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Why Snowboarders Wear Tall Tees

Snowboarders are trend-setters on the slopes, and their fashion choices filter down into the mainstream every year.  X Games Tall TeesOver the last few years, snowboarders have popularized unique sunglasses, novelty hats, and now the latest trend in urban fashion.  Tall Tees are becoming ubiquitous on snowboarding slopes across the country – prized for their unique visual appeal and for the freedom of motion that they give riders.  Expect people all around the country to adopt these radical new styles – and get some of the latest tall tees now before they get sold out.

Origins of the Style

Tall Tee SnowboardersSince the 1990s, fashion has proceeded into more and more ‘casual’ appearances, emphasizing looks that combine utility with comfort.  Instead of creating outfits that take hours to painstakingly assemble, today’s fashion forward young men can buy ‘ready-to-wear’ ensembles that are perfect for a variety of occasions.  The ideal outfit today makes the statement that the wearer isn’t overly concerned with their appearance – so clothing that was once relegated to the living room and the street is now popular in even high-fashion circles.

Tall Tees are an outgrowth of this fashion segment. Basically super-sized versions of regular t-shirts, with longer “tails” that go about halfway down the wearer’s waist.  Importantly, tall tees are actually proportionately enlarged t-shirts, so they aren’t necessarily massive XXXL shirts with tons of room in the chest and stomach, rather they tend to be fairly slender and fitted.

On the Slopes

Longline tees (as they are also commonly referred to) made their first appearance on the snowboarding slopes of Australia, Canada, and the United States, Tall Tees in Koreaexploding in popularity overnight as the style was exposed to the international public through televised competitions during the Winter Olympics and the X-Games.

The benefits of elongated tees for snow-boarders are actually pretty varied.  For one, tall tees offer a wide range of motion for wearers.  Snowboarders tend to be relatively tall people, and average heights are around 6’ on the competitive circuit, so tall tees don’t get as bunched up when snowboarders are conducting their maneuvers and their aerial tricks. We’ve also got our own range of long sleeve tall tees that are perfect for up at the mountain.

Tall T-shirts are also big enough that they can be worn over sweatshirts on warm days, or they can be worn over light base-layers if it is a bit cooler.  This gives the snowboarders some ability to layer their outfits – while also allowing them to wear a graphic t-shirt on the outside of their rest of their gear.  Instead of having to replace an expensive ski jacket every time their tastes change or sponsors shift around, snowboarders can just replace the much-cheaper screen-printed tall tee.Dylan Thompson in Tall Tee

From a style perspective, tall tees fit into the image that snowboarders try to cultivate – the sloppy yet refined stereotype of a “gifted slacker” that snowboards and hangs out with friends on the slopes.  Tall tees are direct descendants of urban “hip hop” fashion – although they probably became popular in snowboarding after they had already become popular in basketball and other more widely-watched sports.

Famous Snowboarders and Tall Tees

Plenty of famous snowboarders have worn longer length tees, and plenty have mocked the trend as well – so the snowboarding world is clearly divided, a good thing for fashion and trendiness.  For example, in this video – popular snowboarder Torstein Horgmo sports baggy pants and a tall tee as he flies down the slopes of Mustang Range in Reno, Nevada.

Todd Richards, Olympic snowboarder and one of the most famous “renegade” athletes in the world, has also been spotted rocking a tall tee in public – and he carries a ton of weight within the snowboarding community.

Choosing a Tall Tee

For sure, purchase whichever tall tee best fits your personality and style – but keep in mind a few buyers’ tips. Similar to finding the right snowboards for tall people picking the correct t-shirt has some guidelines. For one, only buy a tall t-shirt that has been pre-washed, since 100% cotton shirts can shrink a ton if you dry them improperly – and you don’t want to get stuck with a “tall” tee that is actually too small for your body.  You also need to make sure that the tall tees you are purchasing were designed specifically for tall tee usage, as many companies try to pass off regular XXL shirts as being “tall” and they will have terrible fit and baggy sleeves.


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