can you snowboard in rain?

Can You Snowboard in Rain? [5 Survival Tips]

by Fraser


The mere word conjures images of cloudless blue skies, sparkling snow-covered slopes, and that crisp mountain air. 

But what happens when the heavens swap out the snowflakes for raindrops? Do we pack up our boards and retreat, or do we say “bring it on” and hit the slopes anyway? 

Well, before you answer, let’s consider one simply question; can you snowboard in rain?

The Short Answer

Yes, you can snowboard in the rain, though it might not be as comfortable or enjoyable as in typical snow conditions. Having the right gear, particularly waterproof outerwear, can make a big difference. Rain can also alter the snow's texture, making it softer and potentially more challenging.

Embracing the Drizzle

Let’s be clear here. Snowboarding in the rain is not for the faint hearted – or for those particularly attached to their dry clothes.

The snow becomes a delightful(ly treacherous) slushy mess, and visibility can drop quicker than a jerry on a black diamond.

You might feel like you’re trying to shred a giant Slurpee. If you thought falling on snow was fun, wait until you slip and slide down some steep rain-soaked slush. 

The Pros and Cons of Snowboarding in the Rain

  • Empty Slopes: When the weather turns a little soggy, many people decide to call it a day. This means more room for you!
  • Snow Conditions: Rain can make the snow softer and easier to carve. If it's been icy, the rain can help soften the surface layer of snow.
  • Visibility: Even though it's raining, visibility can actually be better than during snowfall.
  • Experience: Every condition offers a learning experience in snowboarding. Mastering rain conditions can make you a more versatile rider.
  • Wet Gear: Snowboarding in the rain can leave you and your gear soaked, which could potentially ruin your day if you aren't prepared with waterproof gear.
  • Cold: Wet and cold is a combination that's challenging to fight against. If the temperature drops, you could end up feeling pretty chilly.
  • Slushy Snow: The snow conditions can turn slushy, making it more difficult to control your board.
  • Gear Wear and Tear: Rain and wet conditions can be tough on your gear, leading to quicker wear and tear, especially on the base of your board.

Can You Snowboard in a Rain Jacket?

Dressing for the slopes is usually straightforward – layers of warm, cozy clothes under a high-quality, insulated snowboarding jacket. But when the weather takes a turn, what do you wear? Can you snowboard in a rain jacket?

can you snowboard in a rain jacket?

Technically, yes.

In fact, in a downpour, a waterproof rain jacket might even seem like your knight in shining (water-repelling) armor. But, before you reach for your raincoat, there are a few things to consider.

Key Considerations

Rain jackets are designed to repel water, keeping you dry during your soggy slope adventures. They’re typically lightweight and offer excellent mobility – a huge bonus when you’re trying to navigate a slush-covered hill. So, rain jacket for the win, right?

Not so fast. While your average rain jacket may keep you dry, it might not keep you warm.


Most rain jackets lack the insulation you’d find in a snowboarding jacket, which could leave you feeling like a human popsicle on the lifts.


And let’s not forget breathability – rain jackets, while excellent at keeping water out, aren’t always so great at letting air and moisture (sweat) out. This can leave you soggy, cold and miserable after a few runs.


Enter the hero of our story: the snowboarding jacket. It may sound counterintuitive to choose a snowboarding jacket for rain, but hear us out.

Many snowboarding jackets offer a winning combo of waterproofness, insulation, and breathability.

They’re designed to protect you from the elements, be it snow, wind, or even rain, while also allowing for air circulation to keep you comfortable.

The Verdict 

So, what’s the final verdict?

While a rain jacket can work in a pinch, your best bet is a high-quality, breathable snowboarding jacket.

It keeps you warm, dry, and comfortable, all while preventing you from turning into a mobile sauna.

Throw in some waterproof pants and moisture-wicking layers, and you’ve got yourself the perfect ensemble. You’re ready to take on both the rain and the snow with style and grace!

Tips For Snowboarding in The Rain

So, you’ve decided to snowboard in the rain? Respect. 

Here’s a few tips to keep your day enjoyable. 

1. Choose The Right Waterproof Rating

When choosing a jacket for snowboarding in the rain, check the following waterproof rating table:

Waterproof Rating (mm) Degree of Water Resistance Typical Weather Conditions
0-5,000 mm Minimal to some level of moisture resistance. Light rainfall, powdery snow, zero pressure.
6,000-10,000 mm Waterproof under conditions of mild pressure. Mild rain, ordinary snowfall, minimal pressure.
11,000-15,000 mm Waterproof except under conditions of high pressure. Average rainfall, regular snowfall, low pressure.
16,000-20,000 mm Capable of withstanding high-pressure water exposure. Heavy downpour, slushy snow, moderate pressure.
20,000 mm+ Capable of withstanding very high-pressure water exposure. Severe rainfall, wet snowfall, intense pressure.

2. Wax On, Wax Off

A well-waxed board will help you navigate the wetter, slushier snow better than a board that’s as dry as toast.

3. Vision is Vital

Consider investing in some high-quality, anti-fog goggles. Make sure to grab some high quality anti-fog spray for goggles too! 

4. Plan Ahead

Pack an extra pair of gloves and socks. Nobody likes pruny, cold fingers and toes.

5. Embrace the Slip and Slide

Adjust your riding style to be a little more conservative. Today is not the day for launching new tricks. Remember, the aim of the game is to stay upright and dry (mostly).


In conclusion, snowboarding in the rain might not be everyone’s cup of tea (or cocoa). But for those willing to embrace the damp and the chill, you’ll be rewarded with empty slopes and zero queues.

With the right gear and attitude, you can have an even better day than a bluebird powder day… okay, I’m exaggerating. But it can be fun!

So, suit up, prepare for a whole lot of laughing (and falling), and take on the slopes, come rain or shine!

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