Just like skiing, snowboarding is also a winter sport as well as a fun-activity. In snowboarding, single snowboard is used to glide through the snowy slopes. You will face side on to the slope as your both feet are clipped into the snowboard, this makes it a little difficult in the start initially to get used to. It was initially started in the USA by Sherman Poppen in 1965 as a toy for his daughter, then got popular in the 1980’s and became an Olympic sport in 1998. Now its played all over the world in the form of a sport as well as a recreational activity. USA, Canada, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and Finland are some of the countries where snowboarding is very popular.
BASIC GEARS FOR SNOWBOARDING:
It was said that snowboarding is inspired by skiing, surfing, and skateboarding, but it uses different techniques, gears, and styles. Let’s discuss in detail about the basic equipment that you need while going out for snowboarding:
A good quality snowboard is one of the basic needs when you go out for snowboarding. Mostly snowboards are made of wood, laminated with plastic on the base, fiberglass on the top and metal on the edges, all these specifications are to strengthen the snowboard. The front part of the snowboard is called as the nose, the flat side is called the tail, and the bottom side is called as the base. Most of the riders apply the wax at the base of the snowboard which helps to slide more smoothly on snow covered slopes. Just pick a good quality snowboard to get good balance and smooth slide over snowy mountains. Snowboards are of different types depending upon the styles of snowboarding i.e. depending upon the type of surface for snowboarding, which are as follows:
All-Mountain boards: These boards are versatile boards which are used on almost all types of terrain, that’s why these are most recommended for beginners.
Freestyle boards: These boards are short, light, and flexible, which are designed to play jumps, tricks, and slides on narrow terraces like rails, boxes, half-pipes, etc. These are mostly used by the professionals.
Free-ride boards: These boards are slightly longer and have more nose than tail, which are designed to have a smooth, stable, and fast ride. These boards are also meant to be used on any terrain.
Alpine boards: These boards are quite similar to free-ride boards i.e. long and narrow but are not flexible. These boards are meant for faster rides, hence used for the racing purpose. That’s why these boards are also called as racing boards.
Powder boards: These boards have a directional shape with a wider nose than the tail, which are designed to ride on deep powder i.e. deep snow and on backcountry terrains. They are for those who love more adventurous and challenging rides.
After snowboard, specialized and comfortable boots also play a very important role in your performance while sliding on different types of terrain. In general, boots are of three types:
All-mountain Boots: These boots are perfect to give you the right balance on almost all-types of surfaces i.e. from backcountry to piste to park. If you like more of the casual ride, then go for medium-flex boots, whereas if you want your ride little aggressive then medium-stiff flex is the right option for you.
Freestyle Boots: These boots provide good cushioning that absorbs shock level, which makes it good for the beginners. If you like a casual ride, then medium flex is good for you, if you are ridding just for fun, then you can choose medium-soft flex boots and if you like to go for larger jumps then go for medium-stiff flex boots to get more stability.
Freeride Boots: These boots are made up of solid and tough material, because they are used for aggressive and faster rides. These are designed to provide less shock absorption but good grip on the soles. Medium-stiff or stiff flex boots are used to enjoy the fast and aggressive rides.
Lace Boots: Lace boots are further categorized into three different types i.e. traditional laces, speed laces, and boa laces. Each having its own pros and cons, so choose the one which suits you as per your ride style needs.
Bindings are attached to the snowboard, which give your boots a proper grip and hold to the snowboard, so that you can ride efficiently. In general, bindings used for snowboarding are of three types:
Strap-in: Strap-in bindings are mostly used with thick flexible sole boots. These bind the boots on the board by mostly using two padded buckle straps, and in some cases, three padded buckle straps are also used.
Step-in: Step-in bindings are used with special kind of boots that have a metal clap below the boot, called as step-in boots. These bindings and boots as a combination give more control on the board. Simply place you step-in boot over step-in binding to get the hold.
Hybrid: Hybrid binding is more of like a strap-in binding but with little variation of entering the binding i.e. enter your boot from the back, flip it inside, and then hold it with the clamps. These bindings are mostly used for freestyle or fun purpose.
HELMET & GOGGLES:
While doing snowboarding, so many times you get imbalanced and fall. So it’s always a wise decision to wear a helmet when you go out for sliding on snowy slopes for your head safety. It’s also very important to protect your eyes from snow and wind while riding on different terrains for better vision, for this it’s a must wear – snowboard goggles.
CLOTHING LAYERS AND GLOVES:
When you go out for snow activity, it’s always suggested to wear clothes in layers i.e. base layer like thermal, mid-layer like fleece or sweater, and then outer layer like waterproof and wind-shield jacket. Better choose wool or synthetic based material of clothes over cotton based, which makes you dry, warm, and breathable. And to keep your hands warm is also very essential, because so many of you may fall and your hands will come in contact with the snow. So choose warm and waterproof gloves to protect your hands from that cold.
These equipment are very essential for your performance and safety when you want to go out for snowboarding. Some of these equipment are a little expensive, so you don’t always need to purchase all of them. You can easily get these equipment on rent from the resort, if you want. Just make sure you choose the equipment very wisely i.e. according to the style of snowboarding and check out their wear and tear before sliding on terrains with your snowboard. Do follow these basics to enjoy your ride on slopes.