10 Snowboarding Gifts for Beginners
Shopping for the new snowboarder in your life? Expert Sarah W. walks through all the essential gifts they'll need this winter.
Buying new snowboarding gear is so exciting! It’s like Christmas walking into a board shop, trying on the latest jackets and boots, talking tech with the shop kids, and of course buying that fourth pair of goggles because another pair won’t hurt and you don’t have the ones with the blue mirror lens!
Sorry… I got a little carried away there…
Anyway, buying snowboarding gear for someone ELSE can be… overwhelming. You see, there IS some basic information you need to know about the person you’re buying the gear for.
Whether you have a kiddo, significant other, best friend, neighbor, yoga instructor, or even a secret admirer who has expressed an interest in snowboarding, this essential beginner gear gift guide (say that 5 times fast) will help you make some sound choices!
My story is pretty similar. My first snowboard was a gift. I got to pick it out along with my bindings, boots, helmet, goggles and other necessary gear I needed to look fly on my first snowboarding trip.
With all of that said…let’s get the gift guide rolling.
1. A Lift Ticket
Not all beginners need a board, bindings, boots, or helmet to start snowboarding. These items can be rented at the lodge. The rental shop will take some measurements and stats from the rider and fit them with the appropriate gear for their day on the mountain. They will however need a lift ticket!
Buying a lift ticket or even a season pass is a great gift for a beginner snowboarder. Whether it’s a day pass, weekend pass, or a pass for the whole season, this gift is a no brainer and a necessity to gain access to the chair lifts. Most resorts have a gift option on their website. So visit the website for the resort of choice and see which options they have for the beginner rider you have in mind.
2. A Snowboard
Give the gift of a snowboard! If the rider has taken a few lessons and they are ready for their own equipment, invest in a snowboard. There are endless options for riders who have never stepped foot on a board all the way up to a rider with X Games aspirations!
Here at Curated, we can hook you up with a Snowboard Expert who will hand-pick the perfect gear for the rider you’re buying for. You will need some basic information about the rider such as weight, height, and shoe size to more accurately determine which board would be the best fit.
Making the decision to gift a snowboard is not a small task but Arbor makes it easy with the Foundation snowboard. In my opinion, this is the perfect beginner board. This board was the most recommended board of 2020 for many reasons. The Foundation offers a rocker profile with a directional twin tip which makes it easy if the rider doesn’t yet know their stance preference or if they end up being able to ride switch. This board is a highly responsive, all-mountain shredder. It has a soft flex leaving the board very playful and easy to maneuver around. Plus, you can feel good buying this board knowing that Arbor uses nothing but sustainable materials keeping mother earth in mind in every aspect of production.
Another great gift item for a beginner snowboarder is bindings to go along with their new board. Without bindings they can’t snowboard, simple as that. The right bindings play an important role in helping a snowboarder adequately and efficiently maneuver their snowboard. Bindings come in a variety of sizes and range from soft to stiff. The flex of the binding ties in to the flex of the snowboard and the terrain that the rider is planning to ride. A Curated snowboard expert can help you choose the right bindings for the board you choose based on the shoe size and information you provide for the rider.
The Union Trilogy is a binding that does it all. This binding ranges in use from beginner all the way to expert. It’s an all-mountain, medium-stiff binding that can take on some of the most gnarly terrain by keeping you locked in and safe. And for any of your little groms that look up to pro-snowboard athlete, Jamie Anderson, this is her signature binding!
It’s important to have the right boots for the new bindings and new board to ensure that they have the most comfortable day on the mountain! Snowboarding boots are a bit awkward if you’ve never worn them. For the first time rider, the feeling of standing and walking around in snowboard boots is very foreign. Finding a boot that is both functional and comfortable is very important when it comes to keeping the rider safe. Boots range from soft to stiff and once again, they usually tie in to the binding and the board flex along with the style of riding. We have a large inventory of boots from beginner to expert level, plus women’s, men’s and children’s options, and all of our experts are knowledgeable on which boots would be appropriate for the bindings and board you’re gifting!
I’ve always had a love for Vans shoes, and their snowboarding boots helped me carry that love over seamlessly. The Encore OG boot does not disappoint. It has a quickpull internal lacing system and a single BOA for quick, easy adjustments on the mountain. Comes in a variety of colors and fits true to size.
Great snow socks are the jam. Who DOESN’T like socks, amirite? Socks are relatively inexpensive and SUPER important for keeping the rider warm and dry! The right or wrong pair of socks could make or break your day. There are many brands available that offer lots of great technology. Some of the most important features to look for when buying snow socks are:
- Compression: This will aid in blood circulation and minimize fatigue while keeping your legs warm!
- The Material(s): Wool and wool blends are very popular choices in sock material as wool has natural antimicrobial properties to keep your feet fresh and not stinky! Wool wicks away moisture while cotton just absorbs it and leaves your feet wet and cold.
- Thinner Socks vs. Thicker Socks: I think it comes down to experience and preference. A thicker sock will give you more cushion but a thinner sock will hug your foot and keep your circulation flowing better, in turn leaving your feet warmer.
I am a Stance girl through and through. Their socks have never let me down. They offer a wide variety of socks for any activity. These Tropical Breeze Snow socks have my heart. They are an over the calf compression like sock that helps reduce calf fatigue. The 85% polyester blend keeps the socks dry and your feet warm. Stance puts a lot of thought into their sock designs and for this specific snow model, they offer ankle protection to reduce the chances of blisters and tech that enhances airflow allowing your feet to breathe.
6. Base Layer
A solid base layer acts a lot like a solid pair of socks on your feet. Your base layer is usually skin tight and acts to compress your skin while in motion increasing circulation and therefore keeping you warm. Just like with socks, there are a ton of brands and materials on the market today that have different types of technology built in to help keep you warm. Knowing the rider’s size is fairly important here. Most base layer clothing is stretchy and forgiving. This will be worn as the first layer (base layer) so likely, it won’t be seen at all. A lot of base layer clothing is dark to absorb the heat from the sun. WOWZA!
I am not as picky with base layers as long as they are the right size and the right material. The North Face offers this Wool Base Layer which will keep you warm and comfortable all season.
7. A Helmet
A helmet is an important safety tool when you’re just beginning to ride; a beginner rider will take a few spills and should have head protection. A helmet is a great gift and the majority of them are unisex. Plus, there are so many colors and brands to choose from. Appropriate sizing will be important and measurements will need to be taken to ensure proper fit. From bright neon pink to jet black, there are a ton of options to choose from!
The Smith Holt is my go-to helmet. It’s a simple, safe, comfortable, adjustable, and most importantly, affordable helmet by Smith. It works for just about any kind of riding out there. The durability of this helmet will make it last for years to come!
Goggles are a great gift to give someone. They range in price from under $20 to a couple hundred dollars but a basic pair of goggles isn’t hard to come by. A lot of people replace their goggles every season so they really aren’t meant to last forever. However, you can really bring out someone's sense of style with a great pair of goggles. Give the gift of style this season!
My love for Smith carries through from my helmet to my choice of goggles. The Smith Squad offers Smith’s ChromaPop technology. Thanks to the hydrophilic surface Smith applied to the Squad, the surface absorbs water and disperses it across the lens not allowing it to fog up. There is no wiping away this anti-fog as the tech is built into the lenses. I tend to want to take my goggles off a lot and these allow me to shake them off, put them back on and go.
9. Other Warm Accessories
Think of these as like “stocking stuffers”, these items are the icing on the cake. Now that you have most of the essentials out of the way. It’s time to finish off the wardrobe and with some extras:
- Gloves - Expert Pick!
- Anti-fog spray
- Beanie - Expert Pick!
- Hand warmers
- Stomp pad
- Snowboard wax
- Torque tool for making minor adjustments on the mountain!
- Wireless headphones or a helmet audio system
10. Memory Keepers
Lastly, a way for them to enjoy the memory of their first snowboarding trip forever!
- A GoPro camera and harness for them to wear to document their time on the mountain. I’ll never forget my first snowboarding trip and neither should they.
- Buying a durable waterproof case or bag for their phone so they can protect their precious belongings while learning to shred pow.
- A selfie stick for catching action shots and the cheesiest smiles ever.
These gifts range from a few bucks to a few hundred bucks or more! But no matter what, I think the newest mountain shredder will be grateful for any thoughtful gift pertaining to their newest love—snowboarding. If you need any help finding the right gift, please feel free to reach out to me or one of my fellow Snowboard experts here on Curated for free advice and recommendations. We also offer the option of a Curated gift card which can be used towards making a winter sports purchase with free expert help finding the right gear for your snowboarder's needs.