One season in one bag…
Joe Milnthorpe, Resort Manager – tells you what equipment he will be using this season…
I have been travelling to the mountains every year since I was 4 years old, from then I haven’t wanted to be anywhere else. For my early years I was content to have two planks stuck to my feet until I turned to the dark side around 6 years ago, and picked up a snowboard for the first time. My passion for snowboarding has grown and grown season after season and each year it’s important to have the right gear!
Because the winter is so unpredictable, you have to be prepared for what ever Mother Nature decides to throw at you. There is nothing worse than being freezing cold 2 hours away from home. A simple thermal layer is important if you want to hit the mountain every day, nowadays you can get top of the range thermals that stop you both sweating after a hike, but keep you warm on a chair lift. If you’re doing a season, going on holiday or just getting away for a weekend somewhere, it is an expensive sport, therefore having the wrong equipment can easily make days on the slopes less enjoyable. You don’t want that to happen! I will be using a Helly Hanson layer this year. Under Armour are always good too for all sports.
Having the right eyewear is so important. Going from a mild day to all of a sudden, being in a white-out. You have to prepare for the worst! Goggles are another essential, I am going for the Dragon NFX model for this season; with easily changeable lenses, it is no challenge to take on any condition the mountain has to offer. In my opinion they’re the coolest goggles on the market right now. Wearing glasses from a promo night club event are only going to do bad things for your eyes on the slopes.
Being in the mountains means that one day you could find yourself surround by sunshine and blue skies yet the next day could potentially be a blizzard, staying warm is extremely important, as it’s a terrible feeling to have freezing toes without being able to do anything about it. Therefore having the right boots is key. If your boots don’t fit perfectly then get them changed ASAP! Boots are probably the most vital part of your set up for the season. I’m going to be rocking the Nike Vapens this season, having used them last season I want them back again! They’re an extremely fun and forgiving boot with good flex but still stiff enough to tackle big powder lines.
What I ride on is hugely important to me, and the condition it’s in is even more important. Not having a waxed board can slow the equipment down and cause accidents, but most importantly, it’s far less fun! Who wants to be slowed down by something so simple? So for a whole season I like to take out my own tuning kit, it’ll save you a bomb by not getting it done in the shops. The best package for this I have always found is the Dakine Deluxe tuning kit. It has all the essentials you need to sort out your skis and snowboard for whatever winter throws at it. An iron is needed too, make sure it has a flat base (no holes) and you’ll be set! The Toko 1200W iron is great, it might be fairly expensive but it will last forever! Or a cheap one from a supermarket will also do the job fine.
If you crave powder and getting out back is the only way to get your fix, then avalanche gear is essential. Ortovox make the best transceivers in my option, they tell you everything from the direction in which to go, how close you are to the target and how deep you have to dig. With this in mind, having a good shovel and probe are also very essential. Having these three things is the minimum you should have when going to the backcountry. Always make sure you are with a friend too, if you’re on your own then having all the equipment is irrelevant. With that, if they don’t have the equipment too then don’t go with them!
The board of my choice this season is a Rome MOD Rocker. The board can tackle anything you throw at it. Rome might be a large company but you don’t see everyone with their boards. Brands like Burton are incredible but it seems everyone has one, (saying that, I do own one myself). But getting the board or ski’s that is suited to you is by far the most important aspect to your decision-making; you don’t want to be riding a huge, wide powder board in the park. And vice versa. I hugely recommend speaking to someone who knows a lot about the equipment, (like Surfdome) or I’m happy to take calls about anything equipment related. Explain what you want to use it for, once you have an idea you can look at reviews online and get it ordered!
Your jacket and pants are a key part to your time on the snow. It’s worth spending a bit of money on this, as you don’t want it all to fall apart or lack the essential thickness it needs. Depending on what time of year you tend to go out, or if you are there for the season, then getting the right jacket needs time spent on it. I will be going for a Nike Hazed jacket this season. The Nike series this year is looking sick and Nike know what they are doing when it comes to equipment. In regards to pants, you can’t go wrong with Westbeach kit. It’s not an expensive brand for what it is either!
I was told once to buy equipment to where you want to get to ability wise, not where you are now. It could not be more true. Have a mental season and see you all on the slopes!
For all your equipment needs, head to www.surfdome.com who can cater for all your needs.
Feel free to give us at Basecamp a call if you have any questions at all and we will be more than happy to help.
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 0208 789 9055