Snowboarders are a unique bunch, and their sport requires clothing specific to the sport. In this article guide on what clothes should be worn while snowboarding.
The sport of snowboarding is one winter sport form that promises thrills, chills and the chance to perform death-defying stunts on a snowy landscape. Every weekend, experienced and beginning snowboarders make their way to the snow. For snowboard riders, the right clothing is crucial. Any extended adventure into harsh winter elements without the proper protective garment can result in a medical emergency.
Snowboard clothing is designed to keep the wearer dry and comfortable, and to protect against injury. Beginners sometimes don’t put much thought into what to wear, as long as it looks good. However, beginners tend to make contact with the snow more often than do experienced riders, and they take harder falls, as well. Thus, no matter the level of experience, it is wise to choose clothing that offers the most protection. But rest assured, snowboarding clothes are generally very stylish.
Dressing in layers will give you the flexibility of adapting to cold or sunny conditions by adding or removing layers as required to ensure a high level of safety, fun and comfort.
Three-Layer System to Snowboarding Clothing
For all wintertime, outdoor activities, most experts recommend adhering to the three-layer system. This system allows for comfort in many different conditions. It is intended to keep the wearer warm and dry, both from outside elements and from perspiration. It is also designed to prevent the wearer from overheating when temperatures rise.
The system is comprised of a close-fitting base layer that wicks moisture away from the body (the wicking layer), a middle layer designed for insulation (the thermal layer), and a protective, wind and rain resistant outer layer (also called a shell layer).
Inner Thermal Layer
The inner-most layer should pretty much cover your whole body. This will include a long-sleeve top, long thermal underwear pants (or longs johns) and socks. When choosing clothing for this layer, don’t worry about fashion or big brands since they pretty much all perform the same function and nobody can see the weird looking colors and patterns on the set you chose to buy anyway.
Look for synthetic materials such as polyester or polypropylene which will help to wick moisture away from your body to the outer layers to keep your skin dry. Avoid garments made from cotton as they have a tendency to absorb water which equals a wet, cold and miserable snowboarder.
It isn’t really necessary to wear more than one layer of socks. A good thin pair of socks will keep your feet warm by facilitating air circulation around your toes. You can also get socks specifically designed for snowboarding which are thinner around the toes and have a forward lean built into them.
Middle Fleece Layers
The middle layer (or layers) consist of one or more layers of a quality synthetic fleece or wool (not cotton!) top. These are primarily used for providing insulation and keeping you warm by trapping air next to your body.
The thickness of this layer will vary depending on the temperature conditions. On cold days, you may like to wear several layers or a single heavy thick layer while on warmer days, you could possibly even get away with just a simple t-shirt.
Outer Shell Layer
This layer will provide protection from the extreme cold and winds and will include you outer jacket and pants. Ideally, the attire for this layer will be durable, waterproof, windproof and breathable, allowing perspiration to escape while shielding you from the winds, snow and rain. For more information, please see our article on Jackets and Pants.