If it’s your first time on the slopes, you’re going to need to know what to wear for snowboarding. When shopping for snowboarding clothes, keep a few things in mind, such as how warm the garment will keep you, how much the fabric will let your skin breathe, how comfortable you’ll be in it and how much the garment will allow you to move.
- Your first layer should be long underwear. Any snowboard shop employee can direct you to a rack of first layers. These tops and bottoms are skin-hugging and made of synthetic material that wicks moisture off of your skin. When dressing for winter sports, avoid cotton at all costs! It will only absorb moisture and leave you wet and cold.
- Your second layer is "the insulator." This layer is the one that keeps you warm. Look for a zip-up jacket or vest made of a synthetic fabric that won’t absorb moisture. If the temperatures aren’t brutal, this layer may be your last. But if it’s sub-zero outside and you need to dress even warmer, you’re going to need more.
Your third layer is the "element protector." The classic snowboarding jacket and pants serve as the third layer, and you’ll want to invest in a durable, waterproof and windproof set. Try them on before you buy to make sure you can move with ease. When dressing for snowboarding, you’ll want to pay attention to the details. Make sure your jacket and pants have lots of pockets for carrying cash, a trail map and even your MP3 player so you’ll have something to listen to on the lift. Lots of guys prefer pants with belt loops, just to make sure everything stays in place.
- Wear one pair of insulated socks. It may seem like a good idea to double up, but this only results in bunching and pinching inside your boots, and that can cut off circulation.
- Find an insulated pair of snowboarding gloves that allow your fingers to move. These will come in handy when you’re adjusting your bindings. For maximum insulation and to keep out the snow, make sure to pull your jacket over your gloves.
Get a hat and a helmet. Some guys prefer beanies, others prefer a thin mesh layer that easily fits under a helmet. Whatever your style, be sure to pick something that covers your ears. If you’re just beginning, venturing into a terrain park or snowboarding on a mountain with a lot of ice, it’s a good idea to wear a snowboarding helmet, too.
Get a neck gaiter. For extra warmth and protection against the snow, consider adding a neck gaiter to your snowboarding ensemble.
- Mixing and matching. When dressing for a day of snowboarding, always check the weather first. If it’s a milder winter day, you might be able to get away with just a first and second layer. Some guys skip the second layer and wear a snowboard jacket and pants over their first layer. With the proper insulation and snowboarding gear, you won’t even feel the cold, and you’ll be able to enjoy maximum shredding potential.