You want to spend a couple of weeks at a winter resort. And you are not sure what equipment you should buy…or rent. Many people, who make their first steps to the snowboarding world, do not actually know what shop or rental they need. And they hesitate a lot and surf the internet for the answers. And here we are to make everything clear. This time we shall speak of all the aspects of this tricky thing, name the average prices, the brands, and say whether it makes sense or not. We shall name the essential snowboard gear and explain how to choose it.
Must-Have Snowboarding Gear
Before going to the snowboarding shop or gear rental, you should bear in mind the items you need for your exciting vacation. In both cases, you should know how to choose the proper gear. The vital equipment includes a snowboard, boots, bindings, protective goggles, thermal underwear, gloves, and upper garments.
While choosing it you should consider your height, weight and riding style (which seems the best to you). If you weight more than 170lb, your board should be at least 160 cm long. On average, the length should be approximately 30cm shorter than your height. The width depends on your boot size. If it is like 8-10, the comfortable board width should be from 246 to 250mm. And the last thing is a riding style, and there are 3 basic variations: freestyle, freeride, and all-mountain. For newbies, an all-mountain snowboard is the best choice because it is versatile and fits all kinds of terrain.
The bindings are what connect your boots with your board. The key factors for beginners are:
- Comfort. The binding systems range from soft to extremely stiff. The middle-soft gear is your best option. It will hold your boots well enough and will not cause pain while wearing.
- Ease of use. The adjustability should be easy. There will not be any need to use tools to get strapped in and out.
A pair of boots should be tight but soft allowing you to flex your feet without pressure. There is also a style specification, and you should consider all-mountain. Pay attention to the lacing system. Traditional laces stay the best variant if you prefer maximum customization. In addition, complex speed lacing systems can break down and make your nice day a cloudy one.
Proper clothes like snowboard jacket and pants should prevent you from hypothermia. You should also get safety equipment which must include at least goggles, wrist guards and helmet. This is necessary for beginners, intermediate and professional riders because everyone can fall down and get injured. You should minimize these risks. Choose the glasses with ultraviolet light protection. Also, pay attention to side vision and the tint.
Snowboarding shops offer a limitless variety of equipment for all possible needs. They offer clothes and accessories as well. Such things as jackets, pants, and gloves are those things you have to buy for sure. They are too personal, and you will hardly find a rental shop offering you warm pants.
Different brands offer different quality at different prices. Burton, the leader in the industry, offers reliable boards and gear at relatively high prices. A warm, durable and comfortable jacket costs $400-$600. A snowboard to ride for a couple of seasons can cost around $600-$700.
On the other hand, the most durable boards, perhaps, belong to Never Summer. And this brand is cheaper since the average price is $500. K2 sells cheap bindings at $150-$400 compared to Burton’s average of $400.
Pros and Cons
Pros of buying snowboarding equipment:
- You obtain the equipment you want. You choose the style, the properties, and the price. The gear is 100% new. You buy what is comfortable for you.
- You save money in the long run. And you do not need to worry about making orders. There is no need to get used to new snowboards all the time.
- +10 to your self-esteem. You enjoy the slopes because you ride on your own perfect board.
- You get used to the board and it becomes like a part of your body, an extension of your feet. This improves your performance drastically. All professionals ride their own snowboards.
- You have to carry a lot of luggage.
- You have to bring a fat wallet to the shop. Get ready to spend $1,500-$2,000 for the full gear package.
Rent Snowboarding Equipment
First, let us determine what you can actually rent while going to a winter resort. Snowboarding rentals offer limited options. You can book snowboards, boots and bindings and helmets. You can get them separately, or purchase a package which includes these 3 items. Usually, it is cheaper to buy a package and it will cost you from $30 to $50 per day on an average. Helmets are often rented separately at $10 per day, usually. Thus, your daily spending will be something around $55-$60.
Some other shops offer clothing and goggles as well. The average pricing ranges from $10 to $20 on jackets and pants and eye protection.
The rental shops offer equipment from popular brands. The most commonly used brands include Burton Snowboards, K2 and Lib Tech. You can find this third at nearly every shop. This will restrict your choice if you plan to ride, let it be, Never Summer or Salomon board. This happens not so often, but you may face such a disappointment having just arrived at the resort.
How to Get It
You can book all the items online or at the resort. Via an online reservation, you should fill the specific form. It includes your full name, contacts, age (or date of birth), weight, height, your shoe size, stance preference, and identification document. Then you indicate your credit card information to make an order. You can choose the preferred delivery location (either the resort’s shop or directly to your hotel). You can return the equipment if something does not fir you. At the rental, you can fit the gear and ask the shop attendant for help.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages of renting the snowboarding equipment:
- You carry fewer packages. It is convenient for those who get angry because of large bags. You also save money while flying abroad due to fewer airplane baggage costs.
- You can try different boards, bindings boots etc. It is an opportunity to evaluate a certain brand on your own.
- It is cheap in case you go snowboarding seldom and you have no personal equipment.
- Rental services become more expensive in the long run. Imagine you need to pay at least $350 a week per person each time you visit a winter resort. A typical family with 2 children has to spend at least $1,400 a week.
- Limited options. There may not be a necessary size or a particular model.
- You waste your time in case something does not fit you and you are already at the resort.
- It is inconvenient. Each time you get different gear. It is already worn and may be loose/can easily break down on the snow. The offered models may not satisfy specific requirements. For instance, people with thin ankle or high bridge of foot may not find comfortable boots.
Well, what to do then? See what is more convenient for you. If you plan to go snowboarding more than once a year, then buying equipment will be better for you. Renting, in this case, will cost you too much and bring less pleasure because you use the equipment you have never touched before. And after you get used to the board, you will have to return it with a bitter feeling of separation.
Personal gear suits people who spend much time on slopes several times a year. It suits even those people who visit a snow resort once a season. You will progress much faster riding your own snowboard. You can rent some gear only if you are not sure whether you like slopes or not. The rental shop should be only a permanent decision.