With the winter season in full swing, you may now try snowboarding. Maybe you’ve done skiing when you were younger and you feel you have a good sense of balance. But snowboarding could be entirely new to you and it looks like a fun activity.
So, you get out your winter clothes—gloves, goggles, snow cap, wool socks, your thermals, and your winter jacket. But you notice that your winter jacket is worn and has a couple of holes in it. Good thing you read earlier that there’s an on-going Obermeyer men’s ski jacket sale online.
Now, all you need to do is learn how to ride down the slopes on your snowboard. But before you learn how to do that, you should know how to dress properly or gear up for the action.
This winter sport has been around for about four or five decades. The objective is the same as skiing—go down a mountain slope where the snow is powdery while balancing on a piece of wooden board, wearing special boots attached to it.
Many believe that snowboarding was influenced by skateboarding (the board), sledging (on the ice), surfing, and skiing. Back in the day, some boys would tie planks from old barrels under their feet and slide down the icy slopes. In 1065, Muskegon, Michigan engineer Sherman Poppen fastened two skis together with a rope attached for steering. In 1998, snowboarding became an Olympics sport.
Many agree that there is a certain exhilaration attached to snowboarding. Winter is a season that many people associate with being indoors, some with even being melancholy. But to be able to look forward to spending days in the outdoors, doing an activity that you love, and to be able to feel the sun on your face and the cold wind around you in the outdoors are enough reasons to go snowboarding.
Then there’s the challenge of learning the intricacies of snowboarding. There’s not a lot to remember—how to stand, turn, or brake. It’s putting them together that’s challenging.
Essentials of Snowboarding: Clothing and Equipment
When you’re snowboarding for the first time, the last thing on your mind should be fashion. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing top and bottom that don’t clash or if your sunglasses don’t match your gloves. What’s more important is what makes you warm and comfortable during those many hours in the snow.
Think layering when you’re in the snow. Start off with long thermal bottoms and long-sleeved thermal tops, the type that wicks moisture away. That’s important because even if you’re in the snow, you will still be perspiring and you don’t want sweat on your skin when it’s cold outside, as it will lower your body temperature and make you susceptible to shivering.
Over that would be thick sweatpants and medium-thickness fleece or wool sweater. Cotton is really not advisable in the snow, as it absorbs moisture. If it’s really cold, wear another set of thermal undergarments.
For your head, hands, and feet, wool is the way to go. You can opt to wear polypropylene socks to wick moisture away and then put on woolen socks over it. Cover your head with a polyester or fleece beanie.
Safety on the Snow
You’ve waited a long time to learn how to snowboard, but because you’re not wearing essential safety gear, you slip and sprain your hand when you hit the ground. You’re entire winter holiday is ruined.
But before that becomes reality, take note of what you need to stay safe on the slopes.
Helmet. This is a no-brainer—to protect your head.
Wrist guards. When you fall, the natural instinct is to put out your arms. More often than not, this causes sprain on the wrists.
Knee pads. It may be snow, but an impact on your knees will still hurt.
Stomp pad. This is most helpful for your free foot as it provides traction as you’re getting off the ski lift.
Ski or snowboarding jacket. This should be water-resistant, like the Obermeyer ski jacket.
Water-resistant pants. You’ll be sitting on the snow a lot since it’s your first time.
Snow mittens. Again, water-resistant.
Snug fitting snowboard boots. Fit matters in keeping your feet warm and helping you balance better while on the board.
Goggles. The glare of the sun against the snow could cause snow-blindness. Most goggles have UV-ray protection. If goggles are not available, sunglasses are the next best thing, but please choose robust, sports-sunglasses, not the designer ones.
Now, you look like a real pro on the snow. You got your jacket on, wearing the right pants, the gloves look good, and you look sharp in those goggles. The next step is to start shredding some powder.