It’s not quite snowboarding but we thought that a few of our readers would enjoy this video of surfing in Wales. It’s an artificial lake that basically has snow ploughs (you see there is a link to snow) that can create waves up to 2m in height. It’s located at Surf Snowdonia (2nd snow reference !) and houses their Wavegarden. It looks like it costs about £45 per hour, but you are guaranteed good waves every minute.
Often we get asked as to what age should your child be before they can start snowboarding, well one guy, Steven Klassen, has his 2 year old and 4 year old snowboarding. They are doing what’s called tandem snowboarding, and the young girls stand between an adults leg as they go down the slopes. It’s a really catchy video and well worth checking out !
Tandem Snowboarding with kids
Resort: www.SkiArena.ch – Switzerland
Asking for directions to Sedrun often you’ll hear something particularly strange, ‘The Park, oh that’s just past the Palm Tree on the left’. The Tegia Gronda Snowpark has fine examples of what you’d expect to find in a snowboard park. Resting at about 2200m high then 950m long park has jobs, rails, a half pipe, and a lot more. Their Half pipe is a so called ‘midi halfpipe’, which is a bit shallower. The south facing park catches the suns rays for most of the day, just perfect for taking videos of your next big jump !
Resort : www.saas-fee.ch
Saas-Fe, in Switzerland is one of Europe’s Top Snowboard parks. In fact some people say it’s where freestyle in Europe first developed. Saas-Fe has 3 individual snowboard parks, so there are plenty of pipes, rails & jumps for even the most experiences snowboarder. Saas-Fe also features a 100m long Super (1/2) pipe.
Russians are known for being passionate about what they do, and when it comes to alpine or carving snowboarding, this fact doesn’t change. This video below of the Russian Extremecarving Slalom competition 2013, where the snowboarders have to go under obstacles while slaloming down the slope. These folks get so close to the slope they are almost hugging the piste, literally showing their love for the piste.
More on alpine snowboarding can be read on wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpine_snowboarding
Extremecarving Slalom video
We’ve seen a few of these home DIY jobs to make your snowboard appear cooler, like custom spray paint jobs, teddys stuck to the top of the deck, etc. But this is one snowboard modification that we could probably get behind. Here is something to use for when you are snowboarding at night, LEDs on the edges. These lights are located at the top of the board, so don’t worry about not being able to use your edges for turning and braking.
This product is available from 45lights.com, which will cost a cool $50 for these strips of lights. It was created by two teenagers who thought it would be cool to have a bit more light on their snowboards when doing night time runs. These lights could also be used as a safety device too, for example alerting people that you are a beginner, and that you should given plenty of room.
Light my board
There are a few other companies that have similar products, like this one from lightmyboard.com. Which cost $30 for a set. But for LEDs we do think this is a bit on the high side.
Buy on Amazon
We saw this item on Amazon, GrayBean 9ft Blue Neon Glowing Strobing Electroluminescent Wire . Available for about €10, that you could probably attach to your board quite quickly yourself.
Thanks to reddit for pointing out this one to us !
Because sometimes a long lengthy article isn’t enough, this time we are showing you some of our favourite videos that deal with preparing your snowboard for the upcoming season. This series of 3 videos Dogfunk.com, that cover
- detuning contact points – where you take a file to fix the top and bottom edges of your snowboard. Then using a diamond stone you will take off the burrs that were created by the file. You start with the base edge when removing the burrs, and then do the side. Finally you use a gummy stone will remove the those remain fine burrs. This will lead to the perfect edge for turning on.
- P-tex repairs – here you will need a source of heat, like a propane torch to melt the P-tek. Some types of P-tek (also called Candlewax) can also be melted with a match. P-tek is used for filling the deeper scrapes on your board. One tip we weren’t aware of is that after you add the pTek, you should leave it to settle for 20 minutes to bond completely with the board. Once it’s bonded you can scrape of the excess and sand it down before waxing. In the video he uses a razor blade to scrape off some of the P-tek. If you keep it at a 45 degree angle you won’t destroy the base.
- Hot Wax – how to hot wax your snowboard. One expert tip from the video is that you should take your bindings off before you start to wax the board. The binding, when they are screwed in, tend to add a bulge or lift on the board where the screws are. Before you wax you should remove any areas of build up wax, these tend to happen around the nose/tip of your board. When using an iron on your board, make sure you keep that iron moving !
If you are serious about snowboarding you should consider getting a repair kit, as it will pay for itself in one or two uses. You can find kits like the one below on Amazon or Ebay.
Detuning your snowboard contact points
Using P-tek to big fill holes
Hot waxing your snowboard
Snowboard repair in Ireland
Here is a list of companies that we know do snowboard repair in Ireland
If you have any tips for preparation for the season, please let us know in the comments !
Today we came across a great offering from adidas Snowboarding. They’ve just launched their new sub-website for snowboarders, http://www.adidas.com/com/apps/snowboarding/. It seems be be a promotion for a new snowboarding video coming from Jake Blauvelt who’s a boarder with Oakley. The movie has been made over 2 years in association with adidas & Oakley, and it’s called Naturally. Adidas are also promoting their new range of snow boots, sadly not snowboard boots, on the same page. Check out the trailer below.
Naturally 2013 Trailer
Naturally Episode 1
There seems to be another video from Jake, from 2011, have a look for a brilliant mix of great shots of scenery and snowboarding skill.
Updated 2014 : it seems no longer linked with adidas, so we are not 100% sure what hapened there.
Snowboarding is fast becoming a popular winter sport across Europe and the rest of the world. It vies for attention with skiers, who’ve in the recent years have had some resurgence due to new technology like carving skies. But still most of the newcomers to the sport are young people, but there is also a new older demographic coming to the sport. What we’ve found quite funny is the amount of 40+ year olds on the slopes who are turning to snowboarding. The main reasons they cite is that it’s easier on their knees, due to the lower impact, and the fact that they’ve mastered skiing and they are ready for a new snow challenge.
As you start to learn the basic moves, you can try to test some of the other snowboard skills. Being comfortable on the board will give you the confidence to try some other snowboard tricks, and these in turn will result in better overall skills. It’s not that the ability to do tricks will make you feel smarter and wiser among their peers, but there is definitely a sense of respect when you are able to do some trick that your buddies haven’t yet quite mastered. The reason we recommend easy and basic tricks, like say buttering is that these tricks are not very difficult to master, but you can spend quite a lot of time to get the skills behind buttering perfected.
On a first go, they are not really that complicated at all to get started and learners can master the basics them within a short time. Linking in your skills together can take a bit longer, like doing ollys and then jumping off ramps. It is thus important to dedicate your time and learn some of these tricks, we generally used the time in the afternoon to practise our tricks, and concentrated on riding in the morning. This is because the conditions tend to be better in the morning.
Jumping with a snowboard
So you want to learn how to do some tricks, and you are not too sure where to start ? Well, first steps first, let’s try a jump from standing. While it may sound very basic what’s important is your landing, and how you position your body. Once you throw in the fact that you will normally be moving forward when jumping things start to get a little bit more difficult. So start from standing still, and you are going to try to lift the board off the ground and to land it safely, without falling. The easiest place to try this is somewhere flat, so pick a gentle slope to begin with. Strap yourself in, make sure they are equally as tight, and go into the crouch position. Now do a jump, brining your feet up with you. You should try to land flat, and your weight should be in the middle of the board when landing. When you are moving, it’s important to have more of your weight on your trailing leg, as you’ll need it for stability as you are moving forward. You goal should be to bring your board cleanly into the air, to a height of about 30cm or 1 foot. When you can do this perfectly 3 or 4 times in a row then you are ready for the next step. Do remember that jumping requires a certain leg strength, and if you don’t have this to start with you may have serious issues doing this.
The next step is a grab, or sometimes called an Indy Grab. Here you use your hands to help change the direction you are in, all the time maintaining the momentum. Again go to your flat slope at the start to help you get used to knowing how to move your body. Here you are going to twist your body when you are in the air. The goal is to turn a full 180 degrees while you are in the air. It can be easier to start with your shoulders turned and your hands outstretched behind your back. Then when you are in the air you throw your hands forward and use that momentum to make you turn. It may be easier turning on your backside of the board, so do try both and perfect which ever comes more naturally to you. Remember balance is key here so if you can only turn 45 degrees, but you can keep you balance, it’s better than 90 degrees where you fall over.
Putting things together
So now you can jump, and you can also do a 180. The next step is to trick these on a little bump to jump off or sometimes called a kicker. The key to this trick is to perform it without loosing balance or momentum. You will need to change your direction on the jump, while making sure when you land, your board is straight. The back of your board should land first and when you lean slightly forward it should help you to stabilise and land securely.
If you are having trouble with turning when you are in the air, you can try an easier trick, a grab, which basically means you hold on to the board when you are in the air. Perfecting this will help you to judge the time you have in the air, and the time you need to get back up to stabilise.
General tips for doing tricks
It’s true that you can get injured when you do tricks, who would have thought that ? Proper warm up can help avoid some of these injuries. Also some coaches recommend that people close their fists when they are doing jumps, so that they are tight when they hit the snow. Observing other snowboarders doing tricks will also help you to learn fast, see hoe they position their bodies before, during and after a trick. Sometimes it can be over quite fast, so we recommend that you take a quick video if you can, so you can replay it over a few times before attempting. Generally it’s better to land on something soft, if you can, try to practise into powder, so when you fall you are less likely to hurt yourself on impact.
The World Snowboarding championships are being held in Oslo, Norway this week. It runs from Monday the 13th to Sunday the 19th of February 2012. And some good news for fans, you can watch it online ! There’s no need for a proxy to stream the broadcast, rather you can watch it thanks to Livestream see http://new.livestream.com/wsc2012/. Livestream also provide an archive of the events, so you can watch it live or recorded at a later stage. Livestream’s coverage is great, as pictures from the event will also be posted into the stream.
We are looking forward to seeing a whole host of international rides, such as Austria’s Johannes Handle and Britain’s Aimee Fuller performing. Looking at the list there does seem to be a few no-shows, which is a bit of a disappointment. There are three events at WSC 2012, they include the halfpipe, the quarter pipe and the slope style. Sadly there isn’t any boardercross, but this is an event that appears at the X-games & Winter Olympics. Men and women do compete separately in their own parts of the competition, but sometimes there isn’t such a difference between their scores.
World Snowboarding championships Program
The full program can be seen here. Highlights include ::
- 15:45-17:00 – Finals Women Halfpipe
- 17:40-19:00 – Finals Men Halfpipe
- 11:00-12:30 – Finals Women Slopestyle
- 13:00-14:30 – Finals Men Slopestyle.
There also seems to be plenty of entertainment happening at the event, for example the Dropkick Murphys, an Irish-American group from Boston are playing at the Santos Arena. Here is one of our favourite songs of theirs
We came across a documentary called SlopeStyle.tv that might be of interest to some of our readers.