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 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.

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.

Off-piste Snowboarding

So you want to go off the trails into that deep powder on the sides? Or try some ungroomed slopes in a different area of the resort? Here’s what a snowboarder needs to know about going off-piste!

  • Gear: you need to have the right gear. A small board, or a race/carving board, will not perform well off-piste. You need a board with a lot of surface area underneath, to keep you floating on top of the snow. Ideally you could step up to a size larger than your old board, a bit longer and maybe even a “Wide” model. There are also specific boards for powder like “Swallowtail” boards, which have a curved-triangle cutout at the back to make it easier for you to stay on top of the light fluffy stuff.
  • Technique: The big problem in POW is when the nose of the board sinks under the snow. Then you’re going down, and it isn’t gonna be pretty. To keep the nose up, lean on your back leg, and keep your weight there. This lets you lift up the nose of the board and keep it from diving under the snow and taking you with it.
  • Setup: your board has to be set up properly. This could mean changing the setup the night before when a big dump of fresh snow is on the way. Basically, you move the bindings farther to the back of the board. Just like we mentioned under “Technique,” the goal is to move your weight to the back of the board. Try moving your bindings one or two screw-holes back in the hole pattern, if you can.
  • The Flats: with skis, it’s not so bad to be stopped in powder. You can push yourself along quite easily. But on a snowboard it totally sucks – you have to unstrap and slog your way through the snow like some kind of board-footed mutant. When you go into an off-piste area, make sure you know where you’re going and have a plan to get out. This means making sure there is not a big flat area at the bottom where you will get stuck and have to hike out. Watch others who are going into the area and see if they have to stop and push. Check if there are snowboarders flailing around helplessly. If so, stay out or find a better path that comes back to a piste sooner, before the flats.

Stay safe off-piste, and if you’re really going far out, take a shovel and a phone! Read up on avalanche safety if you’re going somewhere with any risk. Wherever you go off-piste, make sure to HAVE FUN!

Snowboard Buying Tips

So, you’ve tried out snowboarding and decided that you like it. You are looking to buy some gear to save money over time compared to renting. Heck, you just wanna have your own gear. How do you get started? Check out these tips, and you’ll be sure to get the board & bindings you need, not just the one that some dude in the shop is trying to clear out of inventory.

  • Do you want to ride freestyle or freeride? This is the big question for most beginners. Freestyle boards are more flexible and better at landing tricks. But stiffer freeride boards are better for carving down the slopes. Read’s previous article about the types of snowboarding to learn more about which type you might prefer.
  • Check your weight, not your height! This is a big misconception: that you need a certain length of board just based on your height. It’s more accurate to say that you need a longer board based on higher skill, and a longer/stiffer board based on more weight. Generally taller people are also heavier, so the height comparison is not SO bad. But if you’re super tall and skinny, or short and stocky, you might have to pay more attention. I once bought a ladies’ snowboard (as a guy) because I am so light, I needed a more flexible board. Lighter people need a softer board so it gets more grip on hard snow, or so it still flexes nicely when they land a trick. Conversely, heavier folks need a stiffer board so it doesn’t flex too much when doing those same things.
  • Buy the right bindings! What bindings are right for you depends on your style. Freestyle bindings are softer – making it easier to land tricks. Freeride bindings are harder, and give more control for putting power to the edges for carving down the slopes. If you want quick-release bindings, consider the different types and pick one that’s easy for you to use in the store. But be aware that some quick-release types allow a lot more flex than strap bindings, so you might have trouble with freeriding on groomers. Quick-releases can also be hard to operate in deep snow, depending on the mechanism. When trying it on in the store, just think about how it might work if you had a pile of snow around your foot and stuck to your boots.
  • Watch out for yer big feet! If you have large feet, consider buying a “wide” or “fat” board. This will prevent your toes from hanging over the edge of the board, which can make it difficult to carve nice turns. It’s no fun if your toes dig into the snow on every curve.
  • Boots can be a bit tight. You should take your thick boarding socks when trying on boots. But they might still feel a wee bit tight; this is okay. The boots will “pack in” after a few days of riding, as the insert conforms to your foot. Also, when you are strapped into a board and lean forward, your toes pull back a bit from the front of the boot. Still, the boot should not be ultra-tight or crush your toes – it has to be comfortable. You just want to avoid getting a boot which is loose, because it will only get looser, and you’ll lose fine control of the board when your feet are sloshing around inside too-big boots.
  • Get a “stomp pad” to rest your rear foot when you’re in the lift line. It’s not 100% required, but helps keep your boot from sliding off the bare board. I always go for a clear one to see the board’s pattern through it.

Alright, now head out and choose your gear. Guys, make sure your board’s design has skulls and fire, not flowers and butterflies. Girls, vice versa. 😉

Types of Snowboarding

There are lots of different aspects to snowboarding. What are the different styles, and which one is right for you?

  • Freestyle boarding – this is great for people who want to do jumps and tricks. You’ll be in the terrain park, getting big air, and hopefully not landing TOO hard. It’s recommended to have some protective gear if you’re going to do serious freestyle riding, like a spine protector in case you land on your back. Prepare for 360’s and some serious adrenaline. Not for those afraid of heights!
  • Carving – the way to go for those who love speed and G-forces. With hard boots and a very narrow raceboard, you’ll have perfect control over the edges of the board. These boards have good control even at very high speeds. They have serious grip even on icy slopes, and can carve such a tight curve that you might lose your lunch if you’re not ready. Your legs are totally locked to the very stiff snowboard. However, be aware that carving boards with hard boots are not easy to control: it’s like driving a Ferrari. You should be experienced and confident with a standard snowboard before switching to a full-on carving setup. When you see someone speeding down the slope leaving a 2” deep channel in the snow with every curve, you’ll know they’re riding a raceboard.
  • Freeriding – an all-around type of boarding that combines the best of all worlds. Stiffer boards make for better riding on groomers, but still allow you to do some tricks now and again. With soft boots you’re still riding in comfort, but the bindings are harder than the standard freestyle bindings.
  • Off-piste riding – generally considered part of freeriding. There’s nothing like floating on half a meter of fresh powder, as it sparkles in the first sun since the storm came through. It can be tricky to learn off-piste snowboarding, but has some tips for you here [insert link to powder article]. The feeling of riding in deep powder is similar to surfing, and is completely different from any other kind of snowboarding. You’re not so worried about catching an edge, but have to be careful that the nose of the board stays above the snow. With a big enough freeride or freestyle board you can easily ride off-piste and check out those fresh snowy areas between the slopes.

Are you ready for this winter? Do you have all the gear you need? Have you planned your vacation at a premiere resort? Take a look at some past articles by Snowman and get prepared for an awesome year of boarding!

Ski & Board Fest in Kilternan

We just have received the following press release from the Ski Club of Ireland about a ski event happening this weekend.

The Ski Club of Ireland, Top Flight and the Great Outdoors are organising two special days of skiing, snowboarding and instruction on this weekend, the 25th & 26th September.

There will be classes and practice sessions available throughout the weekend at a price of just €15 each as well as entertainment, après-ski, and ski demonstrations. Also, 2fm will be broadcasting live on Saturday between 2pm and 5pm.

There’s a crowd of instructors coming over from Austria just for the event to bolster the Ski Club’s own instructor team.

So come up to the Ski Club of Ireland on 25th & 26th September. Have some fun, enjoy the best Instructors that Ireland and Austria – the world’s premier ski nation has to offer and take some lessons to introduce yourself to skiing or to get ready for the new season after your summer break.

Full details are available here

Dogs Snowboarding

How tough is snowboarding ?

Snowboarding can’t be that difficult if dogs can learn how to do it, right ?

Well have a look at these crazy dogs who have been trained to run after and jump on snowboards. It’s really quite cool. One of the dogs Lyle even uses a hind paw to push himself.
I did notice that these bulldogs are even smart enough to stand on the boards when they are going up the slope on the magic carpet.

More Great Snowboard

This video was created by the guys from Mountain High resort, who are in Wrightwood, in Southern California. Check out their other videos on Here is another video of theirs we love.

April Powder II from Mountain High Resort on Vimeo.

Snowboard Trick Library

This great resource for snowboard tricks from the New York Times has been created after the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Featuring over 20 tricks from various snowboarders there is certainly something all enhuastic and adventurous snowboarders can learn. Some of the tricks include :

  • Allie-oop Mc Twist by Jeff Batchelor
  • Air to Fakey by Torah Bright
  • Backside 540 Mute Grab by Kelly Clark
  • Switch double backflip by Luke Mitrani

Some of the snowboard tricks videos come with commentaries from the athletes who talk you true the movements as you do the trick. When learning how to do tricks, the hard part is to know what to do with your body and when. During all moves it’s necessary to shift your weight forward / backward and also to torque (turn or swing) your body. Having the commentaries from the athletes really helps as they will explain what your body should be doing at different stages of your trick.

Having a friend video you while doing tricks is also a great way to see your mistakes. The first few times (or more) you try a trick it’s likely that you will not be able to pull it off. So being able to do a review, and to think about what you have done wrong, before attempting another go is a really great tool. This is what the professional guys do, but they tend to have multiple cameras so they can see things from a few different angles. But for beginners any additional information you can get is always a bonus.

Submit your Tricks

They also want to see your tricks, and there is also a section where you can get your own video featured on the website. So for all of you budding snowboarders out there this is a great way to get your name out there. There is details on the site as to what you shoudl do.  The quality of the tricks are pretty basic, but right now there is only 8 readers videos up there. Here is one of a Nose Press – Tail Tap – NosePress performed on a rail.

If you have any tricks you’ve done yourself and you have uploaded them to yourtube, feel free to add them in below in the comment box. We would love to know what Irish snowboarders are attempting on their trips to the snow !

Welcome to

Well the 2009-2010 ski season is over and we now we are ready to launch . We are really excited to be able to bring you snowboard news & tips as well as information on where are the best places to snowboard in the world. We are a little sister website from Ireland’s #1 skiing website,

There is a certain level of crossover between skiing and snowboarding, but we will do our best to keep the topics separated.  Things like equipment care are of course similar, and these topics will be posted on the main website.

Your input

We really welcome your input, be it on the snowboard forum or you submitting your news or writing for us. We are always looking for talented writers to submit reviews of resorts or equipment. Right now our budget for paying for guest writers is on the low end, but if when we start to review equipment we will take care of our own !

If you feel passionate about snowboarding and would like to share some tips or insights please do get in contact, as we would love to talk to you. Of course you are not obliged to participate, but it’s our goal to create an active and vibrant community of Irish Snowboarders.

To finish

So that’s the introduction to our website, and we would like to finish our first post as we mean to continue, on a light note : Here is a nice use of snowboard bindings.