skiing.
Just like in snowboarding, you must wax the skis. Start by removing any previous grubby layer of wax. After you have done this, you want to take a new fresh layer of wax and apply it. Note that it is a good idea to add more layers of wax to prevent oxidation and keep the skis safe.
Plus, it results in a much smoother ride.
It’s important to remain hydrated throughout your skiing and snowboarding adventure. A hydration pack will help you refill on your liquids especially after sweating.
Detuning simply means making the edges and the tail of the skis blunt allowing for a smoother ride. You must do this the right way as you are going to be eating away at the board. Often if you have no previous experience in this, it is much better to get it done by a professional.
3. The ski boots
Just as in snowboarding, ski boots need to fit right and feel comfortable. Take out the footbed and the liners and check whether bags have decided to make this their home. Let the boot air and then return the footbed and the liners.
The shoes should fit just right and if not consider getting new boots. You might think that snug boots are likely to give you bruises but the truth is if there is too much space for your feet to play, then you are even more likely to get bruises.
4. The skins
You will also need to prep the skins for the season. Take a paper bag and cut it into small pieces then place them over the skins. Then take a hot iron and run it over the length of the skin.
Globo Surf Overview
Your snowboarding gear and ski gear need to always be in top shape whether you are renting out or preparing your own for the next season. For a beginner skier or snowboarder, it is important to know the difference between hardshell and softshell jackets and you will also need to start by understanding the different types of gear.
More Snow Reviews:
- Winter Boots For Women
- Heated Jacket
- Thermal Underwear
- Snowboard Goggles
- Ski Boot Size Chart
- How To Snowboard
- Skiing In France
- Tree Well
- Skiing In Canada
- Snowboarding gear guide, snowboarder.com