How To Prevent Your Snowboard From Being Stolen!

How To Prevent Your Snowboard From Being Stolen! [Lock 101]

by Fraser

I’ll cut straight to the chase, snowboard locks are the best thing you can buy to protect your snowboard from being stolen.

But despite their increasing popularity, snowboards are still being stolen from ski resorts across the world.

So today I thought we’d talk about how to prevent your snowboard from being stolen

Here’s some advice to protect your snowboard:

1. Don’t Let Your Guard Down

Okay, first things first, never leave your snowboard unattended in public areas. It’s like leaving a bar of gold in a sea of pirates! Always have a friend keep an eye out or take turns when grabbing a beer from the bar.  

2. Lock It Up

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to stay with your gear – especially in European resorts.

So grab yourself a snowboard lock.

Yep, they’re a thing.

Small, portable, and often retractable, these locks can secure your board while you take a break. While they might not deter a determined thief with bolt cutters, they’ll certainly make things trickier for opportunists.

3. Get Personal

Make your snowboard uniquely yours. This isn’t just for style points. A distinctive board is less attractive to thieves and easier to identify. Add stickers, decals, or even get a custom paint job. When everyone knows it’s yours, there’s less room for sneaky business.

4. Pick Your Rack Wisely

If you’re using a resort’s snowboard rack, pick one in a high-traffic area. Thieves prefer to work where they’re less likely to be noticed. Plus, if there’s an indoor option, even better!

5. Keep Records

It might sound a bit much, but snap a photo of your snowboard and jot down its serial number. In the unfortunate event it does get taken, having these details can make reporting to authorities or tracking it down online a lot easier.

6. Buddy Up

If you’re boarding with friends, place your boards in alternate order in the rack. It’s far more challenging for a thief to grab multiple boards when they’re intertwined with others.

You can even lock them all together (and secure them to the rack)

7. Use Technology

Consider using a GPS tracker or Apple Airtag. Attach it discreetly to your snowboard. If someone does run off with it, you’ll have a way of tracking it down. Plus, the look on the thief’s face when you find them? Priceless.

8. Consider Insurance

If you’ve invested a lot into your snowboarding equipment, it might be worth insuring it. While it doesn’t prevent theft, it provides a safety net for replacement.

9. Trust Your Gut

If something feels off, like a person lingering around the racks or acting suspiciously, trust your instincts. Maybe wait a bit before leaving your board, or alert resort staff.

10. Educate and Advocate

Lastly, spread the word. The more snowboarders (and skiers) that are vigilant and aware of theft prevention, the less likely thieves are to target snowboarding spots.

My Thoughts on Locks

A snowboard lock is your best hope of securing your snowboard. Always secure your snowboard bindings side down in a rack.

Locals in resort areas know that if you have your boards binding side up you are likely from out of town. Why is this important?

Some thieves drive around with power drills and can steal your bindings in 10 seconds if you have them binding up.

Of course, some thieves also take tools to the slopes to break locks… but they are 99% more likely to steal a board that doesn’t have a lock on.

Did you know that locks also works for skis? Which reminds me, any skiers out there should definitely read my snowboarding vs skiing article. It’s a game changer!

Always Make Your Mark

Differentiate your board from others:

  • Permanent marker initials into sidewalls with small lettering so its not noticeable unless you know.
  • Try to etch your name into your bindings and do something to your board to make it unique, like a very specific stomp bad or something someone else won’t notice, maybe your name in Sharpie under the bindings.

What To Do If Your Snowboard is Stolen

Unfortunately, even after taking every possible precaution, snowboard thefts still happen.

If your snowboard has been stolen, it’s natural to feel a range of emotions, from anger to heartbreak.

While getting it back may be challenging, taking quick and decisive actions can increase your chances. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do:

1. Stay Calm

While it’s understandably frustrating, staying calm and focused will help you make rational decisions about what to do next.

2. Double-Check

Before jumping to conclusions, ensure you’re looking in the right place. Perhaps you misremembered where you left it, or it got mistakenly moved.

3. Alert the Resort

Report the theft to resort staff or the ski patrol. They may have a lost and found service, or they might have seen something suspicious. Some resorts may also have security footage that could be reviewed.

4. File a Police Report

Even if the resort is assisting, it’s essential to file an official police report. This not only helps in case the board is found but is also often necessary for insurance claims.

5. Check Nearby Resale Shops

Thieves might try to offload stolen gear quickly. If there are any second-hand sports stores or pawn shops nearby, let them know about the theft and provide them with a description of your board.

6. Monitor Online Marketplaces

Keep an eye on platforms like Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace for listings that match the description of your snowboard.

If you spot it, inform the police rather than confronting the seller yourself (tempting as this might be!). 

7. Use Social Media

Post about your stolen snowboard on your social media channels and local community groups. Include clear photos and a detailed description. The more eyes you have looking out for your board, the better.

8. Contact Your Insurance Company

If you have insurance that covers theft, get in touch with them as soon as possible. They will likely need the police report and any other evidence of the theft (broken locks etc). 

9. Prevention for Next Time

Use this experience as a lesson. Consider investing in a snowboard lock, always store your board in a secure location and stay nearby. 

10. Consider Replacement

If after some time, it’s clear that your snowboard isn’t coming back, it might be time to think about getting a new one. While it’s a bitter pill to swallow, the silver lining is that you have an excuse to buy a brand new one!

Bonus Tip: Request a Pro Form

A ‘proform’ is an access code used to get gear directly from the manufacturer at huge discounts. They’ll often sell boards with cosmetic defects, protoypes models that never saw production, and excess inventory at 60-85% off.

If you want to add a bit of weight to your request, tell them that your friend had his board stolen at a competing resort and they gave them a pro form.

If you are super awesome charismatic they’ll probably give you one.

Final Thoughts

While it’s a snowy paradise out there, it’s essential to remember that not everyone plays by the rules.

With these tips, you’re not just securing your snowboard; you’re championing a safer and more trustworthy community.

So gear up, lock up, and may your snowboard season be theft-free! 

Happy riding.

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Carlos 19/12/2023 - 10:15 am

I bought my daughter a Burton Stylus 2022 board and Cartel bindings at Rhythm in Hirafu on Monday and they were stolen from a restaurant on the mountain the very next day.

What I don’t understand is how someone managed to do this on the mountain. Ride the lift on skis or a board and then ride down with one under their arm?

Fair enough, at the base of a mountain near a car park but half way up?

It’s a pretty common rental board so someone may have just picked it up by mistake but there wasn’t any obviously abandoned single boards around to imply this was the case…

Lock it or lose it in Niseko.

Fraser 19/12/2023 - 10:47 am

Hey Carlos. So sorry to hear that. Niseko is usually super safe (though there are of course always some bad eggs).
Sounds like it was taken at the top of the slopes? Which is even crazier.

Make sure to save the “Burton Stylus” search on ebay and keep an eye on any Hirafu/Niseko sale groups. Locks may not have stopped them if the thieves are super persistent, but they do add that “embarrassment/attention” factor that most thieves prefer to avoid.

I’ll drop an email to our contact at Burton to see if we can send you a ProForm Discount code or do anything to help. Sadly it’s unlikely but I’ll reply to this thread if we hear back

Hope this experience hasn’t put too much of a dampener on your Japan experience.


Carlos 19/12/2023 - 10:39 pm

Thanks for getting back to me. Much appreciated!

We’re still reeling from the whole experience and spent yesterday looking everywhere on the slopes and visiting rental shops (to discuss the likelihood that it may have been handed in) lost and found offices and the Police to get a crime number.

We’re trying to move on but it’s certainly put a dampener on things, pre-Christmas.

We’ve quite literally skied and boarded everywhere in the World and nothing has ever come close to this.

It was my daughter’s first proper piece of kit after years of ex-rental rubbish and standard rentals. I was such a proud father seeing her dance down the powder here on a board that she could finally say is hers. All her other stuff is Burton and she chose the board especially.

She’s only 13 but has found “her thing” in life. The one thing she is really talented at, after being over-shadowed by her super-sporty brother. The confidence she has gained from boarding has also started to spread to other aspects of her life.

Anyway, thanks for your words of wisdom both on your website and here in the comments.

I sincerely hope you have a great festive season.

Fraser 20/12/2023 - 1:23 pm

No problem. Sounds awful. What a shame people are out there doing things like that on the mountain.
Here’s hoping the gear either turns up or your insurance covers it.

Glad to hear your daughter is stoked on snowboarding (and life!) regardless. We’re relying on the next generation of passionate riders to carry the torch!

Wishing you all a great rest of your trip… with no further events.


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