How Much Does a Snowboard Cost?

Ben Beddow – January 31, 2022

The right gear is key to enjoying any sport, and snowboarding requires quite a bit of gear to enjoy the slopes comfortably and to the best of your ability. The namesake of the sport, the snowboard, is arguably one of the most important pieces of equipment needed. Of course! You can’t snowboard without a snowboard.

The snowboard is, however, probably the most expensive piece of gear needed for snowboarding. Fortunately for those just starting out, snowboards come in a huge price range, and this can be broken down by the rider’s ability.

Here we’re going to cover: why the costs of snowboarding can seem so high, the different elements of a snowboard and how to choose the right snowboard for you, and then we’ll follow it up with examples of different snowboards that fall into the three major tiers of snowboarder’s ability level.

How Much Does a Snowboard Cost?

The average snowboard cost is around $500, including bindings. The cost of a snowboard will vary depending on the quality and level i.e. beginner snowboards are cheaper than snowboards aimed at expert riders. Here’s what each level of rider might expect to pay for a snowboard, with or without bindings.

Beginner: $200-$350 without bindings, $350-$550 with bindings.
Intermediate: $300-$500 without bindings, $500-$800 with bindings.
Expert : $500-$1000 without bindings, $850-$1400 with bindings.

Buying a Used Snowboard

The cost of a snowboard will vary depending on the level of the rider it is aimed at. i.e. beginner snowboards are cheaper than snowboards aimed at expert riders. The below chart shows what each level of rider might expect to pay for a snowboard, with or without bindings.a

Used snowboards can vary greatly in price and condition from almost MSRP to around $50. There is, predictably, a much lower inventory in the used snowboard market and it can be difficult to find a board that fits you and your riding style. You should always view and inspect a secondhand snowboard before purchasing it. When inspecting a used snowboard you should look for:

  • Damaged or cracked edges
  • Damaged base i.e. deep scratches and core shots
  • Split topsheet
  • Damaged or cracked sidewall
  • Damaged core

Some of these are easy to repair and others, such as a damaged core or cracked sidewall, often mean that it’s a no buy.

What About Renting a Snowboard?

Renting a snowboard can cost anywhere from $50 per day up to over $100 to rent a high-end snowboard. Rented snowboards often come with bindings for you to use, and you can even rent boots from many snowboard shops.

If a snowboard costs $50, minimum, to rent for a day then you only need to rent a board for 10 days and you’re at the cost of buying an expert level board. So, renting might seem cheaper but it may work out to be more expensive in the long run. Many beginners start by renting a snowboard, because they still don’t know if the sport is for them, or how many days they may ride.

Top Tip: If you want to purchase a snowboard from a store in a mountain town then you can often test that snowboard before purchase (for a rental cost). If you then purchase that snowboard from the store they may remove up to 3 days of rental costs from the marked price. Always confirm this before renting the board because it is not offered everywhere.

Why is Snowboarding So Expensive?

All the gear and equipment that you need to snowboard is finely tuned to the environment you’ll be in; that is, often, below freezing temperatures. There is more than just the board, boots, and bindings needed for snowboarding, including: helmet, gloves, jacket, pants, thermals, and socks. These are all available at various price points to suit different budgets.

Note: NEVER buy a secondhand helmet. You don’t know if it’s already taken a knock collision and is now useless for protection.

Unless you’re lucky enough to live within driving distance of the slopes there is also the cost of: travel, lodging, and food and drink; all of which can add up quickly. Then there’s the cost of a lift ticket or season pass and if you’re looking to get snowboard lessons then that’s another cost too.

How to Pick a Snowboard

Your snowboard needs to suit your physique and the style of riding you plan on doing, as different boards are designed for different styles of riding. There are numerous factors affecting which snowboard you’ll choose:

Length: When you stand your snowboard up on its tail the tip should finish somewhere between your nose and chin.

Width: The width of a board is often determined by its length, and the average size boot of the average size rider. Manufacturers make “Mid-Wide” and “Wide” versions of boards for those who have feet that are disproportionately larger than their height. As we explained in our How to Find Your Snowboarding Stance piece you want a maximum of 1-1.25 inches of boot overhang.

Snowboard Type: There are various types of snowboards out there including all mountain (perfect for beginners), freestyle boards, freeride boards, directional boards, powder boards, and split boards. These are discussed in more detail, along with the below topics, in our Guide to Different Snowboard Types.

Shape: Various shapes exist and the most popular are: true twins, directional twins, directional boards, and asymmetrical boards.

Board Profile: These can be camber, when the board arches up in the middle, rocker, where the board arches toward the snow, and hybrids which contain elements of both.

Base: There are two types of bases: extruded and sintered; both made from the same material. Extruded bases are cheaper to manufacture, less durable but cheaper to repair, and they don’t take to wax as well so they won’t go as fast as sintered bases. Sintered bases are harder to repair, yet sturdier, and require regular waxing.

Flex: A board’s flex is usually rated between 1 and 10, with 1 being soft and 10 being stiff. Softer boards are more forgiving and better suited for beginners and park riders, whilst stiffer boards are more stable at high speed and preferred by free riders and speed demons.

All of these variable elements of a snowboard affect the ride of a board and each rider will develop preferences as their riding skill and style evolve.

How Much Does a Beginner Snowboard Cost?

Without bindings a beginner snowboard can cost between $200 and $350. With bindings it can cost $350 – $550. Used boards can be cheaper and many beginners choose this option because they’re not sure about making the financial commitment just yet.

Beginner Snowboard Recommendations

Rossignol Circuit

Price: $350
Length: 145cm, 150cm, 155cm, 156cm (Wide), 160cm, 161cm (Wide), 165cm, 166cm (Wide)
Flex: Soft (3/10)
Learn More

Bottom Line

A directional, all-mountain, beginner to intermediate snowboard that a new rider can really grow into. Featuring Rossignol’s signature “Auto Turn Rocker”, a blend of rocker and camber profiles, making for effortless turn initiation and an easy ride.

Pros:

  • Designed for beginners
  • Fits well as a low level intermediate board
  • Durable board and core

Cons:

  • Only stable at low speeds

Salomon Lotus (Women’s)

Price: $300
Length: 135cm, 138cm, 142cm, 146cm, 151cm, 155cm
Flex: Soft (3/10)
Learn More

Bottom Line

An all mountain, directional twin with a flat-out camber profile and an extruded base. This board is designed to comfortably take the beginner to any part of the mountain they want to explore.

Pros:

  • Great directional ride
  • Tough sidewalls for shock absorbing
  • Very durable

Cons:

  • If you progress quickly you can outgrow this board fast

Arbor Foundation

Price: $330
Length: 148cm, 152cm, 155cm, 158cm, 159cm (Mid-Wide), 161cm, 162cm (Mid-Wide)
Flex: Medium/Soft (4/10)
Learn More

Bottom Line

A directional twin, all-mountain board featuring Arbor’s System Rocker profile that makes initiating turns easy and forgiving for riders of all levels. This beginner snowboard is also great for more advanced riders.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Good for advanced riders too
  • Rocker profile for great turn initiation
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Can chatter at high speeds

How Much Does an Advanced Snowboard Cost?

Without bindings an advanced snowboard can cost between $300 and $500. With bindings an advanced snowboard costs $500 – $800. When selecting an advanced snowboard the rider is beginning to find their own style and the parts of the mountain they want to ride.

Advanced Snowboard Recommendations

Ride Wild Life

Price: $460
Length: 151cm, 154cm, 157cm, 158cm (Wide), 160cm, 161cm (Wide), 163cm, 166cm (Wide)
Flex: Medium/Soft (4/10)
Learn More

Bottom Line

This freeride, directional snowboard features a hybrid camber profile that provides a highly responsive ride. The rocker profile in the nose enhances turn initiation and float in powder.

Pros:

  • Responsive ride
  • Stable at high speeds
  • Good on uneven terrain
  • Great float in powder

Cons:

  • Directional design makes riding switch difficult

Never Summer Snowtrooper

Price: $570
Length: 152cm, 154cm, 156cm, 157cm (Wide), 159cm, 160cm (Wide), 164cm (Wide)
Flex: Medium (5/10)
Learn More

Bottom Line

This board is slightly over the price range for intermediate boards, and is on the cusp of being an intermediate/expert board. The Snowtrooper is a directional, all-mountain snowboard featuring a rocker/camber profile that provides a surfy/playful feel whilst maintaining excellent performance all over the mountain.

Pros:

  • Excellent in powder
  • Great on uneven terrain
  • Works well all over the mountain
  • A rider can grow into this board

Cons:

  • Chatter at higher speeds

Jones Dream Catcher (Women’s)

Price: $480
Length: 142cm, 145cm, 148cm, 151cm, 154cm
Flex: Medium (6/10)
Learn More

Bottom Line

This high-performance, all-mountain board boasts a directional shape and a CamRocker profile. The sintered base means this freestyle snowboard can travel fast all over the mountain and it rides great switch.

Pros:

  • Good at high speeds
  • Excellent on uneven terrain
  • Good carver
  • Great in powder

Cons:

  • Not overly poppy

How Much Does an Expert Snowboard Cost?

Without bindings an expert snowboard will cost between $500 and $1000, whereas with bindings they will cost $1000 – $1400. Expert snowboards are specific to the style of ride that the rider is looking for and will do those jobs really well.

Expert Snowboard Recommendations

Rossignol After Hours (Women’s)

Price: $500
Length: 145cm, 149cm, 153cm, 156cm
Flex: Stiff (7/10)
Learn More

Bottom Line

This directional all-mountain snowboard is playful in the powder and excellent at charging through uneven terrain. This board is nimble, initiating turns exceptionally quickly, helped by its rocker/camber profile. Its directional nature doesn’t interfere with riding switch too much either.

Pros:

  • Great at tight turns
  • Excellent in uneven terrain
  • Good at high speeds
  • Good in powder

Cons:

  • Not too great an edge hold

Jones Ultra Flagship

Price: $1000
Length: 158cm, 161cm, 162cm (Wide), 164cm, 165cm (Wide)
Flex: Stiff (10/10)
Learn More

Bottom Line

This freeride board offers excellent float in powder and phenomenal edge. The Ultra Flagship charges though uneven terrain, boasts a great carving ability, and loves steep terrain.

Pros:

  • Excellent carver
  • Great in powder
  • Fantastic edge hold
  • Great in uneven terrain
  • Phenomenal all over the mountain

Cons:

  • Wide reference stance

Arbor Bryan Iguchi Pro

Price: $600
Length: 153cm, 156cm, 159cm, 162cm, 163cm (Mid-Wide), 167cm (Wide)
Flex: Medium Stiff (7/10)
Learn More

Bottom Line

This freeride board offers excellent float in powder and phenomenal edge. The Ultra Flagship charges though uneven terrain, boasts a great carving ability, and loves steep terrain.

Pros:

  • Excellent all over the mountain
  • Great on uneven terrain
  • Good carver

Cons:

  • Quite average in powder

Conclusion

Choosing a snowboard can be slightly overwhelming with all the factors involved. However, with a bit of research everyone can narrow down their options to a few boards that suit their ability, riding style, and budget.

We didn’t include specialty powder and split boards in this piece, but the above guide should help you in making the correct purchasing decision for you.

FAQs

Are Snowboards Expensive?

Snowboards vary greatly in price and new ones can cost as low as $200, and reach as high as $1,500. So, yes, snowboarding can be expensive, but secondhand boards can be bought on a budget of around $50, and snowboarding can be tailored to almost anyone’s budget.

Are Expensive Snowboards Worth it?

Snowboards are brimming with research and technology that create the best experience possible for the rider. So, if you’re a regular rider and out to have the best experience possible then a more expensive snowboard is definitely worth it. Expensive snowboards are generally specialized to a particular style of riding and really help to improve the riders experience and level of enjoyment.

Are Expensive Snowboard Bindings Worth it?

Pricier snowboard bindings are made of better materials, are more durable, and will therefore have a longer lifespan. As is the case with most industries, more expensive products mean a higher level of performance from the product, meaning that the user can also perform at a higher level.