Pick of the best: snowboard equipment

Anton Renshawe-Strack checks out the snowboard equipment that'll ensure you look pristine on the piste


On the blink

Mountains are wildly temperamental places. One minute you can be stranded in a white-out, only to find yourself in scorching sunshine the next. Getting your eyewear right is, therefore, essential. Goggles or sunglasses? Lenses for glare or for dense fog? Such a dilemma could be a thing of the past with Elevation Climacool, a pair of sunglasses-cum-goggles. They work like sunglasses with the arms, and goggles by switching to the strap. The NASA-approved lenses are interchangeable, with tints to cover all light conditions.

Adidas Elevation Climacool, £128, 0870 4445555; www.adidas.com/eyewear

The boarder wears Prada

Snowboard purists are quick to slate wintersport collections by the catwalk powerhouses as big on bling, small on specs. Prada's Military Jacket has a technical armoury that will silence the cynics. It includes removable linings, a Gore-Tex shell, taped seams and, most notably, a Recco reflector built into the sleeve. Recco is a passive avalanche system used by over 400 mountain-rescue services worldwide to locate burial victims. (Bear in mind, though, that Recco is only an additional avalanche safety tool, not a substitute to carrying a transceiver, shovel and probe if venturing off-piste.)

Prada Military Jacket, £580, www.prada.com, www.matches.co.uk

Smarten up

You'd be forgiven for thinking that snowboard fashion designers spend their entire lives traipsing around army surplus stores, given the omnipresence of camouflage print. This winter, however, many brands are looking for inspiration on civvie street. Burton is getting down with the tweed look. Its roasted brown colour scheme is rather dapper, proving that just because you're a snowboarder doesn't mean you need to look scruffy.

Burton Women's Cargo Elite Pant, 00 800 2878 6613; www.ellis-brigham.com

Hills, thrills and costly spills

Travel insurance may not sit comfortably with snowboarding's carefree attitude, but if you have a spill on the hill without cover, it'll be your bank balance, not just your body, that could take a battering. In the US, for example, merely having a dislocated shoulder popped back into place will cost upwards of £1,000. Dogtag is an insurance that specialises in action sports. Simply wear the dogtag round your neck whenever you're heading up the hill and you'll be able to prove that you're insured, get medical bills paid and allow medics to access your vital information online.

Dogtag Insurance, worldwide sport annual multi-trip from £99, www.dogtag.co.uk

Lunar luxury

Looking good off the slopes is as important as looking good on them, particularly if you have the wedge to do so. This season's essential après item, particularly for Victoria Beckham wannabes, is the Snowboot from Chanel. Spicing up the original Moon Boot with inimitable Chanel twists, it features black quilted-leather uppers, Teddy Boy chains and, just in case the trottoirs of St. Moritz haven't been snow-cleared, is also fully waterproof. As with the original Moon Boot, the left and right boots are the same - perfect if your co-ordination is wanting after one too many Krugs.

Chanel Snowboot, £540, 020-7493 5040; www.chanel.com

The sound of Swiss music

It is quaintly reassuring that the Swiss army is still best known for a knife which was first used in the late 19th century and which includes among its basic features a can opener, tweezers and a toothpick. Times are changing, however: Victorinox, maker of the original Swiss Army Knife, has now added a 21st-century twist to the newest model of its bushcraft stalwart. This new knife includes one of the smallest MP3 players on the market, the s.beat. It is USB compatible, has a rechargeable battery and even boasts an FM radio so you can keep abreast of what's going on in the real world as you pick pebbles from horses' hooves.

Victoriox s.beat MP3 player, £150, 0116 234 4646; www.victorinox.com

Day-glo by night

Hot new technology from Canada could do for snowboarding apparel what fluorescent paint has done for wristwatches. Energlo is a chemical made of crystals that absorb light by day and glow by night. Phenom from Westbeach is the first snowboarding jacket to incorporate this technology. So if you're ever caught out on the slopes after dark, you'll be easily spotted by others. The jacket is also fully-seamed, waterproof and breathable. Clubbers take note: it also turns you into a giant glowstick, just in case you feel the urge to turn your chalet into an old skool rave - whistle and white gloves not included.

Westbeach Phenom Jacket, £260, www.westbeach.com

Anti-freeze

There's nothing more irritating than lugging a water bladder halfway up a mountain only to find your precious supplies have frozen solid. The North Face has developed a battery-powered heating system that aims to prevent this. A thermostat in the drinking tub signals the system to heat when it approaches freezing. An LED display provides information about its status: heating on or off, as well as a battery indicator. The pack also boasts a moulded back panel for comfort, a nifty goggle pocket and a 3-litre nalgene bladder with a micro reservoir and a whistle.

The North Face Snowday: £100, 01539 738882; www.ellis-brigham.com

Art attack

Sharing a chairlift with someone who's got the same snowboard as you can be embarassing. To avoid such style clashes, Elan has devised the ultimate in customised kit: a snowboard you design yourself. Simply sketch your own masterpiece, upload it to the Elan website, place your order, and your board will be ready for collection from your local snowboard store within the month. Artec Blueprint comes in three sizes and features a woodcore made from sustainable resources.

Elan Artec Blueprint Snowboard, £390, 01306 501550; www.elansnowboards.com.

Talking heads

Now that wearing a lid is compulsory at most UK dry slopes, chances are you'll end up renting an ill-fitting piece that has been used by some soap-dodger with terminal head lice. As well as protecting your grey matter, R.E.D.'s Tantrum Helmet will also keep you at the communication helm. Bluetooth wireless wizardry from Motorola connects to a mobile phone so you can annoy the crew back home with your tales of powder glory. The built-in headphones are also iPod-compatible. The music automatically mutes for incoming calls, ending all that fumbling in your pockets hunting for a phone.

R.E.D. Tantrum Audex Helmet, £160, www.snowboard-asylum.com

Eye spy

Gadget overkill is ruling our lives. From sat-navs so complicated you end up driving in circles to phones that do everything other than let you make calls, you're left wondering: would life really be any worse without them? One of those rare gadgets that will make life better, for snowboard movie-makers at least, is Rip Curl's Third Eye: a goggle equipped with a Sony minicam that hooks up to your camcorder. So if there are any piste pile-ups you'll capture footage worthy of sending to You've Been Framed in the hope of bagging £250.

Rip Curl Third Eye goggle, www.ripcurl.com

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
News
i100
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Recruitment Consultant (Graduate Trainee), Finchley Central

    £17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    Day In a Page

    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

    But could his predictions of war do the same?
    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

    Young at hort

    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

    Beyond a joke

    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

    A wild night out

    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

    It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
    Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

    Besiktas vs Arsenal

    Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

    The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

    Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment