Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Snowboarding - Get The Look!

Let’s face it one of the main reasons we do this sport is because we get to dress flash. Our pasty British skin doesn’t look good unless we are smothered in layers of clothes, so this is our ideal sport.

With the new season almost here, there will be some of you looking at this year’s range of heinous snowboarding fashion and scratching your heads. Fear not, it will all make sense if you understand that it’s a kind of uniform, a classic example of a non-conformist snowboarding conformity. Here are some basic rules that might just explain how it all works.

RULE 1. You can break snowboarding style down into two main uniforms - Freestyle and Freeride:


Achieve the Freestyle look:
1. Goggles. The most bling ones you can find. Look for chrome, reflective lenses and bright colours. Use the goggles as little as possible.
2. Beanie. You don’t wear helmets you wear scars. Bobbles, ear flaps, flash colours and peaks are all embraced.
3. Ipod. Especially good if you have some oversized headphones.
4. Chain. The 100m sprinter bling. This geezer has also tooled up with a bandana for that full Lady & The Tramp look.
5. Breathable Jacket. If you are hiking a park breath ability is more important than waterproofing. Made more breathable by leaving it unzipped. Needs to be this year’s fashion or really busted up.
6. Base Layer. Just an ordinary t-shirt. Even better if you can find something in camo, that keeps you cool and looking, er…cool.
7. Belt. Go blinging. As much metal as possible adds weight and helps balance. I recently saw a belt made from a motorbike chain. Weighed as much as a goat but really hit the bling spot.
8. Freestyle Board. Make sure it is bright and then get it stickered up.
9. Gloves. Light and breathable, look for something with bones, fire or grenades on it.
10. Baggies. Baggiest pants possible. You have just bought a flash belt, make sure it hangs low and in view. Go acid coloured or pink with multiple pockets. Try and find something with a lot or vents and vent it all.

In short. Flash colours, baggie and bling, then bling some more.


Achieve the Freeride look:
1. Goggles. Understated frames and sensible lense with a spare for bad light.
2. Backpack. Now we’re talking. Get something really technical that you can strap your board to for hiking. Make sure you get a wickedly expensive shovel. Also fill bag with plethora of expensive tools, kit, additional layers, poles, power foods and ice axe.
3. Camelback. Damn right, that goes in the pack too.
4. Freeride board. You don’t do stickers, keep the dull-ass freeride specific graphic nice and clean.
5. Transceiver. Another pricey toy you gotta have even if you are crusing pistes in May.
6. Technical outerwear. Jacket is sensible, bright and visible. Needs to be really waterproof and have a snow skirt. Jacket always fully done up. Trousers need to match jacket. Pull them up nice and high and attach them to your jacket.
7. Gloves. Hell, you can even wear mittens to stop yourself from getting frostbite.
8. Helmet. You will be head butting mountains, make sure you punish the mountain. If you have to wear a beanie keep the colours earthy.
In short. Sensible, clean with lots of extras. Just like a Swiss army knife.

RULE 2. Wear to begin? Just like your snowboarding improves with experience you must also follow the 4 levels of fashion progression:

Level 1 - First time out.
Beg steal or borrow kit. It’s important to know that you will spend the whole week on your arse so give up any pretence of looking cool and get on with having fun. The main thing to be aware of is that this is the time you are most vulnerable to making schoolboys fashion errors. These are the main ones to avoid:

  • All the gear, no idea (otherwise known as - All the kit, full of shit)
    Don’t buy the flashiest stuff in the shop before you’ve even tried snowboarding. There is nothing sadder than the sight of a learner rolling around on a green slope wearing top of the range kit. It’s basically a sign that they’ve already lost and will never be seen snowboarding again.

  • Wearing equipment that just isn’t up to the task. Last season I was on a chair lift, and it was a bloody long lift, with some teenage lad wearing a wet hoodie in the middle of a blizzard. I was caught between feeling sorry for the guy while at the same time feeling immensely smug as I sat there dressed like a Polar bear without a single piece of exposed flesh. When I say caught between these feelings, it was more like I was awash with smugness but had a nagging thought that the guy might die which would have ruined my day. Well it would have made getting off the lift a bit tricky. Yeah, alright - I just felt smug.
This is how you should look. Notice that you will have an arse like you've just spent your first night in snowman jail

Level 2 – Standupability:
You can now stand on a board and get about the place alright. Freeride look is a safe bet early on. You’re never going to look out of place.
Actually I have seen this done wrong a few times where people potter around some nice cruisey pistes all day with a full avalanche pack on. Although most people might not spot this, your mates should be expected to take the piss.
Level 3 – You can snowboard:
You are pretty good now and can throw yourself off some jumps.
Its time to start buying a bit of flash gear. Of course there is a lot of subtlety and variation at this point. For example it used to all be about the baggy but you can rock some pretty tight fitting stuff these day. To be honest you can get away with wearing a lot of shit that you would/should get a beating for in the real world. There’s not much advice we can give at this level because you either have it or you don’t. Really the only mistake you can make is to jump to the next level before you are able...
Level 4 - You are fucking awesome:
And you can recognise this point because someone is buying your kit for you and the person is not your mum.
Now you can get away with some criminally ugly kit and for some reason it actually looks good. Only at this point can you get away with wearing things such as tie-die, a one piece, Day-Glo pink or all these things together.
This guy definitely won this competition.

This is a handy representation of these levels in a Gaussian Distribution Curve.
All that said wearing stupid looking clothes is part of snowboarding and hopefully always will be. It’s just one more thing that helps put you in the mood for having a good time. We are essentially dressing up like our mums dressed us up when we were babies. Live it

A professional snowboarder...

Dressed by their mums...
That lad in the middle reminds me of something fun to try - Intentionally bump into someone wearing camo and say, “Sorry mate, didn’t see you”.

Nice trick but did you notice you've got no fucking legs!


  1. heck yes, that distribution curve is spot on. I lived in Vail, CO for two years, so I suppose this validates my validation.

    My contribution to your blog. A story. We called tourists "gapers"; origin of the word is varied and undefined, but the definition that I like most is that they walk around with their mouths gaping open. Like fish sucking air. Perhaps because of the altitude, or awestruck from the mountainous beauty that is ... the mountains? Anyhow, back to my story. So my mates would declare the forthcoming day "gaper day" at random. We donned our gayest apparel in honor of the crazy ass shit tourists and rich tourists and rich tourists who go to the mountains once a decade in particular wear on the mountain. We purveyed our gaper-gear at the finest of thrift stores. Mine was an ill-fitting one piece (think camel-toe, oh hey, spell check recognizes camel toe!), white with black spots, but in an 80's brush stroke. sigh. I miss that one-piece. But there's nothing greater than rocking a totally ridiculous outfit whilst hauling ass down the mountain with a gang of buds who are rocking way harder than I ever could.

    In conclusion, my experience has shown your graph is accurate.

    Sidenote: fanny packs are actually quite convenient, as my mom constantly reminds me.

  2. Good Inmformation..

    Check Out More Collection of Snowboard..


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