I've been good this Christmas Santa... promise!

Posted on Tuesday 7th December, 2010 Times Viewed: 4640
Earlier this year I hit up the Snowboard Test in Kauntertal Austria to test out all this season's kit, alongside the rest of the UK snowboard industry – distributors, brands, media and riders.

This year was a particularly test-worthy test with every element thrown our way – from powder to ice, to mist to slush, all in the space of a few days. But it meant we could truly put every board, boot and binding through their paces, and I could compile the ultimate Dear Santa list for guys and gals. Just promise you've been good this year.

By Kaz Willmer
For the Girls
Rome Lo-Fi – this was the ultimate board to come out of the snowboard test for me. I bonded with it within seconds – it was super playful, solid on landings, and seemed to have a sixth sense with where I wanted to go. The Lo-fi was not only super easy to control but it liked the speed, and was more than happy to ride through every element. For even more butter on your toast, go for the Lo Fi V-Rocker.

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Burton Sapphire Boots – Yes, boots are different for everyone, but the Burton Sapphire Boots are my ultimate favourite this year. They are officially duvets for your feet with a secret battery attachment for warming, air bags for soft cushioning on landings, and soft liners for extra cosiness. You can have them on your feet from first lift to last orders at the bar and still be comfortable. I particularly like the disco blue Sapphires!

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Westbeach Straight Shot Jacket – This jacket is my top call for this winter as it's got no fancy features and no frills, just everything you need for a snowboard jacket. Powder skirt – check, 10k waterproofing – check, cosy insulation – check, pockets for your tunes and phone – check. It comes in some sweet retro colours, has a lovely massive hood, and holds all the tech power Westbeach is famous for. I'll pick this up in one straight shot...

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Drake Jade Bindings – Out of all the bindings I tried, I found these ones the most comfortable. I really liked the padded straps which seemed to mould to my boots, and the padding on the base meant landings were even softer. The women's-spec hibacks are designed just for us ladies, and mean we can ride all over the mountain as we do best.

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Smith I/OS goggles – The Smith I/OS goggles have been my choice for two seasons now and will be for as long as they exist. They're the only goggles which have given me full visibility in a neat little package thanks to their frame-less style. I've taken them Austria, Norway and Japan, and back to Austria again and they've never once steamed up thanks to the special vent in the lenses, and they're super easy to change for different visibilities – click out then in! Plus they come in some super-cool styles this season!

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For the Guys
Bataleon Evil Twin – I tried the Bataleon Evil Twin and wish I had even a normal twin brother (evil or not!) to ride this thing for me every day. The control out on that mountain was unbelievable, and every rider came back with an evil snow grin on his face after testing this thing. It is a perfect twin-tip board which rocks the freestyle tables, gives you every bit of pop you want from it, and lands tricks smoother than before. Try it to believe it.

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Union Contact Bindings – Like freestyle? Then the word of the street is the Union Contact bindings. They are uber lightweight, and boast a unique minimal board-to-binding contact, so you can get the most out of your board's flexing power and let it work its magic across the mountain. They've got adjustable toe-straps which stay in place, comfortable straps, and are strong from buckles to the base, so are reliable all shred long.

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Thirty-Two Lashed Boots – The 32 Lashed are some of 32's most popular boots for guys, and there's a reason for that – they're awesome and withstand anything you throw their way. Every guy I know who rides these, loves them. They're lightweight and comfortable on your feet, with an added 'bumper' around the toe so they now last longer than ever. This year you can also get them with a fast-track lacing system, or standard laces if you prefer.

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Bern Baker Helmet – It's hard to get a helmet which doesn't make you look like a storm trooper, while remaining comfortable and protecting you against all those bumps. The Baker is an awesome visor helmet which comes in crazy number of colours and styles, plus it is super light you can forget you're wearing it. If that's not enough, the liners come in loads of styles whether you want to keep your ears warm, listen to tunes, or both – and even come out so you can use it for your summer escapades too!

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Amel Base layers – The Amel base layers are the latest in tech-filled mountain warmth to hit the stores this winter. The Amel crew have come up with some cool designs so you can be proud of your baselayers, and combined them with some top technology to keep you warm and dry all day. They fabric is soft to the touch and they are long in the body and arms so no rising, just riding!

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The Snowboard Test
The Snowboard Test is the UK snowboard industry's chance to show off and test all next season's kit – board, boots, bindings, clothing, goggles and riders are all under the knife for one week each May. The Snowboard Test is held in Austria's Kaunertal each year, and gives us a chance to enjoy some spring riding, park sessions, and brand parties with friends. In 2010 over 270 industry-people attended and all the test results were compiled for the world to see. www.thesnowboardtest.com
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Comments (216)  
  Page: 1 of 15   Next  
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  Page: 1 of 15   Next  
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