Most Unnecessary Gear For A Snowboard Holiday

Do yourself a favour and leave these at home...

Whether it’s your shiny new steed, or your trusty thermal that now resembles a weapons-grade biohazard, it’s important to love the gear you’ve got. If there’s anything missing in your arsenal, our Snowboarding Buyer’s Guide is a good place to start…

“Most things on this list do have a use (otherwise they wouldn’t exist)… but for a week of piste-bashing in the Alps, it’s best to avoid the lot”

However, there’s always the risk of getting carried away and stumping up for gear that you absolutely will not need on your upcoming trip to the hills. It may look great in the catalogue, and the purchase might make you feel like you’ve somehow graduated into a higher echelon of mountain man/woman, but 99.9% of the time it’ll have no place on your person when you actually get to the slopes.

Most things on this list do have a use (otherwise they wouldn’t exist), so the right time to buy them may yet come. Others should never have left the starting blocks. For a week of piste-bashing in the Alps, however, it’s best to avoid the lot.

Walkie Talkies

In the backcountry, these can be worth their weight in gold, especially if you’re filming and you don’t want to risk missing the shot (and thus sending either filmer, rider or both into a monumental meltdown).

On piste, though, anyone using these has most likely done it so that they can give themselves a shit Top Gun-esque callsign – and the person on the other end is probably their mum.

The potential headaches that abound when more than one group of idiots is using the same channel only adds to their uselessness while inbounds. In these halcyon days of low roaming charges and good signal, your phone will do.

Heads Up Display Goggles

Apologies to the more-money-than-sense early adopters out there, but those floating numbers that tell you how fast you’re going/how many miles you’ve covered/what percentage of the fondue is just Dairylea are entirely surplus to requirements. At best they’re an irrelevance, and at worst they’re a potentially dangerous distraction.

This counts double for the ones that create virtual slalom gates and the like, Pokemon Go style. Isn’t snowboarding fun enough?!

Head Torch

“I’d better take this just in case it gets dark. It is winter, after all.”

It may well be, but resort operators have long since figured out that when the sun goes down in winter it gets bastard cold, and the lifts stop turning by late afternoon.

The only conceivable use you’ll get from your head torch on an average shred week is if the après gets out of hand and you end up miles from your apartment in rural France-shire or Austrialand – by which point you’ll probably have dropped it in your pint hours before, and the dark is the least of your worries.


Portable speakers are worse than useless when you take them on the mountain, as Jamie Nicholls discovered during an early taste of splitboarding (he’d packed a set instead of, y’know, food and water). We don’t care how dank the bass is; leave them on the coffee table, they don’t belong in your backpack.

And for the love of God, don’t be that guy who has their speakers blaring out their pack while they ride, or on a chairlift. Write it down: the mountains are not the back of the No. 49 bus.

Ice Axe

Rocking one of these might make you look like you’re prepared for any eventuality, but it’s more likely to puncture your spleen as you catch an edge whilst admiring some far-off, inaccessible zone. Leave this one to the experts.


Mercifully, most resorts no longer insist on the use of this utterly pointless device that connects your boot to your binding (you know what else does that? YOUR BINDING). There are only two conceivable circumstances in which you’d ever need a leash:

a) if you have so little faith in your binders that a bit of string with a metal clip on the end gives you more peace of mind (in which case, may we suggest these?).

b) if you’re incapable of remembering to hold on to your board when you undo your binding (at which point it’s one of these you need).

Goggle-Wipe Gloves

Someone, somewhere once had the idea to stick a squeegee on the thumb of a snowboard glove, the idea being that you could clear snow from your goggle lens with the efficiency of a roadside window-washer.

Cue twin epidemics of self-inflicted scratches and buyer’s remorse. Pulling your goggle bag out of your pocket for a quick polish might not look as tekkers, but the results are far less infuriating.

Not to be confused with snot-wipe panels, which are rad.


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