I started snowboarding with the cheapest of everything, but over the years I have learned to lean on accessories.
From clothes to bindings, to audio helmets, there is a lot you can do to improve your enjoyment and unlock new experiences. A lot of science and passion have gone into developing products that push the sport forward.
You might not need every item on this list, but any of them can help you level up and have more fun.
Here is my ultimate list of snowboard accessories:
One of the most crucial parts of your gear is your bindings, which connect your boots to the board. Although the shape and flex of your board and the style of your boots both factor into comfort and performance, the bindings are what transfer the energy between your feet and the board.
Most riders prefer a medium flex binding, for all-around conditions, but you can dial in pretty specifically if you are more interested in racing, new powder, or pipe.
The right bindings for you will depend on how you snowboard, but I love the Flite Pro Bindings from Union Binding Company. They’re versatile and suitable for almost all conditions, and so light that you can almost imagine they’re not there at all.
2. Snowboard Bag
A snowboard travel bag is essential to transport your gear, and you want one that will hold up over time if you’re going to be snowboarding regularly.
Snowboards are often too long for standard hockey bags, so get a longer, specialized snowboarding travel bag that will hold your board along with everything else you are going to need.
Burton snowboard bags are waterproof and designed and built to stand up to wear and tear.
3. Snowboard Wax
You need to wax your board at least a couple of times every season because the wax wears off in the snow. Most of the commercial waxes available are petroleum-based, which means that these products end up melting in spring and leeching into the water supply.
Things are slowly changing as more eco-friendly snowboard wax options come onto the market.
BeaverWax is not only organic and kind on the planet, but it also has some great hold on both the coldest and the warmest days of the season, which makes it an easy choice.
4. Board Rack
The easiest way to destroy your board is to scrape the rails by resting them against hard surfaces all the time. When your snowboard isn’t under your feet on the slopes or safely tucked into the board bag, it should be at home in a padded board rack.
The right rack for you depends on how many boards you own, what kind of space you want to keep them in, and how you want them displayed. It is a matter of style as much as anything else.
The premium snowboard rack from Barnard on Etsy is made from bamboo and birch and holds snowboards, helmets, and skateboards.
Snowboarding goggles provide the best visibility. Unlike sunglasses, they’re strapped to your head and they always cover your peripheral vision. A good pair of snowboarding goggles can make the difference between a squinting, painful session and a great run.
There are lots of different styles of snowboarding goggles, and it’s a matter of preference, but I love the goggles from Oakley. They’re not the cheapest, but they come in lots of great styles and are made to last with high-quality materials.
6. Waterproof Phone Case
Have you ever dropped your phone in the snow?
I have, and I didn’t enjoy it. By the time I had fished it out, it was wet and I had to locate a bag of rice before I could use it again.
You only go through this process so many times before you start wondering if there is a better way to do this.
Thankfully, there are waterproof and watertight phone cases, so you can use your phone without worrying that if you drop it, it could be damaged in the snow.
The waterproof cases from Spidercase look great and will keep your phone dry, no matter what.
7. Adjustment Tool
You never know when you might need to tighten or loosen a bolt in a binding.
Without an adjustment tool, you would have to take the snowboard into a repair shop for even more minor adjustments. With the tool, you can do a lot of this yourself, even while you’re on the slopes.
The Burton bullet tool is the best in class when it comes to adjustment tools. It’s compact with a foldout handle, and it’s easy to use even when you have gloves on.
8. Water Bottle
Snow, snow, everywhere, but not a drop to drink. Every snowboarder needs a water bottle to stay hydrated during a day on the mountain.
However, you don’t want to have to carry around a heavy, bulky water bottle. That’s why the Platypus Soft Bottle is a great option for snowboarders. It’s a BPA-free plastic pouch weighing only 22g that you can fill with water and keep in your jacket to drink throughout the day. You’ll just be carrying the weight of the water.
9. Snow Helmet
We all fall.
Usually, it’s not serious and there is some snow to cushion the blow, but it’s never safe to ski or snowboard without a helmet.
Ski and snowboard helmets can be found at sports stores, like Sportchek. Find a style that you like and make sure that it fits comfortably and securely.
10. Helmet Audio
I used to think that silence while snowboarding was a sacred thing – until I was able to pump my own soundtrack into my helmet.
Being able to listen to music while snowboarding is a pleasure and easier than ever with both audio systems that fit into helmets and ski and snowboarding helmets that come audio-ready.
The Smith Vantage helmet comes audio ready, with great sound quality. It’s also one of the most comfortable helmets I’ve ever worn.
11. Heated Vest
Dressing in layers and covering up can keep you warm up to a point, but in the mornings when the temperature dips below minus 20, a little extra warmth can go a long way.
Heated vests use battery-generated electricity to power heating elements sewn into your clothes, to help you heat your core in the coldest temperatures. They also include internal thermostats that help them shut off to prevent overheating.
If you want to make the best of the coldest days, a heated vest can improve your comfort and mobility.
The Shift heated snowboard jacket from GobiHeat has enough charge to last for up to 9 hours of comfort, and 3 different heat settings. It’s even machine washable.
Gloves are an obvious essential. Your hands are your point of contact with everything, and if you touch anything in sub-zero temperatures you are going to get cold quickly.
Good gloves not only keep your hands comfortable and warm, but they give your fingers the mobility you need to handle things. That’s why we use gloves and not mitts.
My favorite pair of ski gloves is the Army Leather Heli 5-finger from Hestra. Their sizing is nuanced so you can get a great fit, the gloves are long so they can be easily tucked into your cuffs, and they’re warm and comfortable.
A great pair of snowboarding boots is a precious thing. I tend to get attached to a good pair of boots when I find them and struggle when they wear out and need to be replaced. It can be hard to find that balance between the stiffness you need for tricky turns and icy patches, and the cushion and flex that makes snowboarding comfortable.
Boots are an essential item that is worth putting a little bit of extra money on if you can afford them. You’ll be using them for a long time, and you’ll probably enjoy your time more and progress faster if you feel comfortable and in control.
The Men’s Burton Moto BOA are my favorite pair of snowboard boots. They’re comfortable right out of the box with lots of warmth and cushion. They’re also low maintenance while you’re riding, with a coiling system that makes lacing up faster, and a snug fit between the boot and the tongue so you don’t need to readjust.
One of the most underappreciated pieces of snowboarding gear, socks keep you warm, dry, and comfortable.
A bad pair of socks will cause your feet to sweat, they’ll get wet, causing itchiness, and they’ll move around inside your boot, bunching up and causing a loss of feel and control.
The perfect snowboard socks keep your feet comfortable without getting in the way. That’s why I love Smartwool’s zero cushion over the calf socks. Zero cushion doesn’t sound comfortable, but what you lose in padding you make up for in direct feel and control. It works much better than padded socks sliding around inside padded boots.
You don’t technically need a GoPro, but they are so much fun it’s practically a necessity.
If you want to capture your greatest moments and relive your best rides, you can attach a GoPro camera to your board and record some adrenalin-pumping videos to upload and share with friends, family, and the community.
You can also watch yourself taking turns and pick apart what you need to do to improve.
The older GoPro models still work well and are available cheaply, but the more recent models have come a long way with sound and video stabilization. Some people even record YouTube videos with these sports cameras, although they still shine best when thrown into action.
16. Neck Gaiter
A neck gaiter or neck warmer can keep you warm and help you cover your face when necessary. They’re essential for skiers and snowboarders, who can lose a lot of heat in the neck and face due to apparent wind.
With so many different styles and brands to choose from, you can spend as much or as little on a neck gaiter as you want, but don’t bother wasting your money on anything made from materials that absorb moisture, like cotton. Search out neck gaiters made from fleece, merino wool, or synthetic blends. Otherwise, it will feel like you’re breathing through a moist handkerchief all day.
The Burton Ember Fleece Neck Warmer works great for me because it keeps me warm and wicks any moisture away from my skin. It’s the kind of accessory I don’t think about much but deeply appreciate.
17. Long Underwear
Nothing makes a difference when it comes to keeping you warm, like long underwear. A good pair can make the difference between a stiff, shivering session and a flexible, comfortable one.
For snowboarding, the best long underwear is made from moisture-wicking or resistant fabric, like fleece or merino wool. You’ll be sweating at the same time as you are trying to keep warm, and your long underwear should help that rather than making it worse.
My favorite pair of long underwear is the Smartwool Merino 250 Base Layer Bottom. It’s comfortably tight so it doesn’t bunch up under your clothes, and it will keep you warm and dry through the longest sessions.
There are so many different kinds of toques (or beanies), and so much to think about when buying one.
Are you going to be wearing it under a helmet? Do you want to wear it exclusively when you’re snowboarding, or at other times, too? What kind of temperatures are you preparing for? There are different styles, thicknesses, and materials for different requirements.
You might not need anything special for a toque. After all, you’re probably wearing a helmet and neck gaiter as well. If you already have a snow hat that is working, you don’t necessarily need to worry about upgrading, but there are some very good toques made specifically for snowboarding that can keep you comfortable and warm.
19. Snow pants
Things get pretty uncomfortable pretty fast if you’re snowboarding without snow pants. You need them to keep your legs warm and keep you dry after falling in the snow.
Good snow pants walk a line between warm and breathable. You don’t want your legs to start shaking, but you also don’t want them to sweat.
Volcom’s L Gore-tex pants find this perfect balance. They’re comfortable and cushioned without being bulky, and they breathe so you won’t end up overheating.
20. Anti-Altitude Sickness Medication
If you’re snowboarding at lower elevations, this might not be a big deal, but a lot of the better mountains for snowboarding do reach heights where you can get altitude sickness – and you want to avoid this at all costs.
There is nothing that will ruin your day like nausea, dizziness, and fatigue.
By the time you have developed altitude sickness, there isn’t much you can do about it except drink water and rest. That’s why preventing it by acclimatizing to the change in altitude is the best way to approach the problem.
Acetazolamide, or Diamox, is a medication that can help your body adjust to altitude faster. Some people find herbal remedies helpful, too. Bring some with you if you have a history of altitude sickness.
This probably won’t be necessary unless you are approaching some very serious mountains, but you can also bring along canisters of oxygen to help you if you start to feel the acute symptoms of altitude sickness. Boost oxygen canisters don’t weigh very much, and they will immediately help your altitude sickness so that you can make it back to the lodge.
21. Portable Charger
We sometimes take for granted how much we rely on power throughout the day. If you bring your phone or other electronics with you while snowboarding, you won’t have the luxury of a plug and charger, but you can bring a portable charger or battery.
A cheap portable charger will probably do the trick, but remember that you will be snowboarding and anything could get thrown into the snow. A waterproof portable charger is a much safer bet.
The Dark Energy Poseidon Pro is watertight and practically indestructible, with enough charge to keep your phone running all day.
All of that white snow reflects a lot of light. Sunglasses are a matter of practicality as well as style. Unless you want to be squinting to see your way through turns, you’ll need to invest in a good pair.
It’s important to consider coverage and lenses as well as style. You want to protect your eyes from both the sun and flecks of ice and snow that get kicked up and fly into your face. Of course, you also want to look good.
Goggles can provide the same protection, but sometimes you want an option for a warmer day, or you’d like to feel the rush of the wind on your face.
The Smith Wildcat ChromaPop sunglasses have excellent coverage and protective lenses that also look stylish. They are even designed so that the sweat from the bridge of your nose doesn’t cause slippage. It’s hard to find a pair of sunglasses that work better for snowboarding.