Looking to stay in shape during the winter can be quite the challenge, especially if you are not into going to the gym and doing the same exercises over and over again. If more engaging sports activities are your thing, you should consider visiting the slopes and partaking in a fun and dynamic activity such as snowboarding. Although many people think that snowboarding only requires the use of your legs, it actually engages your whole body. It can improve your balance and your cardiovascular health, as well as your core muscles and core strength. You also burn calories and strengthen leg muscles even when you’re just starting out. Your bones and joints get used a lot more so you also end up improving your flexibility. Snowboarding really is a great all-around sporting activity, but it actually requires quite a bit of gear. Granted, snow sports gear can be quite expensive, but if you think you’re going to snowboard at least a few times a year, it’s definitely worth it.
What Gear Do I Need for Snowboarding?
As with any sport, footwear is essential. But when it comes to snowboarding footwear, the reasons why you wear them are different. Snowboarding boots are worn to keep your feet warm (duh) and so that the bindings have something to hold on to. Bindings are another piece of important mens snowboard gear, which we’ll talk about later on. The main thing you need to consider when buying snowboarding boots is the size and the different types available.
There are all-mountain boots that offer mid-level support and can be used in different terrains and snow conditions. Powder or freeride boots are made for steep runs and for backcountry terrains as they have a stiffer flex and more response to them. Softer boots are better for freestyle riders and stiffer ones are made for people who want the best performance. Basically, there are as many types of boots as there are types of snowboards.
The second piece of mens snowboard gear we’ll discuss is the jacket. Snowboarding jackets are the first layer of protection from the elements. A quality snowboarding jacket will come with proper waterproofing and insulation, while having enough breathability to allow moisture to escape easily when you’re sweating. This is possible thanks to special materials such as Gore-tex. Another important feature you might want to consider in a jacket is underarm vents. These allow moisture to escape even faster.
Like boots, there are also different types of snowboard bindings. These pieces of mens snowboard equipment are available as all-mountain and freestyle or park. The all-mountain bindings are meant for riders who snowboarding on different types of terrains and want to try out different riding styles.
Park or freestyle bindings are meant to provide better mobility and range. This is for snowboarders who are more experienced in doing tricks and being comfortable taking on ramps. Bindings also come in different flex levels. Usually, the more flexible a binding is more acceptable for freeriding, whereas stiffer bindings are recommended for beginners.
Goggles protect you both from snow getting into your eyes, as well as the sun from obstructing your vision. When UV rays shine upon the snow, it creates this bright light that reflects into your eyes and can blind you. Make sure you pay attention to the VLT rating and lens tint to make sure your goggles are appropriate for the weather conditions you’ll be snowboarding in.
Snowboarding pants are available in two different variations – hybrid and shell pants. Shell pants are highly breathable and extremely lightweight as they are made from a breathable membrane that is also waterproof. These pants need to be worn together with base layers, otherwise, you’ll get cold. Their lightweightness is their biggest advantage but also a disadvantage, as they won’t keep you warm by themselves.
Hybrid pants are also waterproof and breathable, and they come with a thin layer of insulation which keeps you warm when you’re not moving. You can use these pants with or without base layers, it all depends on how well you can bear the cold. If it gets rigid then you just put some base layers and enjoy your time on the slopes.
Although you won’t be using your hands as much, keeping them warm and cosy is important because you’ll need to maintain balance and you can’t do that if you need to keep them in your pockets. Like all winter gloves, they are made to provide warmth and protection from the elements but snowboarding gloves are more rugged in the sense of being bulkier. They are stuffed with more material and are usually made of nylon or Gore-tex. You can go with traditional gloves or mitts – it’s all up to you – though traditional ones are recommended as they give you more flexibility.