Today’s reader question:
When is the right time to replace my gear?
I’ve answered this before, but it seems to come up a lot, especially right now since it’s just before the snowboard season starts, so here’s my answer:
So generally, this is when I recommend you replace your snowboard gear:
1) Replace gear when it’s broken/worn out
If your gear is broken or worn out, then go ahead and replace it. That’s a pretty easy one and I don’t think anyone will argue that you shouldn’t replace broken gear.
Don’t fall for the trap of thinking you have to buy a new board every year, you don’t. My favourite park snowboard is still the K2 Jibpan from many years ago and I’d still be riding it today if I didn’t break it.
Changing your gear too often can actually be a negative for your snowboarding because you’ll be constantly adapting to the different feel of each piece of equipment and having to change up your muscle memory a little.
eg – It takes me 1-2 weeks to really get used to a new snowboard before I’m able to ride it confidently and do most of my regular tricks again.
2) Replace gear for more specialized riding
Typically most riders start out with some sort of all-mountain board and that works as your all mountain slayer while you go through the early to intermediate stages of snowboarding.
However, once you get more advanced, you’ll start to have a better idea of what areas you prefer, what type of riding you like to do and what type of gear you like (eg – stiff boots or softer boots).
That’s a great time to look at new gear because you’ll know exactly what you want and you’ll be able to find gear that’s exactly suited for your needs while still keeping your all-mountain board as your backup/resort slayer.
Outside of these 2 areas, most people are just buying gear because they can, which is fine if they’re happy to spend their money, but you don’t really need to replace your snowboard gear all that often.
For reference, here’s how long some of my gear typically lasts and outside of that I don’t replace my gear (keep in mind I ride up to 200+ days a year):
- Outerwear – 2-3 seasons
- Boots – 1 season
- Board – 1-2 seasons, but if I get a few unlucky crashes I might go through a few snowboards in one season
- Bindings – practically forever if you replace the straps
Outside of that I do buy new gear once in awhile like everyone else when I want to check out some new tech that looks promising (eg – canted bindings rock), but those are luxury purchases and I obviously don’t *need* the new gear.
Hope that answers your question!