“ How do you choose your boards? „
I've been snowboarding for, oooooh, many years. I'm a highly qualified snowboard instructor registered with CASI (Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors). I've learnt from my mistakes buying boards in the past and I've advised plenty of people on which board would be their perfect happy partner :) I actually advise people on their perfect happy board partner in my professional capacity working for Quiksilver and Roxy. Number one mistake that people make buying a board - pick one because you like the pretty picture, or rule one out because you don't like the nasty picture. board graphics change every year, trends move so fast if you were buying boards to keep up with the latest fashion, you'd be very very out of pocket. It can be really really tempting to buy something because it looks awesome, thats the reason they put pictures on them in the first place, but think, how often do you even look at someones board whilst they're riding? You don't. They're moving too fast and besides, it's covered in snow. You might think a board is perfect for you because it looks really pretty, but if it's the wrong camber, size, shape, whatever, you're not going to be able to ride it very well. And that won't look very cool. On the other hand, don't be put off a nice board because the graphics are ugly. Just cover it in stickers. Solved. When picking what length of board to get, make sure you check the information. Most boards are classed on weight and NOT height. You've most likely heard the 'between nose and eyes' rule. Thats out-dated. I have one board which is 143 and one which is 149. If you're not sure, pick the smaller size. Don't rush into buying a board. When you first start snowboarding it can be really tempting to go out and buy all new everything right away. I've seen loads of students go and buy either a 'beginners' board which they grow out of really fast and need something more specialised, or a buy more specialised board right off, and they have trouble riding it. There's a huge range of different types of board that suit different riding styles. It makes sense to wait until you know what your riding style and pick a board to match it before shelling out loads of money. Just because a board has the latest technology it doesn't mean it's a good thing. A major board company has recently bought out a revolutionary new binding technology. It works really well, you can get a great range of stances and really tailor it to your riding, however, it looks like it makes the board weaker, because plenty of people I know you bought into this new fad have snapped their board. All of them in the same place. That doesn't mean you should be put off by new advances, I have a board at the moment which is using a new way of constructing the base and I think it's the best board I've ever ridden. Just make sure you read around new technology before you buy any of it. If you're buying a first board and you're not sure what board you want, ask your instructor. They probably know someone who knows a guy who can sort something out at a discount. They might even know someone who could sell you something suitable second hand. At they very least they'll be able to point you in the right direction of what would be suitable, what wouldn't work, the best place to shop and how much you should be paying. I hoped I helped someone looking for a new board, stay safe and have fun riding!
Well Snowboarding has really grown in the past 5 or 6 years and has now become a very popular winter sport whether you take part abroad, indoor slopes or outdoor dry slopes. The general concept of Snowboarding is similar to that of Skateboarding in the sense that you maneuver on a single board rather than skis which are two pieces of equipment. I have been snowboarding for 18 months, I learnt to Snowboard in a day on an 8 hour course at an Indoor slope, it was hard work but well worth it. Since then I have been on 1 snowboarding holiday and have another booked for much. I also use indoor slopes now and then for recreational use and to keep my skills up to date. Equipment - First of all there's the snowboard, Picture a sandwich that is made up of a few layers (Bread on the bottom, cheese, ham, salad and bread on the top.) Its the same concept, a snowboard is made of several layers of different types of materials, such as plastic, fibre glass and of course wood. Secondly there are bindings that fasten down (my screw fixings) to your board, the purpose of the binding is to secure your feet on the board and place your feet/knees/legs in what is known as a stance a correct and comfortable position to snowboard in, your foot goes flat on the bindings and then you strap secure straps across the toe and ankle area, there are many different types of bindings the standard ones are as explained above but there also some with Toe Caps which are straps that go across the edge of your toes and then there are Step-Ins, these are bindings that dont require straps so avoid the whole strapping in and out everytime you dismount your Snowboard. And then of course there are the boots, again these vary but are of a mainly standard format, most are of a tough trainer type material. Some have heated insoles that mould to your feet, some have 2 or 3 layers of laces and some have fast lacing or boa lace systems which is a quick lacing system. The boots are the most important aspect in terms of comfort, if your boots dont fit correctly then youre off to a bad start! Snowboards come in different sizes and the size you ride depends on your height, weight and sex there are many different opinions on how best to decide which size to buy my advice would be to go to a shop and get help and for that reason I wont go into details of the different beliefs of how to determine what size you are as the beliefs vary widely. You can also get wide boards if you have wide feet, to prevent your feet overlapping the board. Bindings usually come in S,M,L & XL and is done on the size of your feet so is pretty self explanatory. Boot sizes are the same as shoes, although sometimes you may need a size bigger so you have room to move. Outerwear When snowboarding there are many types of clothing you can wear but generally its the same set up as skiing, you need sallopetes or snowboarding pants which are waterproof and comfortable and of course the same goes for the jacket. Many people choose to wear layers to keep themselves warm. There is also a lot of protective gear available such a wrist guards, bum pads, spine protectors etc. Goggles and a hat is a must if riding in cold and snowy condition Goggles are important to protect you from the bright sun rays you can experience and they help to balance your vision of lumps and bumps on the snow when the sun is reflecting off it. Gloves are another important aspect to keep your hands warm and dry and skiing or snowboarding specific gloves are by far the best. You also need thick socks to keep your feet warm inside your boots and again ski or snowboard specific ones are the best as they are a specialized fit and prevent creasing which can be very painful and some also have mild padding to protect you in certain areas. Indoor Slopes In the past few years there have been quite a few Indoor Slopes built which have real snow, these are a great place to learn and most of them do varied lesson packages, ranging from hours lessons to day long coaching. www.xscape.co.uk and www.snowdome.co.uk are the indoor slopes located in Milton Keynes, Leeds, Tamworth and soon to be opened Scotland. Outdoor/Dry Slopes These are as the name suggests and are outdoor slopes and are obviously not made from snow. Outdoor slopes are made from different materials depending on which ones you go to. I personally have never ridden on a dry slope but many people do and it can be a much cheaper option for lesson or recreational use. Resorts There are far too many resorts for me to begin to mention 95% of mountain resorts cater for snowboarders and many now have parks which have jumps and rails for you to ride. Types of Riding The first step and main style is classed as Freeride this is general riding on mountains with the ability to control speed, turn, use lifts etc. The next step if you so wish is classed as Freestyle which is progressing to doing jumps, spins, riding rails and pipes etc. Then for the braver and more experienced there is Off Piste where you ride in deeper snow conditions and away from resorts. Prices Costs of lesson and use of slopes vary widely depending on where you go and what you do so I wont go into too much detail. You can get weeks holiday deals to European resorts for around the £200-£300 mark on average, sometimes more if you go to the likes of USA & Canada, sometimes less if you get a cheap deal. An hours use of indoor slopes ranges from about £15-£25 again depending where you go and when you go. Dry slopes tend to be cheaper for recreational use. Again the prices of the equipment and clothing can vary VERY much. A basic beginner snowboard will cost you around £170-£200 whereas a top range one can set you back £1000!! Bindings range from £70-£200+ and the same with the boots. Clothing is like any clothing, no name brands can be bargains but well known brands are very expensive. Top Tip My main tip would be, when you start out, hire equipment or buy cheap or second hand equipment, dont splash out on the best of everything in case you decide that Snowboarding isnt for you. Another tip would be to have lessons, dont just assume you can do it, even if you are an experienced skier, snowboarding is a very different sport and can cause great injuries if you do not have the right teaching, attitude or equipment. Snowboarding on a whole is a great fun sport which can be demanding on your muscles and ego at first and all the bumps and falls and tumbles can knock your confidence but they are part of the process and part of the fun, the trick it to stick at it and believe in yourself. It can be an expensive hobby but well worth it, there is a wide social aspect to Snowboarding too and lots of people like to go in groups. All in all its a good laugh and a fun sport well worth trying!! I have my own Snowboarding Website check it out www.face-plant.co.uk
Ask people for a modern alternative to skiing and you’ll be given a simple answer, snowboarding. This however, may well be about to change as a new product makes its way onto the slippery slopes. What? You ask. Snowblades. I experienced them for the first time last year and was immediately converted, my skis lying discarded in a closet corner every since. After just one day I could do 360’s and by the end of the week any piste on the mountain was my oyster (bearing in mind I had had a fair deal of skiing experience previous to this venture). Snow blades are basically a small version skis with curved tips at either end. They vary on length depending on make and style. Aggressive boards, for those wishing to defy gravity and perform tricks, are the shorter of the two measuring around 80 – 90 centimetres. The other style, freeglide, for the speed-demons among us, will range from 90 – 100 centimetres. The bindings are always inclusive and although not the same as skis they do require ski boots. A word of warning though, the bindings are non-release so if you are going to attempt any jumps there is a risk of injury if you fall. The two main makers of the product are K2 and Salomon and prices will vary from £100-200 although you may find them hard to come by in the UK. I have just picked up a pair of Salomon Buzz 90’s and can’t wait to try them out this winter.