Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Saturday, December 11, 2004
How's the snow?
A recent web cam picture taken from the base of Peak 8 at Breckenridge. Check back soon, as this picture will update itself.
How much powder did Vail get last night? How thick is the base at Breckenridge? What percentage of the terrain is open at Copper Mountain? Prior to packing up and heading to the ski resorts, snowboarders should go online and take advantage of the many sources that provide current and forecasted snow conditions, and of course, answers to your most important questions. The following are some different websites that can assist you:
- Abundance of information on snow conditions, travel, and news
- Snow reports listed by country, region/state, and resort
- Features newletter and prizes
- Seach by location, ski area name, or snow conditions sought
- Features tips and techniques and message board
- Lists conditions for current and following day
- Resorts of the Day
- Resort Reviews
- Resorts ranked by "coldest in next 3 days," "new snow in next 3 days," and "powder reported"
You can also find current snow conditions at each resort's website. Here are some links to the major Colorado resorts:
SNIAGRAB: Be there or be square!
SNIAGRAB Set to Rock
In case you didn't figure it out, "SNIAGRAB" is "BARGAINS" spelled backwards, and it refers to the worlds largest annual ski and snowboard sale (sponsored by Gart Sports). Since it began in 1954, the SNIAGRAB has expanded beyond the renowned "Denver Sportscastle" to nearly 80 other locations across the country. Each Labor Day weekend, the SNIAGRAB offers goers not only unbeatable discount shopping for top-notch products, but also a "block party" attitute and a winter sports festival. This famous event features guests such as the US Freestyle Ski team, along with experts from name brands such as K2, Sims, Burton, and many more. On top of that, the SNIAGRAB also helps fundraise for organizations such as the National Sports Center for the Disabled and the Grant County Search & Rescue Team. It's great to be from Colorado!
Snowboarders know who's King in the ski resort industry
Did you know that Vail Resorts owns not only Vail, but also Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Breckenridge (Colorado resorts) and resorts in Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada, and Wyoming? Sounds almost like a monopoly, huh? Well not quite; there are actually over 15 resorts in Colorado alone and over 100 throughout the United States. Let's take a look at the Colorado ski areas owned by Vail Resorts:
Vail is certainly the largest of the bunch, with over 5,000 acres of snowboarding terrain. A main attraction at Vail is its legendary back bowl area (Sun Down Bowl, Sun Up Bowl, Tea Cup Bowl, China Bowl, Siberia Bowl, and Inner and Outer Mongolian Bowl). The back bowls themselves span almost 6 miles wide, representing nearly 1/3 of Vail's total terrain. Many tourists flock to Vail not just because of the prestigous ski resort, but because it boasts a world-renown resort town too. Rated the World's #3 Ski Town by Ski Magazine, Vail Village includes a variety of world-class restaurants along with a prime nightlife. www.vail.snow.com
Often considered the second most prestigious Colorado resort (behind Vail, of course), Beaver Creek has the advantage of being located adjacent to Vail. Tourists seeking a high-class ski vacation can purchase a Vail ticket that is valid at any Vail-resort, which brings increased traffic next door to Beaver Creek. The Beaver Creek village is also unique, although similar in layout to Vail. It is characterized by a variety of prestige restaurants, bars, and entertainment for people of all ages. www.beavercreek.snow.com
With a base elevation of just under 10,000 feet, over 2000 acres of terrain, and 27 lifts; Breckenridge is one of Colorado's largest ski resorts. However, since many tourists come to Colorado to ski at Vail, Breckenridge is often overlooked and unconsidered as a place to ski. The truth is that Breckenridge is smaller and much more manageable, it is located 1/2 hour closer to Denver Airport, and it is much less crowded. Breckenridge has always been my favorite ski resort. They always boast top-notch snow conditions and short lift lines. A few Winters ago, Breckenridge even opened a new peak (PEAK 7). What a great place to snowboard! www.breckenridge.snow.com
Let's put it this way, the last 5 times I have snowboarded at Keystone, I felt like I was in an ice-skating rink; Keystone is notorious for icy conditions! Nonetheless, it is certainly one of the top ski areas in the world and renowned for its night skiing. In fact, to kick off this season, Keystone ran its lifts through the entire night for a total of 36 hours! Wow, what a way to start the season. (read the details: "Keystone Lights Slopes")
Who's Who: Some Big Names in Snowboarding
Perhaps the Top name in snowboarding, Burton provides a variety of gear ranging from Snowboarding hardware (boards, bindings, boots, etc) to bags, gloves, and outerwear (jackets, pants, etc). Burton is famous for its "Floater" snowboard, an extra wide model that accomodates riders with large feet. I've been using my Floater for over 4 years, and it is still in Grade A condition.
Meet the 2005 Burton Global Team
Colorado-based Never Summer Industries is known world-wide for its prime quality snowboards and winter gear. Growing up in Colorado, everyone wanted a Never Summer board, and its products almost become somewhat trendy. Very pricy, but high quality boards.
Meet Team Never Summer
Forum sells mostly high-priced snowboards, but has recently entered the clothing business. Many of their jackets are very light weight and wind resistant, but retain warmth very well. One of the Forum team members, JP Walker, is considered a Top 3 snowboarder in the world. Read more about JP Walker and watch his videos.
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Choosing the Right Snowboard
Now that we are familiar with the basic terms dealing with Snowboarding, let's discuss how to buy the right board for you. First you need to decide what type of riding you are interested in. Choices include Freeriding/All Mountain (generally your all-around, versatile board), Freestyle/Technical (for tricks, jumps, spins, etc), or Carving/Alpine Style (for high-speed downhill and deep turns). Once you have figured this out, choose a board whose length is between your chin and nose. The board's width depends on your shoe size--Make sure your heels and toes don't hang over the edge! In terms of the board's weight, heavier riders should stiffer, heavier boards, and vice versa.
After determining your board type, length, width, and flex/weight, you are well on your way. The only factors left to consider are Brand, Price, and Graphics. In my opinion, Brand and Price supersede graphics, because it doesn't matter how snazzy your board looks if it is a cheap, no-name brand. So make sure you find a reliable, established brand for a reasonable price (depending on what your looking for) and then choose your favorite graphic.
For a detailed lesson on buying a board, click here.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Let's start out with basic some snowboarding terminology to familiarize ourselves with this great sport:
- Ride: To snowboard (analagous to ski for a skier).
- Regular: When a snowboarder rides with his/her left foot forward.
- Goofy: When a snowboader rides with his/her right foot forward.
- Fakie/Switch: Riding the snowboard backwards from a normal stance.
- Stomp Pad: A means of traction, usually positioned between the bindings, used when boots are not secured in bindings.
- Twin-Tip: The board has an identical tip and a tail so that it may be ridden similarly in both directions.
For a full list of snowboarding lingo, check out the following websites:
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
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