The REAL Difference Between Ski And Snowboard Clothes

When you are dressing yourself for the snow, you need to have in mind what you will be getting up to. Are you going skiing or will you be going snowboarding? Both activities require different equipment and clothes.

You might be surprised to find out that there is actually a difference between ski and snowboarding clothing. In this article, we will be telling you about the real differences between ski and snowboarding clothing.

The REAL Difference Between Skiing And Snowboarding Jackets

Ski and snowboarding jackets look very similar, there are a few small differences that set these jackets apart. The most obvious difference between a ski and snowboarding jacket is that a snowboard jacket is naturally larger and bagger than a ski jacket.

If you buy a ski jacket and a snowboarding jacket in the same size, you will see that the snowboarding jacket is a bit bigger and bagger, compared to the ski jacket. Alongside this, the snowboarding jacket is much longer in length, as it will come down over trousers.

The REAL Difference Between Ski And Snowboard Clothes

This is because snowboarders spend more time in the snow, while they take their bindings on and off. Therefore, having a longer and bigger jacket gives them more warmth against the cold snow.

Also as the snowboarder needs more space to move, thus their jacket needs to have more room for them to be able to move easily.

Compared to a ski jacket, which is a lot more fitted to the wearer. It is much more tailored to your body shape. Ski jackets are bigger and looser than a typical winter coat or jacket, but next to a snowboarding jacket they are shorter and a bit more restrictive.

Both jackets are designed to keep you dry and warm in the cold weather. They are both made from very similar materials. There is normally some kind of fleece lining which will keep you warm, alongside a waterproof shell that helps keep you dry.

A ski and snowboarding jacket have interior and exterior zippers that keep you warm. Also these zippers have inside pockets, which allow you to keep your valuables on your person safe and dry.

You could wear a ski jacket to do snowboarding and you could wear a snowboarding jacket for skiing.

However, it is worth noting that the snowboarding will be bigger on you than a ski jacket, which affects your ski performance if you aren’t used to the extra material in your way.

The REAL Difference Between Ski And Snowboarding Pants

Once again like the jackets, ski and snowboarding pants look very similar. There are only small things that differentiate these trousers apart from one another.

Like jackets, snowboarding pants are much bigger and baggier compared to ski pants. However, the baggy style isn’t for any real reason apart from aesthetics. The fashion trend of baggy pants like in skateboarding made its way over to snowboarding and became a very popular fashion trend.

The REAL Difference Between Ski And Snowboard Clothes

Having these baggy trousers is more of a fashion statement, than providing any real benefit to your snowboarding abilities. Some snowboarders have argued that the bagger and looser fit has given snowboarders more room for movement and to perform their jumps and tricks.

Therefore, skiing pants are much tighter to the body. This is because their movements are much more subtle. Hence, more tailored pants allows for a more aerodynamic form.

Whilst also having more tailored pants helps you keep in more heat while skiing. Sometimes, ski pants will have brace straps that run from your pants to your shoulders.

These braces provide more support to your pants and make sure they are secure on your body. However, as long as you have proper fitting pants this shouldn’t really be much of an issue.

The REAL Difference Between Ski And Snowboarding Gloves

Like most skiing and snowboarding clothing, if you wanted to you could wear either for each sport. However, both have been designed with their own sports in mind. Therefore, there are gloves more suited for skiing and there are gloves that are more suited for snowboarding.

The REAL Difference Between Ski And Snowboard Clothes

For snowboarders they normally wear mittens and not gloves, because they don’t need to hold anything. Mittens are considered to be much warmer for colder temperatures. However, as snowboarders touch the snow a lot more than skiers then they need that extra warmth and protection.

Whereas, skiers have poles to hold, so they wear gloves that have fingers so they can easily hold the poles. These types of gloves might not retain as much heat as mittens, but they do still keep your hands warm.

The REAL Difference Between Ski And Snowboarding Boots

Unlike other pieces of clothing, ski and snowboarding boots are not interchangeable. Both have been designed in a particular way for their sport. Both sets of boots will lock you firmly into your base, whether that is the ski or your snowboard, and you will keep attached.

Both types of boots keep your feet warm and protect them as much as possible from damage and the elements. Ski boots are made from very hard and rigid plastic, yet the inside is insulated with a soft fleece material.

There isn’t much movement in these boots, they are designed to lock the skiers ankle and heel in place. There are buckles to snap the hard shell into place and a velcro strap at the top of the boot helps seal the top of the boot in place.

While snowboarding boots are a lot more flexible and much more comfortable.

They are seen more like a type of hiking boot, however for racing some snowboarding boots can be a bit more rigid. They are tied up by using laces like normal boots but there is a side adjustor to help tweak the fit.

Ski and snowboarding boots are very different and you shouldn’t interchange them between sports. There is a reason why they have been designed the way they are.

Snowboarding boots are much more comfortable to wear and soft. Compared to ski boots which are very hard and rigid. However, each has been designed for the movements that are carried out in each sport.

Shell Suits

In skiing, a shell suit is a famous piece of clothing that is associated with this sport. The all in one jacket and pants combo.

This shell suit is very much like a jumpsuit and is seen as a great way to keep dry and warm while on the slopes. The shell suit is worn by skiers as it is more form fitting, while it is very rare to see a snowboarder wear a shell suit.

Key Features In Ski And Snowboarding Clothes To Look Out For

Both sports take place in cold temperatures, and where snow is involved. Therefore, the clothes that you buy must have some level of waterproofing. The waterproof rating is measured by how much water can be on the item of clothing before the water starts to soak through.

The REAL Difference Between Ski And Snowboard Clothes

The higher the rating the more waterproof the item of clothing will be. You want clothes that are quite waterproof, otherwise if water does soak through then this will make the item of clothing heavier.

Also on top of this, the cold water that has soaked through will start to make you feel cold.

Alongside this the breathability of the item of clothing is extremely important. This feature is really important for beginners, because you spend a lot more time in the snow.

Breathability is all about how long water takes to evaporate off the surface of the fabric and through the material. The more breathable your ski or snowboarding clothing is then the quicker it will dry.

Otherwise your clothing will stay heavy and will be uncomfortable to wear as the cold water will make you feel cold.

Final Thoughts

Ski and snowboarding clothing look very similar and most clothing you can wear for either sport. Snowboarding clothing is much looser and baggier compared to ski clothing.

This bagger clothing is to help snowboarders to perform tricks and move in general easier. However, when it comes to snowboarding pants, the bagginess is more of a fashion statement than a feature that really helps snowboarders.

While skiing clothing is more tailored to your body shape, to help you become as aerodynamic as possible. Hence a ski jacket, pants and boots are more rigid and form fitting.

Yet there is a reason why both sets of clothing have been designed the way they are. They have been designed in a way to help with the sport they are being used in.

With skiing you don’t need baggy clothing as there is a whole lot of moving, while with snowboarding you need some extra room to be able to perform tricks.

Now you know the real difference between ski and snowboarding clothes. You know why you can wear either clothes for both sports, but it might be better to wear ski tailored clothes for skiing and vice versa.

However, whatever you wear on the slopes you need to make sure that they are purchasing clothes that will keep you warm and safe.

James Apfel