First time boarder: lessons learnt safety gear and what to take!

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I remember my first lessons on the mountain. I remember the bruises and aches as I crawled into bed that first night. How tricky it was to sleep and how uncomfortable I felt.

I thought that if anyone was going snowboarding for the first time they may want to have a list of items that will get them through their first snowboarding holiday this may be a list you haven’t thought about. Somethings you don’t need but some are essential.

This is just for beginners but let me know if I have forgotten anything!

Safety first

  • helmet
  • Goggles
  • Knee pads
  • Wrist armour
  • Back armour
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip care
  • Water
  • Boarding socks

Helmet

You can hire these so there is absolutely no excuse. I am saying it

“Only fools learn to snowboard without a helmet”

All it takes is a tap to the head to knock you out or worse. I will never forget the time I had to go straight down this long slope so I didn’t have to walk it. I was flying on this flat I was so excited. Then my board clipped and edge and I fell badly smacking my head.

There is video footage to prove it.

Gav heard the crack from where he was and was worried. My helmet saved my life that day.

Just because you see experienced boarders without helmets doesn’t mean you should follow suit.

Goggles

This is an absolute necessary. You have no idea how bright it can be up there and no sunglasses do not cut it. If you fall and you will goggles stay attached to your face sunglasses don’t and worse the arm of your glasses can poke you in the eye!

Snow blindness is a real thing and it’s all about the sun reflecting in the perfect white snow! You burn your corneas and have conjunctivitis like results.

Buy goggles. For the same price as a few beers you can protect your eyes.

Knee pads

Not essential but if you want to avoid bruised knees they I would suggest you buy them!

On my secondary of boarding we had to use a drag lifts. Ski resorts are bolt for skiers not boarders.

Drag lifts suck.

I was thrown down the bottom of the slope multiple times my knees were so sore. When I went down the mountain to eat lunch I skied Gav to check my knees and they were sore. He peeled back my leggings to discover blackened purple bleeding knees. We went straight out and bought some pads.

You spend a lot of time on your knees so even a cheap pair of knee pads is going to save you some bruising.

Hopefully you won’t need an ambulance with your name on it!

Wrist armour

The most common injury in snowboarding is a wrist fracture or break.

Sadly I know

Gav always made me wear wrist armour except one day I forgot to put it on. Slipped on a flat and broke my wrist.

After the cast came off I had to sleep with a wrist armour support for three weeks. Now my gloves have inbuilt wrist armour in them so I never forget to go out without them.

Wear wrist armour.

Back armour

After all my breaks and injuries I invested in back armour. I haven’t ever really hurt my back that often but still it’s a great piece of protection to invest in. This is definitely not an essential but it is important.

Bum armour

I sound like a night. The main things you rely on when you fall are your wrists to break your fall. Your knees if you fall forward and you bum if you fall back. Again this is not essential but if you want to feel super safe then treat yourself to some bum armour.

Sunscreen

Like goggles, you need to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Yes I have had sunburn on the mountain and it’s not like sunburn at a lower altitude. This shit goes deep in your skin and takes longer to heal. So wear a high factor even if it’s overcast.

Sunscreen is cheap there are no excuses.

Lipcare and water

Only parts of your face will be exposed to the elements and you need to look after them. Ideally buy a lip balm that also have a uv factor in it.

You will need it or end up with dry cracked lips.

Keep a bottle of water on you. Snowboarding is an intensive workout especially if you are just starting out. You sweat a lot especially if it is really cold or really hot. Hydration is key do a good experience.

Socks

Are socks a safety item. Maybe not but your comfort is. Never think that two pairs of thin socks are as good as snowboarding socks. Just as your boots need to fit you properly if your socks are too thick or two thin you are going to have issues.

I mean toenails falling off issues!

So wear the right socks!

Round up

All your gear needs to fit you properly. Your comfort is key. Snowboarding gear in general is comfortable, warm and roomy. But it’s what’s underneath that matters.

Vanity on the mountain will get you hurt or killed.

So be smart, wear the right gear. I have picked most of mine up in TK Max for the fraction of the price. People sell there gear on eBay etc. I have only had to buy knee pads at the ski resort and a crappy pair of knee pads set me back £30. I could have got better ones at home and have since upgraded to my Dainese ones.

My point is being safe on the mountain is key to having an enjoyable time. It’s doesn’t have to cost a lot to be safe. Lessons are essential but most importantly if you are a beginner stick to the tracks!

They are there for a reason.

Keep your phone on you fully charged. As a beginner you should never board alone! Reception on the mountain in Europe is normally great! If you get into trouble you can call for help.

Snowboarding is fun, enjoy it!

Please let me know if I have missed anything off.

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