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There are a few different types of snowboard mask you can choose from when looking for a new accessory. A standard tubular mask or neck warmer style mask can be pulled up and down easily. A hooded mask covers the head and ears with a hinged face covering. And a balaclava or full mask covers most of the face and head for total protection.
Most face masks are made from either acrylic or polyester as they offer great elasticity, comfort, and performance on the mountain. Synthetic materials are also suited to masks as they have a natural water resistance because the fabric doesn’t absorb moisture easily. This is also good for breathability, as we release a lot of moisture while we breathe, which can make non-breathable masks wet over time.
While masks are generally not waterproof, they are made of materials that can be DWR coated, and sometimes even neoprene which offers solid moisture protection. A DWR coating can help to repel water and keep snow from soaking into the material while you’re riding, keeping you comfortable for longer.
Most masks are compatible with all goggles. A neck warmer style mask is pulled up to the bridge of the nose and pinned in place by the goggles. Most masks are worn this way unless they are fitted to the face or have a specific goggle fit. However masks can also be worn loose above the nose or under it to improve breathability.
A snowboard mask is a great choice on the mountain as it keeps you warm, protects your face from windburn, and also combats sunburn, too. A face mask is an essential piece of gear as the skin on the face is fragile. But beyond the physical defence they offer, snowboard masks are also a great way to customise your look on the slopes.
If you’re a laid back rider or you ride in colder conditions, a warmer mask is a good choice, and something like a neckwarmer is versatile and easy to use. They don’t breathe as well but if you’re not working up a sweat and breathing hard, that’s not a problem. Those who are riding harder and more intensely should choose a lighter, more breathable mask to complement their riding style.