Weather can be unpredictable – that’s THE thing about the weather.
And once you find yourself on the slopes ready for a nice snowboarding session, there’s no guarantee that the weather is going to comply, especially during the final reaches of winter when the rainstorms start acting up, bringing the warmer weather.
So if you’re anxious about facing this kind of weather, you’ve come to the right place – because this article will explain why you CAN snowboard in the rain, and all the nice things that the weather conjures up.
And I’ll also talk about the cons and all the things you need to pay attention to as well, so that you don’t end up getting injured on your long-awaited snowboarding session.
The Fun Things About Snowboarding In The Rain
Snowboarding in the rain is an amazing experience. Here are some of the best things about it:
The Crowd Disappears
You will be fascinated by the number of people on the slopes when it rains.
Apparently, rain is cozy weather when you want to stay indoors and have a nice warm cup of hot chocolate – and NOT on the freezing slopes.
Also read our guide on skiing in the rain
But for the pro snowboarders who are in love with the sport, you have an amazing opportunity to hit the slopes during rain because the terrain will be virtually EMPTY.
All the novice snowboarders and even most of the pros will opt to stay indoors, leaving a ton of room for you and your thrill-seeking gang to have the best time out on the hills.
And let’s not forget the very long queues on a regular day – GONE! With the lack of a crowd eager to head up the hill, you will be having an absolute blast with all the empty lifts for your use!
If you have signed up for ski lessons, and your class is usually large – count on getting lessons SOLO, because the weather will discourage a lot of snowboarders from heading to the hills anyway.
So if you have paid for a group tutoring session (which is usually lower than one-on-one sessions), you can get a pretty much private session with the instructor, or maybe share your instructor with a couple of other snowboarders for a small price!
Granted it will be in the rain, but that will just add to the fun!
Rain on snow can make it much softer, especially if the surrounding air is around-freezing levels (nothing more OR less!).
This type of snow can be GREAT for carving, and you’re sure to have a fun time on the slopes.
Softer terrain is absolutely interesting to navigate and will add LAYERS to your expertise and experience as a snowboarder.
Read our guide on how rain affects snow here.
And The Not-So-Fun Things
Snowboarding in the rain isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. It creates a number of problems and some of these are:
Wet Clothes And Gear On The Cold Slopes
While snowboarding in the rain sounds like a fun session on the slopes, one simply cannot escape the true issues that come with rain – GETTING WET.
Snowboarding gear can be waterproof (since it’s tailor-made for an environment of snow), but there are levels to clothing being waterproof.
If you are wearing a set of clothing that gets wet easily, the cold snow slopes combined with the rain and wind can very easily drive your body into hypothermia.
This can cause serious damage to your body, and if the right equipment is not with you, it can cut off blood circulation in your extremities leading to much more serious problems.
Other types of gear like goggles can also get compromised, especially since they can get frosted over while heading downhill. This can severely affect your visibility, and make it impossible to make proper turns.
So wearing clothing which is properly waterproof and wearing the necessary gear to protect your hands and feet is VITAL if you’re snowboarding in the rain.
So if the temperature is unforgiving, it’s best to stay away from the slopes while it’s raining.
Ice On The Terrain
If the air temperature fluctuates during rain, it can create a layer of ice on top of the snow layers, and this can be very dangerous.
Controlling your snowboards in this terrain can be next to impossible, and can most probably lead you to a serious injury.
Read more about skiing on ice here.
Since the layer of ice that forms gets very slippery and combined with the rainfall, it creates a frictionless surface which takes away the ability to make sudden stops or sudden turns to avoid any greenery.
This can lead to the possibility of getting seriously hurt unless you take a proper look at the quality of the snow before you head downhill.
Slush And Snowboarding
If the temperature is significantly warmer during rainfall, it can quickly melt the snow and create something called slush – which makes your gear sink in and much harder to maneuver properly.
You WILL need an extra amount of strength and attention to make sure you make the right moves, and this will tire you much faster.
While it will definitely affect your experience on the slopes, it will also affect the way you make quick decisions while moving downhill at high speeds.
Overall, you CAN snowboard in the rain, and you will have a pretty much vacant slope and ample space to have a good time with your ski buddies chasing that adrenaline rush.
But you must make sure that the snow is good enough, and you are wearing appropriate clothing and gear which will make sure your body temperature doesn’t change drastically and your ability to move and see during your descent is maintained.
Can You Go Snowboarding Day After The Rain?
It depends on the snow conditions, but it’s mostly a ‘NO’. Because rainfall can leave a layer of ice or slush and those are not ideal conditions for a snowboarder.
It can either leave you on an extremely slippery surface, with ZERO traction or it can cause way too much friction and make sudden moves literally impossible.
So the best advice is to wait until conditions improve significantly if you don’t want to risk falling on hard ice or tiring yourself out in a few minutes.
What Do You Wear To Snowboard In The Rain?
Ideally, your snowboarding clothes should have a rating of either 10 000mm or 20 000 mm, which indicates exactly how waterproof they are. The former is best for moderate rainfall, and the latter for very heavy rainfall.
And make sure your feet and hands are covered, and the cold air CANNOT seep in through your clothes and into your body.
Is Wet Snow Suitable For Snowboarding?
Yes, but only if it’s soft and not turned into slush. However this only happens if the snow and rain are at near-freezing temperatures. Anything else would lead to ice or slush, which can be problematic!