I love snowboarding! In July of 2009 I picked up snowboarding and have never looked back since then. My first experience at the snow began in 1994 during my trip/move to New Zealand. Mt Ruapehu – Whakapapa was the place where I picked up skiing, this place was breathtaking and the view was spectacular, my skiing unfortunately was not so great. The amazing part of New Zealand is it’s breathtaking scenery and landscape. Right next to the snow field is the beautiful lake Taupo.
During winter months of 1997, my parents decided to go on a road trip. The road trip was a round trip from Auckland, North Island, passing through Taupo, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington and moving down to South Island through Picton, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin and lastly Queenstown before making our long way back home to Auckland. I was lucky enough to have visited and completed a day’s worth of skiing at Queenstown – Cardrona. Needless to say, my skiing did not improved at all.
I revisited skiing a handful more times in winter months of early to mid 2000s. In 2007 a few of my friends started getting into snowboarding, this would be the last year that I picked up the skis. Those friends were not enjoying snowboarding at all, in fact they didn’t take any lesson but kept practising on their own. Half way through the trip, they got really good at falling, so much so that they decided to give up snowboarding all together! Fast forward to 2009, I decided to take up snowboarding.
A few months prior to the July 2009 snowtrip, I decided to buy a secondhand snowboarding gears from eBay. I picked up a cheap snowboard and binding for $50, pair of old snow boots for $20. Not bad, considering rental would have costed me just as much, if not more. The best part about buying is that you can always on-sell the items for the same price if not more! (I did just that and made a little profit out of it). I was so proud of my cheap as chips snowboarding gear and took it on my maiden snowboarding trip at Thredbo.
For a first timer on a snowboard, I have to say it wasn’t as hard as I thought. Lucky for me, I went with a few friends who had started snowboarding a season or two prior. They provided me with some basics and fundamentals of snowboarding, within half a day I was able to go down green runs using the falling leaf technique (heel and toe sides). This suited me well as I am rather a lazy stance person going down a hill. My thought on this is simple, go down the hill with least effort as possible! I knew from that moment on that snowboarding was my passion, those years of skiing seemed wasteful to me, however I am thankful for those experience. One major thing I took from this was, snowboarding you can easily ride lazy down a mountain, the same can’t be said about skiing. I have always found skiing to be more tiring on my body, my legs/quads especially.
On the second day of snowboarding I took up lesson for snowboarding basics. This gave me affirmation that the fundamentals taught from friends were indeed helpful. In addition to that the lesson gave me motivation to keep improving and to catch up to the level where my friends were at. By the end of day two I was able to do green runs while connecting my C turns into S turns. In the years that followed, a few snow trips were made to Perisher, Thredbo, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Mt Hutt
Of course all those trips were made possible thanks to my trusty gear that I researched and purchased from USA. Buying from USA saved me just under $1000, partly due to gears in USA is priced cheaper and their season being half a year ahead, which meant current year’s gear are their last season gears and are sold at clearance price. Buying from USA is rather easy. I would always check out the gear I am looking to buy at a local outlet. Once I am certain that the gear is to my fit and liking, I order them online from EVO, DogFunk and Sierra. Just recently I found that Dogfunk has changed to Backcountry. Similarly Sierra changed to The House outdoor gears. I would stick to EVO seeing that they have remained unchanged over the years. Unfortunately a lot of the gears that are available in USA the manufacturers have agreements with resellers that prohibits them from doing international shipping. This is easily overcome with shipping the items locally to a Shipping Forwarding Service company. I don’t recall the company that I used, however Google can assist you.
I love snowboarding down the hill and listening to my favourite chillout/vocal trance music. A State of Trance by Armin van Buuren is another go to music when I need pickup the momentum. Nothing beats that feeling of running down a mountain listening to chillout music, the peace, serenity and the view is just remarkable. I have never been happier with the snowboarding gear that I purchased back in 2010. They have lasted me throughout the year and is money well spent. Until this day I am still using the same gear and they are:
- Snowboard: Salomon Official 2010
- Snowboard Binding: Salomon Relay Pro 2010
- Snowboard Boots: DC Status BOA 2010
- Travel Bag: Dakine wheelable snowboard bag
- Helmet: Smith Vantage with Skullcandy ear/headset
- Jackets: DC & Volcom
- Pants: DC & Volcom
- Goggle: Smith Optics
- Gloves: DC
One of the highlight is in 2011, this was the year when all of my friends had converted to snowboarding and were all learning to do small tricks. Watch the video below:
Some random pics from snow trips over the years