Category Archives: Snowboarding

Superfeet Flex Footbed Review

Us snowboarders are picky creatures! We demand to look cool, but we also like being comfortable doing so.

So being comfy while I ride is a must. Yet being slightly flat footed has proven a tricky burden when finding snowboard boots that I find  both comfy, and perform. That was however until Tallington Lakes introduced me to the Flex footbeds by the clever folk at Superfeet.

superfeet flex footbeds
For a more natural snowboard feel the Flex footbeds are softer and therefore more flexible and comfier underfoot.

For a more natural snowboard feel the Flex footbeds are softer and therefore more flexible and comfier underfoot. Plus, in the past I’ve found standard footbeds, and the green Superfeet footbeds, have an aggressive arch; so the Flex is ideal for foot support without any interference with my funny shaped feet. Unlike other footbeds, in the Superfeet line-up, the Flex liners only feature the rigid support in the heel which provides excellent support without being too tough underfoot – perfect for snowboarders.

As well as reducing foot fatigue, the Flex liners feature Moisturewick™ to ensure your feet don’t get swampy or smelly- ideal for those longer days of riding. One thing to bear in mind though, they do take a ‘pretty minute’ to break in! Stick with it though; once they’re worn in you won’t regret it.

So, in my opinion, the Superfeet Flex footbed is a perfect compromise for feel, comfort and support for snowboard boots. Please note people’s feet are different; so the time the benefits are felt may vary.

Matt (Snowboard instructor)

Tallington Lakes Pro Shop offer a full ski and snowboard boot fitting service. Please call 01778 381154 to book an appointment.

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Vans Encore Snowboard Boots – Review

Want to know what’s great about the Vans Encore snowboard boots and what’s not so good about these boots. Well take a ride with Ollie, our snowboard ambassador, as he explains how they felt, smelt and dealt after he wore them for the first time to ride ‘park’ for a three-day session.

Buying Snowboard Boots 

Buying snowboard boots for riders of my age (12) is pretty difficult. You’re in that ‘in between’ size where youth boots are too small and men’s boots are too big…. aarrhh! This means that the range of snowboard boot options is pretty limited; and considering women’s boots becomes a necessity. I’m measured as a 4.5 (UK size) and I’ll explain what that meant for the Vans Encore later on.

Purpose made kids snowboard boots are not an option for me anymore and if you’re in this situation, relax and read on because there are boots out there that will fit your feet and your style.

Vans Encore Snowboard Boots

Riding Level: Beginner to Expert
Flex: Soft to Medium
Inner Liner: Flex Liner with no ‘break-in’ delay and go straight to comfort
Lacing Type: BOA Coiler a spring loaded BOA to ‘crank’ them tight without pinch
Footbed: V2 – UltraCush Lite a foam designed for comfort with less weight
Price: £199

These are super comfy boots straight out of the box (see above) with an easy to use inner web harness and outer BOA system. They are lightweight and responsive and, because they’re Vans, look totally sick. They are at the upper end in terms of price but they’re packed full of tech that makes them a good buy. They do fit a little small so although I am measured as a UK size 4.5, had to buy the UK size 7 (US 9.5) even the UK 6 was too small! So would always suggest visiting a store and boot fitting specialist.

vans women's encore snowboard boot
The classic Vans styling makes these boots look super sick. Kind of what you’d expect from such a great street style brand.

Boot Comfort

These boots are very snug and comfortably tight. Compared to other boots I’ve had in the past, these ones definitely feel better when I’m on my snowboard and when I’m walking about off the slope. They felt great straight out of the box (see above) as they were really comfy and weren’t stiff at all. I rode with them for three days straight away with no pinching or cramping and they are pretty lightweight too. I did feel the seam from the inner digging into my toe a bit, but this wasn’t that bad and didn’t make it uncomfortable. These boots never come loose at all and provide a lot of structure for your feet. Based on all the factors of comfort, I’d rate them as a 5 out of 5!

Boot Performance

One of the problem areas for snowboard boots is how they transfer the movement of your feet through your bindings and into the board. The soft to medium flex of the Vans Encore make that feeling just right. I felt that my feet were connected very well with my snowboard and this made turn initiation and putting the power down feel just right. They have just the right amount of flex to allow you to jib and ride freestyle with good movement and feel. The BOA fastening system is by far the easiest and tightest system out there. Once I’ve done them up, there is absolutely no heel movement and they hold feet really well. The inner is a standard draw-string system that makes it simple to fasten comfortably tight. Based on all the performance factors, I’d rate them as a 4 out of 5.

Boot Style

The classic Vans styling makes these boots look super sick. Kind of what you’d expect from such a great street style brand. The simple black and white colours of my boots go together really but I didn’t like blue and yellow on the inner draw-string. I think these straps would be better off being white or black to match the rest of the boot. Based on all the style factors, I’d rate them as a 4 out of 5.

Conclusion

Overall, I’d rate the Vans Women’s Encore snowboard boots as a 4.5 out of 5 and I’d definitely recommend these boots for young riders. They are pretty rad! I’ve rated the boots in different aspects so I’ll take the best and worst factors from each area.

Boot Comfort:
Best – Really fluffy and soft on the inside
Worst – Inner seam sometime digs into toes

Boot Performance:
Best – Really tight and keeps your foot in place
Worst – None

Boot Style:
Best – Typical VANS Styling and colour scheme
Worst – Colour choice on the inner draw-string

Thanks Ollie

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Capita Space Metal Fantasy Snowboard Review

Capita’s 2018 Space Metal Fantasy snowboard is a superb little snowboard; and absolutely great for its price. This snowboard is ideal for someone who enjoys playing around in the park, popping off kickers, and just all round mountain fun. The reverse camber allows the rider to do jumps with ease whilst at the same time floating in powder surprisingly well for its size.

I am particularly fond of the graphics on the 2018 edition; with the dove on a spacey backdrop. The glittery-shimmer throughout the board really sparkles, on those bright bluebird days, giving it that real ‘space fantasy’ feel; and will no doubt catch people’s eyes. 

snowboarder getting air
The glittery-shimmer throughout the board really sparkles, on those bright bluebird days, giving it that real ‘space fantasy’ feel; and will no doubt catch people’s eyes. 

With a 4/10 flex rating the Space Metal Fantasy is super soft for that flexible and playful feel, great for pressing; and turning with ease. Its especially great at jibbing! 

Although it is an all mountain board, and isn’t known to be the best for speed and carving, I personally came across no problems when carving at speed. 

Being a flexible board it is fairly forgiving over those uneven surfaces and even coped well down the mogully ‘Swiss Wall’!

Overall the Space Metal Fantasy is a great board for those intermediate riders looking to take their riding to the next level

Thanks Jess (Snowboard & Ski Instructor) 

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Basic Tools For The Backcountry

In the last decade there has been a revolution in ski and snowboard design that has enabled more and more participants to access the backcountry. With wider templates and more forgiving tip and tail shapes riding powder has never been so accessible. The joys of getting off the piste and into the mountains is the very essence of skiing’s (snowboarding’s) roots and for many has become a healthy addiction. However as more of us dream of escaping the lift queues and laying down first tracks, what are the risks involved and how can we minimise them.

This article will provide an introduction to some of the tools available to us and how they can benefit backcountry riding. However reading will never be able to replicate the experience of being in the mountain and I would recommend anyone who wants to start spending time in the backcountry to attend one of the many avalanche courses available and venture out with experienced riders or invest in guiding and instruction for your first couple of years.

Attending an avalanche course will provide you with an understanding of the snowpack and what avalanche danger ratings represent, how to avoid and recognise avalanche terrain and how to minimise risk when travelling across it and finally how to manage a rescue situation. Here we will be covering the equipment needed to access the backcountry and how each tool works.

skier hiking ridge
Hiking up Mount Yotei, Japan.

Backcountry Tools

The four key tools needed for backcountry travel will be a transceiver, probe, shovel and backpack. These are essential items and you will need all four in a rescue situation. We will now go through each item and discuss the part they play.

Transceivers

A transceiver is attached to your torso with a harness and sends out radio signals. As soon as you enter the backcountry it will need to be turned on so it is transmitting a signal. Every individual in the group will need one. In the event of an avalanche you are able to turn transceivers into a search mode and it is the tool used to find casualties under the snow. Transceivers can be digital or analog and it is critical you understand how the model you use works. This is where courses and search training exercises are vital. Practice in safe environments is the best way to get familiar with rescues and build trust amongst you fellow tourers.

Probe

A probe is essentially a long lightweight metal pole with a quick draw cord running through its length. Similar to a tent pole it collapses down into connecting parts to make carrying it easier. The cord through the middle means you can snap the pole together into one length by pulling the looped handle at the top. The other end of the probe has a rounded point for penetrating the snow. The probe is used when the transceiver has located the rescue site and probing is needed to locate the casualty under the snow.

Shovel

There is no ‘rocket science’ here the shovel is what is used to dig the casualty out once the search has been completed. Modern backcountry shovels are made from lightweight metals and the handle will be able to detach or compact in some way to reduce space and weight in your backpack. The shovel is also the most adaptable tool in your bag fantastic for shaping snow chairs for lunch, digging snow holes in desperate times, building booters for that go pro moment or tobogganing back from apres!

Backpack

A good touring backpack will have multiple designs to facilitate comfortable and practical backcountry travel. Common features will include secure ski/snowboard carriage, quick access safety pockets so you can get to the above equipment without wasting time, back support and customisable fit.

ABS Bags and Avalungs

The above equipment is the bare necessities for anyone who wants to explore beyond the resort slopes, however there have also been two developments in avalanche safety in the last decade which are worth noting. These are ABS bags and Avalungs neither will ever eliminate the danger of avalanches but do provide some form of preventative measure towards the risks. ABS bags are essentially a large inflatable within your backpack that can be triggered in an avalanche to increase your surface area to reduce the chances of being buried. Whilst Avalungs are a breathing tool that takes CO2 away from you when you are buried. This buys you and your rescuers more time which is hugely beneficial when you look at the statistics involved with drowning in Avalanches. These tools have made backcountry travel safer than ever however as a cautionary note I will say this. No piece of equipment will ever be 100% foolproof and to truly minimise the risks, educating yourself in when and how to travel in the backcountry is the most important factor.

avalung 2 from black diamond
Avalungs are a breathing tool that takes CO2 away from you when you are buried. This buys you and your rescuers more time which is hugely beneficial when you look at the statistics involved with drowning in Avalanches.

I hope this article helped people to get an idea of the basic equipment needed in the backcountry and look forward to everyone having a snowy winter wherever you are!

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Falke SK2 Ski Socks Review

Whether you are a skier or snowboarder, you know a full day in boots has the potential to get sore, and really ruin your holiday. Falke want you to enjoy skiing every day – all day, and their socks really show this. The Falke SK2 ski socks feature a medium level of padding in stress zones like your shins and instep for protection and comfort, along with an asymmetric right and left toe box.

I’ve worn my SK2 socks while both skiing and snowboarding on our own dry slope here at Tallington Lakes, and at two different indoor slopes, and I think they are fantastic! All the padded zones aren’t just for looks; I really felt the difference. The padded zones on the shins are really effective for reducing that pressure you can sometimes feel when pushing forward into your boots. With some socks, the padding can cause a bit of rubbing due to how they are knitted, but with Falke’s socks that’s reduced due to the thin terry style knit giving it a softer, less abrasive feel against the skin.

falke sk2 ski sock
All the padded zones aren’t just for looks; I really felt the difference.

I had my ankle reconstructed when I was younger which makes it a lot less flexible than it should be, and some days my ankle feels particularly stiff which mean I really have to force my foot into the boot which can really hurt. Now, I’m not saying these socks removed the issue but I did notice the reinforced instep helped to ease the pain which is really nice!

Once my feet get cold, there’s not really much I can do to save them. I’ve got quite a few different brands of ski/snowboard socks and considering these Falke socks are a merino wool blend, rather than 100% merino like some of my socks, I was pleasantly surprised as to how warm they kept my feet, and how breathable they actually felt! Not only do these ski socks feature the usual merino properties of heat retention, and moisture wicking properties they have merino’s natural odour control, which is ideal if you need to wear them more than once… ‘Cause honestly, whoever says they don’t try get multiple days out of a ski sock is probably lying to you…

Another cool thing about Falke socks is that they also do socks that are designed for snowboarding, with snowboard boots and bindings in mind. So, whether you are a skier or a snowboarder they have designed socks that’ll keep your piggies warm while protecting your shins, ankles and toes from pressure bruising, leaving you to enjoy the day from your morning on piste all the way through to après ski in the evening!

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Avalanche Awareness

How aware are you about the risk of avalanches? One of our guys  jumped at the chance to improve his knowledge with Salomon Mountain Academy. Their website offers a theoretical course of eight modules for just €29, but they do the first introductory chapter for free. So it would be foolish not to check it out. Here’s his thoughts:

The chapter took around 15-20 mins to complete, and each subsection was a mixture of video, text and pictures. It gave me enough information to realize how ignorant I actually am when I go to a resort; and actually how lucky I have been in the past, blindly following better skiers than me around off the sides of runs etc. Its what we all do to get better and push ourselves right?

Some of the bits will be pretty self explanatory to people that have skied a few times, however there are some very interesting bits of information. One of the biggest statistics, that opened my eyes, was that 55% of Avalanche deaths happen with a Level 3 Avalanche Risk, and only 1% on Level 5. Basically most of us are sensible enough to know not to venture off the pistes in a Level 5 but a Level 3 seems to be an acceptable risk, being middle of the scale, despite it officially translating as “Considerable Risk“.

The chapter finished with a multiple choice quiz, which had some questions in which I guess are covered in other parts of the course. Again opening my eyes to how little I know. Consequently, I’ll be reading up on the whole course before heading off next week!

On a side note, Epic TV are doing an short video series on ‘off piste skiing’ with Graham Bell from Ski Sunday. Also worth a look! The series aims to explain how to prepare your gear and yourself before heading into the mountains for your backcountry adventure.


Thanks Will.

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Our Experts Guide To 2016 Season’s Best Snow Jackets And Pants

Here’s our expert guide to this seasons best snow jackets and pants; for men and women.

Picture Dayton Jacket

Gone are the days of just 10K/10K jackets, today Picture have produced this awesome technical jacket with a rating of 20K/15K allowing defence against anything that the mountain may throw at you. What I love about the Dayton is the ability to add in a mid layer and connect it via a zip turning it into one continuous item and best of all is extremely warm perfect for those of you that feel the cold much more!

Generally I would pick a tailored fitting jacket despite the Dayton being a freestyle orientated fit it still felt great with the medium being the ideal size for me allowing more layers if needed. The material feels extremely hard wearing only time would tell how well it stands up to the rigours of riding through trees etc but my initial thought is it will be great, not only that but Picture have incorporated recycled polyester into the shell material giving you piece of mind that the lack of snow at the start of the season isn’t down to you.

picture organic clothing dayton jacket
What I love about the Dayton is the ability to add in a mid layer!

Pros:
Internal Atlas mid layer connects seamlessly
Good fitting adjustable hood
1 Large mesh pocket with 1 smaller zipped pocket
Durable hard wearing material
Extremely warm especially when combined with the Atlas mid layer
Fully waterproof taped seams
Soft lined chin area helps to prevent chaffing
Good waterproof rating 20K
Good breathability rating 15K
Thermal dry system

Cons:
Wrist gaiter feels too tight around my hand
Not a tailored fit
Small non slip shoulder pads
Slightly too loose around the neck/chin area (for me)

Fit:  Medium jacket was a good fit not too baggy despite not being a tailored fit, looks great especially when the Atlas mid layer is added. (My details 180cm Tall, 32” Waist, 37” Chest, 75kg)

Picture Books Pant

This is the ultimate addition to the Dayton Jacket in combination these Book pants look awesome! Unlike any other snow pant these come equipped with its own powder skirt that is extremely stretchy, fitting my waist perfectly just giving an extra layer of protection against the powder.

The inside has a super soft fleece liner that feels great and I found help wick some moisture away from my legs perfect for a long days riding. What I didn’t like was there were no reinforced cuffs to guard against sharp ski edges but if snowboarding this wouldn’t be a problem. As with fit I wasn’t a big fan of the baggy look but if you are after a freestyle look these would be perfect.

Pros:
Warm and soft fleece liner
Large inside thigh vents with contrasting lime green netting
Extra stretchy waist powder skirt
Tags to attach the Drayton jacket
Metal boot hook
Good waterproof rating 20K
Good breathability rating 15K

Cons:
False cargo pocket
Doesn’t have reinforced cuffs
Slightly baggy feel and look

Fit:  Medium pant was a good fit around the hips and waist with a slightly baggy/freestyle look but some people may like this. (My details 180cm Tall, 32” Waist, 37” Chest, 75kg)

Helly Hansen Progress Jacket

First off Helly Hansen have really progressed their technology and design with this jacket, personally it is my favourite mid ranged jacket we sell not only is the price great but it has the tech to match with its 15K/15K waterproof and breathability ratings! Unlike others with the same ratings the Progress Jacket has a soft stretchy outer fabric which adds another dimension to this already awesome jacket.

Although not tested up in the mountains the added Primaloft makes this a very warm jacket in temperatures around 0 degrees with enough room for added mid/base layers for colder conditions. My only negatives with this jacket are that the zips aren’t taped only a real issue in extreme heavy rain and there are no wrist gaiters which would allow snow to get into the jacket sleeve when riding through deep powder.

helly hansen progress jacket
The Progress Jacket has a soft stretchy outer fabric!

Pros:
Large cuff openings
Internal media pocket
Large fully adjustable hood
Soft external shell material (slightly stretchy)
Large side pockets
Good underarm mesh venting
Lightweight with Primaloft insulation
Good waterproof rating 15K
Good breathability rating 15K

Cons:
No wrist gaiters
Slightly short in the length
Zips aren’t taped

Fit:  Small jacket was a good tailored fit with good length in the arms yet comes up slightly short in the body but once combined with the pants shouldn’t be an issue. (My details 180cm Tall, 32” Waist, 37” Chest, 75kg)

Helly Hansen Legendary Pant

This is the perfect addition to the Progress Jacket, if I hadn’t already got a complete set up I would definitely get this pant after trying it on and the integrated tech it has! What I like about this Legendary Pant is 3 keys points; reinforced cuffs which perfect for skiers like myself helping to prevent unwanted cuts, 2 way stretch Helly performance fabric gives excellent levels of protection against the elements and finally the tapered fit around the knees helping minimise the bulky look you sometimes get with snow pants.

I forgot to mention the additional internal clip that helps stop the traditional single button from popping open when you sit down or are riding hard which has happened to me many times in the past. My only real concern with these pants is the small thigh vents which could cause you to get too hot during the warmer spring months.

Pros:
Reinforced cuffs
Taped pocket zips
Soft external shell material (slightly stretchy)
Lightweight
Great fit/length
Dual button clip waist closure
Good waterproof rating 15K
Good breathability rating 15K
Primaloft insulation

Cons:
Slightly small thigh vents
Single rear pocket

Fit:  Medium pant was a good fit around the waist with a tailored fit that narrowed towards the knees. (My details 180cm Tall, 32” Waist, 37” Chest, 75kg)

Roxy Sassy Women’s Jacket

First off trying on this jacket it felt slightly baggy around the shoulders but a good fit around the waist despite this it was extremely comfortable and felt really warm in the zero degree conditions we tested it through. What was unusual with this Sassy jacket was the contrast between the textured grey material and the smooth yellow giving this an edge in the looks department.

For the brief time wearing this jacket we are confident it will meet and excel your expectations up in the mountains the only two negatives to consider are the button on hood rather than a zipped one and also no thumb hole in the wrist gaiter which can ride up when putting on gloves. Overall a great piece for the 2016 winter season with 10K/10K waterproof and breathability rating.

roxy sassy jacket
The Sassy jacket it felt slightly baggy around the shoulders but a good fit around the waist!

Pros:
Mixture of hard wearing textured and smooth material
Fully adjustable hood
Good mesh lined venting
Fully insulated
Fleece lined rear back pad
Jacket to pant attachment
Soft fleece lined chin guard

Cons:
Button on hood rather than zip
No thumb hole in wrist gaiter

Fit:  Medium jacket was a good fit around the waist but felt slightly baggy around the shoulders doesn’t feel like a slim fit more like a regular higher up. (My details 170cm Tall, 30” Waist, 36” Chest, 66kg)

Roxy Winter Break Women’s Pant

Heading away on the winter break of a lifetime? After testing this pant we think this is the one for you! Overall the pant felt amazing easily providing comfort for a whole days skiing or snowboarding. The velcro adjustable waist gave me the ability to fine tune the fit whether I had layers underneath or not it coped well.

When riding hard I have had previous pants pop open but I found the triple button/clip closure was bulletproof with the added ability to expand the cuffs to accommodate my ski boot with ease. A nice feature was the lift able cuffs helping to reduce the risk of getting covered in dirt when walking across car parks or roads. The only real negatives were the rear velcro pockets which could pick up snow and also this colour could show dirt fairly easy. Overall a great pant.

Pros:
Adjustable velcro waist
Triple button clip waist closure
Heavy duty zips
Smooth hard wearing fabric
Button up cuffs when walking
Mesh lined venting
Expandable cuffs

Cons:
Velcro rear pockets
Colour could show dirt easily

Fit:  Medium pant nice fit around the waist with a more relaxed fit and feel over the Salomon fantasy. (My details 170cm Tall, 30” Waist, 36” Chest, 66kg)

Salomon Fantasy Jacket

What an amazing jacket certainly covering all my desires and fantasy’s I would want from a ski jacket whilst up in the mountains! First off trying this jacket on sends me into another world the fit is perfect and also comes with a fleece lined back which is both soft and provides excellent levels of warmth.

On those snowy days the fully adjustable hood will be perfect giving an extra level of protection. Having this on for just a few minutes raised my body temp but no problem as it has large under arm vents which cooled me down in a matter of minutes. My only real negative is the tech specs are slightly low to what I’m use to but still perfectly adequate, with 10K/10K waterproof and breathability rating, and the wrist gaiter doesn’t come with a thumb hole which slides up when putting gloves on.

salomon fantasy womens jacket
Certainly covering all my desires and fantasy’s I would want from a ski jacket whilst up in the mountains!

Pros:
Fleece lined internal back
Lightly insulated hood with peak
Soft fleece chin guard
Fully adjustable hood
Hard wearing textured material
Large under arm vents
Internal media pocket + strap
Taped zips

Cons:
No thumb hole in wrist gaiter
Couldn’t find any more

Fit:  Medium jacket was the right length in both the arms and body with a tailored fit hugging the body. (My details 170cm Tall, 30” Waist, 36” Chest, 66kg)

Salomon Fantasy Pant

Shell pants are great but don’t offer the insulation many people want, whereas this Fantasy pant is fully insulated tested outside around 0 degrees these pants were extremely warm and felt great due to the soft internal fleece lining. The external twill material is extremely hard wearing standing up to branches and sharp ski edges with the reinforced cuffs.

With this pant there isn’t an expandable cuff but not a big issue due to being quite wide anyway but when it comes to spring or those warmer blue bird days there is no mesh venting to help cool you down so requires removing layers. Overall this is a great pant at a good price!

Pros:
Fully Insulated
Adjustable velcro waist band
Dual button clip waist closure
Hard wearing textured material
Internal soft fleece liner
Multiple front pockets
Reinforced cuffs

Cons:
Tight waist
No expandable cuffs for boots
No mesh vents
False rear pockets

Fit:  Medium pant was a little tight around the waist but fits great everywhere else, the slim fit doesn’t feel too tight good movement overall. (My details 170cm Tall, 30” Waist, 36” Chest, 66kg)

To see our full range of technical snow jackets, please click here, and for snow pants click here.

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Snow Goggles: Fashion or Protection?

When you look for your next set of snow goggles; what do you consider: style, do they match my outfit, price, when am I going to wear them (all of the time or just in the low light), do they fit my helmet?

However, perhaps the biggest oversight is the use of goggles as a vital piece of protection! We protect our head (well we certainly advise you to do so), and some go that extra step and wear body protection. But I imagine few of us choose a set of snow goggles on the basis of eye protection.

Eye Protection

Since working at Tallington Lakes Pro Shop my understanding and approach to eyewear has dramatically changed. During my first years skiing I had very standard snow goggles, no massive brand name, I just brought cheap with the mindset I only use them once a year.  And truthfully I brought my first set of Oakley Crowbar goggles on style, with little thought for anything else, via the internet and I was lucky they fit me and my helmet well.

So after different goggle brand training, I purchased my second set of Oakley Splice goggles in store after trying numerous ones on with my helmet. I found they fit better than other brands, the peripheral vision was far superior, and the level of protect Oakley offer made them an obvious choice.

That being said I would like to point out that all goggles we sell online and in store are CE approved, and perfectly suitable for all your wintery needs. Oakley, like in their sunglasses, has taken that testing/certification one step further and as they put it: “this level of testing is absolutely unnecessary”. The standard test to CE approve a lens, whether it be goggles or sunglasses, is to resist the impact of ball bearing dropped on it. Oakley didn’t feel this was enough and with the leading cause of eye damage to the London Eye Hospital being sunglasses shattering into people eyes, as the result of car airbags, they looked to improve this. The answer, Plutonite, developed by Oakley not only to be optically pure but also much more durable than other lenses. Oakley lens test – fire a metal spike at their lenses and the lens must not crack, but absorb and resist the impact. What is considered unnecessary by others is mandatory to Oakley. You can read about Oakley’s eyewear impact test here.

This technology has been around for some time; so in store we do highlight the pros of using goggles as a piece of protection. So what has prompted this article?

I was lucky enough to be in the French Alps recently, when as many of you will know the powder conditions where amazing, however avalanche risks where high, so the powder was to be skied in the safety of the trees. Great for snow pack confidence, however, with trees come roots, fallen branches and uncertainty under the seeming flat smooth snow. After a great run through the trees I popped out into a little clearing and put a few turns in, and up to this point my poles where disappearing half way into the powder. However my  next pole plant found something a few centimetres of snow: perhaps a branch or a rock. Needless to say my pole didn’t disappear as far as expected and I ended up head butting the top of the pole grip. Yes I felt the impact but I finished my run, and it wasn’t until the chairlift back to the top that I noticed the rather deep scratch running across the lens of my goggles.

scratched oakley lens
It wasn’t until the chairlift back to the top that I noticed the rather deep scratch running across the lens of my goggles.

It’s hard to say what might have happened if I was wearing sunglasses or a low specification pair of goggles. Certainly in the case of sunglasses I would have been looking at a broken nose and some fetching black eyes. In the case of a less durable lens, the lens could have cracked possibly causing eye damage.

All I can say  definitively is that  CE approved (or better) snow goggles, which ever brand you choose, should be a serious consideration and not a last minute ‘fashion’ pick up.

So take the time to come in store with your helmet and try on some snow goggles; or give us a call. Make sure they fit and  are comfortable, including wearing your helmet. Make sure the lens tint is right for the conditions you except to ski in; so that when you walk out onto the slopes you have the peace of mind that whatever happens your eyes are well protected!

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DC Focus and Mega Snowboard Review

When you think of the brand DC, snowboards may not be the first item that jumps out to you. DC are more well known for, where their roots lie, the skateboarding industry. So what are the DC Focus and Mega snowboards like?

DC History

Damon Way and professional rally driver Ken Block, with the vision of creating a leading actions sport shoe and clothing brand started the company in 1994. In 2004, Quicksilver acquired the brand for just $87 million and since then it has gone from strength to strength. They sponsor some of the biggest names in the various industries including Travis Pastrana, Robbie Maddison, Torstein Horgmo and Travis Rice and in 2012 they released their first women’s range of products.

DC have been in the snowboard market for some time and have some quality products out their for all abilities. When our staff decided to go on their ski testing road trip, DC was at the top of the list of products to put through the paces. Thankfully, the guys at DC sent us the Mega and the Focus Snowboards.

DC Focus Snowboard

The DC Focus is a perfect soft and forgiving board and is ideal for any first timer snowboarder or if you’re looking for something to help you in the park. When we tested the board we found it quite responsive on edge however when the heat was turned up it did slightly chatter; something that is quite normal with softer boards. If you are the type of rider that is looking to increase your ability in the park then this board could also be a hit. It boasts a true twin shape that helps for riding regular and switch, an extruded base that will take impacts from rails and boxes and a poppy Astro core that will definitely get you riding to a higher level. Overall, an excellent value snowboard for money priced at only £224.99.

dc focus snowboard
The DC Focus is a perfect soft and forgiving board and is ideal for any first timer snowboarder or if you’re looking for something to help you in the park.

DC Mega Snowboard

The DC Mega was new for 2016 and is something else that stems from their roots of skateboarding. The first thing we noticed, before we had even ridden it, was the board comes with a pack of stencils and a blank top sheet allowing you to customize the board to your very own liking. When we took the board for a test, we were very surprised to say the least. The board had awesome response thanks to its ‘lock and load’ camber. This basically means the board is cambered between your bindings and has sweet spots on the nose and tail; altogether it helps with stability. DC has also added their radius to flat design to this board that helps with flotation and lift in the powder. All round, this board proved a hit but having a wooden top sheet may prove a negative if, like on our test, it continues to soak up water in the wetter conditions!

dc mega snowboard
All round, this board proved a hit but having a wooden top sheet may prove a negative if, like on our test, it continues to soak up water in the wetter conditions!

Competition

We are giving you the chance to win the DC Focus 157cm Snowboard, we reviewed. Yes it might have been used, and have a few scratches, but its in excellent condition and will be fully serviced.

All you have to do is ‘like’ or ‘follow’ us and share this article on either Facebook, Twitter or Google+, making sure you tag our username or #TallingtonLakes, and if we see it will enter you into the prize draw. Will pick one lucky winner on the 29th Feb 2016*.

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Oakley Snow Goggles

Oakley is arguably one of the most recognised sports gear and eyewear brands the world has ever seen with its history dating back to 1975. Defying all the sceptics Jim Jannard started his own company with $300 with one simple goal; make products that work better and look better than anything else. Based in his garage Jim developed a new style of motorcycle grip that increased grip with sweat, capturing the notice of many top riders.

With the company orders in decline it led Jim to create the O Frame goggle that was praised for its clarity and wide peripheral view being used in MX for the new 17 years. Drawing on his previous innovations Jim set himself the challenge of reinventing sport sunglasses creating the ‘eyeshades’, a revolution in eyewear design becoming a vital piece of equipment for world class competitors.

Decades of research and development has been focused on a single, unwavering goal; to provide snow athletes the highest level of protection and optimum visual clarity possible. This goal has allowed Oakley to find that perfect blend of art and science leading to 600 patents awarded worldwide. Today Oakley is seen as the go to brand for sophistication and performance within the sportswear industry!

Oakley Goggle Technology

HDO (High Definition Optics)

Ever wanted a truer picture of the world? Oakley’s HDO technology gives a lens virtually free of distortion and fine tuned with patented technologies that retain extremely high levels of clarity at any angle and any condition.

The American National Standards Institute put Oakley lenses through three rigorous tests:
Clarity (measures sharpness of images view through the lens)
Refractive power (measures how inferior lenses distort vision by magnifying images)
PRISM, not to be confused with Prizm, (measures how lenses bend light to make objects appear shifted from their true position)

These tests prove how inferior lenses can compromise your vision. Don’t compromise, stick with Oakley lenses!

Impact Protection

Oakley lenses don’t just meet, they exceed ANSI impact-resistance standards! These lenses have undergone high-speed and high-mass tests, giving the ability to be pushed to its limits with no risk of breaking.

Anti-Fog Technology

Plutonite lenses are an innovation in their own right, combined with Oakley’s unique F3 anti-fog coating allows the inner lens to absorb a minimum of 2ml of moisture to help preventing fogging during the most intense physical activities.

Lens Coatings

Iridium

A lot of people think the composition of the lens itself is iridium, but in fact it’s a standard lens with a special metal oxide coating that gives the lens a unique set of properties.  This Iridium coating allows you to tailor your goggle to any condition you may face up in the mountain.

Oakley provides a large variety of lens compositions and colours allowing you to fine tune; glare, reflection, light absorption and light transmission. The ability to fine tune how much light reaches your eye makes this exclusive coating a favourite with riders around the world.

Polarised

Ever get that uncomfortable glare in bright sunlight? Oakley polarized lenses are made from an exclusive permeate Plutonite material coated around an integrated polariser. The unique combination of coatings helps to provide clear vision, minimises deformation and helps protect the filter from everyday wear and tear.

Additionally Plutonite performs extremely well as a barrier against harmful UVA, UVC and UVB rays as well as harmful blue light protecting your eyes even on the brightest of days.

To understand the different lens tints, please read this article.

Maintenance and Care

Ever felt the urge to clean your lens with anything other than the cloth supplied? Resist the urge! Tissues, tops and sleeves are highly abrasive and if used will permanently scratch your lens. The supplied cloth is a special microfiber material that will clean but not scratch.

Your lens will no doubt get wet during its use but it is advised that you only clean your lens when dry. So even if you take a fall in the snow, allow your lens to dry first.

One last piece of advice you may not heard of is try to avoid wearing goggles on your head. Many goggles have anti fog and venting properties but the heat and moisture from the top of your head increases the chance of this still occurring.

Following these simple but important rules will ensure your Oakley goggles stay high performing and scratch free for years to come.

Vents

Due to the amount of moisture your face emits goggle ventilation is important in helping to reduce fogging. Although Oakley goggles feature an anti-fog coating more ventilation is always better when it comes to goggles. Be sure to check the compatibility with your helmet as the vents can sometimes be covered reducing the performance of your goggles.

Foam Layers

Getting a perfect seal around you face is important for reducing fogging and adding comfort. Oakley has designed their goggles with a triple layered polar fleece foam which ensures the cold and snow stay out whilst following the curvature of your face without giving uncomfortable pressure points.

Glasses Compatible

If you have prescription glasses finding the right goggle can be a challenge! Some Oakley goggles feature OTG (Over the Glasses) technology which means you can still wear your prescription glasses underneath without the expensive need for prescription goggles.

OTG goggles tend to be deeper than regular goggles and feature a channel to allow your goggles to fit perfectly with no movement or pressure points.

Helmet Compatible

It’s important to have a good fitting goggle and helmet for both aesthetics and performance. Known as the goggle gap this gap between the helmet and goggle is best avoided through a helmet compatible goggle as it can give you brain freeze.

Oakley produce goggles with varying levels of helmet compatibility with many of their designs featuring strap outriggers to give a better strap position when wearing a helmet.

To understand the different frame styles, please read this article.

To view our current stock of Oakley snow goggles please visit www.tallingonlakesproshop.com.

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