• scissors
    October 4th, 2007richardUncategorized

    Have you read The Visual Display of Quantitative Information? Yeah, me too. It’s great, isn’t it? I found it really kicked me over the edge in appreciating the capabilities of getting information across to people in graphs.

    Now, the graph below breaks a whole bunch of rules: way too much ink, and.. hello!… what’s that spurious bell curve doing there? But it’s still one hell of a useful diagram.

    Diagram showing the position of snowboards against suitability and price

    What I love about the diagram is the way it allows you to hunt-and-peck regions to find boards you might want to try out. For example, it tells me that I need to be over to the left next time I try any boards out.

    The diagram is called The Positioniser(TM) and is from last year’s Document Snowboard magazine’s Ultimate Gear Guide supplement (it’s my second favourite snowboard magazine, after Snowboard UK, but the supplement rocks).

  • scissors
    October 3rd, 2007janeGeneral

    We managed to attend two snowboard shows over the past couple of weeks – firstly, the snowboard show at Tamworth and then the Sno!Show at Milton Keynes.

    At the Snowboard show we attended a talk on photography by Russ Shea before having our first ever rails lesson with Hamish McNight and Stu Edwards. We caught up with Ash and collected a couple of demo boards he’d brought down for Richard to try, whilst I made the most of the exhibitors and took a Salomon Ivy and a Burton Feelgood out for a spin. The Ivy was much twitchier than I’m used to and is a lot more of a handful than the one I tried in Breckenridge a few years ago, but that could be because it has become more of a freestyle board in the intervening seasons. The Feelgood was lovely, a really enjoyable ride.

    The Sno!Show seemed busier, and had taken over a lot of the snow area of Xscape catering to both skiers and snowboarders. Again I took out a couple of different boards, firstly the omatic super by Tara Dakides and then the Head Fountain. I didn’t find the omatic board very interesting and defnitely not as much fun as my Ride Kashmir. The Head Fountain however I loved – it was really responsive and I spent most of the time riding this with a great big smile on my face.

    When I bought my Ride Kashmir 18 months ago I bought it because it was the best board of the 2 I’d been able to hire whilst in Breckenridge. These demo days make so much sense as I’m a firm believer that, at least for me, it isn’t the graphics that matter, it’s the ride style. I tried 2 boards that I wouldn’t have ever dreamt of trying, and one, the Head Fountain, turned out to be a really fun board to ride and one that I’m looking for a good reason to buy to add to the collection :-D . I’m sure I’ll be making the effort to attend this kind of day again to try out more new shiny things…

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  • scissors
    August 21st, 2007janeUncategorized

    Further to my blog after our Performance course, I’ve since learnt about The Snowboard Show being held at the Tamworth snowdome in September. Amongst the demos and talks there are also some free coaching sessions, 2 of which are Freeride technique with the instructor from the Performance course, Ash Newnes. All you have to do to get on one of the sessions is to register by sending an email to the address at the bottom of this page. We’ve booked on to the Rail Technique session to see what we can learn.

    In other news we’re looking at places to go for snowboarding over New Year. In recent years we’ve been to Avoriaz, Meribel and Utah. Ideally we want somewhere reasonably high up to make sure that there is some chance of snow, somewhere an hour or two from the airport, and most importantly somewhere that hasn’t got a minimum stay of less than 4 nights. Any suggestions? Or do you know of someone with an appartment to rent? Leave us a comment

    Planning our big trip

    We’ve also started planning our big trip for next year – a month long snowboarding adventure. At the moment it is looking like being based around Montana, Idaho and Portland, and making use of the Alaska Airlines schedule to get around, but all that could change. I’m hoping that the Off the Beaten Path USA trip report will offer some more insights as the guy who wrote that had some good suggestions for our Utah trip. Again, any suggestions? leave us a comment.

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  • scissors
    August 13th, 2007janeUncategorized

    We spent the weekend taking the excellent SnowboardCoach.co.uk 2 day Performance Course at Xscape in Milton Keynes. We were a group of 8, and Ash managed to keep an eye on all of us giving feedback and advice – my main area to keep an eye on is not to use my upper body/shoulders to initiate turns. We did lots of drills, some designed to get us to understand the physics behind snowboarding, others to emphasise a point. An excellent course, which has really given me a desire to head off back to Milton Keynes soon and continue my practice.

  • scissors
    March 23rd, 2007janeGeneral

    Unfortunately, one of the party we went snowboarding with last weekend broke his wrist when he landed on it :-( (apparently a frequent novice snowboarder injury)

    On Monday evening it looked like:


    It now looks like:

    In front of face - with flash

    More photos

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  • scissors
    March 21st, 2007janeUncategorized

    We spent a very pleasant long weekend in Spain, managing 2 happy days snowboarding at the Sierra Nevada. A lack of snow lower down the mountain, but good fun none the less. The Sierra Nevada resort is excellent for beginners and intermediates, but lacks (at least at this time of the year) any really challenging terrain for us.

    And whilst on the subject of snowboarding, this is an excellent video clip on how to ride a chair lift.

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  • scissors
    March 17th, 2007janeGeneral

    Jim and Lucy had shown interest in trying snowboarding, and as they own a property in Southern Spain the Sierra Nevada seemed like a good choice.

    As beginners this was almost the perfect resort for Jim and Lucy as the Borreguiles area is really well set out with 6 different green runs served by 3 different lifts. We spent a couple of hours getting them started before heading off to see what the resort had to offer us. There wasn’t a lot of challenging terrain available (some areas were closed due to lack of snow or wind) but we had fun none the less.

    Favourite run: maribel down to the base

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  • scissors
    January 25th, 2007janeUncategorized

    Mack Dawg Productions film Follow me around arrived in the post yesterday, and its beautiful. Not only has it some great riding, but it also has some amazing filming.

  • scissors
    January 13th, 2007janeGeneral

    Snow Trees Powder Mountain

    I’ve spent the morning producing the photos for our recent Utah snowboarding trip. There are more snow based photos mainly because this year I bought a new small Olympus FE-130 which is small, compact and cheap enough to not cause too much stress when boarding, there are a lot more on-slope photos than in recent years.

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  • Utah

    January 1st, 2007janeGeneral

    New year in Utah

    Our main reason for visiting Utah was for the snow, but we did take the opportunity to wander around places as well. We spent 4 nights in Ogden, and had a wander around the Christmas Village. We spent a morning in Salt Lake City walking around the temple complex. And to finish we spent 5 nights in Park City.

    On the slopes in Utah

    Instead of our more usual New Years snowboarding in France, we thought we’d swap our holidays around and have an extended break. After recommendation from friends we decided to head over to Utah and spend some time at the numerous resorts around Salt Lake City. We had 8 snowboarding days, and managed 7 different mountains, and there is still at least two resorts within driving distance that we didn’t get to go to – maybe next time (and there will be a next time.
    We did a two centre break, spending our first 4 nights at the Hotel Ben Lomond in Ogden, and then the remaining 5 nights at the Park Plaza in Park City.

    Resort review

    Powder Mountain – The only mountain we visited twice, and our favourite. On our first visit the lower part of the mountain wasn’t open, and on our second we were too late to investigate, so we’ll just have to visit again some other time :-) . Our favourite runs were Dr C and Picnic off the drag lift as there was still lots of powder stashes around. We did night boarding here to celebrate UK New Year and had great fun on the Confidence run, cutting through the cat track in the trees. Also does a cracking portion of chilli cheese fries.

    Snowbasin – The poshest resort I’ve ever been to, I’ve never seen lodges like it before. There was snow making going on at the bottom of the runs heading down to Strawberry Express, and this area was quiet and fun. Our favourite run was probably Sweet Revenge in the Middle bowl. I’d like to visit again someday.

    Wolf Mountain – We like visiting the smaller resorts, and so we went to Wolf on New Years day when we were changing hotels between Ogden and Park City and only had a couple of hours of slope time available. This was a sensible choice as the mountain is pretty compact, especially when only about a third of it is open. We had great fun though and used the limited terrain to our advantage trying out new things. We even headed off through the terrain park and over some jumps. Favourite run was the combination of Bayots Boulevard, Red Tail and Moose Merge.

    Brighton – As we live in Brighton on the south coast of the UK, it was necessary that we spend a day here. We found Brighton to be quite a challenging mountain, and felt that a couple of years ago we’d have struggled to get as much out of it. Maybe snow conditions had something to do with this feeling. A great day, and probably our 2nd favourite mountain. Our favourite runs were Golden Needle and Aspen Glow, both off the Great Western Express lift.

    Snowbird – Probably our least favourite resort. It has quite a european feel, possibly due to the long traverses and partial flat sections leaving it more suited to skiers than boarders. We enjoyed the runs off the Gad 2 lift the most and cut our losses having a shorter on mountain day. We talked about our experiences with a guy at a board shop in Park City who said that fresh snow transforms snowbird and it becomes a great boarders mountain. So, maybe we’ll give it a go another year.

    Park City – When we left the condo it was raining slightly, but by the time we got to the resort it was snowing, and this continued all day making for fresh snow everywhere. A great day, probably our favourite snow day of all time. Our favourite run was Silver King, one of Park City’s signature runs. There is a great tool to help you choose your perfect route around the mountain which gives instructions on how to get around following your preferences (i.e. groomed, bumps, steeps etc).

    The Canyons – Our last day, and we certainly spent a lot of time on the mountain. There were a few flats and traverses to get around, but overall another fun day, especially thanks to the 7 or 8 inches of fresh that had fallen overnight. Our favourite run was Pipedream and that was probably mainly due to circumstances. We were fortunate enough to be at the top of the lift just as they opened the run for the first time, and so we were in the first 20 or 30 people to head down through a field of fresh powder. Amazing!

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