How is Snowboarding in the Rain?
Nothing beats a good clear sky on your snowboarding trip. Just imagine the perfect white slope waiting for you and your brand new snowboard gears.
But suddenly, your weatherman predicted that it will rain on your ski trip! Can you still snowboard in the rain?
Like anyone who is dedicated to the slopes, rain won’t stop you from snowboarding.
In fact, snowboarding while raining has its perks! The ski resort will be less crowded, so you’ll spend less time on the lift and have the terrain all to yourself. Plus, snowboarding in the rain is a whole other experience worth trying out.
Staying dry while Snowboarding in the rain
Before you snowboard in the rain, there are a couple of extra things that you have to prepare.
Snowboarding in the rain doesn’t mean that you have to be sopping wet — that’s really not a great experience isn’t it?
Let’s start with your snowboarding gear.
Like every seasoned snowboarder would say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
Expect that your clothes will be wetter compared to your usual snowboarding trip because rain gets absorbed much more than snow.
Plus, not all ski or snowboarding clothes are made to withstand pouring rain.
So you have to make sure that your clothing is waterproof and not water-repellent. Look for clothing that has a waterproof rating of 10,000mm – 30,000mm.
A minimum rating is fine if you’re only skiing under the rain for a short time and the downpour is not that heavy. But it’s recommended that you get 20,000mm – 30,000mm since it’s already an investment piece and it can withstand harsher rain conditions.
Consider getting a garment with 3-layer GoreTex® since a standard double layer of polyester might not do the trick.
You also have to make sure that water won’t leak through the seams of your jacket and pants. A must-have additional feature to your snowboarding outfit is waterproofed seams and zippers.
Other than a good and reliable waterproofed gear, you also need other special clothes and equipment to make sure that you can snowboard safely and without any hassle. Here are some of them:
Wearing a rain poncho while snowboarding is a great way to add another layer of protection against the rain without feeling bulky.
Since the poncho will be your outermost layer, it can help repel most of the rain especially if your snowboard jacket and pants are not that reliable when it comes to rain.
You should put your safety in priority and wearing a helmet drastically reduces your chance of having a head injury.
Not only that, but it’ll also keep your head dry and warm. So trade your snowboarding cap that will get wet for proper protection against injury and rain.
The first thing you need to check if you’re buying your goggles is that if it fits perfectly when you wear your helmet.
There should be no gaps between each side of your goggles to prevent water from going in.
Also, get yourself an anti-fog goggle because chances are, you’re going to experience some fogging when you go down the slopes especially if you’re using low-quality goggles.
It may cost a bit more, but your safety is priceless.
Extra Mittens and Socks
Nothing is even more uncomfortable than wet hands and wet feet while snowboarding so make sure that you bring extra mittens or gloves and extra socks.
Because even a solid waterproofing on your mittens, it will still get your hands wet one way or another. The same goes for your socks.
Prepping your Snowboard
Before you hit the slopes and snowboard in the rain, you have to check if your board is up to it.
Having a snowboard that is less than 100% ready for snowboarding will only get you an injury mid-slope if it cracks to lose a bolt.
Here’s a quick checklist to go through when prepping your snowboard:
Check for cracks and holes
If a rock or a thick branch pierced a hole at the base of your board, then it needs to be filled immediately.
Don’t attempt to put it off simply because you think that the crack or hole is not that big that it makes a difference.
You’ll worsen the damage of your board and cost you even more.
Fine-tune your nuts and bolts
Sometimes, screws come off of your snowboards so you may have to get your screwdriver to fine-tune it.
Check the base plates if any missing screws need to be replaced.
Have your bindings checked
This is probably the most crucial part of prepping your snowboard before you take it out on the slope.
Bindings will significantly lessen the gravity of injuries you might acquire while snowboarding especially in the rain so it’s important to make sure that your bindings are checked by your local ski shop.
Wax your Snowboard
Snowboards are expensive and if you’re snowboarding under the rain, you would want to protect your snowboards from the harsh elements.
One way to do it is through waxing. Depending on the type of snow in your area, you might need to wax your snowboards every three to four times that you go riding.
More so if you’re doing it under the rain.
Pay more attention to the base of your snowboard when waxing. Also, look for the perfect temperature waxes.
One way to check if you still have wax on the base of your snowboard is to scratch it with your nail.
If you see a faint line on the board, it means that you still have wax on it. If it doesn’t leave any marks, then it’s time to get it hot-waxed.
After Snowboarding in the rain
After your snowboarding trip, you have to take extra special care of your gears and your board especially if they were soaked.
You wouldn’t want to leave them the way it is and find out on your next snowboarding trip that it is absolutely ruined from the mold.
Since snowboarding clothes and gears are quite expensive, you need to take care of them properly in order to last you seasons. Here are some tips to do so:
Wash your clothes immediately
If you have access to a washer right away, then chuck all of your snowboard clothing in and wash them appropriately.
If you’re one of the people who doesn’t wash your ski or snowboarding clothes because you’re afraid to ruin the membranes of the fabric, then you’re doing more harm than good.
Dirt and bacteria accumulated will eventually clog up the microscopic pores of your fabric. This will make your jacket and pantsless breathable.
When you’re washing it, make sure that you read the clothing etiquette and follow their washing instructions.
But the general rule is to not use any fabric softener or using a dryer as it will damage the clothing.
But if you don’t have a washer, dry your clothes while hanging it on a clothes rack near your heater.
This will help prevent molds or any odor to cling on it. Plus, if you’re snowboarding again tomorrow, you wouldn’t want to wet clothes!
Dry you Snowboarding boots
Even though they are made of plastic, you still need to dry it, so it won’t smell like a sweaty gym locker.
Remove the boot liner and let it dry at room temperature.
Wipe the boot shells and remove any snow or mud stuck into it before leaving it to air dry or in a hot air rack designed for snowboarding boots.
Snowboarding boots don’t come cheap, so you have to make sure that you take care of it properly especially when it comes to your boot liner.
Having it damp will shorten its life span. Plus, a dark damp boot will be a perfect place for mold, mildew, and bacteria to grow.
A wet, smelly boot will definitely be a major turn off when snowboarding.
Take good care of your Snowboard
Of course, you can’t leave your snowboard wet. Wipe down your board to dry it and to remove any dirt or debris.
Do a routine check when it comes to scratches, gouged surface, and loose screws.
Leave it to air dry for a while but don’t keep it vertical on cement. Hang it on a wall using strong supports and don’t forget to check if you need another round of waxing.
Snowboarding is fun and all, especially if you’re willing to try it under different weather conditions.
But just make sure that you stay in control and stop for a bit when the rain becomes too strong to handle.
Regardless if you’re a powder or a packed snow rider, safety should be your main priority!
How does rain affect snow conditions for Snowboarding?
Rain makes the snow more condensed and heavy. It also increases the friction between the snow and the Snowboard and that makes your speed decrease.
If the wet rainy snow freezes and turns into ice, and that can make it easier to ride fast but it might be more difficult to turn right and left since the surface is harder.
You should also stay away from off-piste when there is an icy surface.
Is it worth Snowboarding in the rain?
Absolutely, don’t let a couple of drops of water keep you from going down the slopes.
Just make sure to prepare before going and to take care of your equipment ones you’re done.