Saturday, May 1, 2010

NOSNOWBOARDING. The Top 10 Alternative Snowboarding Surfaces for the Off-Season - A Video Guide

The season is over and unless you have the money to fly to a different hemisphere, or you have a local snowdome, your snowboarding days are temporally over. At least that’s the traditional perception, because it doesn’t need to be the way, you could always try snowboarding on a different surface.

This week we take a scientific look at the alternative off-season snowboarding surfaces to help you select the one that’s right for you. We’ve used a rigorous scoring system to determine which alternative surface is the most viable by tracking the two most important factors; usability and danger. Here's how the scoring works…

Surface Usability Factor
1 = It’s like riding a carpet through a Velcro factory
10 = It’s just like snowboarding

Surface Danger Factor
1 = As dangerous as snowboarding on a fluffy combination of cushions, feathers and kittens
10 = You will die

10. Leaves
Surface Danger Factor – 2/10. Possibility of incurring cuts and scrapes or a slight rash. More significant danger is posed by the large sticky things that hold the leaves together. This was the Zimstern “Leaves” ad campaign from the start of this season. It is very lovely.
Surface Usability Factor – 2/10. There’s a making-of video through this link, turns out they did cheat a bit.

9. Pine Needles
Surface Danger Factor – 3/10. Pine needles in your butthole apparently…
Surface Usability Factor – 4/10. The guys from Tahoe Dangerzone show why the pine needle boarding industry hasn’t taken off since its invention two year ago.

8. Frost
Surface Danger Factor – 1/10. Despite the name there is no actual chance of frost bite
Surface Usability Factor – 6/10. Invented almost eight years ago, frostboarding has now racked up almost three articles on Yobeat. It’s not a bad alternative surface, but the horrible necessity of very early start puts this well outside of the reach of most of the snowboarding community. 

7. Grass
Surface Danger Factor – 2/10. Posses a significant risk of severe grass stains and subsequent cleaning chores.
Surface Usability Factor – 5/10. Recently mastered by Doom/Love it’s a more accessible surface than frost but just a little less usable.

6. Sand
Surface Danger Factor – 3/10. You can get up a fair bit of speed which means a good quality crash is possible, but the most persistent danger is getting sand in your sandwiches and having to wear these clothes...(Couldn’t embed this one)
Surface Usability Factor – 8/10. Sandboarding has been around as long as snowboarding and has developed in parallel. They use similar boards to snowboarding, just with harder bases and worse graphics. It’s definitely the closet thing to actually snowboarding on this list and might be worth a shot, if you can be bothered with all the bloody hiking...

5. Marble
Surface Danger Factor – 5/10. A pretty high danger factor because any mistake is going to hurt, especially if you add stairs…
Surface Usability Factor – 5/10. It’s fast and difficult to turn on, but marblestairboarding has built a big following in Macedonian shopping malls. It’s the ideal combination of location and surface for any off-season snowboarders to meet and impress the ladies.

4. Gravel
Surface Danger Factor – 6/10. There is a high change your will suffer some minor grazing and severe head injuries…
Surface Usability Factor – 3/10. If you’ve ever fancied taking your snowboarding into a high-speed, heavy-impact, flesh-shredding environment then this is the surface for you. Most people, however, will probably choose to avoid this one

3. Concrete
Surface Danger Factor – 7/10. Invented a few years ago by the guys from Jackass it is inevitably pretty high on the dangerous scale. You might have to work through a commercial before the video.
Surface Usability Factor – 2/10. Seeing as professional snowboarder Mikey LeBlanc is a shit load better at this than you, its probably not as easy as he made it look is it?

2. Rock
Surface Danger Factor – 8/10. Worse than paper, but better than scissors, you still need to be a very stupid man to try this, and where better to find one of them than in the world of skiing…
Or as the guys from The Goat point out…“If you can ski on rocks, you can ski on any kind of snow.” Sylvain Saudan’s wisdom is reminiscent of a popular Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn film where the coach said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”

Surface Usability Factor – 1/10. Not high which probably explains why no snowboarder has tried this surface yet, although this guy did by accident and the signs are not encouraging.

1. Metal
Surface Danger Factor – 10/10. They make swords and guns from this stuff and that’s got to be a sign that this is a dangerous surface. It’s even more dangerous if you combine that surface with moving parts as we shall soon demonstrate. Here’s a video showing what these guys hoped would happen…
And here’s that same idea with a big dose of real-life thrown in…
Surface Usability Factor – 0/10. Nope, not usable at all.

Strangely a little part of me was proud that the most stupid snowboarder in the world was a fellow Brit. RIP Pee.

So snowboarding on moving metal is the most dangerous and sandboarding is the most usable. Hopefully that helped you decide where to snowboard this summer. Or if none of those surfaces have taken your fancy, you could always change something else, like the snowboard itself. 

Related Article…
These guys are a long way from being the first nosnowboarders, and Pee was not even the first guy to sacrifice himself doing it. The Hawaiians had that sewn up 2,000 years ago.

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