For the novice skier or snowboarder the main differences between ski gear and snowboarding gear are quite apparent. Skiers have two skis; their boots are very rigid plastic and are held in place with metal bindings at the toe and heel. They also carry ski poles. Snowboarders, on the other hand just have one large snowboard, their boots are soft and comfortable to walk in, their bindings are more like straps and they do not carry poles. If you are unfamiliar with any of this you just need to go to any snow sports store and compare them both. It is also simple to go online to compare the differences in only a few minutes.
Ski Clothing Versus Snowboarding Clothing
The equipment is where the real differences end. When it comes to ski clothing (ski clothes, skiing clothes) and snowboarding clothing different manufacturers tend to have an image as targeting one or the other but the bottom line is that they are actually very similar. The top quality brands are all designed to give maximum protection from the elements whilst remaining breathable for perspiration to escape. The rest is all about image and looking good. It is simply fashion. Burton, for example, are well known as snowboard suppliers and their target market was originally snowboarders. Many skiers however, also buy Burton gear because it looks good and is considered cool. These days the brands tend to target different demographic groups as opposed to skiers versus snowboarders. Also the style of skiing plays a factor. Young gun skiers who like to do park skiing, also called slope and style, are more likely to favor snowboarding styled garments whereas other skiers would generally go for more traditional styles of skiing clothes.
Many brands target the younger market because they are more into looking cool on the slopes and are prepared to spend the money to do so. That is not to say that there are not older skiers and snowboarders that still want to look good as well, but they generally are not as image conscious. The current fashion for snowboarders and freestyle style skiers leans towards big and baggy men's ski pants and tops either in very bright colors or combinations of dark colors such as black, browns and greys. Men's ski jackets are often also big and baggy whereas more fitted, figure flattering, women's ski jackets are in favor for the girls.
Skiing Accessories Versus Snowboarding Accessories
When it comes to the three, all important accessories that are essential for both skiers and boarders; there really is no difference in either style or function. These are of course, goggles, helmets and gloves. The main thing that you should be looking for here is function. Do not scrimp on price as poor performing items can ruin your day quickly. As long as you shop carefully and hunt for bargains you will be able to find good quality items at heavily discounted prices, just do not buy cheap quality.
Ski goggles and snowboard goggles are exactly the same thing. The same for ski helmets (skiing helmets) or snowboarding helmets. One important point to remember is to always try your goggles and helmets on together. If you already own one of them, make sure you take it to the store when you go to buy the other item. The reason for this is that, although most goggles are helmet compatible, you need to make sure that they fit perfectly and that they work comfortably together. One problem that can occur with a poor fitting combination is that the helmet can push the goggles down on your nose making them uncomfortable. Another thing to look out for is a gap between the top of the goggles and the helmet. Apart from creating a strip that will expose your forehead to the elements it is considered extremely uncool, and let's face it; nobody wants that.
When it comes to ski gloves versus snowboard gloves, once again, there is no difference. Just ensure that you buy good quality ones with both waterproofing and insulating qualities. It is a good idea to have your jacket with you when trying on gloves or mittens. In a similar way to helmets and goggles there are many subtle differences that can impact on your comfort.
In summary, there is really no difference between skiing gear and snowboarding gear when it comes to clothing and accessories. It is all about marketing, fashion and personal preference. The most important thing to remember is to buy good quality items that fit comfortably and function well in all conditions.