Board Babble


Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Though banana tech, rocker, reverse camber and anti-camber (by the way, all refer to the same tech) existed prior to the “Age of Fruity Enlightenment.”, we can all thank Lib Tech for flooding the banana into their snowboard lineup and having other companies follow suit.

So really, what are the benefits of riding a rocker board? Here are a few.

One. No more catching edges like crazy! The rocker moves the contact points of your board closer to your feet, giving you better control and a more maneuverable snowboard.

Two. Float better in the powder. No more leaning back to get that tip up, as with the rocker it will already be elevated. You’re able to keep a more balanced stance, again giving you more control.

Three. Park riding is easier. Your pre-pressed board will love those boxes and rails. Initiate spins better and even recover a little easier from off-axis landings.

The best part about rocker is that anyone and everyone can ride them. Whether it’s your first day out or your 500th, everyone can benefit from the rocker tech. Keep in mind that there are different types of rocker, so check out a shop near you to make sure you find the one that fits your riding style the best. Happy shredding!

Brain buckets

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

We discussed the helmet law earlier this season and it not being passed (don’t worry it probably will next year, so be ready young ones.) How about we go through fitting a helmet and some different features.

Here’s the great part, every helmet does the same thing, protects your head. Much like boots, fit is key. It doesn’t matter what cool features a helmet has or what color it is; too big it’ll fly off your head, anyway; too small and you’ll have a headache before you even take your first lift up.

As an initial fit, you definitely want a little bit of space in your helmet, just in case it’s cold and you’ve got to throw a skull cap or balaclava on underneath. For kids especially, give em a bit of extra space. A good sign is if you can shake your head pretty hard without the helmet falling over your eyes and obstructing your vision, again, a little space is ideal, but you don’t want it slipping and sliding around either. Use the chin strap. A snug chin strap will help keep the helmet secure to your head. Beware of getting a helmet that’s too small, unless you’re looking for a pounding headache. You don’t want it to feel like a suction cup on your head.

How about a few features? Nowadays removable ear flaps are pretty much standard, giving you the option to take em off on a warm day (there are plenty of those down here). Many helmets also offer a built in size/fit adjustment, which actually allows you to customize the size of your helmet with a quick spin(because every medium size head isn’t exactly the same size).

Ventilation is key also. Some helmets have vents that you just slide open/closed, others have rubber plugs that you poke out, and then there are those vents that always remain open. Meshed vents are great at letting air in/out while keeping the snow out on those big (or little) spills you take.

As an added technical bonus, audio. Some helmets already come with built in speakers, other you have to buy kits for. Just remember, while it’s fun to rock out to tunes while you shred, you still should be able to hear the people around you.

Wanna shred? Protect your head. Your braincells will thank you. And so will snow patrol.

Early season riding and…….jerky?

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Whoa! Who would have thought that snow conditions would be so ripe at Thanksgiving?!!? All the local resorts are open, sporting their regular season rates, anywhere from 50-60 bucks. Night riding sessions are in effect for the next few weekends, moving nightly mid-December. Season pass sale is still going on at Mt. High and for you nor cal riders, how does 10 feet of snow sound in Tahoe!?! Not to mention the 8 foot base that Mammoth is sporting. Top to bottom riding, the gondi is rolling, and don’t forget the jerky place in Bishop. That’s right, jerky. Meadow Farms. Mmmmmmmm. Get on out and enjoy some of the best early season riding in years!! So grab your gear and head on out and enjoy the snow for us!!

Man-made snow is real snow!

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

It’s just man-made. Check it out!! As of last night, all local resorts commenced their snowmaking!! Woo hoo!! Mountain High laid down about a foot of snow and if conditions remain as they are or get colder, we could see an opening day as early as this week! (Next week is more likely, but hey, here’s to hoping!) Bear Mountain and Snow Summit have not yet projected their opening day, wishing to lay down a solid base and making the trip up worth it. Winter is upon us!

Mammoth snowfall

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Mammoth received 6 inches of snow the past 24 hours!!!! And so the season begins. How can you not be excited to already have half a foot of snow on that big, beautiful mountain. I hear the “experts” are calling for a cold winter. Stoked!! Start getting your gear ready, as opening day may be arriving sooner than the November 11 anticipated date. For now, though, check out the pics on Mammoth’s site and get ready, the winter is coming!!

Governator vetoes safety bill

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

This past Friday Governor Schwarzenegger passed bill 880 that requires skiers and boarders under the age of 18 to wear a helmet. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the bill had a little companion, Assembly Bill 1652 that would mandate that resorts implement new safety standards. This little companion was vetoed and thus, the helmet bill won’t become law either. This would have become the strictest ski safety law in the country.

“Many California ski resorts are located on U.S. Forest Service land, and are already required to compile and file safety and accident reports with USFS as well as maintain some of this information in the resort management office,” Schwarzenegger wrote in a statement. “Ski resorts in California also already mark their ski area boundaries and trails with appropriate information. This bill may place an unnecessary burden on resorts, without assurance of a significant reduction in ski and snowboard-related injuries and fatalities.”

Senator Leland Yee, a co-author of the bills, will supposedly reintroduce the helmet law again next year as a standalone measure.

Would a helmet law really decrease the number of injuries? Who knows. I know a lot of people would feel safer/better with the helmet law in place, but it still requires riders to be safe and pay attention. Take note of the resort signage and look out for those below you. For this season, helmets remain riders choice. Enjoy the ride and be safe, with or without a helmet.

Channel disks!

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Hey Burton ICS board riders, current and future. Burton has, thankfully, changed their disc design this year to make ALL of their bindings ICS compatible. Isn’t that great news?!? No more buying just EST bindings or trying to find converter plates. Keep in mind though, that the strength and level of the binding should match or come very close to that of the board. So don’t cheapen out on the bindings just because they fit the channel. Buy it right the first time and you’ll be happier longer.

Here’s what Burton has to say about the benefits of the Channel. “Focusing power through a central connection that evenly distributes energy for added rebound and snap, it also lets you easily micro-adjust your stance width and angles.”

And for you Flow binding lovers, they also make a channel disk compatible for the Burton Channel. It’s definitely an online product, search around the web before driving anywhere. Thanks Burton for making your products even more consumer and retailer friendly!

Helmets required on riders under 18 in CA

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Hey all you California skiers and snowboarders. Have you heard the latest bill to be put through the Capitol? Read it here. Basically, the bill states that all persons under the age of 18 must wear a properly fitted helmet while skiing or snowboarding. There is a modest fine of $25 for not wearing a helmet, which seems a bit like a slap on the wrist, but 25 bucks is 25 bucks (that’s like 25 items off McDonald’s dollar menu!). Still no word on how the mountains intend to enforce this new supposed law (pretty sure it’ll go through, just has to pass one more level of legislation). Look for resorts and area rental shops to maybe adjust their products included with lessons/rentals (or even a price increase? Yipes!). Shops like ours are stocking up on helmets, making sure we have enough for everyone. Stay tuned for more news from Sac town. Give us your thoughts and get ready to grab a helmet and shred!

Wax on, wax off

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Necessity number 57. Wax, on the bottom of the board. (You’d be surprised at how many people ask me if ski/snowboard wax is applied the same way as surf wax, on top.) Most common questions are what type of wax and often do you need to apply it?

The type of wax you use and the snow conditions will determine the how.

Liquid. No mess, no time, ready to ride. The best, most popular liquid wax is Zardoz. A pure liquid teflon from Dupont. This is the fastest and easiest way to wax your board. Apply a few drops to the application puck, let it sit for a minute to dry, and head on up. While it is one of the fastest waxes out there, on wetter snow it has a tendency to rub off quicker, so reapply at lunch for the best results. With Zardoz, or anything other liquid wax, you’ll want to apply every day you go out.

Paste/rub on wax. Little mess, little time, better protection. Still a very easy way to apply wax. Take a rag, an old sock, or the applicator pad some waxes provide and rub the wax onto the base of the board. Just try your best to apply it evenly along the base to ensure a smooth ride down the hill. My recommendation is to apply the night before to allow the wax to harden overnight. This will provide better protection for your board should you hit any rocks or pine cones. As with liquid wax, I would apply paste wax every day of riding. As it is softer, it will rub off after a long day of riding.

Hot/hard wax. More mess, more time, best protection. While this is the most time consuming and tool wielding way of waxing, nothing beats a good hot wax. Nothing like melting, ironing, scraping, and buffing wax to get you more psyched for the next day’s riding. Just be sure to take this wax job to the garage or lay down a tarp. Leftover wax shavings on the carpet are no fun. This will provide the best protection for the base of your board and will last 2-3 days depending on how light or wet the snow is.

However you choose to wax your board, just remember to do it or get it done. Your ride will be smoother, you’ll glide a lot easier, and you will finally be able to keep up with your buddy who’s bombing it down the hill.

Fresh Pow! and road closures :(

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

As most, if not all of you know, our local mountains (Bear Mountain and Mt. High) were graced with a dumping of fresh pow last week. I hear this is the first of three MAJOR storms to hit us this year. Hopefully this means that our season will continue well through April. If you haven’t been up yet to enjoy the fresh snow, head on up soon. Even if you just want to sled down some random spot next to the road, there are plenty of areas to do that.

What I don’t understand, though, is why after 4 clear and sunny days, the roads into Big Bear are finally open to everyone. Yup, they opened today and what happened? It snowed, again. Barely, but still. How much business did Bear/Summit lose with the road closure? A LOT. I myself chose the easier, clear, chain-less route of heading up to Mt. High yesterday. As did most of the people up there, I’m guessing. Why deal with a “one way in, one way out, go 35mph the whole way up”, when you don’t have to? I don’t claim to be any kind of road clearing expert, but I don’t think it should take four days to clear 5 feet of snow. What do you think? Bring in some more snowplows and shovels. Clear those roads so that when we get fresh pow we can actually enjoy it!!!