If you’re considering learning to snowboard, the common question is, “How much should I spend for my first snowboard?“
The clearest answer I can give is to think about it like this.
If you’re learning to snowboard, you will need quality gear to support you through the learning curve. However, it won’t need to include the latest carbon fiber technology that helps you generate more spring-like pop off a 60-foot jump. Instead, you need quality gear to help you get down the hill while having the most fun you can.
Simply put, your first snowboard doesn’t need to be the most expensive board at the resort. It just needs to last you for a season or two and help you learn to carve down the hill.
So with that in mind, think of your board budget like this.
Your First Snowboard: Budget for $550 – $850
While there are other costs to consider, like snowboard boots, lift tickets, and the outwear you need to ride, as of September 2022, a good first snowboard by itself will cost you between $550 and $850 USD.
I put together a list of excellent beginner snowboard packages. Most of these boards are in the $550 – $600 range. Any of the snowboards on that list would be a phenomenal first board.
Your Second Snowboard: Budget for $850 – $1,350
As you progress with your riding, you will want a durable snowboard with more advanced technology specifically designed to improve your skills in certain areas.
For example, you might want to go faster and get a board with a higher-end base. Alternatively, you might want to launch yourself higher off jumps in the park and need a board with carbon fiber worked into its core that can give you a more spring-like level of pop. These additional higher-end features can bring your snowboard’s price closer to the $850 – $1,350 USD range.
The key detail is that no one needs these features to simply get to the bottom of the slope. Instead, the more advanced features are designed for intermediate to advanced-level riders who want to push their limits in some way and need a snowboard to support them in doing that.
Snowboards and Bindings Are Universally Interchangeable (90% of the time)
A key consideration is that once you have both a board and bindings, you can swap them out at different times. As you progress as a rider, you can save up for new pair of bindings and ride your old board or vice versa, where you keep your bindings and upgrade to a new snowboard. 90% of the snowboards and bindings available for sale will mount to each other interchangeably. The most common exception to that rule is Burton, with their various mounting patterns.
Pro tip: If you are considering putting Burton bindings on a non-Burton board, ensure you get the version of the binding that doesn’t have “EST” in its product title.
How Much Should You Pay for a Used Snowboard?
While there are a handful of other details to consider, don’t pay current retail prices for used gear. An estimation gauge you can use would be to take 20% off the current retail price of the board for every season it has been used.
An example would be the latest Capita DOA snowboard is available for sale right now for $499.95. If the board was used for two full seasons, do the math like this.
- Step 1: Calculate the Depreciation Discount
$499.95 (current retail price) X 40% (for the two years it has been used) = $199.98 – This calculates the depreciation discount for the board being ridden for two full years. It takes into account two years of depreciation at 20% (20% x 2 = 40%).
- Step 2: Subtract the Depreciation From the Retail Price
$499.95 Retail Price – $199.98 Depreciation Discount = $299.97
There are a few additional details to consider when buying a used snowboard.
The quality of the gear.
- Is the base of the snowboard visually unharmed? Look that it has no major gouges. If it looks grayish, that means it has not been waxed for a long time, and it is now drying out. That is a signal that it likely wasn’t maintained very well.
How old is the gear?
Every season new versions and new models of gear are released. This usually happens around September, when the next version of the board you are considering is released. If the board you are about to buy is even one season out of date, you should check to see how much the board would have been new and if there are any discounts on a new condition version of the older model available right now.
Pro Tip: Sometimes, you can find snowboard deals online if you search the brand, model of the board, and the previous year in your search phrase.
Most used gear available on the Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist is also out of season. If you can wait until August or September, you can probably buy that same brand-new snowboard at its steepest discount. Leftover snowboard gear is usually discounted the most around Labor Day as the new graphics come out for the next season.
You won’t need to spend that much on your first snowboard to learn how to ride. Get a board rated for a beginner, learn to ride, and save money for lift tickets and a higher-end second board.
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Last Updated: February 16, 2024 by Steve Weber
Steve Weber is the author and boardsport gear reviewer for Board of the World. He has been snowboarding for 26 years, skateboarding for 20, and is always looking for a new board sport gear to try out. When he is not riding or skating, he runs a marketing agency. Board of the World is Steve’s blog for skateboard and snowboard gear reviews. The blog’s goal is to help people find the right board for them and encourage people to have fun outside.