What Is Snowboard Clothing?

Anna B. Smith

Snowboard clothing is apparel that is designed to be worn while playing outdoor winter sports. Key elements include an outerwear jacket and pants, long underwear, vest, beanie cap, boots, and snow shades. The clothing protects the wearer from exposure to extreme temperatures and harsh surfaces, while also helping him to maintain his own body heat. These items may be purchased through Internet ordering, or at specialty sports apparel stores.

Snowboard clothing begins with a jacket and pants.
Snowboard clothing begins with a jacket and pants.

Snowboarding is a winter sport in which an individual straps his feet to a single flat board and uses it to travel downhill over snow. This sport is similar to skiing in that the board is designed to glide down the inclined planes of a mountain, but clothing requirements are different and are designed to work with the way snowboarders move. Clothing is designed around this sport both to be worn while outdoors as protective gear, and a separate line to be worn indoors as a form of visually identifying the athletes.

Thick socks can be included when snowboarding in extreme cold.
Thick socks can be included when snowboarding in extreme cold.

The foundational pieces of outdoor snowboard clothing generally include a jacket and pants. These items are typically made in layers to keep the wearer warm and protect him from exposure to the elements. The layer closest to the individual's body is often made from moisture-wicking fibers that move sweat away from the body to keep the athlete warm without overheating him or allowing him to become chilled from the condensation of his own perspiration. The second layer of material consists of polyester filling that traps air inside the clothing and uses the individual's own body heat to warm it. The outer layer is designed from waterproof fabric that prevents snow and ice from melting through the clothing.

Any type of clothing may be worn beneath the protective outer layers. Many snowboarders prefer to wear long underwear beside their skin to trap warmth and heat in throughout the day. This type of clothing is generally made of lightweight fabric that contains some elasticity. This allows the clothing to be both free moving and supportive to the muscles. It may also be antimicrobial, to prevent the accumulation of odors in the fabric, and moisture wicking, to move perspiration away from the body.

Boots designed specifically for this sport are an essential part of snowboard clothing. They are made to strap onto or lock directly into foot wells on a snowboard. The boots are durable, heavy weight, and lace up to the mid-calf of the wearer. They provide support to the ankles and lower legs while the athlete turns the board with his body, and protects these areas from injury.

Other signature pieces of snowboard clothing, which are frequently worn indoors as well, include vests, beanie caps, and snow shades. Vests are sleeveless garments designed to be worn over long sleeved shirts, and are often filled with down feathers to create loft inside the piece and provide warmth. Beanie caps are hats that fit snugly against the head and ears and help hold in body heat, are typically made from yarn, and often feature a ball shaped bonbon pinned to the very top. Snow shades are sunglasses that have been adapted for extreme outdoor environments. They are shaped to fit across the front and sides of the face for complete eye protection from sun glare off of snow, and are secured with an elastic band that fits around the back of the head.

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