A lot can happen between snowboarding trips. Our waistlines can fluctuate over the year. Also, you may find that your snowboarding pants are too long, causing them to scuff the floor or catch under your boots as you walk. With this in mind, you may be asking the question, “Can snowboarding pants be tailored?”
Snowboarding pants can be tailored to fit. You can adjust the fit by tweaking the hem. A professional can do this, but you can alter them yourself if you have basic sewing skills; you just need a few supplies and some time. Regarding the waistline, you’re better off buying new snowboarding pants.
In this article, I’ll tell you all about making your snowboard pants fit properly for comfort and security.
Before I get into the DIY aspect of tailoring your snowboarding pants, we need to address your waistline. A good pair of snowboarding pants have a lot of adjustment in the waistband.
Most of the time, you can make the waistband tighter or looser with integrated velcro adjusters. These are often elasticated, too, giving you even more scope for fine-tuning the fit.
I’m kind of dreading putting on my snowboarding pants this winter, as I’m pretty sure my waistline has expanded slightly, as I’ve been less active over the summer.
This is down to moving house and recovering from mildly breaking my back at the end of last winter (it’s all good now).
However, I know that my snowboarding pants will have enough adjustability, so I won’t need to tailor them or buy new ones.
If you’ve run out of scope for adjusting your snowboarding pants’ waistband in either direction, it’s best to bite the bullet and treat yourself to some new pants.
Alternatively, you may want to rethink your lifestyle and cut back on the donuts. It is possible to tailor the waistband of your snowboarding pants, but it’s pretty tricky.
You must use a sewing machine with a super-strong but thin needle that will pass through the thick material.
You could pay someone to do it for you, but they can only do so much before the shape of the pants is affected, making them look and feel strange.
Buying Snowboarding Pants From A Shop vs Online
Ensuring Your Snowboarding Pants Are The Correct Length When Buying From A Shop
The best thing to do is buy snowboarding pants that are the correct length in the first place.
However, when you try on a new pair of snowboard pants in a shop, it can be tricky to see if they are the correct length.
There’s a good chance you’ll stand in front of the mirror with your hands in the pockets in just your socks; this isn’t the best test to see if they are the correct length.
If your snowboarding pants are too long, they will drag on the ground when you walk and get caught under your heels.
It won’t take long for the hems to become damaged, which will let in water and, in extreme cases, start to rip further up your legs.
You may want to try a pair of snowboard boots on with your potential new pants. The shop should have a selection of boots for you to wear, or you could take your own.
Doing this will let you know if the pants will scuff the ground in the real world. Your snowboarding pants will seem too long if they don’t fit your waist properly.
There used to be a trend where snowboarders wore their pants so low their underwear was showing. It’s not 1998 anymore, so make sure your snowboard pants sit on your hips properly.
Choose the correct waist size, and use the waistband adjusters to fine-tune the fit before you walk out of the shop. You can also accessorize with a belt for extra security and style.
Ensuring Your Snowboarding Pants Are The Correct Length When Buying Online
Before you buy snowboard pants online, measure your inseam. This will allow you to cross-reference your size with the pants’ sizing chart.
You’ll stand a much better chance of choosing a pair that are not too long or short in time for your next snowboarding trip.
Like all clothing, snowboard pant sizing varies between brands.
This means you can try every pair of snowboarding pants in a shop and discover that all the ones you like are slightly too long, even though you can set the waistband perfectly.
So how can you get the perfect length?
1. Look For Snowboard Pants With Extra Adjustability
Some snowboarding pants have elasticated drawstrings at calf height. These allow you to cinch the bottoms of your pants to keep them off the ground.
This isn’t something you want to rely on, but if your pants are only a little bit too long, you can use this method to set the length.
2. Get Them Professionally Shortened
My Volcom snowboard pants can be adjusted to fit perfectly around the waist, but they were a little bit too long.
This didn’t make much difference while riding, but they were getting ruined while walking through the resort or hiking for powder lines.
Therefore, I found a local seamstress who hemmed them for me. She shortened them slightly and reinforced the hems to prevent them from being damaged again.
This only cost me a few euros, and she delivered them to my apartment, which was a stress-free way of tailoring my snowboard pants.
But if I needed to shorten my fancy Gore-Tex snowboarding pants, there’s no doubt I would have to pay a lot more, as the process is more complicated and time-consuming.
If you’re thinking about getting your snowboarding pants adjusted professionally, you should get a couple of quotes.
How much it will cost will depend on the style of your pants and the tailor. In the U.S, tailors can charge anything from $15 to $40 per hour.
The job can take two to three hours to complete, so it can cost you between $30 and $80 to get your snowboarding pants professionally shortened.
Another great option is to take your snowboard pants to Patagonia. Even if you don’t have Patagonia snowboarding pants, they will repair or hem them.
This is part of their sustainability program, as they would rather you wear your existing pants for longer than for you to buy another pair, Patagonia or not.
The Patagonia Worn Wear program allows you to take your clothing to their stores for repair or alteration.
They often send a truck designed to repair and alter clothing for free around ski resorts, so keep your eyes peeled for it.
3. Hem Your Snowboarding Pants At Home
You may want to hem your snowboarding pants yourself. But you need to think about whether it’s worth the effort.
It’s a simple thing to do, but you need the right equipment, and remember that the material they are made from is specially designed to keep water out.
This is especially true if they are high-quality snowboarding pants with taped seams. If you still want to try it, you’ll need thin and robust needles to prevent damaging the fabric.
You’ll also need to use a sealed seam if you have triple membrane Gore-Tex. Here are the steps you need to follow to hem your snowboarding pants:
Put your snowboarding pants on with your boots, so you can determine the perfect length. You don’t want them too short, but the bottoms should be clear of your heels.
It would be easy to just turn the bottoms up and sew your snowboarding pants to a new length.
However, most, if not all, snowboarding pants have gaiters and/or zips at the bottoms, making this impossible or very tricky.
Therefore, you need to find the best place to sew a new hem. Often, it’s best to make a new hem at the knee seam.
By folding the outer fabric up to the desired length at the knee seam, you can shorten the legs without touching the zips or whatever you have at the bottoms.
This also means that you’re not cutting into the fabric, which leaves little margin for error. Doing this is much easier if your snowboarding pants are a solid color.
It becomes more tricky if they are patterned, but you need to make a call for the best location for your new hem.
You’ll need the help of someone to set the new length while you’re wearing the pants. They need to fold the pants up to form a small “tunnel of fabric” around the leg, shortening it to the correct length.
They will then need to pin the tunnel to hold it in place. It’s important to use the thinnest pins possible so you don’t perforate the fabric ruining the waterproofing.
Make sure the pins run horizontally, so the holes will be hidden by your stitching. Take care to ensure the fold is even all the way around the leg, so your new seam isn’t crooked.
Once the outer fabric of your snowboarding pants is pinned at the correct length, you need to adjust the inner gaiter.
Tuck the gaiter up so that when you sew the new hem, it will be pushed up, so it doesn’t stick out the bottom of your shortened leg.
This stage is only necessary if you need to significantly shorten the legs. You might be able to get away with leaving the gaiters as they are, as they are elasticated and should stay in place while you’re riding.
Now it’s time to sew along the line you’ve pinned. You can do this by hand or with a sewing machine. But your needle and thread must go through the tunnel you created by folding the fabric.
Most people who re-hem their snowboarding pants use a blind stitch. Your goal here is to try and make your new seam match the other seams on the pants so it looks like it came from the factory.
Therefore, you should take your time and remember to use thread that matches or compliments the color of your snowboarding pants.
Some people suggest that you should run an iron over the new seam. But this might not be the best thing for the fabric.
Heat can damage fabrics such as Gore-Tex and waterproof coatings, which is why I never dry my Gore-Tex gloves on a heater.
It is common for riders to re-hem their snowboarding pants, whether they do it themselves or pay someone. The tricky part of hemming snowboarding pants is maintaining their waterproofing.
The lower part of your snowboarding pants constantly gets bombarded with snow, so any mistakes will let water in. It can be challenging to fix your mistakes if you get it wrong.
Before you shorten your snowboarding pants, you should really consider how long they are.
If they aren’t too bad, It might not be worth doing, so you might just want to leave them alone and turn them up a bit when you walk.
Taking on tight tree runs, climbing over rocks, and catching your pants on your board’s sharp edges can cause rips and splits in the seams. These small tears need repairing, as you don’t want them to worsen.
The technical nature of snowboarding pants material makes repairing holes tricky. You can try to sew patches on them, but you have to be very skilled to ensure you do a good job.
Luckily, you can use waterproof tent fabric patches, such as Tenacious Tape. This stuff has a super-strong adhesive on the back, making it ideal for permanent or temporary fixes.
You can use this tape to give old snowboard clothing a new lease of life or fix annoying rips in your favorite pants.
It comes in strips or on a roll and in several colors, so you can find a close match for your snowboarding pants or a color that compliments them.
- Make sure the area around the hole is clean and dry.
- Snip off any loose threads with scissors.
- Cut a patch to the required size. Round shapes are best, as sharp corners tend to peel away.
- Peel off the paper on the back of the patch, place it over the hole and rub it in a circular motion to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Leave for 24 hours until the glue sets.
If you have a particularly nasty rip or hole, you may want to put an additional patch on the inside too.
So, snowboarding pants can be tailored to an extent. It’s often not worth altering the waistband, as most snowboarding pants have many adjustabilities. However, changing the length is a common thing to do.
You can shorten the length of your snowboarding pants at home if you have sewing experience. But it’s often best to get a professional to do it for you.
But ultimately, the best thing to do is to buy snowboarding pants that fit you in the first place. Remember to measure your inseam to ensure you get the correct length.
But you should also try potential new snowboarding pants on while wearing snowboard boots to see if they are the right length.