How to dress for Snowboarding!
We’re now into 2016 and with the beginning of a new year comes a couple of cold, wintry months. If you’re planning on going snowboarding, you need to know what to wear to ensure that you can be as practical as possible, which will help you to fully enjoy the experience and stay safe!
A baselayer should be the first item that you should be looking to add to your wardrobe. As this is the layer that is touching your skin, it is important that it is both breathable and wicks away any moisture so that you stay as comfortable as possible. Although it is expensive, merino wool is the best option fabric to use. The benefits of merino wool over cotton are that it offers superior breathability and is anti-microbial – so you don’t have to wash it after every use. Baselayer tops and pants are available, as are one piece sets - which combine the two!
If you’re expecting some cold weather, then a mid-layer is definitely a good option for you. Instead of relying solely on the insulation of your jacket, add a mid-layer to really ensure that you can retain your body heat. Options such as jumpers and fleeces are perfect, they’re easy to remove and put back on, if you become either too warm or too cold.
When you’re on the slopes, the two things that will make you wet on the slopes are:
- Ambient moisture, the moisture in the air – snow, rain or maybe fog.
- The internal moisture that comes from sweat. This is more challenging to counteract as there are many materials that are waterproof, but making it both waterproof and breathable is a lot more challenging.
When deciding on a jacket or a pair of trousers, you’ll want to discover both the waterproof and breathability ratings of each of them. The breathability of a jacket or a pair of pants is a measure of how much moisture vapour can escape. This is measured in grams of water vapour that can pass through a square meter of fabric in 24 hours. The higher the rating, the more breathable the fabric is. Different coatings and laminate layers add to the external weather protection of a garment. Overall water resistance to the fabric itself is measured by suspending a tube of water over the fabric to determine how many millimetres of water pressure the fabric can withstand before the water begins to leak through. Again, a higher rating equals a more waterproof jacket.
Snowboarding wear is fashion meets function. It depends solely on the individual in which order they tend to look for a piece of ski clothing. Some will look for a specific specification or set of features and then decide on the colours and style, whereas some will prioritise the look of a garment first. Besides the waterproof and breathable rating, every garment has a certain style or feature which is designed to benefit the user. Some pants for example provide:
- Extra room in the hips and legs to allow for greater movement.
- Increased number of pockets.
- Vent zips in the legs to regulate temperature.
- Gaiters built in the legs to keep snow out.
- Need to fit well, so that you look good, but are also fully protected from whatever the elements throw at you.
- Ventilation zips in the armpits.
- Waist gaiter that keeps the snow out.
- Non-essential features include:
- Wrist gaiters that extend into your gloves to keep the snow and cold out.
- Hoods are nice but if you wear a helmet then one isn’t necessary.
- Preferably have a spot to store a media device like an iPod.
Some jackets and pants zip into one another to prevent snow from getting in between the two – that sounds like it would be a bit cold!
Top off your outfit with a beanie or a ski helmet if you’re looking to add that bit of extra security. Beanies are made from moisture wicking material, be it wool or a synthetic blend. A beanie will keep your head and ears warm, but the style of it depends entirely on your own specific taste. Helmets do not only protect your head but are also very useful for keeping you both warm and dry. They should be lightweight and some even have earphones in the earpieces!
Gloves are used an awful lot so pairs that have reinforced stitching in the palms and fingers would be ideal, as that will provide further protection – meaning that they will last longer and not wear out as easily. If you’re prone to cold hands/fingers, mitts might be a good alternate option to gloves – as all of your fingers are together which will hopefully help to preserve any heat. If your hands are still cold, add in a handwarmer which will provide even more heat.
When snowboarding, it is not a good idea to wear sunglasses. If you fall, not only will you probably have to replace them, but it could potentially cause injuries to your eyes and/or face. At high speed, your sunglasses may even restrict your view, which could conceivably lead to a fall. Goggles are a good option, as long as you have the correct colour lenses to help you see in different weather conditions and times. Generally, amber lenses are the most versatile – recommend for low light conditions and partly sunny days. Mirrored lenses are best for sunny days only whilst a yellow tint is the best for low light conditions.
Our full range of winter sports products are available on our website now at discounted prices. Orders over the cost of £50 receive free shipping. If you have any questions, please do leave a comment below or message us on Facebook or Twitter!