Beginner Snowboarding: To Rent or To Buy

September 23, 2015

Renting vs. Buying Beginner SnowboardingWhether you’re trying snowboarding for the first time, or determined to take what you learned in those lessons last year to the next level the SheShreds Crew welcomes you! But before you start throwing down big air and riding the rails, it's important to know what to expect.

Just like any other physical activity, it's important to know the safety measures and the precautions. Figuring out the right gear is key to having fun out on on the slopes, and we’re here with recommendations!

Definitely Worth The Buy

These items are safe to buy before you snowboard simply because you can use them elsewhere or give them to a friend if you decide sliding sideways just isn’t for you.

Outerwear

If you’re trying snowboarding for the first time, your priority will probably be keeping costs down, but showing up in jeans will guarantee that your snowboarding experience will not be what you had hoped.  If it’s a cold day, grab your warmest and most waterproof jacket, and consider buying or borrowing a decent pair of snow pants if you don’t already have them. You’ll want snow pants with a wide cuff that can come down over your boot and help keep your feet warm, like these from our partners at Backcountry.com.

Renting Your Snowboarding Gear

Once you’ve been up a few times and are determined to become a snowboarder, you’ll want to invest in a jacket and pants designed specifically for snowboarding. Snowboard outerwear will keep you warm, dry and stylish, and allow you to move comfortably. Some of our favorites:

Goggles

When you are going out into the winter cold and snowy conditions, it’s smart to cover your eyes. Not only are they important to, you know, see, but it’s important to keep your face protected from the elements like wind, sun, and snow.  If it’s your first time snowboarding, and the weather is warm and sunny, you can consider sunglasses like the SheShreds Eco Friendly Bamboo Sunglasses.

eco-friendly sunglasses by SheShreds

Otherwise, you’ll definitely want goggles. Luckily, SheShreds is partnered up with our partners Backcountry.com to allow you to shop for some of the top goggles.

Layers

Don’t just think by putting on some snow pants and a jacket will suffice on a frigid day. Layering your clothing when you are adventuring on the mountain is just as important as looking good while doing it. SheShreds has some great layers available to you to add to your arsenal that are versatile and stylish off the mountain.

Gloves

That’s cute you have knit mittens you got to match your scarf, but sorry to say, that won’t work when you are looking to learn to snowboard. When you are learning you are going to be falling (don’t say we didn’t warn you) and that means you’re going to be on the ground. Being on the ground means you have to push yourself up, you’re not going to do that with thin knit gloves. We recommend you invest in warm and waterproof gloves that can be found from our partners at Backcountry.com.

Think About Renting

The first few times you try snowboarding, it’s a good idea to rent your equipment.  This is an affordable option, and the gear in rental shops is often designed to help beginners progress.  

Board and Bindings

renting vs. buying snowboarding gear

This is easy. Obviously you have never snowboarded in your life, so how do you know what kind of board you like, what length, style, or shape is right for you?

When renting, it’s important to know what questions to ask the rental shop when you are getting your equipment.  Be clear with the shop about your level of snowboarding experience.  Ask a few questions about the equipment.  You can even call ahead and do this over the phone when picking a rental shop.

Is their equipment new? - Technology in beginner boards has progressed in the last 4 or 5 years, and you’ll find you have an easier time with newer gear.

Do they have female-specific equipment? - Women’s beginner boards tend to be more flexible and designed for women’s physiology.

Talk to the shop associate about how to figure out if you are goofy or regular footed. This will tell you what foot to lead with and your rental board should be set up for your preference.  

Once you’re hooked, consider the demo option that most rental shops offer, or have a look at some of these progressing beginner boards and bindings from our partners at Backcountry.com.

Boots

Similar to buying a snowboard, it doesn’t make sense to buy boots yet if you have never stepped into a snowboard before. Not only are the expensive, but you can’t expect to learn in boots that have not been broken in. Take our word on it, you would hate snowboarding if you learned with new boots, your feet would be killing you.

Beginner SnowboarderInstead you can ask the rental shop to hook you up with rental boots, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Take a look into and feel the inside of the boots. You want to make sure they are not padded or flattened out on the bottom. You want to have good foot support, you are going to be using your feet a lot and you want to be comfortable.

Also it’s a good idea to try them on with the socks you are going to be using (light-medium cushion are good). Don’t be afraid to talk to the shop associate about fit and to try on a few different sizes. Ask the shop associate about how the laces work if you have any problems - you want a snug but comfortable fit, and you’ll struggle with learning if your feet are sloshing around inside the boot. 

Once you’ve rented a few times, you’ll probably be ready to stop sharing foot sweat and buy your own boots.

Helmet

Rentals should come with a helmet, and it’s important to wear one. If you’re uncomfortable knowing someone else had their head in there, ask the rental shop if they sanitize the helmets after use or use a balaclava to cover your head when you wear it. This will keep your hair free of the helmet but also keep you head a bit warmer if it is cold.

When trying on helmets, make sure that you buckle it up like you would on the slopes and shake your head. You don’t want any movement on your head but you also don’t want it cutting off circulation to your head. A good rule of thumb is that the front of the helmet should be two finger widths above your eyebrows comfortably.

When you start your lessons for snowboarding and you find that you want to continue, be sure to get comfortable with the mountain and your equipment. Start to figure out what kind of riding you want to do and what is or is not comfortable when you use it. You can try out demo days at mountains for boards, bindings, and boots to get a better sense of what you like. When you are ready to purchase your own equipment, we suggest checking out the great sales and equipment with our partners at Backcountry.com.

More From SheShreds.co:

SheShreds Chronicles: How Yoga Saved My Mind & Life

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