Why Olympic Snowboarders Choose Mittens Over Gloves

Aunika Skogen |
Olympic Snowboarder
Shaun White 2018 Olympics Big Air; image: fansided.com

As 2021 is beginning to close, many exciting things await in the new year, including the 2022 Olympics. The Olympics are the perfect opportunity for many people to watch sports they wouldn’t usually keep up with. The popularity of interest in snowboarding competitions has significantly increased over the years. People enjoy watching athletes like Chloe Kim, Shaun White, and many other Olympic snowboarders in the growing variety of snowboard events, from halfpipe to slopestyle.

As many tune in to this year’s Olympics, some may notice a difference in the choice of gear riders will be wearing. The gear the riders choose isn’t just for aesthetics; it’s also the functionality. Here are some reasons why you might see your favorite riders keeping their fingers toasty in mittens this year.  

While it may not seem like there’s a significant difference between mittens and gloves, there are a few notable differences. The most obvious, of course, is the fact that mittens house all of your fingers in one pocket. Since your fingers are not separated, they share any body heat generated. Mittens are therefore much warmer than gloves.

While mittens are warmer than gloves, they do not offer as much dexterity. Since all of your fingers are nestled together in one giant pocket, it makes it much harder to grab onto things. Gloves, however, allow each finger to move independently, increasing dexterity. This is why gloves are much more popular with skiers because they have to hold onto poles and are more likely to need better dexterity.  It also explains why mittens are the more popular choice for snowboarders.

Snowboarders don’t need that extra dexterity. They only have to hold onto something when grabbing the edge of their board during a trick. Mittens are also easier to quickly pop on and off when adjusting bindings. 

So this February, when you’re watching the Olympics, notice the differences in gear choices between skiers and snowboarders. 

Olympic Snowboarder Win
Chloe Kim 2018 Olympics; image: fansided.com

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