Having your own snowboard. Is it worth it?

Since I decided to give this sport a good try, I decided to invest some money on having my own equipment. Although it is common to have rental places near every mountain around the globe, some points came into account when I was taking this decision.

My 2017 Burton Process Flying V 162W snowboard.

One thing to have in mind is that sometimes you’re not getting exactly the best fit for your body measures and your skills. A rental shop can have a huge variety of boards to rent but it can happen that it just doesn’t have the best one for you, or that it was sadly rented to someone else just a few minutes ago. With the help of the shop employees you can find a very good board among all those boards but, sometimes, you just have to settle for the best match that they have at the moment.

Another thing is about the quality and the conditions of the equipment that you’re renting. It happened to me before that I’ve rented a board that, after a few rides, started to attach to snow because of improper waxing. Another time, a chipped part on one of the edges of the board was accumulating ice on every ride and I was falling a lot trying to keep my balance just to notice that huge clump of ice in this blob underneath the board when I was trying to stand up once again from the snow. So, sometimes, it can be a lottery. Of course, on all those occasions when these bad things happened, I just had to go back to the rental shop and ask for new equipment, wasting a bit of time walking from the bottom of the slope to the shop and back.

A few of the boards I’ve been renting during my snowboarding trips. Every time, either a different brand, model or size.

Well, since this article is about buying equipment, I’ll start talking about the money spent on it. Snowboarding can be a pretty expensive sport/hobby and a considerable part of this can be traced to equipment rental prices. For instance, the place near my home here in Stockholm, Hammarbybacken, charges the following prices for renting snowboard and equipments (for adults):

              |  3hrs | 1 day | 2 days
---------------------------------------
Snowboard | 220kr | 260kr | 415kr
Boots | 130kr | 155kr | 245kr
Helmet | 25kr | 30kr | 50kr
Complete Set | 260kr | 305kr | 490kr

With these prices in mind and with my goal set to practice this sport as much as I can, I decided to go for it and I’ll show all my calculations below.

I paid, in January 2017, the total amount of 8790kr on the full set I bought for myself. It includes:

  • a 2017 Burton Process Flying V 162W snowboard
  • a set of Burton Custom bindings
  • a pair of Burton Moto boots
  • a Scott Apic Plus helmet
  • and a Burton carrying sack
The contents of the whole set.

Supposing that I would have to rent the complete equipment every time I head to the mountain (aside from the sack, that I bought just because I take the subway and tram to go from my home to the mountain), in around 34 days of snowboarding I would have paid the same amount as I did for buying the whole equipment, with the difference that the equipment wouldn’t be mine in the end. Taking in mind that this calculation is supposing that I would only spend 3 hours per day and no full days at the mountain.

Of course, it all depends on what are your plans of using it. If you’re just planning to go for a couple of days during the season, it wouldn’t be advisable to buy the whole equipment just to enjoy a few rides in terms of money spent. If you plan to take it a bit more seriously or plan to go at least 15 days per season, having your own equipment might start to sound like a good idea. After all, with the proper care, the equipment can last way more than just one season.

Another point that comes to mind when having your own equipment is that everything is tailored to fit your measures. I’m a tall guy, measuring 190cm of height, weighing around 95kg and with a shoe size 47. To go to a rental place and find a board that perfectly suits me with my measurements is a bit hard. Having it myself let me enjoy a smoother ride all the time and I felt this since the day one after I bought this board. It is well waxed, my feet fits inside it (so no toe/hell grabbing when sliding) and I can adjust it anyway I want it to be to fit my riding style.

If you’re planning to have your own equipment but you don’t want to spend that much money, you can also look for used boards on the market. If you have an average height and weight you can find some very good deals from people trying to sell their stuff. It is a good way to give it a try if you’re not sure if you’re not sure if you’re going to enjoy the sport or not. Just be sure to check the equipment before buying it, checking its conditions and attributes.

Speaking of conditions, the main difference between renting and having your own equipment is that you’re the one responsible for taking care of it, making sure that it is on its best shape. Adjustments, waxing the board, fixing it… It won’t be as easy as just coming to the rental shop and asking for “a new one” as I mentioned on the beginning of this article. It will all be at your expense, so keep that in mind.

In the end, you can always sell it and use the money to upgrade your equipment in the future as you progress or to just have some money back after enjoying the seasons.

Do you have your own board or do you usually rent it? What size, model and profile suits you best? Share your opinions on the comments below.

Cheers and have a good ride!

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