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onthefence 11-01-2012 04:54 AM

Newbie Pre-season Checklist
I've gotten a lot of first-timers interested in boarding this year, and a lot of them have asked me what they need to buy. I thought it'd be a good thing to have all of that info conveniently posted in one spot, as well as details about what to look for in each item so that they don't have to scour the internet to find info. Hopefully this can become a complete detailed list for newer riders (myself & friends included) to reference this as a prep list aka shopping list :laugh:

Newbies: plz comment with any questions or gear you'd like to see mentioned or explained.
Vets: plz comment with any revisions or additions to this list that you'd like to contribute.

(edit: I don't want to come across as a know-it-all cuz I'm not, and thats why I need your help making this list. PS sorry if this ends up being a dumb idea =p )

General Info:
- The idea is to get all your layers working to "wick" your sweat and heat away from your body and pass it through each layer until it has released. Buying the proper clothes will ensure that you are warm, dry, and comfortable.
- Cotton is evil. It soaks up moisture resulting in a very wet and heavy material.

Outter layer - Jacket
  • Waterproof & Breathable ratings of 10k or more.
  • Zip vents.
  • Adjustable cuffs & hood.
  • Wrist Gaiters and a Powder Skirt and are nice bonuses, but not absolutely necessary for resort riding.

Outter layer - Pants
  • Waterproof & Breathable ratings of 10k or more, Gore-tex if you can afford it. You will be falling on your butt a lot so don't cut corners when buying quality waterproof pants.
  • Zip vents.
  • If you buy your pants & jacket from the same brand, they usually have a way to connect the jacket's powder skirt to the pants via buttons or zippers. This is very nice, but not necessary if you can't afford it or if you'd just rather mix & match from different brands.

Middle layer
  • Avoid cotton such as everyday hoodies.
  • A lightweight, hoodless, longsleeve fleece jacket is preferable.

Base layer
  • A bast layer is a somewhat tight fitting long-sleeve shirt and thin pants. They are Wool, polyester, or polypropylene. Anything cotton is NOT a base layer and should be avoided at all costs.
  • Every snowboard brand makes a base layer, as well as companies like Under Armour and Nike. Any of these are fine but you can get a cheaper base layer at Ross in the "Active" section (again, avoid cotton).
  • These are made in compression fit and loose fit, try on both to see what is more comfortable for you.

  • Not cotton. Wool, polyester, and fleece are ok.
  • Calf-high.

  • Helmet-compatible.
  • Rounded lenses > flat lenses
  • Aim for an all-purpose lens if you're only buying one.

  • Warm & waterproof, Gore-tex if you can afford it.
  • Big & thick is not always best, a mid-weight articulate Dakine glove has worked fine for me in 25F weather.
  • If your fingers get very cold, try mittens as they retain more heat than gloves.

  • Probably best to buy locally, not online, to ensure proper fit. Just go to your local store and try on everything... Make sure it fits snug to your dome without any gaps or wiggle room.
  • Ear pads are a bonus for very cold conditions.

  • Not cotton. Wool, polyester, and fleece are ok.

  • You can rent these on the mountain with your board & bindings, but it is still recommended that you buy your own boots if you can afford a good quality pair.
  • Fit is most important here, look for a pair that hugs your foot fairly snug since the lining will become a bit looser when broken in. First try a boot that is one size smaller than your shoe size.
  • Try on multiple boots in multiple sizes. Make sure there is virtually no heel lift or toe lift as you walk around. "Comfortably snug" is what you're looking for.

JeffreyCH 11-01-2012 06:35 AM

As far as out wear goes, you can get away with about anything for resort riding. Main thing in that category is waterproof pants. If it comes down to budget go cheap on the outwear, and spend the most on boots. Even if you plan on renting, still get your own boots.

KnoxBoarderX 11-01-2012 08:33 AM

Comfortable boots are definitely the most important part of your gear as far as hardgoods.

For the outerwear, like you said, everything needs to be the best waterproofing you can afford.

As for mid layer, I wear a mix. Sometimes I wear technical hoodies, designed to be breathable. As long as it won't hold in moisture if it gets wet or sweaty.

The same goes for base layer. You need a material that will wick away moisture from the skin. Wool, is a choice for base layer, or any technical base layer from any major snowboard company will do. The base layer is really important in keeping you warm. A lot of snowboard pants are shells only with very little insulation, so the base layer is very important.

Socks, again, moisture wicking, not cotton.

It's extremely important to have a good pair of gloves also. It's absolutely miserable if your fingers or hands get cold. I have a pair of gore tex mits and they are awesome! Just spend the extra money and get a good pair from a trusted snowboard company, it's worth it. Don't expect pipe gloves to keep you warm, they will not for extended periods. If your hands are prone to getting cold easily, get mittens. They will keep your fingers warmer than gloves.

onthefence 11-01-2012 08:10 PM

Thx Jeffrey & Knox, I added some of that info to the post. Also edited the format to make it more readable and whatnot.

anyone got any other info/suggestions? There is a ton to cover...

cm4short 11-01-2012 10:25 PM

I'm a newbie and bought all my first time gear last winter. I ended up not needing a middle layer at all. I did fine with the basic pants and 3-n-1 jacket + my base layer. I would also like to add that some type of face mask really made my riding more enjoyabe. I used a scarf the first day. But ended up buying a facemask later in the season.

Sassicaia 11-02-2012 01:52 AM

If you want the best for clothing then its Marino wool base layers and goretex. Most days I wear a Marino wool pant/shirt and my goretex shell and thats it. So maneuverable, dry and comfortable. On REALLY cold days i throw on a thin prema loft vest mid layer...ive never needed more.

RockyMTNsteeze 11-03-2012 12:07 AM

I wear wool and acrylic sweaters as a mid layer. I buy them at thrift stores and wash them. I let them dry overnight in freezing cold temperatures. They are so much better than a cotton hoodie. I don't get some of the fashion trends on the mountain like wearing a long tee-shirt and having it hang out of your jacket. That is gonna soak up the snow into your core. Sweaters are breathable. Wool and acrylic is moisture wicking and water resistant. They are great for warm spring days when worn with out a jacket.

You should buy waterproofing spray for your outerware. After you wash it, some of the finish will come off and make it less water proof. This is when you should treat your outerware. Use powdered detergent and follow the care label.

the OP is giving great advise on how not to freeze. You should follow this even if you are not riding in the backcountry.

davidj 11-03-2012 09:09 AM

For rank newbs, first time on the slopes, IMO they can't be sure if they even like the sport to invest in it. :dunno: Sooooo... simplify everything. Do what my friends did when they took me out on the slopes for the first time.

Told me to spray my jeans and winter jacket with waterproofing for camping gear, wear a set of thermal underwear (regular dept. store kind) under my jacket and jeans, get long wool socks and gloves. Rent everything else at the resort (get a lesson fo sho). That way you can change things out (like boots) if they don't fit quite right. Learn to ride. Then, if you like the sport, go get kitted out. If you don't like the sport, you still have your jeans, socks, thermals and gloves to wear around town. :D

blz1 11-03-2012 09:30 AM

^^^ . I see it every year on my mountain. Dropping a few gs to ride the bunny slope and hating it.

Donutz 11-03-2012 10:03 AM

If you're male, check that the jacket you're buying has a zipper that can open from the bottom as well. Saves you a few seconds on pit stops :)

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