Snowbarder standing on a mountain looking out across a valley
Editorial Team
Editorial Team

6 Best Ski & Snowboarding Locks 2020 | Cable Lock Reviews

You’re out on the slopes, having an epic day. The conditions are perfect – powdered runs and sunny skies. You decide to stop to refuel with some lunch and a cold brew. But as you walk back out to grab your board, it isn’t there. It’s gone. Vanished, along with your chances of some afternoon cruisin’. Not to mention a large chunk of change.

Unfortunately, gear theft happens on a daily basis, and it can be a heartbreaking affair.

Ski and snowboard thieves are a different breed. They feast on the ruined fun of innocent snow-goers, snatching gear for the sake of some extra pocket money. We don’t think kindly of them.

But there’s a trick we can use to stifle their nefarious plans and protect our treasured boards and skis. We can make use of a snowboarding lock.

These nifty little devices are pocket-sized and lightweight. They make use of a simple cable mechanism that allows you to secure your board to the rack and deter those pesky snow pirates.

Better yet, a snowboard lock will only set you back around $15 bucks. A small price to pay for peace of mind when you’re three drinks into your Après ski. Probably a smaller price than the three drinks themselves, in fact.

In this post, we break down your best options so you can find the lock that’s perfect for your needs, whether you’re a beginner snowboarder or a pro on the slopes.

TLDR

TLDR: The overall best snowboard lock available is undoubtedly the Dakine Cool Lock. It’s affordable, high quality, and secure. As well as being produced by a world-class gear brand. You can’t go wrong with it.

Best Snowboard and Ski Lock Reviews

  1. Dakine Cool Lock
  2. Dakine Micro Lock
  3. Pacsafe Retractasafe 250 Cable Lock
  4. Bosvision Ultra-Secure Lock
  5. Lewis N. Clark Cable Lock
  6. Burton Cable Lock

Snowboard Lock Comparison Table

Before we get into the full reviews, here’s a quick breakdown of our top picks.

LockImageCable LengthCombinationPrice
Dakine Cool Lock37-inch
Four-digit Check Price
DAKINE Micro Lock30-inchThree-digit Check Price
Pacsafe Retractasafe 250 Cable Lock35-inchFour-digit Check Price
Bosvision Ultra-Secure 4-Digit Lock32-inchFour-digit Check Price
Lewis N. Clark Cable Lock30-inchThree-digit Check Price
Burton Mens Cable Lock30-inchThree-digit Check Price

6 Ski and Snowboard Lock Reviews

Now, let’s dive into the details of the best retractable cable locks on the market. Here are our six top picks.

Dakine Cool Lock

 

 

  • 37-inch retractable cable
  • Four-digit combination

Dakine is one of the biggest brand names in the world of snow gear. They’re known for their top quality products and have earned the trust of millions of adventure enthusiasts.

The Cool Lock is no exception. It’s well-made, easy to use, and relatively compact. It’s certainly small enough to fit in your pocket, and you wouldn’t even notice it floating around in your backpack.

The retractable cable is around 3 feet long (37 inches), which is all you’ll need to get around a board and rack post. It also has a four-digit combination, which is significantly harder to crack than a three-digit equivalent.

Pros

  • Well made
  • Four-digit code
  • Trusted brand name

Cons

  • A little larger than some alternatives
  • Not unbreakable

Click to Check Price on REI

 

Click to Check Price on Amazon

 

Dakine Micro Lock

 

 

  • 30-inch retractable cable
  • Three-digit code

Dakine’s Micro Lock is effectively the Cool Lock’s little brother. It’s smaller, lighter, and simpler. As well as slightly cheaper.

The retractable cable is 30 inches long, which is a little on the short side. But it will still comfortably get around pretty much all boards and racks.

Its three-digit code mechanism isn’t quite as secure as the Cool Lock’s. Although, three-digit codes are still a real tough nut to crack. It’s highly unlikely that anyone will be able to happen upon your combination without a tremendous amount of luck. They’re better off grabbing the unguarded board next to yours.

The main selling point of the Micro Lock is its compact size. If you’re not a backpack skier, then this is your guy. It’s a pocket lock at their finest.

 

Pros

  • Compact in size
  • Lightweight
  • Trusted brand
  • Well made

Cons

  • Shorter cable than some other options
  • Three-digit code

Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Pacsafe Retractasafe 250 Cable Lock

 

 

  • 35-inch retractable cable
  • Four-digit combination

Green not your color? Prefer muted tones? Not that it really matters on the slopes, surrounded by a sea of heavily-saturated ski jackets. But if you’re inclined to avoid the bright hues of the Dakines above, the Pacsafe Retractasafe is a great alternative.

It’s very similar to the Cool Lock in most ways. It features a four-digit combination, as well as a 35-inch retractable cable. The cable is made from plastic-coated stainless steel, which is smooth to avoid board damage.

It comes in smokey-grey and is just as easy to use as the Dakine alternatives.

Pros

  • Well made
  • Four-digit code
  • Good length cable

Cons

  • A little larger than some of the other options
  • A touch more expensive than the Dakines

 

Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Bosvision Ultra-Secure 4-Digit Lock

 

 

  • 32-inch retractable cable
  • Four-digit combination

If you want to step up the security slightly while keeping the price low, this Bosvision Ultra-Secure lock is for you.

It has a slightly thicker cable than most other retractable cable locks, which makes it tougher to break or cut. It’s also a four-digit lock for the price of Dakine’s three-digit Micro Lock.

So, what’s the catch? At around the size of a typical smartphone, it’s slightly on the bulky side. But it can still fit into your pocket quite easily if you don’t mind the bulkiness of it. Of course, if you board with a backpack, this isn’t an issue – making it a winning choice all round.

Pros

  • Slightly thicker cable
  • Relatively secure
  • Four-digit code

Cons

  • Bulkier than most other options

 

Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Lewis N. Clark Cable Lock

 

 

  • 30-inch retractable cable
  • Three-digit combination

This little Lewis N. Clark Cable Lock embraces a slightly different design to the standard snowboard lock. It’s a more pocket-friendly shape and is on the smaller side of average. The cable is a little short at 30 inches, but still long enough for most situations.

If you’re unsure about the length, whip out a ruler or a tape measure and get a feel for it in a physical space. You don’t want to buy a lock that’s too short for your needs.

These bad boys come in several colors, so they won’t mess with your mojo if you’re one of those stylish skiers we all know so well.

With only three digits, they’re not quite as secure as the larger models on this list. But still, they offer a strong deterrent and good bang for your buck.

Pros

  • Relatively small and light
  • Affordable
  • Unique design

Cons

  • Slightly shorter cable
  • Three-digit combination

 

Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Burton Cable Lock

 

 

  • 30-inch retractable cable
  • Three-digit combination

Burton is one of the biggest players in the snowboarding gear game. They top countless lists of the best snowboard brands, and they’ve earned this reputation fair and square. So if anyone knows about the value of your precious board, it’s Burton.

The Burton retractable Cable Lock isn’t the best lock out there, with its 30-inch cable and three-digit code. But it’s a solid option for Burton fanatics.

Plus, it’s made by an incredibly reputable brand – so you know you’re in good hands. And it’s probably the best looking lock on this list, for those who are aesthetically inclined.

Pros

  • Reputable brand
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Relatively short cable
  • Three-digit combination
  • Not the most affordable option (though still well priced)

Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Snowboarding Lock Buyers Guide

 

Snow covered ski chalet, made from wood

Two men are walking in the woods when, all of a sudden, a snarling grizzly bear appears. Tom immediately starts running, and Gary yells ‘you can’t outrun a bear, Tom!’. To which Tom promptly replies, ‘I don’t need to outrun the bear, Gary – I just need to outrun you!’.

The moral of the story? Snow gear thieves are usually opportunists, meaning they’ll grab what’s most accessible. So you don’t need an impenetrable snowboard lock – you just need to have a better one than some of the other boards on the rack.

It’s not the kindest notion, but hey, you’ve gotta look out for yourself, right? Unless you want to buy everyone else on the mountain a lock too.

The truth is, a small, retracting cable lock won’t stop a determined thief who’s willing to risk making a scene. But it will certainly deter most from trying, particularly if there are easier targets.

Cable Length

The length of the cable is well worth considering before making your purchase. If you have a tape measure at home, measure out the length of the cable, and see how it fits with your board.

The locks in the list above are all designed to accommodate your snowboard (or skis), so even the shortest of them will be adequate in most situations. But the longer the cable, the better your chances of getting it around an abnormally thick ski rack.

If this is a concern for you, the Dakine Cool Lock is your best bet, with its long cable.

Combination Strength

You might be swaying between buying a three or four-digit code lock. So let’s look at the maths of it.

In a three-digit combination, there are 999 possible variations. So a potential thief would have to play around with it for quite some time before stumbling across the right code. If they tried one variation every five seconds, it would likely take them over an hour to crack it (unless they get particularly lucky).

Four-digit codes, on the other hand, have 9,999 possible code variations. So the same thief trying one code every five seconds would need to stand in the cold for over 10 hours.

With that said, the digit combination length isn’t hugely important. As mentioned before, most thieves will grab whatever’s easiest. And standing at a rack guessing codes for anything more than 5 minutes isn’t going to be their first choice. Particularly if you’re in a busy place.

Size and Weight

This is more important than you might think. Having bulky bits of gear in your pocket can be an annoyance, so you want to pick something that’s slim and light. The locks on this list are all built for this exact purpose, so you’ll likely be happy with any of them. But if you want to avoid carrying extra bulk, go for the smaller options (like the Dakine Micro Lock).

Frequently Asked Questions

Our readers sometimes ask us questions regarding snow gear theft. Here are some of the most common ones, along with our answers.

How do I Protect My Snowboard from Theft?

The best way to keep your board safe when you’re on the mountain is to lock it up. Or you can just choose to not leave it unguarded at any point. But in reality, you’re going to need to make stops at some stage, and not having to worry about board safety is a big win.

Can you Lock Snowboards?

You can absolutely lock most kinds of snowboards and skis. So long as you have some kind of cable, a locking mechanism, and a rack to lock it to. Snowboarding locks aren’t the only options, but they’re the smallest, lightest, and most secure. Plus, they’re purpose-built for the job.

How do I Lock my Snowboard?

Once you have a snowboard cable lock, the actual locking process is pretty straightforward. Just loop it around your board, through the bindings, and around the rack. Getting it through the bindings is important, otherwise it could just slip out.

Final Thoughts on the Best Ski Locks

 

Birds eye view of a quint skiing town, covered in snow

So, there you have it. The best ski and snowboard locks on the market – handpicked to help keep your precious gear safe.

In the world of bicycles and motorbikes, the advice is to spend around 10% of the value of your bike on a lock. And these wise words should be considered for snow sports too.

You don’t have to splash a full 10%, but having a good quality lock is the smart thing to do. It’ll offer you peace of mind and help avoid theft. So bite the bullet, and get yourself one before your next trip. You’ll kick yourself if your board goes astray without one!

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