Difference Between Ski and Snowboard Gloves

One of the common questions among people who are into snowsports is whether there is any difference between skiing and snowboarding gloves. Many items in a skiing and snowboarding kit are interchangeable and gloves are one them. Ski and snowboard-specific gloves exist on the market and there are some good reasons why you should choose a purpose-built pair of gloves. But you can use a single pair of gloves for both sports.

Largely Marketing…

For an amateur, the difference exists largely in marketing and it is almost negligible and it doesn’t matter. What matters for amateurs is the function. If you know the function, you would know what you would get.

Why are you using gloves? What will you be doing mostly with your hands? These are the type of questions you should ask yourself. If a pair of gloves fulfills your requirements, take it. For example, you may be dealing with a lot of snow so, you would need warmer gloves. Or, you may be dealing with gear and you would need more dexterity.

Snowboarding gloves tend to have wristguards built-in. It reduces the flexibility of the wrists which is used more during skiing. But some snowboard gloves come with removable wristguards in which case there is very little difference.


Once you get serious in any one of these sports, not all things remain marketing then. There are some differences in both gloves that can affect your performance. Although small differences, they can make a difference in a competition.

Ski vs. Snowboard Gloves

As mentioned earlier, there are some differences between both types of gloves. If you are looking for performance, then you should get gloves for the specific sports. But nowadays, there is not much difference between the two types of gloves anyway. Most of it is just marketing as mentioned earlier. But the main differences are as follows:

Better Grip in Ski Gloves

Skiers have to grip poles to move on flats and pole plants during parallel skiing. Having a glove with a grippy material on the palm like ribbed synthetic material or leather can help grip the poles without force. Poles are cold. Gripping the poles too tightly would cause your hands to become cold. Ski gloves also have more dexterity than snowboarding gloves.

More Protection in Snowboard Gloves

Snowboarders touch the ground often. Unlike skiers, snowboarders don’t have poles for support. They use their hands. Their hands come in contact with snow more often. Snowboarders have to take off and put on their bindings every time they get on the ski lift. In some cases, snowboarders also drag their hands on the snow for maneuvering. They also fall a lot.

Larger and longer cuff gaiters were first introduced in snowboard gloves for better protection from the snow. Snowboard gloves have extra protective bits on the fingers and knuckles. They are bulkier to withstand hand dragging and falling. Some snowboard gloves even have reinforced palms.

Many snowboard riders prefer mittens over regular gloves. Mittens are warmer, suitable for prolonged contact with the snow. Since snowboarders don’t have to grip poles, they don’t need dexterity during riding. Mittens are also thicker than normal gloves.