Snowboarding on a budget
Finding good value snowboarding gear
Here’s our guide to snowboarding on a budget. Snowboarding is, by many, seen as a sport that is only affordable to the rich and famous. This is not the case. Snowboarding on a budget can easily be achieved with a bit of price comparison research. The only trouble with this winter sport is it is extremely addictive and once you can link your first turns the likelihood of you going on repeat snowboarding holidays or even attempting a whole season are quite high.
Gearing up for snowboarding
With regards to snowboarding on a budget you first need to make a few choices:
- What is my snowboard riding ability?
If you are a beginner looking to get into snowboarding on a budget, bear in mind that the faster you improve the sooner you will need to buy more advanced equipment. The lower end gear is far more likely to fail when pushed to its limits. So you either buy gear that is over your ability level but a tad more pricey or go for learner gear that will be perfect for those that only participate in the sport once or twice a year.
- Will I be going snowboarding for more than two to three weeks in a year or perhaps attempt a season?
If yes then it’s worth investing in good quality equipment. It will work out far cheaper in the long run. The important thing is to not risk getting ripped off, especially when you're snowboarding on a budget. Many shops will push their sales team to sell you products that you either dont need or are not fit for your purpose. Ebay is a great way of getting second hand gear. Or try the gear on in the shop and buy the same item online.
Layer up for snowboarding
It's important to wear layers when you’re riding. If you just wear a massive fleece under your jacket you are going to boil when the sun comes out or when you get on the gondolas. Then you will sweat, the sweat will turn cold and you'll be freezing!
We would recommend getting some base layers. Wool is a great material for this as it wicks away sweat very well and they usually remain odor-free. These are far better than synthetic, man-made materials. Also a micro fleece is a great investment, being lightweight, very warm and can also be worn when you go down to the bar after a hard day’s work on the mountain.
Choosing the right snowboard for you
The best way of doing this is to go by how much you weigh and what type of riding of you will be doing. If you have feet that are larger than a size-10 (10.5 USA) you'll also have to look at getting a wide snowboard.
- Freestyle snowboarding: If you are out there to pull off tricks and mainly hit the park then choose one of these boards. But bear in mind that they will suffer if you want to head off-piste in search of powder. Plus due to their flexibility they are much easier to break when pushed to their limits.
- Freeride snowboarding: If riding steeps and hitting high speeds is your thing then opt for one of these bad boys. They will be very stiff and durable and should float over the snow when it's a powder day! However, due to their stiffness performing flatland tricks on them is tough.
- All mountain snowboarding: If you want to go everywhere, do everything and demand a board that will take you there successfully then an All-mountain board is probably your best bet. They will be great for the park and pipe as well as performing well in the deep stuff. Turn the whole mountain into your playground!
- Wide snowboards: Most brands now stock a big range of wide boards. Big footed riders should have no problems getting any type of board just get in early as retailers may only keep a limited stock.
If you buy the wrong pair of boots you could be heading out for a nightmare trip on the mountain. The important factor is to make sure they are comfortable as well as supportive. The best thing to do is to try as many different types on as possible. Then you can decide what shape of boot fits your foot best. Most retailers should be able to help you out. Go to an established snowboard shop that has well trained staff.
Always wear a snowboarding helmet
If you think that you won't wear a helmet because it doesn't look cool then you are asking to get injured. Snowboarding is an extreme sport and not wearing protection will enhance your chances of serious injury.