If you're like me, your holiday shopping list is probably still a work in progress. Sure, you can buy Dad a tie and Mom a new bathrobe, but what about little Johnny, the resident shredder in the family? Fear not - I have some great gift ideas for the snowboarder on your list!
All these items can be found on my Top 10 Gifts for Beginner Snowboarders, although it's important to note that many of the items are not beginner-specific.
We'll start with a key safety item: Wristguards. Snowboarders have a tendency to shoot out their hands when they fall, which can easily lead to a wrist injury. Wristguards are comfortable, fit under just about any glove, and can help prevent wrist and forearm injuries.
Along the same lines, Pro-Tec makes a great padded short, much like those worn by NFL, NHL, and NBA players. Aside from protecting the rear, the shorts also prevent the cold from seeping in during extended on-snow chat sessions (snowboarders tend to sit when chatting, in case you hadn't noticed).
The last safety item also plays a big part in helping a snowboarder look the part: goggles. Priced anywhere from $50 on up, goggles protect the eyes from harmful UV-rays, impacts, and the occasional wayward snowball.
From a more practical standpoint, snowboard locks and snowboard pocket tools make great stocking stuffers. Unless I'm at my home mountain where I have access to an employee locker room, I always lock up my snowboard. Gotta protect the investment, ya know? While I don't always carry a lock with me, I treat my snowboard pocket tool like my Amex card - I don't leave home without it. Whether it's my bindings that need a quick adjustment or those of a friend, my little screwdriver never lets me down.
Warm winter clothing is always popular for snowboarders during the holidays. New Snowboard socks are, to put it bluntly, awesome. There's just nothing like a soft, fluffy pair of new blankets for the dogs! My fiancee also claims new snowboard socks smell much better than the old ones, which is probably true. Continuing with the clothing ideas, gloves and mittens are always welcome - cold fingers are not awesome, which is why a quality pair of gloves is so great.
Last but not least is a bag to transport all this gear. Check out the latest pack designs from companies like Burton or Dakine. Most packs these days come with thoughtful little touches like fleece-lined goggle pockets, space for a hydration pack (like a Camelback), and the near-ubiquitous iPod storage area.
No matter what you decide to get the snowboarder in your life this year, remember one thing: positive, snow-centric thoughts are always appreciated, and they cost nothing. Think snow!