December 17, 2021

What to Wear Skiing and Snowboarding

by Brad

You’ll need the correct attire to withstand the cold, snow, and wind; whether you want to admire the scenery from a chairlift and afterward head down to the groomed lines, or you’d prefer to find your path through new powder before relaxing outside on a patio in the sun. When you’re fresh to skiing, picking what to wear skiing and snowboarding is crucial.

Snowsports gear is crucial since it may have a big impact on how much fun you have while learning. With baggy hoodies being the standard on the mountains, getting caught up in the steezy impression of skiing is very simple.

It may look the part, but it’s not realistic when you’re only getting started on the hills. Nobody wants to spend the entire day in drenched clothing. 

It’s not just about picking the perfect jacket or jeans when it comes to dressing properly. It would help if you also safeguarded your extremities, which are particularly vulnerable to the cold. Let’s delve in and unleash more on the appropriate skiing gear.

Table of Contents

Ski and Snowboard Socks

Ski and snowboard socks are also essential, so invest in a quality pair of socks. Consider your socks in the same light as the base layers: snug and moisture-wicking. These truly make a significant impact. Ski or snowboarding socks are designed to reduce friction all around ankles, helping to prevent blisters or other chafing. They wick away sweat and moisture, keeping your feet significantly warmer than cotton socks.

Wearing thin socks with narrower boots for racing improves accuracy. Look for heavier ski socks made of merino wool or synthetic fibers that you may wear with broader boots for added warmth and comfort. Also, note that higher socks than boots are the most recommendable ones. And because ski boots provide a more specific fit than snowboard boots, your ski socks are often thinner than snowboard socks.

To minimize friction or to thin in high-contact, high-use regions, ski, and snowboard socks normally contain additional cushioning in the proper spots for each kind of boot. Do not try to double up on the socks; it will cause the feet to heat up and make the socks clump up, and create blisters.

Related Article: What to Wear While Rappelling?

Ski and Snowboard Coat

Consider breathability, waterproofness, and windproof ness. Decide if you want a lining in the jacket or add windproof materials and fleece below. The closest layer to the skin should comprise wicking fabric, which will draw moisture or sweat away from the skin and keep you dry.

Depending on how hot it is, you may need to replace the outer jacket. In the summer season, when the temperatures are in the 40s Fahrenheit or above, a non-insulated coat, also known as a shell, may be the best choice. Shells give wind, snow, rain protection, but they aren’t insulated; therefore, they’re best for hot days.

You’ll need an insulated jacket on gloomy days with no sunlight to keep you warm and temps in single figures. You might wear a softshell if the environment is dry and somewhat warm. These don’t provide the same amount of rain and wind protection, though the softshell is lighter, more breathable, and softer.

Cross-country and backcountry skiers and snowboarders like softshell jackets. If you’re stuck inside an avalanche, some coats have a Recco reflector that could assist patrollers in discovering you. If someone skis off the groomed paths, it is not a substitute for an avalanche transceiver.

Ski and Snowboard Boots

You’ll need either ski or snowboard footwear. What lies beneath the boots is equally as essential. Spend a little more on your socks. A skier’s or rider’s best buddy is happy feet. Limiting circulation in the feet will be the last option you want, so keep it in mind when choosing the thickness of your socks. It’s heavenly to flex your toes in those ski boots.

Ski and Snowboard Googles

Even though it isn’t snowing, you’ll need to have a pair of goggles. If you snowboard without them, the eyes will get wet, making it hard to see where you’re heading. When riding or skiing, it’s a good idea to keep your eyes protected.

Sunglasses can be used in beautiful spring weather when you need to look your best, while goggles are recommended when it’s chilly or snowing. Depending on the situation, different colored goggles lenses serve different roles. On gloomy afternoons, the right goggle lens might help you see lumps in the snow better and minimize glare on bright sunny mornings.

Ski and Snowboard Pants

Just like the ski jacket, one’s ski pants should be waterproof. It helps cover the boots and prevent sweating. Everything which keeps the ice off the skin is a good thing.

With powder snow, integrated gaiters are useful, and when it comes to reducing perspiration, a zippered vent inside the inner thighs helps with that. The thighs length is also important when free-touring in the springtime or even during the ascent. 

Between snowboarding and ski trousers, there isn’t much of a difference. While ski trousers used to be a little tighter and thinner to reduce drag during racing, at resorts today, you’ll come across snowboarders and skiers wearing more comfy, looser pants. If you find yourself sitting a lot when strapping onto your snowboard, invest in a pair that has a higher waterproof seat rating.

For beneath the snow trousers, save the leggings, track pants, and some other absorbent fabric pants. Avoid wearing jeans since they aren’t composed of a flexible fabric. Combined with an extra layer of ice pants, they might make you rigid, making it difficult to twist and maneuver through the slopes.

Snowboarders should be aware that if their boots are particularly loose around their ankles, they may benefit from snowboard-specific jeans. Ski trousers’ gaiters; the elastic hems that go all around your boots can be a little tighter than the snowboard pants’; therefore, be sure the gaiter can stretch across the top of the footwear if it’s hefty.

Ski and Snowboard Gloves

It would help if you avoided wool or cotton gloves. A pair of impermeable gloves or mittens is your best bet, though choosing ski gloves might be difficult.

Thin gloves give you a strong grip on the poles but aren’t warm enough even in freezing weather. If you have cold hands, choose thick, waterproof mitts that aren’t too tight. It’s customary to wear the gloves underneath the jacket sleeves on groomed courses.

Freeriders, on the other hand, prefer longer hand protective gear having ski cuffs put over their coat sleeves. Furthermore, mittens paired with a thin inner layer offer the best shielding against cold weather; you will notice the difference immediately.

Look for a glove with a zipped pocket at the back of the hand when you ski on particularly cold days. The pocket is for a single-use hand warmer, and though you might be compelled to stuff it inside your glove, you must instead use that pocket. Because blood passes via veins at the back of the hand to the fingertips, keeping the blood warm keeps your fingers warm and agile.

Ski and Snowboard Neckwarmer

When you’re chilly, your body directs blood flow to essential organs such as the heart and brain to maintain a steady temperature of 37 degrees Celsius. A neck warmer, just a light one, will give you good extra protection against the wind and cold. You can also use it to conceal the lower half of your face.

Ski and Snowboard Helmet

Protect your extremities from the cold by wearing a helmet for snowsports. Your extremities, such as your hands, feet, and, more importantly, your head, are extremely susceptible to the cold. As a result, a hat is a must!

So, wear a beanie or, better yet, a ski helmet to keep your head warm! If you want to put on a helmet, be sure it allows you to breathe properly. Also, it should fit well with your preferred goggles.

Clothing Tips on Snowboarding and Skiing

Dress appropriately for the weather: Individuals in the Pacific Northwest, for example, may prefer fully waterproof protection and much less warmth than those in Rocky Mountain regions, where temperatures are colder and drier.

Comfort comes from layering the clothing: Dress in layers that may be removed as the day heats up and re-applied as the temperature drops.

Save money by repurposing something you already have: Current outdoor clothing may suffice in an emergency if you are on a budget; however, it’ll lack some of the factors identified on skiwear.

Invest whenever it makes perfect sense: If you purchased a season pass, it could make sense to spend a few additional cash on premium gear-no need to spend if you’re only going once in a while. First, renting equipment is a terrific method to save cash while determining what you’d like to invest in later.

The combination of synthetic and waterproof is a successful one: Waterproof jackets, mittens, gloves, and pants, as well as synthetic insulation, must be worn to guarantee that moist environments or even your sweating do not compromise warmth.

Take Away

It is not too soon to begin planning your ski outfit for the coming season! Practice what protective gear works well for you as long as you’ve got the two important themes in mind. And personalize your kit with your flair!

While you’re out there in the mountains, you should feel and look your best. Even while in the snowstorm, you’ll be ready to ski with such a smile thanks to this guide on what gear to wear when snowboarding or skiing! And if you like backcountry sport, read our article on planning your first time skiing or snowboarding.

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About the author 


Brad is a professional climber in the discipline of traditional climbing. He often jokes that he can get a book to read during the long climbs. Of course, it always goes well with a good cup of coffee. Drinking coffee is his safer hobby.

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