Snowboarding gear can cost a pretty penny, so it can be really annoying to have to replace your snowboard boots every year or two due to wear and tear from riding the chairlift. If you're a rider, you know that removing one boot from its binding to ride the chairlift poses a dilemma -- what to do with the loose boot while you're sitting on the lift. Supporting the board with your loose foot tears up the top of the boot, so if your boots are starting to look a little scruffy, you'll need to consider a few different options.
Place the boot near a heater for a few hours to ensure that the top is completely dry. Wrap duct tape around the toe area of your boot, where the snowboard edge touches the boot when you're on the chair. This is perhaps the cheapest option available to you for protecting your boot, but replacing or removing the tape will leave a sticky mess.
Install a boot protector -- sometimes called "boot shield" -- on the top toe area of the boot. A number of companies make this product, which is essentially a piece of rubber that acts as a cover for the toe and lace area of the boot that is loose while on the chair. Install it by sliding the boot protector's "tongue" under your boot's laces and then snap the two sides of the protector together over the laces.
Place your snowboard near a heater to allow the surface to dry completely, in preparation for installing a boot strap and hook to your board. Stick the hook near the inside heel of the binding that corresponds to the boot that is loose on the chairlift. Shake the hook a little to ensure the adhesive is secure. Then wrap the strap around the loose boot, facing the strap near your ankle bone. Hook the strap to the hook before you get on the chairlift, allowing your snowboard to hang slightly below your loose boot.
- If none of these options work for you, the other option is to let the snowboard hang down, not supporting it with the top of your loose boot. This will protect your boot from damage, but it may cause the knee that's still attached to the board to get pretty sore.
- Your snowboard boots may be under warranty, but don't expect the manufacturer to replace them if they're damaged from a snowboard resting on top of them. Boot manufacturers are aware of this common problem and won't replace boots damaged in that way.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.