10 Essential Items For Your First Snowboarding Trip

By: Kylee Olson | kylee.olson@activecities.com

Snowboarding, while not technically a favorite year-round sport, has been very popular since it’s first appearance in the 1998 Winter Olympics. Snowboarding for the first time may seem a little daunting, especially considering all of the items you should have with you. To ease your mind a bit and help you feel more prepared, we’ve made a list of the 10 most essentials items you should have for your first snowboarding adventure so you can focus on the slopes (and not falling).

1. Board, Boots, and Bindings
Burton orange-red-pink leaf women's snowboard
Burton's multicolor men's snowboard

The first thing you need to go snowboarding is a snowboard (duh!). There are three main types of snowboards: mountain, freestyle, and alpine. Each of these boards are associated with different skill levels and the snowboarder’s preference. Freestyle and mountain snowboards have more flex, making them easier to turn and preferred by most beginners. Be sure to study up on what you want beforehand! And don’t forget your boots and bindings – you’re going to need those.

Women’s Snowboards // Men’s Snowboards 

2. Helmet
Light pink snowboarding helmet
White snowboarding helmet

A helmet usually seems like an afterthought or just an option that our parents force us to use. But the truth is, you’ll need one. Helmets protect the head in the case of an injury, such as fractured skulls and head lacerations. As cool as it may be to show your buddies the gnarly scar you got from shredding, it’s much cooler to stay safe and be protected.


3. Jacket
Men's green and yellow ski jacket
Women's maroon ski jacket

Choosing the right coat seems like an easy enough task, right? It’s just a coat. But there are quite a few things to consider. Snowboarding jackets fall under the categories of shells and insulated jackets, along with the subcategories of technical shells, soft shells, and 3-in-1 jackets. You should also think about waterproof and breathability rating, as well as smaller wants such as hoods and pockets. It may seem like a lot for just one jacket, but this one jacket is going to keep you warm and dry. Choose wisely!

Men’s Jackets // Women’s Jackets

4. Snow Pants
Army green snow pants for men
Pink snow pants for women

Snow pants, much like a coat, are designed to keep you dry but not necessarily warm. Some snow pants have fleece lining, but to keep warm people rely on layers. You may be wondering if snow pants are essential for snowboarding and if this is your first experience, you’re going to be on your butt most of the time. So the answer is yes, wear the snow pants.

Men’s Snow Pants // Women’s Snow Pants 

5. Layers
Blue-green leggings
Black long sleeve layering shirt

Layers, layers, layers! Can we stress this enough? Many people decide they will be warm enough with just a coat and snow pants but trust me, you’ll want the layers. Layers can be defined as anything you wear under your coat and snow pants, such as thermals, leggings, sweatshirts, etc. Its better to feel warm and take off layers than be cold and wish you had them (just as every mom has said..and proved).

Women’s Layers // Men’s Layers

6. Gloves
Mustard yellow mittens
Maroon gloves

Gloves are usually forgotten but always important. Since this is probably your first time snowboarding, you can expect to spend a lot of time on the ground with your hands in the snow. You’re going to want gloves that keep your hands warm and are waterproof.

Mittens // Gloves

7. Goggles
Men's orange reflective goggles
Women's blue reflective goggles

On a sunny, beautiful powder day you’re going to definitely want goggles. Goggles help to deflect the glare of the sun on the snow and prevent snow blindness, which is also caused from a sunburned cornea. Apart from looking stylish, there are other options to keep in mind before choosing which goggles work best for you. One should consider the size of the goggles, the fit with your helmet, the padding, the lenses, and anti-fog coating. Looking rad is important, but so is having protective goggles.

Men’s Goggles // Women’s Goggles

8. Sunscreen
Piz Buin Mountain Sunscreen
Piz Buin Mountain Lip Protector

Hold on. Sunscreen? In the winter? Believe me, you’re going to need it. Snow is highly reflective of UV radiation. It even reflects the sun more than water does! Any exposed skin is at risk of getting a sunburn, even on cloudy days with freezing temperatures. Be sure to cover up with clothing, eye protection, and sunscreen! And don’t forget about those chapped lips – they are going to need some serious protection, too.

Sunscreen // Lip Protector 

9. First Aid
First aid kit pouch
Large First Aid kit

A few bumps and bruises are bound to happen so it’s best to have some band-aids on hand. A few ibuprofen wouldn’t hurt, either, because the constant falling might make you a little sore. The best advice I can give you is to come prepared for the worst, but hope for the best!  

First Aid Small Pack // First Aid Kit (Full)

10. Positive Attitude
Girl standing in the snow with her snowboard smiling
People snowboarding together down a mountain

One of the most important things you can bring to your first snowboarding escapade is a good attitude and the ability to just have a fun time! You’re not a pro (yet) so don’t worry about having all the right moves. It doesn’t matter how old or athletic you are, it’s something new to experience. Besides, I hear the bunny hill is the cool place to be, anyway.