Wearing the right clothes while performing any sport is important. With snowboarding, clothes must act as insulating layers against the cold as well as protect the snowboarder in case of falls. Here is a guide on what clothes should be worn while snowboarding.
The sport of snowboarding is one winter sport form that promises thrills, chills and the chance to perform death-defying stunts on a snowy landscape.
Is snowboarding a form of snow surfing or snow skateboarding or even a variant of skiing? Fans and enthusiasts may disagree on its origins but no one questions the joy and pleasure that this boarding sport provides.
Thrills aside, snowboarding takes place in sometimes harsh and downright chilly climatic conditions. One must be adequately protected from the cold and the chance of injury through falls.
Snowboarding gear and equipment is important but an equally important and oft-ignored factor is the clothing or apparel worn. Snowboarding is not to be performed in jeans and a thick sweater, so read on to learn how to dress for this winter sport.
What to Wear for Snowboarding
Being exposed to extremely cold temperatures for quite some time is not good for your internal body heat. So while snowboarding, it is important that you stay warm and snug through layered clothing. Ideally 3 layers of clothes should be worn.
A definite no-no while snowboarding is cotton clothes. Cotton absorbs moisture and gets wet very quickly.
Wet clothes means you start feeling very cold very fast and also the weight of the clothes will wear you down. So if snow falls on you and gets into any layer with cotton clothes, your body will freeze inside.
Clothes for the innermost layer should be made of a moisture-wicking, insulating and synthetic material such as polyester or polypropylene. Such materials trap your body heat, keeping you toasty and keeping moisture away.
A long sleeved shirt should be worn, preferably with a round necked collar, so that the above layered clothing can fit comfortably over it. This base layer should be soft and of a comfortable but tight fit. To avoid fidgeting and twitching, check if the clothing irritates your skin or makes it itch. This can occur with woolen clothes.
The middle layer of clothing should be insulating and comfortable. This is the sweater layer. Full-sleeved fleece jackets, pullovers, turtlenecks, zipped up jackets or sweaters or vests are needed for this layer.
Clothes should be made from fleece or wool, as such materials keep you warm and are light on the body. Fleece especially allows your skin to "breathe", so perspiration can evaporate. This layer can be kept on or off, depending on the weather. If the weather is warm enough, opt for a base and outer layer with just a t-shirt in the middle.
The outer layer needs to be the most durable and hardy layer. Attire in this layer should be wind and water-proof, so that snow is not absorbed by the clothes. At the same time, such clothes should be lightweight and comfortable, so as to enhance, not hinder your snowboarding skills.
Clothes for this layer can be expensive but if the clothes are durable and of good quality, your investment will be worth it, as they will last for a long time. Such gear can have air vents in the under-arms or zip away sleeves, so when it gets too hot, zip off to cool off.
Try out the outer layer clothes, with all the layers underneath. Make sure the outer jacket is loose enough to fit all layers comfortably enough.
Do not wear jeans. Jeans are not meant for the slopes. They get wet and transfer the moisture immediately to your skin, effectively freezing you. Jeans limit your mobility and flexibility as well. The worst part is that they are prone to tears and splits, so falling down can result in a split pant!
For the base layer, which is closest to your skin, long underpants or bottoms should be worn, such as long johns or leggings. Make sure the pants are tight and fit well. Polypropylene or thermal underwear pants are best suited for snowboarding.
Tuck your base layer shirt into these pants and your pants into your socks, so there are no air pockets or any area where snow can enter.
If your base layer is sufficiently warm, there is no need to wear a middle pant layer. So for the outermost layer or shell, water and wind proof pants are required.
Snowboarding pants are designed for excessive movements and should be flexible in fit. Do not wear too tight pants. Look for pants with perks like, belt loops, crotch vents, extra padding on the knees and rear regions and Velcro ventilation. Make sure the pant cuffs are tight or can be zipped up at the ankles.
No matter how tough your snowboarding boots are, snow can enter them.
If your feet feel cold, your whole body will feel cold, so keep your feet warm with a snug, comfortable pair of socks, that reach at least your lower calf. The fit of such socks should be tight and to the skin, avoid loose or worn pairs.
Do not wear thick woolen socks, opt for thin synthetic or acrylic socks. Thick socks make your feet sweat. No cotton socks at all. There are specialized snowboarding socks available, that are thinner in material around your toes, so you get the feeling of grip.
Do not wear more than 1 pair of socks. Layering is recommended for snowboarding but a double layer of socks can bunch or contort in your shoes, so you'll keep having to pull them up or apart. Also, dual socks can be very tight for your feet and could cut off your circulation.
Snowboarding boots are specially designed shoes to grip and connect your body to your snowboard. They are also weather-proof, so snow shouldn't seep into your boots. These shoes can be a bit pricey but good quality ones are very durable and will last for a lot of trips.
Wear ski helmets as protective headgear while snowboarding, in case of a fall or accident. Ski goggles act like sunglasses and allow you to see clearly in the sunshine, as well as protect your eyes.
Snow reflects sunlight, so wear sun-screen lotion to keep from getting tanned. For your vulnerable neck region, where the helmet and jacket don't meet, use a neck gator or muffler or scarf.
Use mittens or gloves to keep your fingers warm. Dressing for snowboarding ensures a more enjoyable and safe experience while performing this extreme sport. So keep warm and snow surf away!