There’s snow on the ground and if you’re like us, we know you’re itching to get out there and enjoy it. Whether you consider yourself a seasoned snowboarder or are planning on finally trying the sport out this season, the amount of gear on the market can get intimidating. That’s exactly why we recruited Sport Chalet’s resident snowboard expert Dave Knecht to round up a guide to snowboarding essentials– just the best, just the basics, just for you.
1. First things first: you need a snowboard. Make sure to talk to an in-store Sport Chalet expert and get measured to find your proper size and talk about types of boarding (all mountain, freestyle, freeride). As an essential board, Dave recommends this Burton Custom Flying V. “Its Flying V profile gives you the best of both worlds… the playfulness of a rocker with the edge hold and high speed stability of a camber.” Also making this the perfect first board is its versatility: “It eliminates the need to bring multiple decks up with you for a day of riding, and can handle everything from bombing groomers at 60+ mph to lapping the park all day.”
2. Next, you’ll need bindings, which connect you to your board and have everything to do with your performance on the snow. We suggest these Flux RK30’s. “Their urethane highback allows great lateral mobility while still maintaining excellent toe to heel response,” Dave says. “They’re designed with park riding in mind, but still have plenty of performance to ride the whole mountain.”
3. Before we get into accessories, let’s talk about the most important piece of safety equipment: your helmet. Dave likes the Riot BOA helmet from Pro-tec for its lightweight in-mold construction, adjustable BOA fit system and – bonus points- audio compatible ear pads.
4. Goggles are next on your list. You’ll want to make sure that they offer good ventilation to eliminate fogging. “The Smith I/O makes changing out your lenses a breeze so you can have the best visibility regardless of the conditions,” says Dave. “They also fit great with all Smith and most other helmets.”
5. Get the rest of your gear. Snowboarding clothes can be tricky: you want to stay warm but you don’t want to sacrifice your mobility with too much padding. Choose slightly lighter and roomier clothing for snowboarding than you would for skiing, and plan to go one size up from your regular pant size.