Dust off your board – the slopes are in sight.
Snowboarding season is almost here, but there’s still time to do some pre-piste preparation.
We’ve already talked about the best at-home exercises for the slopes, you can check it out here. Now, we’ve pulled together the coolest gadgets, private pistes and top podcasts to get you board-ready this winter.
Unless you’re one of the lucky few who can literally snowboard 365 days of the year, it’s likely you’ll be taking some downtime in the off-season.
That’s not to say you can’t still board.
Take inspiration from the slopes’ less-snowy cousin, skateboarding. Sharing many of the same techniques for stance and weight distribution, and has the extra win of practice all year round.
Need help with a few notoriously difficult skate tricks? We’ve got it covered here.
Beginner, intermediate or full-blown expert rider, this tech is for everyone.
Suunto 9 Baro GPS watch
For those looking to splash out this season, the Suunto 9 Baro GPS watch is causing a stir in the wearable tech community. It’s the gold-standard in outdoor adventure active watches.
The 9 Baro is equipped with all the key functions of a fitness band (calorie burn, heart rate, the list goes on). It’s waterproof, obviously, and gives you storm warnings, which is handy for planning ahead in unpredictable weather conditions.
But what really sets the 9 Baro apart from competitors is a super-intelligent power management system that adapts to you, your schedule and your activities. Seamlessly monitoring activity history, targets and extending to sleep tracking and recovery status.
Tied up with Suunto’s unique FusedTrack algorithm, the watch combines GPS and motion sensor data to improve track and distance accuracy. And it does all of this with superior battery life.
Stamina 36 inch folding trampoline
This ultra compact trampoline works wonders for leg strength and air awareness, preparing the muscles for tough snowsport landings. It also works brilliantly for cardio-vascular exercise, and comes with a membership for additional training and nutritional advice. It’s rugged enough to withstand heavy tension, but folds away neatly for when it’s not needed.
The Spooner Pro Balance Board
Those with children looking to start snowboarding, this is a great practice board.
Designed to create the feeling of boarding, the nifty little balance trainer boosts core muscles needed for the slopes. It shows real value in practicing tricks, and helping to nail difficult movements before getting the lift to the top. Don’t be fooled by the aesthetic, it’s equally as useful for adults.
Mophie portable charger Leading the way in portable chargers, Mophie’s range covers an eclectic mix of power stations to keep your battery going until the sun sets over the snow-capped mountains. The battery cases will prove useful as a protective cover and maintain your device with enough juice to last all day. You can also charge all your devices wirelessly at the same time in the comfort of the chalet. This gadget is heralded by The Verge as ‘the closest thing to Airpower that Apple will ever sell.’
Tune in for the best advice, interviews and product reviews to get you pumped for the season.
The Snowboard Project
The brainchild of snowboarding vetran Mark Sullivan, The Snowboard Project delves into the world of snowboarding in depth. Offering weekly news, pro-interviews and unique perspectives of those who truly know the sport inside out.
Listen here: http://thesnowboardproject.com/
Everything Snowboarding and more
Born out of online publisher Mountain Weekly News, the Everything Snowboarding and more podcast features the latest outdoor gear reviews, splitboard reviews and general trends. New episodes drop every week, so hit subscribe to stay up to date.
Listen here: https://mtnweekly.com/series/snowboard-podcast/
FNRad Snowboarding Podcast
Speaking to those who have made the sport what it is, the FNRad Snowboarding Podcast releases new episodes on Wednesdays, giving you the chance to get up close and personal with the athletes who live and breathe boarding.
Listen here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/277361
THE BEST, UNDISCOVERED
While thousands flock to Chamonix and St Moritz each year in search of the ultimate shredding experience, there are few places that remain relatively untouched. These hidden gems offer experienced riders the opportunity to revel in fresh powder and claim their own pistes.
Explore the lesser-known resort of Gressoney, part of the Monterosa ski area.
While significantly cheaper than it’s larger European counterparts, it’s located just over an hour from Turin airport. The resort is home to some spectacular scenery and superb views of Mont Blanc, the Monte Rosa Glacier and the Matterhorn. Enjoy 180 km of groomed runs, and plenty off-piste routes for freeriders.
The nearby quaint villages, Gressoney-La-Trinité and Gressoney-Saint-Jean are quiet but will accommodate your needs in restaurants and bars.
Val d’Anniviers, Switzerland
An unsung charm, Val d’Anniviers branches off from the broad Rhone Valley, and remains peaceful given it’s boisterous neighbours – Zermatt and Verbier. A snowboard Shangri-la for those who want to enjoy 100km of sunny cruising.
La Grave, France
Tucked away in the Oisans, the aptly named La Grave has been granted the nickname ‘Death Mountain’. Despite the inhospitable welcome, expert boarders relish this coulier and come here for for raw, challenging, rides where they can flex their freeriding skills.
La Grave boasts some of the best off-piste terrain in Europe, but it’s not to be taken lightly. Properly prepare for an avalanche and never hit the slopes alone.
Designated holiday planner? Here’s some help for the group snowboarding trip.
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