How much does snowboarding cost? It may surprise you…

So now you’re thinking you’d like to give snowboarding a try. You’ve watched it on TV, read about it in magazines, and heck, your friends have even asked you to join them before, but you’ve yet to take the plunge.

Maybe one of your first questions if you are anything like me is, “How much does snowboarding cost?” We’ll break it all down here ranging from buying all the gear compared to renting, how much lift tickets or yearly passes are, and ways to make it more affordable for you.

Renting gear

If you don’t own your own snowboarding gear and you think you’ll only go a couple times a year, it may be more cost effective for you to just rent the gear every time you go. If you end up going the rental route, you have a few options for doing so.

  1. Borrow gear from a friend. This is the cheapest option as typically it is free (if they’re a good friend:)
  2. Rent gear from a local sports shop. Typically, this will cost you less than or around $50 a day and it includes boots and helmet rental with it.
  3. Rent gear from a store right on the mountain. Expect this cost to be a little higher for the convenience of getting your gear right at the base of the mountain. You’ll pay anywhere from $50 to $75 for one day.
  4. If you are active military with access to a base, they may have rentals of outdoor gear which could include snowboard rentals if that base is located near a mountain with ski resorts on it. These costs can be under $40 a day for board, boots, and helmet and that’s for the best gear they have.

Buying gear

Once I try snowboarding and are able to stand up on your board, make successful turns, and get to the bottom without bruising your tailbone or wrist bones, I think most people love it. If that is the case, you will most likely want to consider purchasing all the gear to get you down the mountain that you can call your own and use every season until it breaks.

If you are first starting out, this guys humble opinion would be for you to get a package deal for snowboard, boots, and bindings. You can buy them separately, but it might cost more. But I will break down both types of options below.

Now this depends on where you go to get the gear and how nice you want to go. So I will go over info from the-house.com. I will go with a good starter board boots and bindings as well. Obviously the nicer gear you get, the more expensive it will be.

Non package deal

 

Total cost is $510

Package Deal

 

You can get a package deal including a Chamonix board and bindings for $300. Add boots for another $100ish and you are all set to go for around $400! Can’t beat that.

Do your due diligence on this though. You’ll probably get better gear going non package unless you spend a bunch of money for a really nice package of one of the top brands.

Accessory costs

When you snowboard, you can’t just go out in the winter cold in your jeans and a t-shirt. There are other accessories that you will need. Approximate costs for each are below. (Again, depending on brand and style, these costs can be higher or lower based on your preference)

I’m going very middle of the road here and again from the-house.com where they run a lot of sales.

I will link each item to Amazon where you can buy them as well, just know pricing might be a bit different.

Total costs for accessories listed here – $395

On the cheap

There are some sites that you can buy gear for on the cheap. I wrote an article on this very topic just last week. You can find it by going, here.

For the cliff notes version, some of those sites include:

  • Going on Craigslist.com and finding used gear
  • Steapandcheap.com
  • Rei.com.com/rei-garage
  • The-house.com
  • Backcountry.com
  • Theclymb.com
  • Geartrade.com

Also just like with the rentals, if you are military and you have access to a base with a rentals and gear, you can sometimes purchase gear from there for cheap.

Check out these sites for crazy deals on any of the gear you need for your snowboarding adventures.

Lift passes

Another cost you have to consider when thinking of snowboarding is how much it will cost you to get on to the mountain and be able to partake in the wonderful service of riding a lift back up the mountain after you have ridden down.

Now where you are riding in the country or world will dictate your costs, but I will use general numbers for some resorts around the USA that you can gauge how much it will impact your wallet.

For day trips, plan on spending anywhere from $50-$190 or more on lift tickets. Again depending on where you are in the country, that number might be different. I am originally from MN and I could ride my local “hill” for between $30-$50, but that was really a hill…not a mountain.

For an average, plan on paying around $100 for a full day pass. There are also a lot of places that have options for half day, full day, or even just night passes.

A couple places to find deals on lift tickets are:

  • Warehouse stores like Costco will sometimes have ski deals if they are located in ski/snowboard country.
  • Liftopia.com has deals on tickets.
  • Sometimes there will be other local deals at gas stations, local sports shops that you can check out as well.

Lastly, resorts have figured out that most people won’t be able to ride more than once or twice a year at these prices, so they have offered season passes.

In Colorado where I live, you can get the Vail resorts pass for a bunch of different resorts for around $800 a year. And the Ikon pass for most of the other resorts for $750. Big up front costs, but they typically will pay for themselves after going just 4 or 5 times. Totally worth it!

And those prices don’t account for any junior, military, or school discounts you can get. My brother is in school now and he got that same Ikon pass for $550. I paid $750…wah wah.

Overall costs

overall, let’s do some math. Say you buy the non package snowboard gear and accessories I have listed above. These are above decent brands and styles that will get you where you want to go on the hill for years and years of fun riding.

 

$510 + $395 = $905 for all the gear you need. Let’s also say that you get one of the season passes (can pay for itself even on a long vacation if you don’t live in the area) for $800.

That means that you can get a ton of time logged on the mountains in your own gear for less than $2000. And hopefully you will not be spending money on the initial gear every year. You shouldn’t be anyway.

And like I have said, you can always find deals on gear at the sites I listed, at garage or yard sales, or by waiting til the end of the season and picking up sale items. Either way, budget for your gear expenses and you will learn smart ways to save money on gear as you go!

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. Otherwise I will see you on the mountain!

 

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