I’m glad you asked. As with any activity it’s always best to try it out before rushing to the local snowboard shop to load up on brand new equipment. It is wisest to rent equipment the first time out. Most mountains have special beginner packages that include a board, boots, bindings, lift ticket and group lesson. Brighton, Utah has a package for beginners called The Works. It’s pretty standard as far as first-timer programs go. For $54 you get everything mentioned above. That’s not bad at all. Throw in a cheap lunch and that’s a $60 first day.

But renting is for beginners and anyone serious about snowboarding needs to buy their own equipment and that’s where things can get a little more costly. The breakdown from a shopping spree at a local board shop would end up looking something like this:

Burton Twin 58 Snowboard with Burton Soft Bindings $465; Airwalk FreeRide Snowboard Boots $220; Smith V3 Goggles $100; Stick-It gloves $145; which comes to a total of $930.

But that doesn’t including having the right kind of clothes. And in snowboarding it’s pretty important to have the right stuff. It may not seem absolutely necessary, but quality body covering comes in handy if you’re interested in staying warm, dry, and looking cool.

Snowboard Jacket (average quality) $150

(high quality i.e. Gore-Tex) $300

Snowboard Pants (average quality) $100

(high quality i.e. Gore-Tex) $240

Synthetic Underwear and Socks $100

There’s another $350 to $640 hit on the old Visa card, but after that secondary purchase, you’re pretty much set to ride for the next few years.

After those initial purchases of somewhere between $1100 and $1425, all that’s left are the lift passes. Seasons passes at most resorts run about $1000, plus or minus a few hundred clams, depending on which mountain you choose to ride. Day passes run about $40 a day, give or take a couple bucks.

There certainly are more expensive ways to spend your winters, but I can’t think of anything that’s as much fun.

Dan Caruso