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Budget Travel Gear Yo Nellie, which backpack should I git? Questions and answers on gear related topics (i.e. backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, hiking boots, stoves, etc.).

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Old 06-03-2005, 10:35 PM   #1
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I will be doing about 5-8 days of snowboarding in Queenstown, NZ soon. But, I have never been snowboarding before, and skiing only once a long time ago with school.

I could really use some advice about what gear I will need while up on the mountain.
I don't plan to buy an actual snowboard. But should I buy or rent other gear? If I buy other gear will I ever make use of it again?

I have a waterproof, gortex jacket. I assume that will work.
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Old 06-04-2005, 06:34 AM   #2
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I actually do not snowboard myself, but I have been skiing for a while now, so I assume that most of the same rules would apply. When I got into skiing and I was renting equipement the first two things I got were a good pair of gloves and a decent pair of goggles (I already had a good ski jacket). I still have them till this day and I love them! Bording involves a lot more hand-on-snow action, so I would guess that a good pair of gloves is a must. The next buy was a good pair of snow pants, which I would suggest for you if you don't have them. Learing to snowboard involves spending a lot of your time on you butt and spending a day in a wet pair of pants is not fun. So far I have gotten good use out of all the pieces and with the exception of the gogles I have used them during my winter excursions to colder places. Best of luck!

Any snowboarders out there - please add your input.
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Old 06-04-2005, 10:51 AM   #3
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If you're snowboarding... SNOWPANTS! you will fall down.. you will get soaked..

Long underwear... mittens.. .hat... goggles (for the sun)
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Old 06-04-2005, 06:49 PM   #4
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Don't worry MolsonGirl, I plan to do a lot of falling. Not to mention running into many a tree and person.


Thanks both for the input. Goggles were something I wouldn't have planned on getting until now.


GoKrazy I'm a bit confused. Did you buy the items you were renting, or after a while did you just go out and buy your own gloves and goggles?
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Old 06-04-2005, 10:18 PM   #5
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mjgeo - I went out and bought my own gloves, goggles and snow pants even before my first ski trip (ie: that time I rented the skis, I didn't have my own). I guess that wasn't clear in my post - that's what happens when you write in a hurry.
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Old 06-05-2005, 10:14 PM   #6
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I think I'm the resident snowboard nut here, so...

What you'll usually get with the rental: Snowboard, boots.

I dunno how it works in NZ, but here, even if you're learning, it's best to pay a few extra bucks for the "demo" or "premium" package. The typical rental boards, bindings and boots are generally crap, which make learning to ride that much more difficult.

Ok, you've already got the Gore-tex jacket. Good start. As mentioned, snow pants are a must. Looser cut pants are the norm for snowboarding, and considering's now the off-season in the Northern Hemisphere, there are good deals to be found. Make sure whatever you get has some zippered pockets - they come in handy.

Long underwear - some thermals or stretchy long undies for under the snow pants, they're pretty vital, IMO. And for the top, I'd recommend a Nike Dri-fit or UnderArmor type athletic top, to wick away the sweat that will inevitably start dripping under all that waterproofing. Layer with t-shirts over that, though I rarely need more than one layer between my undershirt and my jacket.

Gloves - mittens are cheaper, but get fingered gloves that fit you well. Why? When you're learning, you'll find it easier to strap/unstrap your bindings with decent gloves, rather than fumbling with them and getting frustrated.

Snowboarding socks - I loooooove my Wigwam Ultimax socks, and your feet will love them too. You can get away with reusing one pair, but get a couple if you can. Don't cheap out on socks. Your feet are the primary point of contact/stress on the board, so you want them to be dry, warm, and comfortable, with good circulation.

I've never found goggles to be necessary except when it's snowing moderately-hard. If you haven't worn them before, they can be a bit disorienting, but if you're planning on getting them anyway, go ahead. Personally, I'm more of a sunglasses guy - a holdover from my skiing days, I guess.

Protective gear - optional, but I recommend having wrist guards when you're learning (your natural tendency will be to incorrectly break your fall with your arms, which can bust your wrists...). A helmet, as dorky as it feels, is also pretty important. I don't wear mine on 'cruiser' days, but otherwise I do - I've had several friends of different levels suffer from concussions, one with a bout of amnesia. What's more uncool?

Anyway, have a blast - remember, the first few days might be REALLY frustrating, but don't get discouraged. Once you get the hang of making a couple of turns in a row, you're well on your way to getting good!
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Old 06-06-2005, 07:00 AM   #7
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Wow, thanks heaps Omi.

Fortunately I already have some of the gear. Thermal pants, tops and other tops that can "wick".
Unfortunately, I live down under so no specials for me. I can see the prices adding up, but it has to be bought and no point cheaping out I guess.

With the goggles v glasses, if I were to go glasses would they be likely to fall off and get lost in the snow, or crushed when I fall too? Goggles seem a bit, err... funny to wear.

I might go and pick up a pair of socks straight away. As for the other gear, any have an idea on the price of snow gear in Queenstown? I imagine New Zealand to be rather cheap overall, but Queenstown is a tourist city.
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Old 06-06-2005, 08:06 AM   #8
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Omi, I know what you mean about normal sun glasses, I use them too (I usually go and buy a $5-10 plastic pair just in case I break or loose them... which happens all too often). I find that I use goggles cover half your face which can be useful on those really cold days.
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Old 06-06-2005, 10:06 AM   #9
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I like GoKrazy's suggestion of cheap glasses over goggles - and no, they generally won't get crushed when you fall, though sometimes they do fly off if they're a loose fit - it's nary a problem, though I have seen mine go airborne after a hard fall... Just remember to get 'em with UV protection - even the cheapest ones have that now.

Oh, and don't forget sunscreen - you'll burn much more quickly due to direct sunlight *and* the reflected sunlight off the snow.
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Old 06-10-2005, 07:24 AM   #10
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I worked up at a ski resort last winter here in Oregon, and we had a rental option where you could take your gear for up to a week. You might want to call and see if you can do that with any rental places there so you dont have to deal with lines everymorning which can be a real hassle.

When riding or skiing I prefer Goggles over sunglasses. Goggles work in all weather and you do have less of a chance of losing them even if its not very much more of a chance.

For pants and gloves all I can do is reinforce what everyone has already said.

Another really handy thing to have would be a small #3 phillips head screw driver. in the rental shop we had people coming in all the time with loose bindings and other pants that work themselves loose to tighten up. Not a nessecity but it could come in handy.

Have a great time on the mountian!
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Old 06-10-2005, 10:39 AM   #11
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things you need for a bearable experience..

sunglasses (during day)
thermals
snow gloves w/ good grip
snow pants (cotton will freeze into a sheet of ice)
beanie w/lots of ear protection

good things to have...

goggles (i personally dont like them b/c they mess with my depth perception)
snow jacket (i snowboard in the american s.w. mt's so if it doesnt get much colder than 25 F, a sweatshirt will do)
if ur a beginner, a snowboard smaller than the recommended size for ur height/weight...it will be easier to maneuver and you won't feel so overwhelmed.
and a leash for runaway boards
make sure your board has a good stomp pad (plastic/rubber grip pad on the center of the board) or you wont get off the lifts in one piece.
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