alpine carving getting close to the snow on a carve

Alpine snowboarding Russian Style

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.

alpine carving getting close to the snow on a carve

alpine carving getting close to the snow on a carve


More on alpine snowboarding can be read on wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpine_snowboarding

Extremecarving Slalom video

led-snowboard-mod

Pimping your snowboard

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.

led-snowboard-mod

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 !

snowboard-downslope

Preparing your snowboard

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 !

adiadas-snowboarding

adidas Snowboarding

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.

snowboard-trick

Useful Snowboard Tricks for a Beginner

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.

Snowboard Progression

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.

world-snowboarding-champs

Watch the World Snowboarding Championships online

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 ::

  • Saturday,
    • 15:45-17:00 – Finals Women Halfpipe
    •  17:40-19:00 – Finals Men Halfpipe
  • Sunday
    • 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

SlopeStyle

We came across a documentary called SlopeStyle.tv that might be of interest to some of our readers.

board-bottom

Buying a second hand snowboard

Buying a second hand snowboard, while offering a great alternative to spending a lot of money on your equipment, can also be a risky endeavour. Second hand snowboards generally sell for less than half their retail price, but there is also a wide range of things that can go wrong when buying. Therefore it’s important to have an idea of what to look out for when buying a snowboard. A little bit of research a knowledge can save you some money and a lot of annoyances later on ! For this article we will assume you have already been through the picking the right sized snowboard and you are sure of your size and type for your level of boarding.


Tip 1 : View the Board

Forget buying equipment on e-bay or other auction websites, unless you have a pretty good idea as to what you are buying. These sites are rife with fakes, and if you are unlucky you will come away with an inferior product and have wasted your money and time. For first time buyers (and experienced buyers) I would go by the rule “If you can’t see the board before you buy, don’t buy it”. It’s better to to err on the side of caution and find another way of getting your board.

Tip 2 : Visual Inspection

It’s very important to look at what you are buying, this will allow you to check for visual signs of damage, wear and fatigue. All snowboards after any use will have nicks and dents on the underside of the board. Focus more on the edges and look at the condition of the metal edge. Small nicks or burrs can easily be repair, but larger damage like serious corrosion would be worth having a closer look at. If the metal edge is damage it can be expensive or even impossible to fix.
On the underside of the board look out for cracks that run with the line of the board. These can show that the board has been treated less that perfectly, and that it’s likely that the board is damaged inside. You don’t want to purchase a board that has been subjected to extreme impacts from jumps. Dents, scratches and scrapes are all part daily use for a snowboard and should not put you off buying a board. Anything else more serious should be avoided.
One final visual inspection tip would be to remove any stickers or stomp pads, to check that they are not covering up any visible damage.

Tip 3 : Remove Bindings

If the board comes with bindings it is always a good idea to ask to have them removed, and to check the quality of the surface underneath them. Again check for corrosion or other signs of damage. The screw beds are obviously very important, if there is any sign of thread damage then you should really take care. Reattach the bindings to see if the threads on the screw holes are in good condition. This damage can be caused by the previous owner tightening the bindings screws too tightly to the board. Remember a snowboard is basically useless unless you can adequately & safely screw on your bindings. Keep an eye out for potential crack between the two feet holes of your board, this is the place where cracks are mostly likely to occur as they bare a significant part of the stresses when boarding.

Tip 4 : Where to buy

Earlier we said that you shouldn’t buy “sight unseen”, so this can really cut down the opportunities to buy. One possibility is to find someone locally selling a board, or through the Irish Ski Club at Kilternan, a ski club in a University, or on Adverts.ie. This way you can be safe in the knowledge that you know exactly what you will be getting. Buying online without seeing a board should be avoided. As you could be potentially paying up to €200 for your board, you really want to minimise the issues you could have in the purchase process.

Tip 5 : Alternative cheaper boards

If you are going skiing at the start or at the end of the season you might be able to pick up an ex-rental board at a big discount. Most equipment rental companies tend to renew their stock every year, which means that there are many snowboards that need to be sold towards the end of every season. If you are boarding late in the season, and renting you gear, check with the shop to see if they are willing to part with the board. An even better thing to do would be if you were happy with the board, after renting it for the week, then ask to see if you can buy it off them.

One final word… as with any purchase, you should find out the reason as to why someone is selling their board. If it sounds a little too good to be true, there is a significant possibility that it is too good to be true ! Happy shopping !

female-snowboarder

Video about Seamus O’Connor

We mentioned recently about Seamus O’Connor and his goal of representing Ireland at the 2014 Olympics in Russia. And there is a project at KickStarter.com, called Lucky Enough, where they are looking for sponsors for a video project. KickStarter.com is a website that micro-finances projects, for anything like books, physical products, websites to videos. So Eric Cannon, a cinematographer and editor from Las Vegas, USA, aims to make a documentary about Seamus’s journey to the Olympics. See the promo-video below to find out more about this funding request

There has already been a discussion about this project on our forum.

Screen shot 2011-06-12 at 09.22.29

Irish snowboard sensation


From our snowboard forum, we have learned about a US born, Irish citizen, Seamus O’Connor, who is starting to cause a stirr on the snowboarding world. He’s currently 13, and aiming to go to the Winter Olympics in 2014, to represent Ireland. Seamus’s grandparents were born in Ireland, and his father grew up in England, but has spend the last 30 years in the US, where Seamus was born. Last year his father was successful with his application for Seamus to be allowed to represent Ireland from the SAI (Snowsports Association of Ireland www.iasisnowsports.ie). Seamus already has some major sponsors behind him like Oakley & Nike, and he can snowboard. Some have even called Seamus, the next Shaun White {source}. Have a look at the video below for some evidence.

Video about Seamus O’Connor


Read more about this guy on the Irish Times.

ski-equipment

The Art of FLIGHT

We are always on the look out for exciting and interesting snowboard videos. Thankfully the internet is littered with great videos, so you don’t really have to search too much find videos of people doing jumps over obstacles, turns & flips in the air or just being 1 with the snow. Below is one such video that we recently came across and we absolutely had to share it with the snowboarders of Ireland. The great thing about these videos is that you can easily learn new tricks just by watching them. Granted you’ll actually need to practice them, but just seeing how these boarders move their bodies in the lead up to a jump, while in the air, and just before landing will really give you some great pointers as to what you can do yourself.

Learning how to do tricks takes time, patience and a lack of fear. The barrier of fear can be really hinder your progress, and it’s hard to shut it all out. It’s mind over matter, if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter. I once knew a guy who would practice after taking a few beers. He cited the fact that he would be more relaxed, and he was more likely to take more risks. While we absolutely don’t think this is the way to go, we still think that if you try to put these fears to the back of your mind, and then attempt your jumps you will make progress. Start small, but still push yourself. Having someone with a phone camera to take a video will also speed up your learning as you can see what’s working and what not.

The Art of Flight

Here is an excellent trailer preview of The Art of Flight with Travis Rice. Some of the shots in it are pretty epic, views from helicopters in slow motion, avalanches, etc. It’s worth checking out for the jumps and scenery ! We thought you’d appreciate it.

The Art of FLIGHT


This film comes from the makes of “That’s It That’s All“, an epic snowboarding film, which every snowboard should have.