Let the flakes fly! Temperatures are dropping with the East Coast’s first glimpse of winter this week and ski resorts have followed suit, revving up their snowmaking machines for the 2012-2013 season. Are you stoked to hit the slopes? Proper equipment is key to enjoy the ride, but navigating the snow gear marketplace can be a doozy. We want you to start off on the right edge so tackled the dos and don’ts of gear with Skis.com’s owner and company founder, Steve Kopitz. Here’s a quick breakdown for boarders, both bunny hill enthusiasts and terrain park thrill-seekers, alike!
1. Embrace the scale: “One of the most common misconceptions when sizing a snowboard is that it’s based on height,” said Steve. “Your board doesn’t know how tall you are, but rather how much you weigh.” After hopping on the scale, use a size chart to determine the range you fall in. Big feet? Not to worry. Companies make wider boards for you!
2. Board in style: The main types of snowboards include all-mountain, freestyle and all-mountain freestyle. “The all-mountain freestyle boards are now the most common seen on the hill,” said Steve. “They truly encompass the entire mountain, including groomed runs, powder days and the terrain park. They will have features that aid in both carving, as well as freestyle skills.” To find your riding style and perfect match, check out Skis.com Buyer’s Guide.
3. Flex it out: “The flex of a board directly tells you how responsive the board will be. The stiffer the board, the more responsive it is.” As a general rule of thumb, entry-level riders should opt for a forgiving board while stiff boards provide advanced boarders with the quick response and edgehold they need. Read more
Earlier this month here on The Fit Stop, you heard about Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. One of the best ways to look like you know your way around the slopes? Dress like a pro! Here are our picks for gear that will make you look like a champ—regardless of your winter sport of choice.
Snowboard (Top row, left to right)
- Volcom Domestic Ins Jacket ($230, snow.volcom.com)
- Burton Women’s Lucky Pant ($150, burton.com)
- Thirty Two Prion Boots ($140, thirtytwo.com)
- Dragon Alliance White/ Gold Ion Goggles ($95, dragonalliance.com)
Ski (Bottom row, left to right)
- Spyder Prevail Jacket ($250, spyder.com)
- Helly Hansen W Blanche Pant ($225, shop.hellyhansen.com)
- Full Tilt Soul Sister Ski Boots ($500, fulltiltboots.com)
- Gretchen Bleiler Signature Series Oakley Stockholm Goggle ($140, oakley.com)
In the world of snowboarding, amazing athletes like Shaun White seem to get the majority of the spotlight (and the TV time). But there are many women who are rocking the slopes too, who can also pull off fantastic tricks and pull in Olympic gold.
FITNESS caught up with two of those ladies before their next competition—the Winter Dew Tour Nike Breckenridge Open, starting today and running through Sunday.
Get to know…
- Kelly Clark, snowboard superpipe competitor, the only female to win three US Open halfpipe events, Olympic gold (Salt Lake City) and bronze (Vancouver) medal winner, founder of the Kelly Clark Foundation
- Spencer O’Brien, snowboard slopestyle competitor, 2009 Dew Cup champion and female athlete of the year, X Games silver (2009) and bronze (2008) medalist
How did snowboarding become a passion of yours?
Kelly Clark: I grew up in a small mountain town in Vermont with not much else going on! I was on skis at age 2, and began snowboarding when I was 7. I found it really fun and loved the element of creativity involved.
Spencer O’Brien: My dad used to take my sisters and I skiing, then taught us all to snowboard. It was really a family activity.
What does a typical day of training look like for you?
KC: I’m riding from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., grab lunch, then go to the gym for a few hours. Some days I Spin—it’s good to get the lactic acid out and relieve soreness—and other days I walk or use the trampoline.
SO: I’m typically on the snow two to four hours a day. I warm up and stretch, work on tricks, recover on the Spin bike and do a strength training maintenance program with my physical therapist.
Read on for the workout moves that will make you a better boarder.