The most important item in my opinion, for all level snowboarders but in particular when you’re learning. You are inevitably going to have few falls when you first start out, and your head is such a valuable body part you want to make sure it’s protected.
Falling onto your knees onto some hard icy snow is a lot less painful when you have some padded knee pads. They can slip on underneath your snowboard pants and nobody will even know they are there!
There’s no two ways about it, you will spend a lot of time sitting on your backside when learning to snowboard. Having something soft to land on if you fall backwards makes all the difference. Also chilling and sitting down in-between runs or when listening to your instructor, is way more comfy when you have a nice “cushion” to sit on! Some may worry about it making “my bum look big” but it’s so worth it if you fall. Trying to sit down on the flight home can be very difficult with a bruised bum!
These can slip under your gloves and prevent you from breaking your wrist if you fall onto them. Although it can transfer the break to further up your arm instead, so that’s worth keeping in mind. But still a recommended item for a beginner, especially if you are pushing yourself up from the snow all the time.
Water Proof Gear
More time will be spent sitting down in the snow than riding on top of it at the start. So it’s vital that your jacket and pants are waterproof. you don’t want to be all wet, soggy and freezing cold by the end of the day. you can check the waterproof and breathability ratings on the labels of the outerwear.
Protective Eye Wear
The glare from the bright sunlight and the snow in the mountains can be very damaging for your eyes, so it’s important to keep them protected with well-fitting goggles or sunglasses. You need to check that they have proper UV protection. You are able to get different lenses for different weather conditions making sure you get the best visibility and protection for your eyes.
Long days on the hill, you need to make sure you skin is protected. Even if it’s an overcast day, you'll be surprised how quickly you can burn up in the high altitude. It’s even possible to pick up some wind burn. Even though goggle tans are cool in the mountains, when you get back to the UK and have to go to work on the Monday morning, your friends may laugh at your bright red face and silly goggle marks! It’s good to wear a very high factor.
A warm, well-fitting pair of gloves or mittens are very important. Some may argue that mittens are warmer, but others may say that gloves are easier to manoeuvre in. The choice is up to you, but having some kind of protection for your hands is essential. It not only keeps them warm but protects against ice burn if you fall over on your hands without gloves on.
Decent Equipment (rental or bought)
When you are learning to snowboard it’s not so essential at the start to have top of the range equipment. But having semi decent gear, even if it’s a rental to start, will make all the difference to your riding. Check all gear for any obvious damage, and make sure it’s well-fitting and appropriate for your level of snowboarding.
This is a definite Must-Have for your first snowboard holiday, even if it’s just for one morning. There’s nothing worse than having a group of mates that have snowboarded before and trying to keep up with them! It’s a good idea to learn the correct way from the start rather than picking up bad habits by teaching yourself or trying to learn from your mates. If you have a lesson, you will learn the basics giving you the foundations to be a pro!!