SSnowboarding is an exhilarating, awesome experience, recently popularised worldwide by the winter Olympic Games in Turin, but whether you are new to snowboarding or an old hat at it, there are five essential items you need to seriously consider taking on your snowboarding holiday.
Snowboarding is not at all like downhill skiing ? it is, in fact, to downhill skiing what ice skates are to the flimsy little, key-locked skates we used to use as children (if we grew up in the eighties, anyway).
First of all, you need all of the proper equipment. This includes boards, boots, and bindings for them. Naturally, of course, you need a snowboard. For newcomers or those only recently starting out, it is better to use a free riding board, which is shorter and provides better control for boarders not quite used to the different balance yet. More experienced snowboarders can pretty much pick and choose which kind of board they fancy best. The kind of boots that are the most practical for snowboarding are not precisely like ski boots. They are soft and extremely insulated, to better fit the popular soft bindings. These are step-in bindings, which you can click into place while in a standing position.
Next up, you need the proper clothing. It is essential to wear clothing that is both waterproof and breathable. Materials which absorb perspiration, such as denim and cotton, should be avoided at all costs. Because they absorb sweat, you will end up getting colder than you would with waterproof materials, which presents the risk of dehydration. Moisture-wick undershirts (long sleeved), insulating layers, and a waterproof, wind resistant jacket are best for the upper half. Two pairs of long, lightweight socks that will not absorb sweat are recommended, as well as insulated and waterproof gloves. For pants, ?technical pants? are best because they are waterproof and heavily padded, which will definitely come in handy. Non-absorbent long underwear beneath these is also a good idea.
You need the right protective gear as well. Wrist guards will keep your wrists, a vulnerable area in snowboarding, from being easily injured. A helmet is recommended for obvious reasons, especially in situations where you know you will be going extremely fast. Goggles are a good idea for the same reason, especially if it is snowing; tinted sunglasses will also do. Sun screen and chap stick or lip balm are also a good idea.
The little extras are also essential. These include but are not limited to: money; lift pass and holder; snowboard lock; neck gaiter; energy bars.
The last item is the most essential: bring lots of water. It is easy to get dehydrated on the slopes, not despite the cold but because of it. We notice that we are sweating far less in cold weather, and the more sweat, the more moisture we lose. Whether you bring a backpack or a camel pack, always make sure you have at least two litres of water and that you drink it at regular intervals. Even your helmet will not help you if you become dehydrated.