2010/2011 Snowboarding Gear/Gift Guide
By Jackie Williams
Up for sale this year are some great new items from snowboarding manufacturers, with new features and styles that will keep your family riding in style and comfort! The technology has changed quite a bit on gear and apparel from years ago, which means lightweight performance materials and shorter learning curves. Here are some recommendations for you parents out there looking to set your kids up with new snowboarding gear, whether they are new to the sport or old pros.
Burton, one of the biggest names out there in snowboarding, has an amazing Mini Shred after school special snowboard package just for kids. This package includes everything you need for your child to get started on the slopes for under $300 (board, bag, boots, and bindings).
All GNU and Lib Tech boards in smaller sizes have banana and magnetraction, which makes for easier riding and not as many caught edges (make sure to take a good look at the Lib Tech art, it can be racy at times). The GNU and Roxy bindings for youth also have rear entry – the best way to go! They’ll get in and out of them quicker and not get frustrated with strapping in all the time.
If your kid is always falling off the lift or are uncomfortable while riding the chairlift, get them a Strap Pad. Once they’re comfortable, they can use the Strap Pad for grabs when they get better.
Rossignol has been around a long time and has big news in the kids’ department with the addition of Amptek Auto-Turn camber to both the Scan junior board ($179.99) and the Alias tweener board ($259.99). Amptek camber is Rossi’s award-winning camber technology that uses traditional camber between the feet for stability and pop and rocker in the tip and tail for ease of maneuverability and exceptional powder floatation. It comes in three versions: Freestyle, All Mountain, and Auto-Turn. Riding one of these boards will definitely improve your kid’s snowboarding for the better.
Head also is making a name for itself in the snowboarding game. The big news with them is the new Youth Rocka board. It has Head’s new rocker technology that makes for forgiving and easy turning.
KIDS WHO RIP
I’ve always been impressed with Oakley products. While anyone would be happy to have any of their products, if your kid rips or is the type that always talks about getting sponsored, he’s got to look good and have the best gear. Here are some cool pieces of outerwear for boys and girls with some nice magnetic features throughout, strategically placed Thinsulate, completely removable snow skirts and more (Oakley doesn’t make kids’ sizes, but if yours has hit their growth spurt they will easily fit into a small or xsmall):
Eiki Helgason Pro Rider Series
Landic Jacket ($310) shell jacket with magnet storm flap (pretty cool), 20k mm waterproofing, anorak fit
Landic Pant ($260) shell pant, 20k mm waterproofing, slim fit
Oakley XS O Goggles
Gretchen Bleiler Signature Series Collection
Kulture Jacket ($330) Eco Storm®* shell jacket with hand and back pockets (even a goggle pocket), 20k mm waterproofing. *Teijin Eco Storm® fabric is a highly waterproof and highly breathable recycled and recyclable fabric. The Eco jacket closes the loop on the recycling process by recycling the reused materials making these pieces extremely environmentally friendly. All of these efforts encourage a long term initiative.
Knew Pant ($200) shell pant with hand, back, and lower leg pockets
Oakley Elevate Goggles (unisex)
For boards, check out Romes’ Label Series, their main youth product this year with added reverse camber technology. The feedback on these has been great.
And some additional items that are for every type of rider are some nice, warm snowboard socks and beanies (Lorpen and Smartwool rule), stomp pads for their boards (Stomp Design) -they’ll show off a little personality, and ensure you never have to tie boots again by getting a pair with the BOA lacing system-you’ll thank me later! Several companies that tailor to kids are now offering gloves that zip on top for easy on and off.
For more see our section on SNOWBOARD GEAR.
......Jackie Williams writes frequently about snowboarding, including snowboard, gear, and apparel reviews as well as travel, event coverage and team rider interviews. Check out more of her work at JackieWilliamsFreelance.com or on websites such as Snowboarding.com, SnowboardSecrets.com, WomenSportReport.com, and PracticalTravelGear.com."
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