I really wanted to try a new sport this year, but with the lack of income, it’s going to be pretty tough training for any sports I want to do. Fitness clubs are boring and expensive, and the specialized martial arts and fitness clubs offering programs I want to try are nowhere near local for me.
Alas, I have my snowboarding gear!
Snowboarding is can be a pretty pricey sport, but after you get all of the required equipment and gear, you’re set to go. The only thing you’ll need for your snow trips are probably travel expenses (in my case it’s just gas) and lift tickets to get to top of the slopes.
For those of you who are interested in trying out snowboarding, here’s my tips and tricks for minimizing expenses.
Buy your clothes online or at outlet stores
The general clothing necessities you’ll need:
- Snowboarding Jacket (I wear a thermal and sweater underneath)
- Snowboarding Pants (I wear thermal leggings and sweatpants underneath)
- Gloves (Glove liners or knit gloves should be worn underneath)
- Thick socks (thanks Mom for those really thick fuzzy socks I always wear around the house during winter)!
Most people like to go all out and wear expensive stuff like Under Armour and special moisture-wicking socks or expensive gloves, but to be honest with you, most of my friends and I just wear sweatpants and thermals or leggings and layer up underneath our snowboarding clothes. If your outerwear prevents seepage or snow from getting in, then you’re fine.
Jun and I are fortunate enough to live near Desert Hills Premium Outlets so we were able to get my gloves, snowboarding jacket and helmet at in-store for a fraction of the price. My snow jacket was around $200 MSRP and we got it for $78. My helmet was $50 and my gloves were $20.
Snowboarding clothes can get extremely pricey, so I suggest trying on clothes at your local Zumiez or snowboarding store and then finding them online – more often than not you’ll find a better deal online. I didn’t have much luck with finding a pair of pants in-store, but I did get a really great pair by Arctix on Amazon for a total of $36.97. I’ve fallen on my butt really hard in them and haven’t experienced any water seepage or rips yet.
Other items to consider
A helmet: I admit that I hate wearing a helmet because I already look like a marshmallow in my puffy winter clothes but with a helmet, I feel like an obese marshmallow lollipop-head. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen and literally smacked my head on the ground (and snow isn’t as fluffy as you think!). So even though everyone else looks somewhat fashionable in their cute pom-pom beanies and my newbie butt stands out like a sore thumb, I’ll take the helmet because I’m not trying to get a concussion.
Lucky Bums has an extensive selection of helmets in different colors ranging from $35-$60 that are worth checking out. Make sure to measure your size before buying!
Goggles: The first few times I got away with no goggles because the snow wasn’t falling, but recently we had some wind and snow and believe me, getting snow in your eyes really sucks. I had to squint the whole way down the mountain and needless to say, I ate it a few times because I’m pretty sure my eyes were shut at a certain point.
Bolle goggles are around $15-$20 on Amazon and are fog-resistant, so I recommend these for your first pair.
A ski mask or bandanna: I use a bandanna because I am a weenie and can’t stand when my nose is cold, and there are some cute and inexpensive options for bandannas like this $9 skeleton tube mask that are really bold. The only reason I switched over to a ski mask is because bandannas can actually get soaked with melted snow after a run or two and then freeze over if the temperature drops.
I use this $10 neoprene face mask that repels water and makes you look like a ninja. I hope you can tell how much I desire bold fashion choices with my limited style on the slopes.
I saved a ton of money (and headaches) getting a snowboard bundle online
Some people are hesitant about buying gear online, especially when it comes to a sport you’re new in. As long as you do your research beforehand, you can get some quality gear at budget-friendly prices.
I went to my local Sports Chalet and checked out their boards so I could figure out my size. A good rule of thumb is to stand behind the board and find one where the top of the board reaches between your nose and chin. Keep in mind there are other factors to consider like waist width and weight, but finding the right cm height is a good place to start.
Burton also has a great blog post about sizing your snowboarding that may help provide sizing insight here.
Make sure to try on boots in-store so you can get a general idea of what size boot and bindings you’ll need too!
I got this snowboard bundle from SNS Boards on eBay for around $330 or so that included a Lamar snowboard, Salomon bindings and Flow boots. I was really impressed that this bundle even included these brands as they are more than decent. My boots are pretty lightweight compared to other boots and they’re really easy to fasten and unfasten.
My favorite snowboard shops on eBay
I do most of my online shopping on Amazon, but I’m not too pleased with their limited selection of board bundles and pricing. eBay, however, has a ton of sellers and competitive pricing on outdoor sports equipment.
Go snowboarding at night
We usually snowboard at Mountain High, where night session passes are $35 compared to $64-$74 for day passes. I like night sessions more than day sessions not only because it’s almost half as cheap, but there are also fewer people.
If you’re also free during the week, you can save a couple bucks through weekday rates. Although it’s probably about a $5 or so difference, that money can go towards gas!
Here are the rates for Mountain High lift passes as of 1/6/16:
|Night (5pm to 10pm)||$35||$40|
|Child (12 & Under)*||$30||$35|
|70 +, or 6 & Under w/ paying adult||FREE||FREE|
Check for birthday specials and group rates
Ski resorts usually have tons of specials and discounts on lift passes. Mountain High offers a birthday special where you can go for free by showing your ID!
If you’re going with a group, check your local ski resort’s website to see if you can get a discount for groups. Most people go with a bunch of friends anyway, so you’ll be able to get a significant discount that way.
Bring food and drinks
Food and drinks at the lodge are usually expensive, so it’s usually better to bring food and leave it in the car (I mean… it’s cold, so it won’t go bad, depending on what you’re bringing). Ski resorts usually have tons of benches and tables to sit, so you can have a snowy little picnic. I personally also don’t see a big deal in eating in the car if it’s snowing, but that’s just me.
Jun also brings a cooler full of beer and drinks a can before hitting the slopes, that way he stays warm. It also takes the edge off the pain when you fall, although I don’t recommend beer as the first go-to for newbies.
Are you going to try snowboarding before the season ends? Chat with me in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe below for more money-saving tactics!