Stay Out Longer: 2013 Snowboard and Ski Gear Guide
Hurt feet can wreck a day faster than a chairlift malfunction. 2XU's socks combine the increased circulation of a compression garment with the padding and comfort of an alpine sock, letting you keep your cool no matter how long you have to stand around waiting. ($60; 2xu.com)
"Muscle oscillation" is a fancy term for "your thighs are flapping around inefficiently and making you sore and tired." Compression garments like Skins keep your muscles tight and encourage circulation while the brushed lining keeps you comfy. (Top $130, Bottom $130; skins.net)
Not down for the compression gear? New underwear-maker MyPakage has the answer. It has developed a gusseted garment that's snug around the legs like traditional long underwear, but keeps your package separate via its Keyhole Comfort Technology. Less adjusting and less slap on landings keep your focus on the ride and not on your lower half. ($50; mypakage.com)
Dehydration of 2.5 percent of your body weight corresponds to a drop in performance of up to 45 percent. Vapur's flexible "anti-bottles" will make sure you stay functioning. Their half-liter size fits into any pocket and won't knock the wind out of you if you land wrong. Plus they're BPA-free and dishwasher safe. ($10-12 depending on size; vapur.us)
A few yards of ice can mean the difference between hero turns and turning for home. The Yaktrax XTR weigh less than a pound and pack down to the size of a grapefruit. You'll forget you have them until you easily slip their half-inch spikes onto your boots when your winter wonderland turns from powder to Zamboni-shined. ($60; yaktrax.com)
When you're out in the backcountry you can't afford a dead GPS or satellite phone. Goal Zero solar panels and battery packs come in a range of sizes that can boost your gadgets or even power your whole RV. Just one more reason to be stoked when the sun is shining. ($120; goalzero.com)
The first aftermarket snowboard boot-specific liner brings your boot back to life when your stock liners have given up the ghost. The Solution Liner is moldable, but won't pack out like other liners. Pair it with a Medic insole for three more layers of impact absorption and comfort. (Liner $150, Medic Insole $40; remindinsoles.com)
Often the only thing that's going to keep you out longer is food. Larabar's new ALT bar adds pea protein to its proven recipe for a balanced snack filled with ingredients you can actually identify like dates, almonds and peanuts. The bars are also non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, Kosher and vegan. Now you don't have to make the mistake of stopping for lunch at noon with the rest of the mountain again. ($1.69; larabar.com)
Whether it's from searching for signal or running the latest tracking apps, phones are dying faster than some worn-out trends. Plug your phone into a Mophie Juice Pack Helium and you get a slim case with a built-in battery. Now you might even have the juice for an emergency phone call on the ride home. ($80; mophie.com)
You have a choice between mittens and gloves on your hands, why not on your feet? Injinji has been making high-quality toe socks for over a decade. The five-toe design promotes a more natural alignment for better posture and balance while defending against blisters. Add a cozy cushion and deep heel cup and you might wish your boots had toes, too. ($32; stance.com, injinji.com)
Most helmets can withstand only one big impact. What if you take that hit at 9 a.m. on a powder day or on your first run through the park? The Giro Combyn is its own backup. Its flexible yet tough outer shell and dual-density Vinyl Nitrile interior are tested to withstand 50 impacts. That's years of worry-free shred. ($120; giro.com)
The big dogs train in foam pits and you're still too cool to wear some padding on days you want to huck hard? Please. Bern's new Low Pro Impact apparel will keep your safety on the down low. With just half an inch of high-impact Brock foam and a strategically placed microshell for extra deflection, you'll feel secure and not have to look like the Stay-Puft marshmallow man. You can just be mellow, man. (Spine guard $160, Shorts $90; bernunlimited.com)
Any old garbage bag can keep you dry from the outside. Then, when you start working hard and sweating you end up marinating in your own stench. Homeschool brought the breathability of Cocona fibers to the snowsports world and it's been a breath of fresh air. Homeschool uses the fabric in everything from balaclavas to socks, but the 30,000-gram breathable shell and pants shown here are real gems. (Shell $250, Puffy $150, Pant $260; homeschoolsnowboarding.com)
No. 1 on the snow rider's most wanted list is always warm gear. UA's Cold Gear Infrared is a printed-on ceramic layer added to the inside of select clothing. It absorbs and stores your body heat and radiates it back to you slowly. This makes for a lightweight layer that keeps you warm without overheating you like some of the reflective layers can. (Jacket $150, Pant $200; underarmour.com)
Space-age Dyneema fabric saves precious weight on your pack. A sturdy cable and strap system keeps your board or skis tight. Inside there are 18 liters of space and four pockets to keep things organized, including a big one for your hydration bladder and a small zippered one for your valuables. A dedicated probe pocket ices the "everything you need and nothing you don't" vibe from this first-year bag maker. ($180 [snowboard or ski versions]; function-snow.com)
Take care of your body and you can be in midseason form from day one through day 101. Strength and conditioning coach and freestyle movement specialist Carl Paoli recommends learning basic movement, "As much as your hip is your main power generator, your arms are your wings. Any time you're in the air or any time you're trying to carve, your arms and hands help you with direction, so you need to have connection between those two and that would be working your trunk stability." From there the trifecta is strength, speed and skill. Find a Freestyle Connection Seminar near you for details or go to Gymnasticswod.com.
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