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Category Archives: Snowboarding

Follow the Snow

Most people can’t wait for winter to give way to the warmth of spring and summer, but skiers and snowboarders are a different breed. They exult in the cold and snow, and usually can’t make it through an entire off-season without indulging in their favorite activity at least one more time.

Of course the challenge is finding a suitable venue for skiing or snowboarding when temperatures are in the high-90s across most of the country. Fortunately, if you’ve got the cash and vacation time, you can follow the snow to these amazing locales:

North America

The two best places for summer skiing in North America are Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada, and Palmer Glacier on Mount Hood in Oregon. Whistler Blackcomb, which is suitable for intermediate and advanced skill levels, offers glacier skiing from June to August, while Palmer Glacier is open to the public from May to September.

follow the snow summer skiing portillo chile resortSouth America

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere means winter in the Southern Hemisphere, so for a true cold-weather snow experience, pack up your SporTube snowboard case and head south of the equator.

There are plenty of major ski resorts in South America to choose from, but the most popular ones include Portillo and La Parva in Chile and Bariloche and Cerro Bayo in Argentina. These resorts run the gamut in terms of powder quality, terrain, and off-piste options, and also vary in their degree of family-friendliness and cost, so do your research before you go.

Europe

The Alps are a terrific downhill skiing and snowboarding destination all year round, and can be accessed via world-class resorts in Switzerland, Austria, France, and Italy. Norway also offers exciting winter sport opportunities, so don’t leave Scandinavia off your list of locations to investigate.

Tips for Storing Ski/Snowboard Gear

ski storage rackMid-April means the end of another awesome ski and snowboard season for most parts of the country. You’ve had your fun out on the slopes every weekend for the past several months, and are already counting down the days until winter returns and you can get back to ripping or shredding. But in order to make sure you’re ready to go at the first sign of snowfall next November or December, it’s important to store your gear properly. Here’s how to do it:

  • Take your skis or snowboard to your favorite pro shop for a full tune-up (or do it yourself if you have the tools and know-how). The purpose of the tune-up is to clean the base, shave nicks, remove burrs, sharpen the edges, and apply a fresh coat of wax to help seal in moisture and inhibit excessive drying.
  • Store your skis or board neatly in a clean, dry place to prevent rust and other damage. We recommend using a product like the wall-mounted multi-storage rack available at CozyWinters.com instead of simply stacking your gear on the concrete floor of your garage or basement.
  • Wash and dry all snow jackets, snow pants, socks, gloves, and neck gaiters, and store the items together to make them easier to find next season.
  • Scrub your ski or snowboard boots with a soft bristled brush and a mild liquid detergent to remove dirt, mud, grease, and grime. Then thoroughly dry them with an electric boot and shoe dryer from PEET, Chinook, DryGuy or another trusted brand before storing them in a closet or on a wall rack. You might also want to throw a scented dryer sheet into each boot or give them a quick squirt of Febreeze to help maintain freshness.

Taking the extra time and money to clean, maintain, and store your ski or snowboard gear properly is never as much fun as using the equipment on your favorite mountains or trails, but is critical to good performance and durability. Follow the above tips before stowing everything away to help ensure your gear is in great shape next winter.

In Review: Sochi Winter Games

With the XXII Olympic Winter Games now officially in the books, it’s time to look back at some of the highlights that came out of Sochi, Russia, during these memorable two weeks of athletic contests.

The host country emerged from the games having won the greatest number of total medals (33), as well as the most gold medals (13). Norway followed with 11 golds and 26 overall, while Canada finished third with 10 golds and 25 total.

The U.S. did reasonably well, amassing nine golds, seven silvers, and 12 bronzes for a total of 28 medals across the 98 sporting events that comprised these Winter Olympics. There were some disappointments along the way — most notably the lack of any individual medals in men’s or women’s figure skating; the failure of the men’s hockey team to medal; and the crushing loss suffered by the women’s hockey team in the gold medal game — but there were some huge surprises as well, including 18-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin winning Team USA’s first gold in women’s slalom since 1972.sochi mikaela shiffrin gold

Along with Shiffrin, the following Americans left Sochi with a coveted gold medal and the title “Olympic Champion” in their respective disciplines:

  • Maddie Bowman (Women’s Ski Halfpipe)
  • Ted Ligety (Skiing — Men’s Giant Slalom)
  • David Wise (Men’s Ski Halfpipe)
  • Meryl Davis and Charlie White (Figure Skating — Ice Dancing)
  • Joss Christensen (Skiing — Men’s Slopestyle)
  • Jamie Anderson (Snowboarding — Women’s Slopestyle)
  • Sage Kostenburg (Snowboarding — Men’s Slopestyle)
  • Kaitlyn Farrington (Snowboarding — Women’s Halfpipe)

Congratulations to members of Team USA and all the other athletes around the world that competed on behalf of their home countries in the 2014 Sochi Games! The amazing display of sportsmanship and skill was appreciated by fans — both those that braved the elements in their heated jackets and gloves to watch in person and those that followed the action on television from the warmth and comfort of their living rooms.

Skiing vs. Snowboarding: Which winter sport is for you?

snowboard skiWhen you gaze upon the slopes at any mountain resort, you’ll see both skiers and snowboarders zooming downhill, throwing out the occasional trick, and just generally having the time of their lives. Both sports look like a blast, but you only have the time or money to try one of them this winter and must now figure out which it’s going to be. To help you decide, let’s take a quick look at the biggest differences between the two.

Equipment
The most obvious difference between skiing and snowboarding is the kind of equipment used. Skiers have to have skis, poles, bindings, and boots, while snowboarders must have a board, bindings, and boots. As a beginner, you’ll definitely want to rent these items until you make up your mind which sport you’d like to invest in.

Regardless of whether you choose to ski or snowboard, you’ll need to dress for the weather and conditions, which typically means wearing waterproof snow pants, jacket, and gloves, as well as breathable socks and perhaps a battery-heated vest for extra warmth.

Basic technique
Skiers face forward as they move downhill, and are able to use their feet and poles either independently or together to generate momentum and provide balance. Snowboarders, on the other hand, are turned sideways on the board and move downhill perpendicularly. Moreover, they must use their entire body for navigation and balance, which is a skill some beginners may have trouble with.

Terrain
Both snowboarding and skiing can take place on a variety of slope styles and terrain, including mountains, hills, and manmade features. Skiing can also be done on highly technical courses and wooded areas requiring excellent control and tight turns, as well as across flat ground (cross-country). As a novice, however, you’ll likely stick to gentle or intermediate slopes until you develop the skills necessary to advance to more difficult terrain.

Although simply reading about the differences between skiing and snowboarding might allow you to make a decision in a pinch, we recommend trying both sports at least a few times before committing to one or the other!