Let me start by asking you some questions. What stands essential to you; the fit and functionality of the garment (physiological/thermal comfort) or its design and aesthetic (psychological comfort)? Or both? I can bet both equally weigh in.
So, if both factors are equally important in your everyday choice for dressing up, then why single out snowboarding attire? I mean, there is nothing alien here.
Riders like to feel comfortable as well as look good while nailing their rides, and they also respect the culture of snowboarding. The good part is, unlike many other sports, this snow sport allows you to swag. It allows you to throw caution in the air, dress up nice, flaunt your crazy side, and have the time of your life.
To further understand it, let’s dig deeper and find out the factors that add up in the making of this decision by snowboarders.
Why Do Snowboarders Wear Baggy Clothes?
Firstly, a loose fit looks fashionable, secondly, it helps in layering up for the cold weather, and thirdly, it is what their heroes liked. I know you must be wondering why they go for baggy clothes when the temperature is freezing cold, shouldn’t it be the other way around? Can’t they see it goes against common sense?
Calm down, tiger! I know you think that their clothes should be tight to act like a second skin to preserve body heat. Surprise! Snowboarders do wear tight-fit clothes underneath their outerwear. See? They didn’t miss out on it.
Now, let me explain briefly the layering system and the science behind baggy clothing. Besides it looks trendy, baggy clothes also fulfill the purpose of extra layers. The layering of garments is done in an effort to keep the wearer warm.
The layering system isn’t mere layering but a strategic move against the cold. Every garment is performing a specific function to prevent the wearer from shivering and even swimming in their sweat. The division of layering is:
It is a figure-hugging attire for the purpose of wicking away sweat and moisture and trapping body heat.
It is meant to trap warm air, insulate the wearer and provide optimal warmth.
It acts like a shell or armor against the wind and snow. It should be waterproof and breathable.
Benefits Of Baggy Clothes For Snowboarders
Now let’s look at all the benefits and try to understand why do snowboarders wear baggy clothes
Every individual has a distinctive definite personality. Every clan or tribe has its personality too, and so does the snowboarding clan.
The first snowboarding generation went for punk looks and later switched to hip-hop of that time in an effort of building specific identification. They were obviously against conformity but adored individuality. Now you tell me, haven’t they succeeded?
If we compare the two against each other, skiing and snowboarding cultures rest on two opposite poles. They not only have different gear and different styles of exploring the mountains, but they also speak differently, dress differently, and act differently.
So, that’s why you would never witness snowboarders dressed as skiers. Skiers would mostly go for figure-hugging clothing style when they ski for high speeds. However, many skiers would also be seen wearing baggy clothes: a bigger thick jacket or snowboarding hoodies and baggy pants with big pockets.
Same as it, skateboarders and surfers also distinguish themselves from other sports through individual clothing style and by riding different equipment.
Anyhow, baggy clothes became an essential thing for snowboarding. They aligned with other outcast cultures like surfing, skiing, and skateboarding, and proceeded to wear baggy clothes. Hence, made a statement that you can be a free soul in mountains.
Today snowboard riders pull off the same slouchy look as a sign of respect for the culture of snowboarding.
Easier To Wear Multiple Layers
Baggy clothes permit multiple layering. As mentioned earlier, a layering system is essential to keep the body from getting cold or getting too hot. It means you would be in need of some loose clothes to fit the layers underneath.
Winter clothing is body hugging because its function is to retain the heat that your body produces. However, there is still some extra ease in outerwear in order to allow more layers to stay warm. And that is exactly where the baggy clothes help the rider in their survival.
On the flip side, a slim jacket will not allow extra room to perform layering.
Now you know, more room for layering can only be made through loose-fit style. There is no way someone can wear a random T-shirt, a pair of best snowboarding pants, and a coat alone.
Without layers, even if you wear those super functional fancy snowboard boots and a 10/10 gear, you will not survive the wet and cold weather.
Tight Fitting Clothes Restrict Movement
Skintight outfits can cause immobility in your body as it restricts your free movement. This contrast can prove very distasteful as snowboarding is all about moving in various ways.
Many riders don’t prefer to wear tight clothing, as to them, it hinders their bodies from accessing their full range of movement. Or maybe they don’t like their bodies to be completely outlined that specifically.
As you know, snowboarding is a game of radical moves, wearing loose-fit attire, especially snowboarding jackets and pants, permits you to go for those extreme moves without any trouble. (Note: ski pants and snowboard pants are different from each other).
For example, bending your knees is a regular move, trying backside 180 rewind is something no one can resist, and similarly, a forward flip is a must too, all these tricks cannot be performed efficiently in tight clothes.
Tight clothing proves more suitable for skiing, as it fits better for aerodynamics and swift speeds. On the contrary, baggy clothes are more suitable for snowboard riding.
Insulation against the cold is necessary as it determines what type of experience you will have on the mountain. The incorporation of baggy clothes in your attire lets you add more pieces for optimum thermal comfort.
Thermal comfort defines the perceived feeling of the human body when it is subjected to hot or cold resources in the environment. It should be optimum as it affects the health and performance of a human being. The question is, how to maintain such a balance for protection?
The layering system mitigates the unpredictability of the weather by giving extra protection. Weather in mountains can fluctuate a lot, leaving you wondering what to do and what not to do with the clothing. That is where the layers come into action.
As each layer is meant to perform a definite function, if the weather gets too hot for you, the worn garments wick away sweat, if the weather gets too cold your attire will provide much-needed heat.
More Fashionable In The Snowboarding Community
Snowboarders wear baggy clothes in order to make a statement for the riders of this sport. Believe me, when I say, it is the right road to the snowboarding world. It is an image that every rider has to uphold.
Secondly, baggy clothing is a thing in the world of fashion. Don’t you adore all those puffed-up drop-shoulder oversized jackets donned by our favorite Rihanna? I’m sure gentlemen, you all also feel the urge to try the Yeezy oversized fashion!
Today’s generation sees snowboarding as a cooler substitute for skiing. They love wearing cool clothes that their heroes wore, pulling fantastic tricks, and most of all, they want to be seen in trendy clothes.
The factor of breathability in your clothing is as important as water-resistant quality. Do you want to know why? Because if you do not perspire enough, the body cannot regulate its temperature, and you will be out of your thermal balance soon.
This perspiration is mandatory to keep your core warm and dry. Breathable clothes are engineered to function in a specific way. They keep you cool during the day when your body is engaged in physical activities, however, they keep you warm at night when there is zero activity.
Acts As Padding If You Fall
One of the most exciting parts of wearing baggy clothes is that they act like cushions if you happen to fall. And let me tell you one thing, you are definitely going to fall after each successful ride.
We all are familiar with the fact that snowboarders can’t help themselves when it comes to performing some gnarly tricks. They will push their limits to achieve a new milestone. And a fall for a newbie is as much hurtful as for professionals. I mean, professionals are no Iron Man.
There are some specific vulnerable points on your body that you need to armor. Knees and elbows foremost, because they are definitely going to collide first when you crash.
Wearing butt pads, knee pads, helmet, gloves, and padded snowboard pants or other baggy pants is essential for a safe ride. On the market, you can also find full-body armor-type equipment if you think you are prone to falling. Trust me, it is more comfortable to fall on thick clothing than on a few tight garments.
As pointed out in the article, baggy clothes have always been an essential part of snowboarding. Old and new snowboard enthusiasts wear baggy clothes for several reasons, all mentioned in the post.
Still, the very main reason is to honor the heroes and the culture. Also, to ride free! And not conform to society’s rule but individuality.