Snowboarding through 210’s Lenses

Snowboarding through the lenses of a therapist, an artist, a musician, and a martial artist

Great quote

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.” -Mark Twain

Sairalyn’s Layering Guide

Since I tend to forget exactly how many layers I need on any given day of riding… here’s my digital reminder:

40° 30° 20° 10° -10° -20°
Thermal ••

What to Wear and How to Wear It

Here is gem #2:

(if you need a visual example, Click HERE)

Remember the “layering” concept. Three or four thin layers are better than one or two thick layers.

1ST LAYER (Moisture Wicking Base Layer)
Three items form your base layer: long underwear bottoms, a long-sleeve top and socks. All should be made out of a synthetic polyester or polypropylene material such as Capilene, Coolmax or Polartec. (Avoid cotton – it absorbs and retains water and will only serve to keep you chilly all day.) Pull socks on over the long underwear bottoms, avoiding any bunching around your ankles. Tuck in the long-sleeve top.

Thermal underwear can be pricey, but it “wicks” the moisture off your skin into the next layer, giving you comfort and freedom of movement. Cotton tee shirts may be comfortable to start with, but get damp & sticky as you perspire & hold the moisture next to your skin. Artificial fiber thermals have good wicking qualities & the material does not absorb perspiration. Ladies, tights are a cheap alternative and help retain heat, as a bottom base layer.


Women Men

Under Armour



Under Armour


You can find cheaper prices on fogdog, campmor, dogfunk, whiskey militia, and the like.

Ski/Snowboard are seamless. Choose socks which come up to your knees. Only wear one pair of socks in a boot. Walking/Hiking socks are not the best as they are constructed for a different set of foot movements, and may cause blistering inside a snowboard boot.

2ND LAYER (Insulating layer)
Add at least one layer of a synthetic fleece (or wool) insulating sweater. As the temperature and environment requires, add additional layers or a vest.

Once the day heats up, you can remove layers if needed. Again, avoid cotton.

This layer should also allow the perspiration to pass through from the base layer, whilst trapping air in the fibres, giving you an insulation layer between your base & outer layers. A wool shirt can equally be used as the second layer, but it should come up high enough on your neck to keep it warm. You can buy fleece neck warmers to cover this exposed area.


Women Men
Old Navy
Under Armour
Old Navy
Under Armour

This includes your wind and waterproof jacket and pants. Depending on your requirements and climate, you may need extra waterproofing or extra venting options.

Must be snow proof (i.e. snow easily brushes off it) & retain warmth if it gets wet. Should have a hood and plenty of pockets to put goggles, sun cream, money, tissues etc in. Waterproof / Breathable fabrics are preferable, as they provide greater protection from wind and rain, and, being breathable, are more comfortable to wear. Make sure you can still do your jacket up if you decide to wear two separate insulating layers (e.g. a fleece), for very cold conditions.

Good pants will have an inner cuff that fits snugly over the top of each boot, keeping out the cold and snow.

Should be a comfortable fit, neither too tight, nor too baggy. Allow an extra 2-3 inches in the leg, as the trouser leg has to fit over a ski/board boot. Snowboarders need reinforcement in the seat area of the pant , as they spend a lot of time sitting down.


Always wear a hat (or helmet) because much of your body’s heat escapes through your head. It should be carried in the mountains at all times.

Up to 40% of heat is lost through the head. It is vital that your hat retains warmth, if it gets wet. Snow sticks to wool. Fleece is better. Both retain warmth when wet. The hat should be capable of being pulled down over your ears in extreme conditions, as they are prone to frostbite.

For a funky spin on your average hat, try

Also wear goggles (see Before You Buy Snowboarding Goggles) to protect your eyes from wind and sun.

When you look through the lens, the pink/brown/orange/yellow tints are best for flat light conditions. Green and gray tints may look cool, but are not as effective in low or ”flat” light conditions.

Must provide 100% Ultra Violet (UV) protection. Always look for the “UV400” symbol. They should fit reasonably snugly so they don’t fall off whilst riding. Polycarbonate lenses don’t shatter like glass and are therefore safer. A simple glass chord will secure sunglasses to your head, and stop you loosing them in the snow, or a restaurant.

Goggles Absolutely MUST be Worn When:

  • it’s raining or snowing
  • when you must wear your normal glasses/contact lenses to be able to see
  • if your eyes water a lot in cold conditions.

Goggles come in two sorts, single lens and double lens. The latter are more expensive, but don’t mist up as easily. Goggles should provide 100% UV protection. If you have to wear prescription glasses, look for OTG (“Over The Glasses”) goggles, which will allow you to wear your normal glasses under this type of goggle. Goggles are flexible and less breakable than sunglasses.

In very cold conditions, use a neck gator — a fleece tube that you can wear around your face and neck to keep off the frost.

Lastly, add gloves or mittens (mittens are warmer than gloves) that tuck under or over your jacket cuff tightly to keep out snow. Gloves should be fitted up over the cuffs of your jacket, and you don’t want a gap between the glove and the sleeve. Thinsulate gloves are warm and inexpensive and more importantly can be put on a radiator to dry at night, if they get wet. Waterproof / breathable gloves are more expensive, but more comfortable. Snowboarders need extra strong reinforcement in the palms and fingers. Keep your fingernails short.

Sun reflects off the snow, hitting you with twice the sun exposure. I’ve seen many a blistered face from people unaware of this mountain fact. Ouch! If the sun is out at all, wear sunscreen.

Remember that on snow and at altitude, you are receiving high radiation from the sun, even on cloudy days. Use a high protection factor cream, typically Factor 20-25, or higher if you burn easily. Make sure the cream hasn’t passed its sell-by date. A combination lip/suncream is useful, and comes in one convenient tube. Lips crack easily in the dry, cold conditions found in mountain resorts. Girls, ordinary lip stick will work just as well, but we don’t suggest you guys wear it !


  • Pack of tissues for blowing noses and cleaning glasses/goggles
  • Money – Enough to buy some food or a drink on the mountain, in case you suddenly feel tired, cold or thirsty.
  • Always carry a piste map which costs nothing and you are normally given when you get your lift pass. If you lose one, get another from the main lift office or tourist office. Don’t go on the mountain without it.