Mountain Essentials: The latest snowboarding accessories, put to the test.

Posted on Tuesday 11th February, 2014 Times Viewed: 3026
Last week we spent an incredible week on Our Camp alongside Gilly Seagrave and Ben Kinnear, who put us through our paces in park, piste, pipe and powder for a week of coaching in Morzine and Avoriaz.

We were lucky to have a mixture of perfect powder days, bluebird park days, warm sunny afternoons, as well as biting cold mid-winter blizzards – but what that meant was the equipment we had in our paws to review, was properly put to the test. Here’s our rundown of some of the top snowboarding accessories we couldn’t have gone without last week.

Words: Kaz Willmer
Celtek Gloves – Bitten By a Mitten – www.celtek.com
You are guaranteed to be one of the most envied riders on the slopes with a pair of Celtek gloves – no matter what design you choose! We were rocking the Bitten By a Mitten dinosaur mitts and the Bitten By a WoMitten magical unicorn gloves – sending rays of glove-envy across Avoriaz! Not only do they look rad, they’re super technical too – keeping your fingers cosy and dry all shred long.
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What’s more, we’ve been rocking Celtek for a few seasons now and know they’re some of the most hard-wearing mitts out there – where other gloves tend to fray or fall apart with use, these ones just keep going. Check out the immensely rad range of Celtek mitts out there!

Slytech Protection – Back Protector (Backpro XT Naked) and Impact Shorts (MultiproXT) - http://slytechprotection.com/
Always stay protected. You know it. And with snowboarding there’s no exception – particularly when you’re on a freestyle training camp week and know you’re not going to be landing everything in the park. I mean, we were once told - if you’re not falling, you’re not trying hard enough!
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The Slytech impact shorts and back protector were my absolute saviours this week, from bulletproof landings on the piste, to awkward box catching, and unfortunate bails in the pipe. Usually I’d come out far more bruised and battered, but these not only saved my bum from unsightly purple bruises, but also made sure I didn’t cause more damage where falls could’ve been a lot worse. In the past, bruised coccyx has made even just sitting on a sofa extremely uncomfortable – let alone getting back onto the mountain the next day. Just that little bit of protection can keep you riding, when even just a little crash can cause massive discomfort.

I don’t like being restricted when I’m riding but the Slytech protection offers very lightweight, mouldable protection that you barely notice you’re wearing. Rather than bulky pads, they’re very thin, and solidify on impact, meaning you can still reach those grabs, without the restriction of too much solid padding. The back protector was very easily adjustable, while the impact shorts were mainly made of mesh, making them easy to move in, while not making you uncomfortably sweaty!

Although going to the toilets is harder when you’ve an extra layer to remove, I really didn’t notice I was wearing the protection for the rest of the day – so it’s definitely worthwhile for the huge benefits that extra bit of protection can give you. What’s more, if you check out the professional athletes who wear Slytech, you know it’s got to be good.

Stance Socks – Stance Muse – www.stance.com
There’s nothing worse than cold feet – at the very least, having cold toes does nothing for epic toe-side Eurocarves! That’s where Stance socks come in – stylish looking snowboard-specific socks that keep your feet cosy all day, are super comfortable to wear, and what’s more they’ve elasticated bits in all the right places to make them stay in place, and never slide down your boots.
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Stance socks come in a whole range of damn cool designs for both guys and girls (Stance Muse) – and can be found in all good snowboard stores for you to be able to take your pick. Check out the UK Stance Socks and Stance Muse pages on Instagram to get a regular dose of sock envy – believe me, such a thing exists!

Dragon Goggles – APXS – www.dragonalliance.com
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the Dragon APXS literally revolutionised my goggle life - and I’ll go as far as claiming I’ll never ride with any other goggles again. Nothing currently exists that could even begin to compare to the APXs. From flat light and blizzards through to bluebird park days, the Dragon APXs have seen me through without a millescule of steaming up or tainted vision.
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The frameless invention means your vision is never restricted, and on top of this you’ve the ease of changing lenses, and the solid protection case they come in, through to the fact they’re super comfortable whether you’re wearing them over a helmet or just over a beanie.

When the sun came out there was no need to change lenses – the vision was crystal clear and not too bright or too dark. When the clouds came over and the flat light halted everyone else, I could keep riding on as vision seemed normal. Even in blizzards I felt safer than I’d done before and could still see mounds, bumps and obstacles in my path – and where the piste dropped away! The more people I lend them to, the more go out and buy a pair themselves – knowing the Dragon APXs (or APXS for smaller faces) are worth every penny of investment.

Nikita - The Mollusk Hoodie – nikita-clothing.com
The Nikita Mollusk Hoodie is my official après-must have! It’s super lightweight for easy packing – and throwing over your other layers for cosy evening chilling in the chalet. It was perfect over a pair of leggings for some après yoga and stretching after the hot tub, recovery for the next morning on the slopes.
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It has an awesome bobbly material, and a drawstring on the bottom to keep it looking flattering. It’s comfortable, soft, and is going to be as awesome for an extra soft layer on the beach this summer as it was in the chalet last week!

Butta Wax – www.butta.co.uk
It goes without saying that the Butta boys have done the UK snowboard industry a massive favour by falling into the scene with their incredible range of slick waxes. Supporting a whole host of the UK’s top skiers and snowboarders, the brand is involved with some of the UK’s top snowsports events, waxing riders’ boards to make sure they’re competition-ready.
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Not only will you have the slickest board out there with Butta wax, no matter what the conditions, but you will also have the best-smelling board in the gondola queue! What’s more, it’ll make your board bag smell pretty damn fresh to mask the dirty laundry on the way home!

And finally… 7/9/13 Belts – sevennine13.com
Because there’s nothing worse than your pants falling down….!
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