Hints from a Life-long Snowboarder
by G. Kunkel
While snowboard gear and lift tickets may be expensive, everything else for the boarder in your life doesn’t have to be. If you have to buy holiday gifts for snowboarders this season, here are some inexpensive items they’ll really appreciate receiving. No need to be left guessing anymore about gifts for snowboarders on your Christmas list.
A Custom or Semi-Custom Beanie
Snowboarders are all about fashion and making a statement on budget-friendly prices. What better way than with a unique beanie. You can choose the colors and the yarn for a completely custom beanie. Choose synthetic yarn for warm days or wool for those really cold days. I’ve bought some really cool ladies beanies on eBay.com from daknitter and lucidcreations. Prices ranged from $9.00 – $12.00 for daknitter and $20.00 -$28.00 for lucidcreations. At $12.00, they make pretty cheap holiday gifts for snowboarders.
Superfeet Green Footbeds
The stock footbeds of most snowboard boots offer little arch support or shock absorption. That can make for a very painful ride and limit your time on the slopes. When you buy a new pair of snowboard boots, do yourself a favor and throw away the stock footbeds. The Superfeet Green Footbeds make an inexpensive holiday gift for snowboarders at $34.95. A tip – if your feet aren’t used to having support, start out with the Superfeet Orange Footbeds and then move up to the green. It’s makes for a better support transition. They can both be found online at Sierrasnowboard.com.
When you are utterly clueless about what to give your snowboarder for the holidays, give them a snowboard belt. Snowboarders love to make fashion statements with them and hold up their pants. There are men and women’s belts in a variety of styles at Sierrasnowboard.com. They start at $4.80 in their clearance section. If you can’t figure out a style your snowboarder might like, get them a gift card for Sierra Snowboard. They can then choose their own inexpensive holiday gift.
If there’s one thing the dedicated snowboarder will use throughout the season, it’s snowboard socks. Quality snowboard socks will have thick padding but will stick wick away the moisture that can make feet cold. Socks with a merino wool blend are just the ticket. They also make great holiday gifts for snowboarders. Socks I like are the Sports Authority’s house brand Alpine Design Snowboard Merino Wool Blend socks. They are 65% acrylic, 20% wool blend, 14% stretch nylon, and 1% spandex. A 2 pair pack is just $14.99 and they are made in the USA. They’ve kept my feet warm and cushioned on even minus 20 degree Fahrenheit days. If you can’t find Alpine Design socks, Thorlo thick cushioned wool blend snowboard socks are a great alternative. They are $20.00/pair and are made in the USA. Thorlo.com.
Insulated Face Bandana
Ever since Shaun White wore a bandana in the Olympics, they have been all the rage. Problem is, they aren’t warm at all. Companies now make fleece lined bandanas and bandana/neoprene face masks. Now you can be warm and wear a bandana. Campmor.com has a wide variety to choose from $11.99 to $25.00.
Snowboarders love to throw tricks all over the mountain. While learning to stomp those tricks snowboarders tend to crash a lot and break things. Goggle lenses can suffer. A great holiday gifts for snowboarders are replacement lens and different colored lens. Night jibbers need a clear goggle lens in their arsenal to allow light in while bluebird days require a dark lens to block it out. Many replacement lenses can be purchased at Prolens.com from between $22.00 – $40.00.
Whether you’ve been hitting rails or unseen rocks, your edges probably have burrs on them. If you leave them in too long you’ll never get them out. A fantastic small pocket deburring tool is the FK/SKS Edge Trick from Slidewright.com. At $19.95 in makes the perfect holiday gift for snowboarders. To keep you gliding on those flat cat tracks on the slopes, you’ll need some hot wax. Purl Wax based in Summit County, Colorado has economical yet environmentally friendly PFC free snowboard wax on their website for $10.00. Bulk 1 lb. bricks can be purchased for $20.00. Both of these make great holiday gifts for snowboarders. Purlracing.com
Snowboarding is a very active sport but, even on the coldest day snowboarders will sweat and perspire. Getting that moisture away from your skin is key to staying warm. Having thermal underwear as a base layer is key. Thermal underwear today comes in different weights and materials. If you don’t easily get cold on the hill, go for lightweight. If you easily get cold, go for heavyweight thermals. While polypropylene thermals are really warm, they can retain body odor and get stinky. You may want to look at other options. A newer option in thermals is pant length. Some brands now offer a three-quarter length pants so you don’t have to tuck them into your boots. You can find thermals that make cheap holiday gifts for snowboarders online at sierratradingpost.com.
The worst feeling in the world is coming back to the snowboard rack and finding your board gone. While locks are not going to stop the determined thief, they can make yours less of a target. Small portable cable locks make great cheap holiday gifts for snowboarders. One that I’ve used is the DakineCoolLock from REI.com. It features a retractable 37-inch cable with a combination lock that you can re-set at anytime. Priced at $14.00.
Smith Goggle Case
You paid a lot of money for those goggles, there is a way to keep them from getting crushed and scratched while traveling. The Smith Goggle Case is a fully rigid case with felt sleeves that will hold your fleet of different lenses without getting scratched. This case is generously sized to hold even the largest of goggles. It’s an inexpensive holiday gift for snowboarders at $24.95 from Backcountry.com. Protect your investments.
Holiday gifts for snowboarders don’t have to be expensive. If you rummage around the clearance sections of the following websites, you can find even more.
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