My husband and I are both skiers and we are pretty good. But snowboarding is exciting, or at least it LOOKS exciting, so we decided to try it out last year. We didn't have any gear (aside from the ski equipment we had accumulated through out the years), so we went the rental route. Once you arrive at the rental shop, if you have no gear at all, you will NEED it all. If you have a few things, like we did, then this check list of the obvious (and one that I wish someone would've given me!) will help fill in the blanks for the essentials.


You first need the right snowboard for you. First, test the height. The snowboard when standing on the ground and facing vertically should not go above the bottom of your nose. If it does, you need a shorter one. On the other hand, if it does not come up to your collarbone, you need a taller one. My husband and I decided to go the snowboard rentals route because we didn't want to buy it unless we were actually able to stand up!

When it comes to width, your boots should cover the width. There is not a lot of wiggle room here. If your boots do not cover the width, you will have less control of the board.


If you are a beginner or someone wanting more flexibility, go for a strap-in boot. If you are a beginner, you want a soft boot. You will get greater range of motion in the ankle which will help with balance. The fit should be comfortable and spot-on. If the boot is too big or too small, this can cause issues with your ride.

Jackets, Gloves and Pants

First and foremost, these should be waterproof. Snow is wet and if you get wet out in the snow and stay that way, you put yourself at risk for hypothermia and frostbite. Your jacket and pants should be loose enough for comfort, but never big enough to weigh you down. Sleeves should be long enough to seal properly with gloves. The coat itself should be long enough to fully cover your midriff with your arms above your head. Pants should have a high waist and the legs should be long enough to cover your boots.

Gloves should fully cover your hands and fingers. They should also be waterproof. They should be able to interlock with your jacket sleeve to keep cold and snow out.

Goggles and Helmet

You goggles should first provide fog control. If they were to fog up, you would be blind to what lies ahead. You also want them to fit. There should be no gaps without them being too tight. Your peripheral vision should not be obstructed. Lens color will depend on outside light. There are a variety of colors to accommodate bright sun and overcast days.

Your helmet should be snug and comfortable, as well as cover your entire head. You also want to make sure that it is compatible with your goggles.

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Comment by Ski Dazzle on December 12, 2012 at 11:07am
Great Blog Heather! Thanks for posting.

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