So, you’ve decided to hit the slopes and try snowboarding for the first time. It can be difficult to plan, and you have no idea about the cost for snowboarding. Lucky for you, we’re here to help. And so how much does snowboarding cost? Here’s a guide to get you started.
Do I need special snowboard clothing?
For someone just starting out, you can probably get away with the basics. For your first time, you can just focus on staying dry, feeling comfortable, and keeping warm. It all starts out with a base layer—and this could be something you already have in your closet. Long johns and a long-sleeved t-shirt work great. Just find something that will keep you dry. Even better, choose something designed to transfer water or sweat away from your skin.
Now, think about what critical items you need to get for your trip. You’ll need a jacket, pants, gloves, goggles, and a facemask. Fortunately, some things can be rented for your trip.
- Some companies provide the option of renting a whole kit that includes pants, jacket, gloves, and goggles. You can order online and then return by mail. If you want to try different brands or are flying somewhere and don’t want the extra luggage, this could work for you. However, it’s a pretty pricey option with three-day rentals totaling around $130 to $200.
- If there are a lot of sports shops close to where you’re snowboarding, you might be able to find one that offers rentals for cheaper. Close to one of Colorado’s top ski resorts, Breckenridge, you can find daily jacket and pants rentals from about $25 a day.
Snowboard clothing costs
Okay, now let’s get to the snowboard clothing you might have to buy before you hit the snow.
- You’ll want a nice warm snowboarding jacket—something insulated and waterproof. A new jacket could cost as low as $50 but most that you’ll find will be around $200.
- Good quality gloves will be in the $75 to $125 price range.
- Good pants that will last several seasons are typically in the $100 to $300 range.
- You can get a pair of goggles for anywhere from $10 to $300.
- Lastly, don’t forget about a warm hat and facemask! Fortunately, you can get these for about $20 each.
What do I need for snowboarding?
You’ve got all your clothes. Now you just need equipment before you’re ready to go. You’ll need a snowboard (obviously!), bindings, boots, and a helmet.
Renting equipment for beginners
You can get a beginner rental package for around $40 a day. This will include boots, bindings, and the board. A helmet is normally extra, but they’re typically less than $10 a day.
Depending on what US resort you’re heading to, prices will vary slightly. At the popular resorts in Vail, Telluride, and Breckenridge, you’re looking at about $60 to $80 to rent the board, boots, and a helmet for one day. At smaller, less popular resorts, those prices are a little cheaper—around $40 to $50 a day.
How Much to Spend on Snowboard Gear?
There’s a range of snowboards suitable for beginners. First of all, how much do snowboards cost just by themselves? To get something from some of the biggest names, the cost of a snowboard will be anywhere from $200 to $400. If you take some time to do your research you can get last-season or closeout boards from brands like Rossignol, Capita, or Burton for less than $200.
Then you’ll need boots. While you could find a solid discount pair for around $50 to $60, something with great reviews will be in the $200 $300 range. Don’t forget about bindings! Those will set you back about $150. Now you just need to top everything off with a helmet. Be prepared to spend about $150 on this, too.
If you’re ready to invest in decent snowboarding equipment that will last years, you’ll probably be spending at least $700 to get a new snowboard with bindings, boots, and a helmet.
Should I rent or buy?
Deciding between renting and buying is ultimately up to you. It depends on your commitment to the sport and how many times you’ll realistically get to go. If you’ll only go once this season, renting would be best. But if you’re snowboarding regularly over consecutive seasons, it will end up being a lot more economical to buy and reduce your overall cost of snowboarding.
If you’re renting from one of the top Colorado resorts we talked about earlier, and spending $70 a day, you would only have to go 10 times to spend what you would if you buy all the equipment! If you’re going on more than two long-weekend trips, it is probably better to purchase equipment.
Buying equipment is an investment. It’s a commitment to continue learning how to snowboard and take time out of your busy schedule to go to your local resort. Another pro of buying equipment is the consistency that comes with using the same board every time you hit the slopes. If you rent, you risk using a different board each time—which requires an adjustment. Plus, there’s no better motivation to keep practicing than a reminder of the money you spent on equipment!
If spending around $700 on equipment is totally out of the question, you still have some options when it comes to getting snowboarding equipment. Buying used may be the best way to go—you can get top-quality equipment for prices that are around 40% to 80% cheaper.
One thing to consider with used gear is that there might not be too much life left in the snowboard. You might be surprised to know that a snowboard only lasts about 100 days on the slopes. Some people go through a few snowboards every year, while others can use the same snowboard for several years. If you’re buying used, look out for cracks or anything more than just general wear and tear—if it’s too damaged it might not be worth buying.
Ski lift tickets
One day of snowboarding will cost you around $35 to $150, depending on where you’re headed. One Saturday at a resort in Lake Tahoe, for instance, would total more than $140! But, if you’re headed to a smaller resort, you can get a ski lift ticket for around $36.
Half-day tickets or night tickets
If you’re flexible with when you’re snowboarding, you can save some extra money. Some resorts offer night lift tickets from as little as $12. Other resorts like Keystone give you a free night lift ticket when you book lodging.
If it’s a half-day you’re after, you probably won’t be able to find tickets for as cheap as $12, but you will shed about 25% off your ticket price. Most partial day tickets are about $20 to $70.
If you end up snowboarding more than a couple of times during the season, a season pass is the way to go. Depending on where you live, you can get one for as little as $300. Most likely you should be prepared to spend around $500—especially if you live near some of the best snowboarding destinations in Utah, California, Colorado.
As a beginner, you may want to see how you do before investing in a season pass. It might be better to wait to purchase a season pass until your second year of snowboarding. Once you’re a pro, a multi-resort season pass could be for you—some give you access to more than 40 resorts all around the world. These are well over $1000 though.
Lift + rental packages
This is what you should look into for your very first time. You’ll get the best value for your money, you won’t have to spend hours trying to find the perfect snowboard to buy, and you might even have a group lesson included in the lift + rental package.
Even some of the best resorts offer affordable packages. Trying out snowboarding in the Lake Tahoe region would cost you about $140 and this includes an equipment rental, day lift pass, and a lesson. If you don’t feel the need to travel, check out the resorts close by. You’ll most likely be able to find packages around $70 that will give you what you need to learn snowboarding.
Deals + programs
Keep a lookout for snowboarding specials. Sign up to mailing lists to be aware of specials before the season starts. Deals typically sell out before winter so try to get in early if you’re interested. A lot of resorts will offer cheaper lift tickets during non-peak times. Beginner packages are also typically cheaper, and most resorts offer them. If you’re a college student, look for specials offered by your college or “student nights” at your local resort.
To really get going as a beginner, lessons are recommended. Fortunately, these are often included when you purchase a lift + rental package. If they’re not, you can look into group lessons or one-on-one lessons.
Group lessons are generally cheaper and what is typically included in a beginner package. If you’re buying separately, you’ll spend between $20 and $40. Private lessons vary significantly between resorts. Be expected to spend anywhere from $60 to more than $400 for one day of one-on-one lessons.
Conclusion: how much does It Cost to Get Into snowboarding?
What is the bare minimum to get me started?
If you want to get on the slopes for as cheaply as possible, don’t buy new clothes. Wear your warmest, driest clothes and borrow pants and a jacket from friends. Thrift stores are a great place to find used snowboarding clothes for as little as a couple of bucks. Without spending on clothes, you’ll just have to fork over enough for the rental + lift package, so you can easily have a day in the snow at peak time for under $130.
Once you’ve decided to commit
When you know that snowboarding’s right for you, you’ll want to invest in new clothing, equipment, and a season pass. Clothing will end up costing about $570, equipment will be an additional $700, and your season pass will most likely be around $500. As long as you aren’t headed to some of the best and most expensive resorts the US has to offer, you can expect to spend a total of $1770 for your first season.
How to reduce your Snowboarding Costs
We get it, that’s a pretty scary price tag. There are several ways you can keep snowboarding costs down though.
- Always be on the lookout for special online deals at your local resorts. You can look for resorts that have specials or plan a trip during the off-peak period.
- You can also look for used clothes and equipment instead of buying new.
- Do your shopping after the winter season is over—you’ll find gear at prices 50% to 80% cheaper.
- If you’re a beginner, it’s alright to start out with cheaper gear and upgrade as you get more invested in snowboarding.
- If you have friends who snowboard, have them show you the ropes at local parks and give you some one-on-one tips before you head to the resort.
Snowboarding can be an expensive hobby. You have to invest in clothes and equipment and then buy a ski lift pass for your favorite resort—you could be spending close to $1770 for your first season. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to save money. We hope you keep this guide in mind as you plan your first snowboarding trip.
If you’re a skier, make sure to check out our article on the things you’ll need to go skiing.