When winter hits and the snow starts to fall, it’s time to break out the snowboard and hit the slopes.
However, as any snowboarder will tell you, this hobby doesn’t come cheap.
If you’re looking to try snowboarding for the first time, then you can expect to pay a high price for it.
By buying high-quality equipment and snowboarding at some of the best resorts in the country, you can expect to pay around $1,700 just to get started.
It may surprise you how expensive snowboarding actually is.
Here are 10 reasons snowboarding is so expensive.
Why Is Snowboarding So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
1. Snowboard Jacket
One of the first pieces of snowboarding equipment that you’re going to need to buy is a snowboarding jacket.
This is a jacket specifically designed for snowboarding.
It’s light enough to let you twist and move agilely on the slopes but still thick enough to offer protection from the elements.
The cheapest jackets tend to run for around $75, but the high-quality ones can reach around $200 if not more.
The reason snowboard jackets are so expensive is that they use certain materials to make them ideal for winter conditions.
For example, waterproofing is one of the most important elements of a snowboard jacket.
If your jacket doesn’t repel water, then you can expect to go home early.
Getting wet while in freezing conditions is not safe.
Discomfort is the least of your concerns.
If left exposed, you can develop frostbite.
Becoming wet is inevitable with snowboarding.
Whether it’s falling, kicking up some snow while you board, or having someone kick some snow onto you, it’s only a matter of time before you’re left wet.
If you don’t have a waterproof jacket, then it’s going to soak right down to your skin.
Another important feature of snowboarding jackets is their breathability.
Snowboarding requires a certain level of fitness.
While you’ll mostly be working on your balance, your legs are also going to receive a workout.
You’ll have to climb up and down snowy slopes and use your balance and strength to steer the board.
That means you’ll be generating a lot of heat and sweat.
A high-quality snowboarding jacket will also have breathability.
This means it can slick away sweat instead of letting it stick to your skin.
By removing sweat, you can actually help better insulate your body.
That’s because your sweat can freeze and cause hypothermia.
All these elements of a jacket cost money to make.
The better quality they are, the more expensive the materials.
As a result, the price of the jacket increases.
Snowboarding is expensive because snowboarding jackets are expensive.
Another aspect that makes snowboarding expensive is gloves.
Not just any pair of gloves will do when planning to snowboard.
Unlike skiing, you’re going to be using your gloves a few times to push yourself off of the ground or help steer yourself down a slope.
Because they see a lot of wear and tear, buying low-quality gloves isn’t going to cut it.
Gloves tend to cost anywhere from $75 to $125 depending on the brand and material.
One of the reasons gloves can be so expensive is if they use leather or not.
There are two main types of materials used in the manufacture of snowboard gloves.
The cheapest uses synthetic materials like nylon, Teflon, and polyurethane.
The most expensive use leather.
Both are effective at keeping the water out of gloves and providing some protection to the hand, but leather does a bit better of a job.
That’s because leather is extremely dense.
Manufacturers mix leather with a microporous membrane to make leather gloves windproof and waterproof.
They’re also significantly warmer than synthetic gloves because they’re better insulators.
Leather doesn’t come cheap, however, since it comes from some sort of animal’s hide.
The better quality of leather used in the making of the glove, the higher the price.
One of the best brands for snowboard gloves is GORE-TEX.
They use the best materials to make a glove that is resistant to wind and water.
It also helps prevent injuries by reducing physical trauma caused by scraping.
The type of insulator used in the glove can also impact its price.
The most expensive type of insulator is Down.
This is a type of animal by-product made of feathers and other materials.
It’s easily the best insulation and keeps your hands warm for a long time.
One disadvantage, however, is that they are subject to becoming wet and can take a while to dry as a result.
Primaloft is another option as an insulator.
It uses synthetic materials to preserve your body’s heat.
Unlike down, it can become wet without any problems.
The type of materials that the glove uses can greatly impact its price.
Most snowboarders tend to go with the more expensive option to ensure their hands receive plenty of protection.
Snowboarding is expensive because snowboarding gloves are expensive.
3. Snowboarding Pants
The type of pants that you buy for snowboarding is important.
You can expect to fall a few times even if you’re an expert.
You can also expect some parts of the pants to make contact with the wet ground at all times.
Because of this, the quality and materials used in the pants are vital.
Unfortunately, it also makes snowboarding more expensive.
Pants typically run anywhere from $100 to $300.
There are tons of different styles when it comes to snowboarding pants.
Some have extra features designed to make snowboarding safer and more comfortable.
Obviously, you can expect to pay more for those extra features.
All snow pants have waterproofing and breathability to certain degrees.
Brands like GORE-TEX and eVent tend to offer the best quality versions of them.
However, there are also other additional features that can make snowboarding more enjoyable.
One style, called a bib, is one of those.
A bib-style pair of snow pants has straps that connect the pants and run over your shoulders.
They’re basically like overalls for the snow.
These types of snow pants are ideal since they ensure your pants won’t fall down while you’re snowboarding.
However, that also means they’re more difficult to remove when you need to take a bathroom break.
A few pants use drop-pant technology or zip flies to help with this particular problem.
Another feature to consider in snow pants is gators.
Some pants build them in to ensure they last a long time.
Gators help your pants slip over your boots to prevent snow from getting inside of them.
Finally, some pants have connections that you can use to connect them to your jacket.
The more features that the snow pants have, the more expensive they’re going to be.
They might also be expensive based on the materials that they use.
Snow pants that have better waterproof ratings and breathability, for example, tend to run on the higher end of the price range.
Snowboarding is expensive because snow pants are expensive.
You can’t go snowboarding without goggles.
While you technically can, you’re going to quickly realize your mistake.
There are several reasons you should wear goggles when snowboarding.
The most important is that they reduce the glare of the sun on the snow.
Snow blindness is a real problem that skiers and snowboarders face while on the slopes.
Because snow is basically a form of water, it reflects sunlight.
Since it’s already a white and bright color, the reflection of the sun can burn your eyes.
Goggles usually have some level of glare protection which makes it safe to look at the snow.
They can also protect your eyes.
Whether it’s because you fall or you have someone in front of you, you can likely expect to eat some snow at some point.
Wearing goggles can ensure you protect your eyes and remain able to see your surroundings.
Goggles can be as cheap as $10 or as expensive as $300.
There are tons of different goggle types and styles.
Two main lens types are cylindrical and spherical.
Cylindrical lenses are the cheapest option.
While they do offer some protection from sun glare, they’re not as effective as spherical lenses.
They also distort your peripheral vision.
Spherical lenses, however, wrap around your face.
They allow you to see through your peripheral vision which can also aid in supporting your depth of field vision.
They’re also better at reducing sun glare on the snow.
Ventilation is also important in snow goggles.
As you generate heat, your face becomes hot as well.
This can create condensation within your goggles if they’re not vented.
Since the condensation and fog occur within your glasses, you have to keep removing them to clear them.
That isn’t ideal when you’re heading down the slope.
That’s why some goggles use vents.
The more sophisticated the vents, the more expensive the goggles are going to be.
Some goggles use different lens types for coloring, too.
For example, clear lenses are ideal for snowboarding at night.
Others may offer better color clarity.
The better the lens is at filtering light and colors, the more expensive it’s going to be.
Finally, there are also advanced goggles that use technology to give you a heads-up display.
The technology can read certain conditions to you, give you a weather report, or even help you map out the geography in front of you.
These types of goggles are obviously going to be incredibly expensive.
Snowboarding is expensive because goggles can sometimes be highly expensive.
One of the biggest expenses of snowboarding is the snowboard.
Between buying the snowboard and the bindings for it, you can expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $700.
Some boards alone are $700 if you want an extremely durable and branded board.
Snowboard companies from famous snowboarders, for example, tend to run on the expensive side because of their association with the snowboarder.
The type of snowboard you choose also determines how expensive it’s going to be.
Freeriding boards tend to be a bit longer because they offer better stability.
Since they’re longer, they use more materials in their manufacture.
The other type of board is mainly used for freestyle.
These boards are shorter and use a certain design to promote better agility to perform tricks.
Besides the type of snowboard, you also need to make sure that you’re choosing a board that supports your height and weight.
The traditional method of measuring yourself for a board is to set it up and see if it reaches your chin.
If it does, then you have found a decent board for your size.
From there, you can either go a bit longer or a bit shorter depending on the type of snowboarding you want to do.
You can also find a unique type of snowboard called a split board.
This board actually splits into two halves to allow you to use it like skis.
They’re ideal for those who do backcountry trekking.
Once you reach the top of a slope, you can connect the two again and ride down the slope like a snowboard.
Along with choosing the type of snowboard, you also need to decide on the bindings.
These will help ensure that the snowboard connects with your boots.
Low-quality bindings can break with enough force or pressure.
High-quality bindings can last for years.
The expense of the board and bindings can easily make up one of the highest costs of snowboarding.
It’s easy to dump a lot of cash into this element of snowboarding alone.
Snowboarding is expensive because snowboards are expensive.
Along with your snowboard, boots are another important feature of snowboarding and add to its expense.
New boots can run anywhere from $200 to $300, but it is possible to find discounts or secondhand boots that cost around $50 to $160.
Choosing your boots is important because it connects your feet to the board.
If you choose the wrong type of boots, then snowboarding can be difficult.
For example, if you know that you want to do a lot of tricks on the slopes, then buying stiff flex boots probably isn’t the best idea.
While these boots can give you great control over the board, if you land the wrong way, then the stiff nature of the boots can cause you serious injury.
They’re best suited for freeriding.
Laces are another important aspect of boots.
Certain materials can start to deteriorate when exposed to too much moisture.
Others are stiff and synthetic enough to last for years.
The size of the boot also impacts its price.
If you need larger boots, then you can expect to pay a higher price.
That’s because larger boots need more materials.
Snowboarding is expensive because their boots are expensive.
7. Custom Art
While the shape and design of the snowboard are important, the art of the snowboard is just as important to any serious snowboarder.
Graphical artwork on snowboards is not unlike skateboards or tattoos.
They represent something unique and personal to each snowboarder.
That’s why many veterans end up getting custom art put on their snowboards.
Some may just want to make their boards unique while others may seek a personal connection to their board.
Whatever the reason, if you intend to use custom art on your board, then you can expect it to be expensive.
The cost largely depends on the artist and the company that you use to make your custom board.
A veteran artist who has done famous artworks in the past is likely going to be more expensive than one who is just cutting their teeth in the business.
It’s also cheaper if you use your own artwork.
However, adding custom artwork to your board can be as little as $65 to as much as several thousand dollars.
Snowboarding is expensive if you decide to use custom artwork on your board.
8. Ski Resort Expenses
Once you have all your equipment, you’re ready to head to a ski resort.
It’s here where another high cost of snowboarding rears its ugly head.
The ski resort you go to can make snowboarding extremely expensive or cheap.
Famous resorts in places like Aspen or Lake Tahoe charge an extremely high price for one-day tickets.
For example, you can expect to pay around $140 for a one-day ticket at Lake Tahoe.
However, if you choose to go to a less-famous ski resort, then you can expect prices around $35 to $60 for one-day tickets.
Ski resorts can be expensive because they often offer other services and luxury amenities.
Big-time resorts like those in Aspen not only offer a chance to brush shoulders with celebrities, but you’re also treated to several luxurious amenities like spas and great food.
Smaller resorts may only have a lodge where you can change clothes and buy some food.
The more expensive the resort, the more services they tend to offer.
For beginners, it’s worth starting at cheaper resorts to see if you even enjoy snowboarding before taking on a greater expense by going to a famous ski resort.
Snowboarding is expensive because some ski resorts are expensive.
9. Seasonal Passes
There are various seasonal passes that you can find for snowboarding.
Some are resort-specific.
Depending on the resort, they can be as cheap as $300 or as expensive as $500.
The benefit of a season pass is that you can snowboard as much as you like.
This is ideal for individuals who spend a lot of time snowboarding.
However, for someone who only likes to snowboard on occasion, the expense may not be worth it.
Professionals or enthusiasts can spend even more money on seasonal passes by choosing a multi-resort seasonal pass.
This is when a few resorts work together to give their clients a discount.
However, they’re often as expensive as $1,000.
Depending on where you’re located and the ski resorts in your area, seasonal passes can be extremely expensive.
Snowboarding is expensive because seasonal passes can sometimes be very expensive.
10. Maintenance Costs
A final reason snowboarding is so expensive is the cost of maintaining your snowboarding equipment.
There are several things you need to do to ensure your snowboard and the rest of your gear last for some time.
Your board, for example, needs regular waxing when it isn’t in use to stay healthy.
You also need to store it in a dry area.
Over time, the edges of the board can also become dull.
You’ll need to sharpen it yourself with a whetstone or bring it to a professional.
A dull board cuts through the snow less easily.
This can impact your performance.
You’ll also need to make sure the rest of your gear receives maintenance.
That means drying it correctly, waxing any leather parts, and repairing any cut or broken areas.
The price of maintenance varies, but it can go a long way to preserving your gear.
Snowboarding is expensive because the gear to do so is expensive.
However, the cost of certain resorts and maintenance also add to that price.
For beginners, it’s worth renting equipment to see if you enjoy snowboarding before making a large investment.