Snowboard Goggles

THE GEAR YOU SHOULD ACTUALLY BUY

Top 5 priority products

We often go for the shiny objects like a snowboard first when we think of our priorities for kit purchases but having that pro model board won’t mean a damn when you’re freezing, cannot see anything and your feet feel like you’ve been walking over hot coals. Here’s a realistic hit list of what you should prioritise when making those snowboard purchases.

1-Boots with Footbeds

Boot purchasing is a minefield. Numerous years of boot fitting has taught that there are some ugly ass feet out there and they’re all different. To get the most out of your boots and feeling comfortable you need a professional fit. That means take an hour out of your life and go to a store and chat to someone. Try on a selection of boots, as different manufacturers have different widths and lengths irrespective of what it says on the box. Plus don’t be a tight ass and get the boot fit and buy the boots online for £5 cheaper. Invest the time and invest the money as well.

Try the boots with a footbed. Unless you have specific arch issues don’t bother with a custom footbed. In my opinion they’re too much expensive vs the benefits for snowboarding. You’re not a ski racer. Get something like a Superfeet Green. They will support your arch better than the Ritz cracker already in the boots. That means less foot pain and a better fitting more comfortable boot all round.

Once you’ve found a pair of boots that work for you. Stick with them. Check on ebay and pickup a slightly used or fresh pair once the season is complete. Most guys ride a week or two max, and that means gentle slopes and bar crawls. The boots will most likely be brand new.

You know they work, so don’t leave next season to chance. Remember typically most boots are engineered to last 5–8 weeks of riding, so when’s thats done think about a new pair before they become too soft and cause ankle injuries or start letting in tons of moisture.

Guys that constantly deliver are The Snowboard Shop. They also offer Maverix customers a 10% discount with the code ‘maverix10’

2-Goggles

Googles are the number one issue on all my winter camps. They cause constant complaints. People either don’t spend enough money or spend too much trying to get the latest tech and it doesn’t deliver after one faceplant.

I’ve written a whole article on googles as they cause so many problems. The key is have a google with an easy to change lens that offers both a bright and low light lens option. That way you can change them over when you need. You might also want a couple of lower light lens options for the inevitable faceplant in powder.

Don’t get transition lenses as they don’t work in flat light. The fancy lens tech names are just marketing spiel. They’re not going to make that much difference. Key features are double lenses with some kind of pressure release valve (Smith I/O) that manages atmospheric pressure. A decent amount of multi layered foam to adsorb sweat and plenty of venting to allow for the goggle to breath and de-mist.

Checking the fit with your helmet is a bonus so there aren’t any gaper gaps when you hit the slopes.

The companies that deliver on a regular basis are Anon and Smith. Companies that consistently don’t deliver are Dragon and Oakley if you like a faceplant.

3-Gloves

You don’t need to buy some wacked out ski racer glove that goes half way up your arm to be warm, comfortable and look dope. The key is don’t be fooled by the styling of many snowboard specific brands out there. Most will look cool, but actually absorb water quicker than a dish cloth and fall apart even faster.

Look at the materials and build quality

Typically a mitt is going to last longer than a traditional glove due to the reduced number of stitched seams and a leather based outer is the way forward. It will remain a lot more water resistant and you can treat the leather with a bit of dubbing to avoid the glove freezing and maintain a decent level of waterproofing.

Plus if you do spend a decent amount on them don’t be shy about getting the sowing kit out to help keep them going. It’s a lot cheaper in the long run. I carry a small sewing kit in my servicing box to handle small repairs. A bit of stitching looks a lot better than gaffer tape as well.

I’ve typically gone for a traditional glove liner and a leather outer mitt from AK. The outers have lasted 3 seasons. The inners are a more traditional fabric so they do not last as long, but they’re cheap. I picked up a pair of Nike running gloves last season and they work really well as inners.

Before that I picked up a pair of leather mitts from TKmax and they’ve been going 4 seasons.
Most brands will have a top end leather glove, so have a look and see what works for you. Brands I know who’ve delivered dependable gloves are Burton, Burton AK and Dakine.

4 — Snowboard pants

A lot of guys will spend a shed ton on a top of the line jacket as it looks dope and will keep them toasty warm, but in all honesty their snowboard pants are way more important in keeping them dry and comfortable. You can easily add a few extra layers on top, but if your snowboard pants don’t deliver you’ll be cold and wet in no time.

Your ass is going to be in more contact with the snow than your jacket. You’re sitting on the slope, on snowy chair lifts, hiking or hopefully riding through waist deep powder fields. This all amounts to a lot of contact with the snow.

If your snowboard pants have a low waterproof rating or are made of random fashion focused material you’re going to look like a snowman in no time. Buy a decent pair of pants that will last and keep you warm and dry season after season.
I recommend at least a 15kMM/15KGM2 when looking at snowboard pants.

You can find out more about outerwear with this handy infographic I’ve created.

Brands that have delivered for me include Volcom, L1, Bonfire, and Burton AK.

5 — Coaching and Guiding

Coming from a coach it’s a bit of an obvious one to add to the list. But in all aspects of personal development it’s worth having someone help you on the journey to becoming a better version of yourself.

A guide in a resort is going to show you the best areas to ride whatever the conditions. They can create a truly memorable experience, that goes above and beyond anything a piste map could show you.

A coach is going to develop your skill level to such and extent that you can enjoy those new found zones without being a wreck afterwards.

Plus, don’t think that going to the gym and building those instagram abs and doing a few squats is going to prepare you for the rigours of a snowboard holiday. Sure, having a baseline level of fitness will help with your general endurance level, but nothing beats actually snowboarding. To improve your snowboarding you actually need to snowboard.

So why not have someone poke a few holes in your technique before your next holiday so you can truly enjoy that adventure rather than just survive it.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Fingers crossed with these tips in mind for your next holiday you’ll have the right kit and skills to make it an awesome experience.

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