Why Is Snowboarding So Expensive? (Money Saving Tips)

If you’ve been looking into Snowboarding you’ve probably noticed its not the cheapest sport in the world to get involved in. Financially a lot of people associate this snow sport with high prices, and if you’re just starting out this is an understandable concern.

The reason why snowboarding is expensive is because you need to buy or rent the correct equipment (snowboard, boots, bindings, safety gear) and also the correct clothing. Additionally, there is the added cost of accommodation, travel to the resort, as well as food and drink prices for the duration of your stay.

Snowboarding can be expensive but thankfully there are ways to reduce costs and you may be surprised that some of the costs aren’t so bad. So before you decide to pull the plug on your snowboarding aspirations, check out the break down of costs below plus some wallet-sparing tips.

Why Is Snowboarding So Expensive?

Let’s have a look in a bit more detail as to why snowboarding can be expensive and how to keep costs down.

Clothing & Equipment

One of the biggest expenses will be the specialist kit and clothing needed. Of course, these costs can be mitigated if you decide to rent equipment, but over the long term, this might actually cost you more.

If you’re serious about getting into snowboarding then buying your own, good quality equipment and clothing will be a worthwhile investment.

Below is an approximate price break down of snowboard equipment for beginners.


As you can see the first plunge isn’t so bad. To get yourself up and running regarding equipment cost’s you’re looking at around 500 bucks.

You’ll also need the proper clothing to go with the equipment, below is a table of the rough cost breakdown.

Snow ClothesCost
Snowboard Jacket$200
Snowboard Pants$50
Underlayers & Socks$75

That’s another $325 to add to the bill bringing total clothing and equipment costs to around $835. This will get you set up nicely for the next few years. There are, however, a few more costs to take into consideration.

If you’re on a tight budget try and find a balance between quality and cost. Poor quality gear, clothing, and equipment is a false economy. If you buy cheap gear don’t expect it to last or be reliable and you’ll end up having to replace it.

To save money, stock up in March and April. This time of year you can see discounts from 35% to 50% and a lot of snowboarding gear will go at a fraction of the cost. That top of the range Bluetooth audio snowboarding helmet that costs $300 in the high season is probably reduced to under $250 once its summertime.

For those on a really tight budget, second-hand snowboarding gear can be a viable option and picked up online and in shops at a fraction of the cost.

Be cautious and use common sense when buying second-hand goods. Don’t compromise your own personal safety by purchasing unsafe equipment for the sake of saving a few bucks.

Renting is also an option and there are usually various packages available. Packages will often include snowboard, boots, and snowboard bindings however may not include a helmet and lift access.

Best Snowboard Websites to Save Money on Gear


Accommodation for a multi-night trip will be one of your biggest expenses. From hostels to Airbnb’s to 5-star resorts, you’ll be able to find a budget that suits you. Just expect to pay more (25%+) for the same standard you might get elsewhere.

In high season, most hotels are fully booked. Pre-book or stay outta town and ride in each morning to cut costs.

The cost of accommodation will fluctuate a lot depending on the time of year, choose your season wisely!

Food & Drink at Resorts

Food prices at resorts are expensive and prices are inflated, similar to that of an airport – the owners know they have a captive audience. Most people won’t venture outside the resort to try and find a bargain and so the prices are as high as the market can make it.

You can expect to pay four dollars for a soda and about twenty dollars for a burger and fries. A slice of pizza can cost $5 – $10.

If you’re not into fast food, some resorts do serve some truly amazing food, but you can bet your bottom dollar it comes with a hefty price tag.

If you’re looking to save money where possible, consider getting accommodation with a kitchen so you can make your own food.

If your driving or have some extra room in your luggage, pack some of your own food and drink. Bringing your own snacks and food can be a bit of hassle but can really save a whole bunch of money.

Ski Lift Ticket

Prices for ski lift tickets across the United States are hugely varied and can be bought as a single day, half-day, and multi-day adult and child tickets.

Some resorts will offer free tickets for children whilst others will charge up to $60 for a weekday pass.

Adult weekday passes you can expect to pay in the region of $50 – $100.

Always check the cost of the ski lift tickets before you go so you can factor this into your budget. Often you can buy lift tickets in advance and save yourself some money.

How To Save Money Snowboarding

Snowboard Locally First. Before splashing out on all the latest gear and booking an expensive holiday, see if there’s an indoor ski center or dry slope nearby. Give that a go first and use this opportunity to see if you enjoy the sport and if you want to invest your hard-earned cash on it.

This will also mean when you do get out to the mountains you’ll have a good idea of what to expect and you’ll have had a chance to get to grips with some of the basics.

Choose Your Season. Stay away from the weeks around Christmas and New Year. This is the highest rate you can expect to pay and resorts will be cranking up their prices to an eye-watering amount.

From January thru till early March prices are typically high but not at the Christmas Holiday high rates, however, this is still the high season.

Spring Break traffic will also cause a spike in prices around mid to late March.

Around April time, prices can drop quite drastically – welcome to ‘spring snowboarding’ rates. This can be a great opportunity to grab yourself a bargain and don’t worry – there’s still good snow about.

Rent Your Equipment Off-Mountain. This can be a great little money saver for those looking to rent their snowboarding gear however it will come at the cost of convenience.

After a day on the snow, it’s just easier to drop your gear off once you’re finished for the day, moments from your last run. But if you are on a tight budget then it may be worth considering renting all your gear before you get to the mountain.

Opt for Group Lessons. If you’re new to snowboarding or haven’t been for some time, lessons are a great way to get you up and running.

Private lessons come with the added benefit that you’ll learn faster however they aren’t economically friendly and are charged at a premium. Consider doing group lessons instead which financially is the better option.

Group lessons can also be a great way to meet new people, especially for kids. Socializing and meeting new people is all part of the fun.

Group lessons work out to be about half the cost of private lessons and there may even be the odd occasion where the group only consists of a few other people, and sometimes there’ll be no one else there except you and the instructor.