- the palm and other fingers should have “stickier” padding;
- the touchscreen element should wrap around the index finger and thumb so that you can use the sides of these digits;
- the glove should expand to the size of the users hand to ensure a tighter fit.
One of the ways I notice I’m evolving into a parent is in the things I buy and don’t buy for myself. Such is the case with this upcoming snowboarding season. Despite finally getting an opportunity to pick up the Craig Kelly inspired Burton Mystery with my instructor discount, I instead decide to update my HELMET (who am I?!). New snowboard money has been reallocated to the baby fund. :(
Though definitely not on the same level of awesome, the new RED Shaun White Hi-Fi Helmet is cool in a couple of ways:
If you’ve read other articles in this blog, you might know that once I like a particular product, I usually start collecting a variety of the same (e.g. shoes, gloves, snowboarding socks), such is the case with Nike Dri-Fit shirts. I find nothing more comfortable to play sports in. I hypothesize, for example, that I would shoot a lower percentage while playing basketball if I had to wear a regular cotton tank-top or t-shirt vs a Dri-fit shirt (because bio-mechanics would be restricted by clothes sticking to me). I also wear long sleeve Dri-fit shirts as a base layer when I snowboard because sweating leads to freezing.
Here’s another tip, I wear Dri-fit under my dress-shirt when I go to work. It’s been a hot and humid summer and I am noticeably more comfortable in the office when I have a dri-fit on. Put one on under your club gear when you go out on the town so you don’t end up a sweaty, hot mess.
One thing people might not know about me is that I practice yoga regularly (~4 times a week). In the morning before work and always before exerting myself physically (running, playing sports or snowboarding).
My routine borrows poses learned from two Yoga instructors. The first was the only real instructor I had, it’s been so long ago since her early morning classes at the Sports Clubs of Canada that I forget her name but she was born to be a yogi. Her voice was so soothing and I credit her with teaching me how to visualize my breathing (the most important aspect of yoga in my opinion). The second set of poses I learned from Eoin Finn’s DVD. He’s a surfer and I conjecture this translates to snowboarding. After all, conditioning my body to be a better snowboarder was a primary incentive for getting into yoga.
Recently I’ve been experimenting with using an electric blanket. It’s nothing fancy , picked it up at Shopper’s Drug Mart. I apply it directly or wrap it around a particularly tight or problematic body part while holding a pose that also targets the area. I call it localized hot yoga.
I credit my general good physical state to my yoga ritual, certainly it’s not due to my diet, sleep or drinking habits. To me, yoga is the fountain of youth. It keeps my body feeling young and speeds up recovery time. Something crucial to focus on as the years continue to add up. I’m in better shape now than at any other point in my life and it’s because of yoga.
When I came back from the west coast with an obsession to ride, one person signed on as an ally in my quest to shred. We forged a partnership, a sibling rivalry, whatever you want to call it, through snowboarding. That person is my #1 snowboarding buddy Gina. No one but us was willing to drive to Blue Mountain over 40 times a season to hit an icy park at night. We’re witnesses to each others’ greatest achievements and most spectacular bails. We have also ridden the gnarliest conditions together (e.g. hopping from ice patch to ice patch in the rain on a melting transition at Smuggs to avoid lining up for the bus or getting caught in a half-pipe that was being groomed (do not do this)). It was her idea to become CASI-certified snowboard instructors so that we could become ambassadors to the sport (though I’m certain the killer discounts on equipment motivated her also).
A woman of her stature (riding experience and skills) deserves a top-of-the-line shredding instrument and the latest addition to Gina’s collection is the Burton Feelgood Flying V Snowboard. I asked Gina to evaluate her board for me but she confessed to not having ridden it enough to speak to it in detail. That was two months ago in Mont Tremblant when she had ridden it only twice. That was before she went to Aspen on her annual Colorado pilgrimage.
The Feelgood Flying V is a rockstar board on paper, it includes:
- Burton’s latest innovation in binding to snowboard interface, the Channel which essentially allows limitless binding configurations. I can’t believe I bought a Vapor and new C60 bindings the year before they started doing Channel, such is the fate of an early adopter. C’est la vie.
- The “Flying V” a double-camber base which is Burton’s latest attempt at the best of all worlds. Playful flex between bindings for easier butters but enough camber to hold on tight to edges.
In her own words:
I would say that this board is the best all-mountain board I have owned. In Aspen, whether it was groomed runs, the park, or powder, I never felt like the board was lacking in anything. I would get chatter on other boards when carving at high speed and this includes my older Feelgood but with this board, I could get all the way through turns aggressively and my edges were still gripping. Despite this being one of the longest boards I’ve ridden, I was still very comfortable in the half-pipe. It has an interesting flex, the double camber makes it easy to lift your tip or tail for butters/nose-presses and the like.
I absolutely love the Channel system. It’s not just a gimmick, it is so easy to adjust the position of your bindings against both the length and width of a board. In freestyle, I could adjust the position of my feet to better my overall body position which affects landings, riding on boxes/rails etc.
I’m all about being light and minimal when I ride. Don’t like riding with a backpack. I used to have one of these Bakoda Hi-Backs but have since done without it (also it doesn’t fit over my current bindings, Burton c60s). It’s crucial to have a tool on you for emergency, on-mountain repairs but should I risk jabbing myself with a tool in my pocket? No thanks, I ride wearing the 686 Original Snow Toolbelt.
You might be able to tell from the pictures, there’s a lot of wear and tear on this belt and it’s because I’ve had it for probably 5 years already. I’m surprised how well the leather has held up to the snow. It’s saved me countless times, like when the rental shop doesn’t tighten a friend’s bindings enough. The bottle opener and studs make for lethal combo of being practical as well as a rockin’ fashion statement.