You may think fun comes first when you head out on a snowboarding adventure, but safety must always trump fun. If you do not protect yourself from the dangers out on the slopes, the fun can end in an instant. There are serious injuries at ski resorts and terrain parks every year, and there are some deaths from time to time as well. Wearing a proper snowboarding helmet will protect you in case you are next to wipe out in a major way.
When you go into a ski resort and head down the slopes, they have already protected themselves to make sure they are not legally liable if something happens to you. Most will not require you to wear a snowboarding helmet, but you should do so voluntarily to protect your own body.
There are some advanced level trails and terrain parks that are now requiring snowboarding helmets, but beginner trails are typically unaffected by those rules. Many injuries that result in permanent damage or death involve snowboarders with unprotected heads, so it is a good idea to wear one anyway.
There are three common reasons snowboarders do not wear helmets on the trails or in the parks:
1. They enjoy the sense of danger and risk as they race through the biting winds.
2. They feel their motion and ability to maneuver turns and tricks is hampered by the weight of a helmet.
3. They are worried about looking stupid or being laughed at by others on the slopes.
For starters, no one is going to laugh at a helmet on the trails. They are becoming more popular as the dangers of snowboarding circulate. Even more advanced riders are now seen on the slopes in their snowboarding helmets. Safety must always trump fashion.
If you are hitting the slopes with children, then it is essential to buy helmets for everyone. You want to set a good example and role model safety from the very first time they step foot on the trails. Even if you are sticking to the bunny trails, it is important that the entire family stay protected from injury.
Snowboarding helmets are designed with extra padding, but you have to make sure it fits securely to your head. If it is too loose, it can fly off while you are snowboarding and become a risk to your safety. You also have to make sure the fit does not interfere with your peripheral vision. You need that vision to sense when you are coming up on others out on the trails.
The dates for your snowboard trip are all set. You have friends or family on board for the adventure and your place is reserved at the resort or lodge. All you have to worry about now is making sure you have all the equipment needed to hit the slopes. There are some advantages when you rent snowboard equipment, rather than outright buying it.
The biggest advantage is being able to try out specific equipment before putting your money on the line. If you do not like something, you are not stuck with it. If you do like something, you can purchase it.
Renting snowboard equipment is also very convenient if you are on a tight budget for this trip or you are suiting up children who will quickly outgrow the equipment. If you are traveling by airplane, you may choose to rent so you do not have to haul heavy, bulky equipment through the airport and onto the plane. If you are driving and there is limited room in the vehicle, then renting will once again be the best option.
Snowboard Equipment Reservations
There is nothing more frustrating than arriving at your snowboard destination and realizing they do not have equipment in your size readily on hand. This often happens to those who do not think to reserve their equipment ahead of time. It is more common during peak season, but can happen anytime for snowboarding. Many gear shops simply do not have enough snowboarding equipment to keep up with the growing demand.
Where to Rent Snowboard Equipment
Depending on where you are snowboarding, you will rent snowboard equipment from a rental shop at the facility or from shops in nearby communities. Some resorts are isolated from towns and communities, so you have no option but to rent from the resort. Other resorts are located near active communities with a variety of shops to rent from nearby. The advantage to renting on-site is you won’t have to go far to return the equipment, but the best prices are typically found at community-based rental shops.
How to Rent Snowboard Equipment
Try to rent your equipment the day before you plan to hit the slopes. This ensures you have plenty of time to find equipment perfectly fitted to your body. If you want to hit the slopes the same day you arrive, give yourself at least an hour to find the right gear and get suited up properly. This should give you time to find alternative rental shops if the first option doesn’t have what you need.
You will need four pieces of information for everyone renting snowboard equipment:
- Shoe Size
- Skill Level
You may lie about weight on your driver’s license, but lying in the rental shop could put your life in danger. The equipment you rent will depend largely on your weight, so be honest. If you have large feet, call ahead of time to make sure the rental shops available have larger sized boots. If they do not carry your size, then you will have to go online and order larger boots for yourself. If you ask the shop what type of equipment they use, you should be able to buy boots that comfortably fit their equipment. Otherwise, you will end up purchasing all of your equipment.
When given the option of purchasing insurance on your rented equipment, always say yes. It is an extra expense, but in the event something happens to your equipment you will not be financially responsible. In most cases, this insurance will only add five dollars or less to your rental cost. If something breaks you could spend hundreds of dollars making it right, so it is well worth that extra few bucks for insurance.
Snow is soft and easy to move through, but remember what is underneath that soft snow. You have hard ice, rocks, branches and other things that can damage snowboarding equipment. When moving over a thin layer of snow, you do have a chance of hitting these things and causing damage.
Now that you know what you need to do to rent snowboard equipment, it is time to enjoy your trip to the slopes!
If you were heading out for a backpacking trip in the middle of summer, you would naturally worry about hydration. When heading out to the slopes for a ski trip, you have to pay just as much attention to hydration. The following tips will ensure your trip is fund and eventful without a case of dehydration.
Skiing is hard work! Even though you are surrounded by icy cold snow, your body is warmly dressed in layers and will naturally sweat during the action. This means you are at just as much risk of dehydration as you would be on that backpacking trip in summer. In order to prevent dehydration, you have to start drinking water before you hit the slopes and before you actually feel thirsty.
Bring at least a couple quarts of water with you on the slopes and take a drink off and on throughout the excitement. Stay away from coke and juice, since they tend to make you feel even more thirsty, rather than relieving your thirst.
Fill Your Pack
Are you wondering how you will haul quarts of water along on your skis? It all comes down to your backpack. A couple quart-sized containers is adequate for an afternoon out on the slopes, given you will take up to three drinks every hour. You should also store a change of clothing and other items just in case they are needed. If you worry about the weight of the water, consider a camel pack.
The Camel Pack
A camel pack is a vest with a tube designed to work much like a straw. Water is stored inside the vest around your body and it clips shut in the front of your body. When you need water, you simply use the small tube coming from the pack. These packs can hold up to three quarts of water, but the weight is easier to handle when distributed around your body.
The tubes from a camel pack can freeze up on very cold days, so make sure to tuck them down into your jacket. More advanced packs will include technology to stop the tubes from freezing.
Camel packs do require a financial investment, but if you use them when performing other sports as well, they are more than worth the money. You will also save some money by not purchasing a lot of bottled water while out on the slopes.