By Melissa Wynn

Shredding the snowy slopes of the Sierra is often what motivates the locals to call Northern California home. Perhaps there is a snowboarder on your holiday shopping list this season.

The most appreciated gifts are often practical what-nots that make your favorite activity a little easier on the wallet.

Snowboarding can get expensive when you have to start from from scratch. So, a few of the basics under the tree can light up your favorite enthusiast’s Christmas.

Snowboard wax makes a great stocking stuffer and your special shredder will think of you every time they wax up for their next great run. Just remind yourself to look whats cool on snowboarding sites prior to the birthday, inspiration comes easy like this.

Keeping warm is all important for a long day on the slopes since many ski areas offer night time hours as well.

Snowboarding pants are a must for keeping cozy and dry. Whether your boarder is a novice (who will inevitably land in the snow several times during his or her learning curve) or an old pro, this piece of apparel is sure to take the occasional beating. A spare pair can’t hurt either. Extra gloves and thick, warm socks don’t sound like a very fun gift but they can mean the difference between a few more hours of fun and calling it a day just to thaw out.

One of the biggest recurring expenses of the snowboarding sport is lift tickets. Whether you fill the stocking with a season pass to their favorite hill or a one-day ticket to try somewhere new, this gift will have you coming up roses all around.

Backcountry boarders have safety concerns all their own, so for those you might choose a light but sturdy backpack to carry the necessities. A small first aid kit can make all the difference in an emergency. For the extra comfort of knowing they can find their way home, what could be better than providing a portable GPS system?

Last but not least is the best that technology has to offer — an avalanche beacon. For backcountry boarders, this is an important tool. This modern marvel can help search and rescue, as well as their buddies, find your beloved boarder quickly in the worst situation in snow sports.

It’s easy to light up the eyes of your snowboarder on Christmas morning, just feed the fun!