There's no need to buy an extensive complete set of brand new equipment for your first holiday. This is what we recommend.
You'll be able to hire boots and skis, or a snowboard, in the resort. You can also rent ski clothing in the UK or borrow a jacket and trousers from friends. If you need to buy it, then check out online auction sites or high street discount stores for discounted gear. Other items you'll need are:
• Goggles. Otherwise you won't see a thing if it snows.
• Gloves. Or you'll never keep warm.
• A woolly hat or a helmet. At this early stage a helmet is far more important for a snowboarder than a skier.
• Snowboarders also need wrist guards or at least a pair of gloves with built-in wrist protectors. And they will be really thankful for some kind of bum protection too - either a piece of camping mat cut to fit down their trousers, or a special pair of padded shorts.
• Swimwear. This is something most people forget, but there are great pools at most resorts and a Jacuzzi is a great way to rest those tired muscles after a hard day on the slopes.
Also remember to take plenty of pairs of socks (ski and snowboard boots are very smelly), as well as fleeces, and some old jumpers with which to layer up if it gets cold.