Based on the shell and core design of POC’s well-known Receptor, this helmet also incorporates their patented MIPS system (Multi Impact Protection System) to dramatically reduce rotational forces on the brain during a major impact. The technology works by using a low friction layer that separates the shell from the inside liner of the helmet. When the helmet experiences a heavy impact, the low friction layer will sheer, allowing for a small, controlled rotation of the shell. This allows the shell to absorb the rotational force of the impact instead of your brain.
The helmet is also integrated with the company’s VDSAP system (Ventilated Double Shell Anti-Penetration system), which uses two overlapping shells to protect against sharp piercing objects. The system offers ample ventilation when needed, but can be closed on colder days. This comes on top of an already rugged multi-impact EPP foam liner core, which protects users from minor knocks and bumps.
The POC Receptor Backcountry with MIPS raises the bar for all other helmet manufacturers. When it comes to safety on the slopes, POC is in a league of their own.
Pushing the boundaries of 3D printing, Signal Snowboards has teamed up with tech company GROWit to make the first 3D printed snowboard.
Unlike traditional methods of shaping snowboards, this board was created from a carbon mixture that was printed layer by layer. Due to current size limitations of the printer, the board had to be printed in multiple sections, which were later pieced together like a puzzle. After getting a sealant coat of resin and a few reinforcing metal supports, the Signal team took the board out for a spin in the powder of Colorado.
Without a doubt, the current 3D printing technology still has a lot of limitations. However, it’s not hard to imagine this being the future method of mass production.
The Function Ultralight Ski & Snowboard Carry System ($40) makes hauling cumbersome snowboards and skis a lot easier. Weighing a scant 84 grams (about as much as an iPhone) this carrying system is made of Mil-spec Nylon webbing and Hypalon edge protectors. Two different styles allow for a backpack (snowboard) or bandolier (skis) configuration. When not in use, the Function Ultralight straps fit into an included Tyvek stuff sack that measures 3.5″ by 4.5″. Essentially small enough to fit pretty much anywhere.
From the forest to the factory, Birth of a Board follows the life cycle of a snowboard. It begins with the hewing of a tree in Vermont, which is transferred to the Burton factory to be shaped, painted, and packaged. It is then shipped to sunny California where Shawn White gives it the worst decal job ever at his Hollywood Hills Chateau and then finally brought up to Lake Tahoe for a taste of fresh snow.
Also, it was shot entirely on a GoPro, in case, you know, you missed that…
However, like most problems, an ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure, and one way to do that is to raise awareness and educate people about the risks involved with back country skiing. Joining that effort are the filmmakers from F9 Photo, who are currently finishing up their feature documentary Snow Guardians. The film immerses the viewer in the life and work of Ski Patrol at several Rocky Mountain Ski Resorts. They hope to capture the hard work and passion of Ski Patrol and snow science experts as they endeavor to save lives in challenging, dangerous, yet beautiful locations.
The team just recently finished up a successful round of funding on Kickstarter that should help them finish up post-production. Look for Snow Guardians to be release sometime these year.
It’s been a remarkably dry winter across much of the globe this year, which has been a major damper for just about every snowboarder and skier (especially after last year’s bonanza). But despite the less-than-ideal conditions, people have been finding ways to take advantage of what little snow they have available. In the patchy snow covered backcountry of Utah the sport of Powdersurfing has been taking off – giving boarders a totally new way to shred powder.
A cross between skate and snowboarding, Powdersurfing uses a modified snowboard without bindings to allow for more freestyle mobility. This smaller and more portable version allows boarders to take advantage of often over-looked terrain, like lightly dusted fields or drifts in the densely wooded hills. Not being attached to the board also opens up a range new possibilities and makes for a challenging and unique experience.
One of the pioneers of Powdersurfing is Jeremy Jensen, who started Grassroots Powdersurfing. He would spend his summers at the skate park and winters on the slopes, so combining the two activities seemed like a no-brainer. After 5 years of research and developed the company put out their first board in 2009 and the following has been growing ever since.
Is it one of the guys from Daft Punk? Is it the Stig’s Scandinavian cousin? Actually it’s Artec pro snowboarder William Hughes wearing a suit covered with L.E.D.s.
For his new short film, London-based photographer Jacob Sutton‘s wanted to capture the image of a luminescent snowboarder carving his way down a dark desolate slope. “I was really drawn to the idea of a lone character made of light surfing through darkness,” says Sutton of his costume choice. “I’ve always been excited by unusual ways of lighting things, so it seemed like an exciting idea to make the subject of the film the only light source.”
Shot over a period of 4 nights in the Rhône-Alpes region of south-eastern France, the film crew had to battle -25 C degree weather as well as a temperamental light suit. Despite the grueling conditions, or perhaps because of them, the images have a striking other-worldly quality to them. “Filming in the suit was the most surreal thing I’ve done in 20 years of snowboarding,” says Hughes.
Dendrite Studios, the producers of the beautifully poetic “Zero Degrees”, have returned with the released of the short film “Parallels”, which explores the relationship between moments created while playing on the mountains. Created in its entirety in just 7 days, the film was shot for the Intersections Competition at the Telus Ski and Board Festival held in Whistler, B.C. Dendrite uses a delicate mix of private moments with grand action shots to elevate the piece beyond a typical highlight reel. A visual montage of shapes in motion that brings winter sports slightly into the abstract.
Recently a few of us had the chance to get up to Nelson, B.C. for the start of Baldface’s 2012 winter season. While we were up there, we got to met snowboarding legend Travis Rice who was putting the finishing touches on a custom run he’s been working on since the summer. Called “The Supernatural”, it is 2000 vertical feet of man-made jumps, platforms, and catwalks built into the trees. In late March 18 of the world’s best snowboarders will compete on the run in what Red Bull is billing as “The Future of Snowboarding Competitions”.
The first thing people notice after watching this video is that, yes, some trees were harmed in the making of this run. Actually a bunch of trees were. But to put things into perspective, there are millions upon millions of tree up there, and since this snowboard run is a one-off event and not a long term logging operation I suspect it’s going to be fine.
Nevertheless this event is going to an absolute spectacle. We got to see it with a fair deal of snow on it and it looks so surreal it might as well be a video-game level. Brace yourselves for awesome.
“Speak softly and carry a big stick, you’ll go far” – Teddy Roosevelt
Without a doubt the worst part of snowboarding is getting stuck out on the flats and being forced to either unclip or attempt the dreaded “penguin walk”. Kahuna Creations believes they may have come up with a solution with their Snow Stick, an adjustable aluminum pole modeled after a stand-up surf paddle. It definitely wouldn’t be the first time somebody brought a ski pole along on a board, but the Snow Stick is specially designed with “teeth” for increased grip on the snow. On level ground the Snow Stick is used to propel you forwards and on the downhills it can be used as a counter weight to let you carve harder and deeper then you could by just extending your arms.
You may be speaking softly after your friends start ribbing you, but then again, you’ll be able to leave them in the dust on the flats, plus you’ll be carrying a big stick with jagged teeth on the end of it. Make of that situation what you will.