Best-places-in-the-world-ski-and-snowboarding

The Best Countries For Ski and Snowboarding Holidays In The World

Sometimes, sunshine, beaches and palm trees can feel just a little overrated. Sometimes, all you want is a thick, heavy snowfall, a pristine piste and the mountain landscape of your dreams, to glide your way to true happiness. And to help you on your way, we’ve done the gruelling work of rounding up the best countries for ski and snowboarding holidays.

Whether you’re after waist-high fresh powder, heart pumping jumps and seriously steep runs, or if you’re more about the picturesque chalets and après-ski life, you’re never too far from a perfect ski and snowboarding destination.

Pack your thermals and emergency sunscreen, and let’s hit the slopes. Read More

snowboard 2019

Best Snowboards for Advanced Boarders in 2019

At a glance, the best snowboards for advanced boarders seem quite similar to their intermediate cousins, but they have those nuances that make them stand out at the slopes.

Picking out advanced boards can seem to be quite tricky, as you will only have a couple of differences compared to your former model. This slight difference in stiffness, core wood choice, or edge quality is essential.

To know which board is right for you, you will need to know exactly where you are going to go snowboarding.

Advanced snowboards are usually stiffer and more detailed than intermediate ones, meaning that their durability when used improperly reduces.

Finally, being in good shape and having strong hips, knees, and ankles is very important on these boards, as they are not as giving as others. They will provide top performance, but only for those with advanced skills. Read More

Best snowboard wax kits

The Best Snowboard Wax Kits 2019

Snowboard wax kits can often stay below board (pun intended) when it comes to thinking of what snowboard equipment you’re going to need for your trip or a session out on the slopes, especially if you’re a beginner.

More experienced riders know that a well-waxed snowboard is not only going to make your ride more enjoyable but will help prolong the life of your board, so always make sure their board is properly waxed and often will carry wax with them.

If you’ve never been snowboarding before, you may not even realize that snowboard wax is a thing. Surely the snow and ice are slippery enough for the snowboard to move over without the need for wax?

And sure enough, the board will go on most tracks without any wax beneath it, but this makes a self-feeding loop. Even if the board is polished, you will have friction, that will make you go slower, the slower you go, the more you push down on the snow, creating even more friction. Slow and rough movement is the opposite of what you are looking for when boarding.

Using wax changes that significantly. Read More

Ski Insurance for Snow Sport Holidays

Have you considered your insurance coverage for your next ski trip?

Undertaking a skiing holiday and neglecting your insurance is simply not an option. Winter outings can be demanding enough as it is without the constant worry that you’ll fall into an accident or damage your equipment.

Should the worst happen, you could find yourself running into extremely pricey health costs. From hospital care to emergency transport, an uninsured injury could rack up into the tens of thousands in expenses.

It’s simply not worth the risk.

Thankfully, we’ve got the information you need to find the right snow sport insurance and stay safe out on the slopes. Read More

Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Snowboarding

The Health Benefits of Snowboarding

If you’re looking for a sport to get you outdoors, enjoy a good day with your family and friends, and have vast amounts of fun, then you’ll want to give snowboarding a try if you haven’t already.

Not only is snowboarding highly enjoyable, it’s also really good for your body and will have many positive impacts on your health – both physically and mentally.

Check out our graphic below as we explore the key health benefits of snowboarding.

Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Snowboarding

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The Physical Health Benefits of Snowboarding

Before taking look at the psychological benefits that snowboarding has to offer, let’s explore the physical impacts and benefits the sport can have on your body.

Increased Flexibility

Snowboarding is a high-tempo sport and requires you to change direction, speed and body position very quickly.

It might take some getting used to but this will improve your ability get into different positions and create different angles and shapes with your body.

Not only will this help your snowboarding but your enhance flexibility can have benefits in everyday life and when doing other sports too.

Snowboarding Can Help Improve Your Balance

You’ll know how difficult it is to balance on a moving board if you’ve ever tried skateboarding or surfing. When you add snow and ice into the mix, things get even more difficult.

Snowboarding is one of the best activities for improving your balance. With every session on the slopes and as you improve your snowboarding ability, your balance will be improving and your co-ordination will be getting better too.

Increased Core Strength

Snowboarding is one of the most rigorous and energy consuming sports because you use a wide range of muscle groups all over your body. At the centre of it all, controlling everything is your core.

Your core muscles are a vital part of your body and they protect your major organs, so if they’re strong and healthy you’ll be taking care of your more than just your muscles.

Better Cardio Conditioning

As we’ve mentioned, snowboarding gives your body a good, healthy workout. When you work your entire body and your heart rate increases, you’re exercising heart too. Of course, snowboarding isn’t the only sport to do this, but because snowboarding works your entire body, your heart rate gets puts through its paces.

As a result your stamina and your body’s ability to cope with physical activities will improve.

Burns Calories and Helps Weight Loss

Did you know that when you snowboard, your body can burn up to 600 calories per hour? And the average amount of calories being burnt at around the 450 per hour mark?

Not bad for such a fun sport!

As a result, your food intake and diet will become more balanced as you have to refuel on good, healthy foods that will replenish your energy and keep your body working well.

Strengthens Leg Muscles

As you’d expect, snowboarding is going to be tough on your legs and if you’re not used to it, your legs will let you know the next morning.

But that’s a very good thing! Your legs and lower body muscle groups will feel the benefits of snowboarding and will increase in strength and condition.

Good for Bones and Joints

Snowboarding puts healthy amounts of tension and weight on your knees, ankles and feet, which will help to strengthen the joints and bones in your legs. This will also help to prevent knee damage and osteoporosis later in life.

You’ll find when you run, swim and play other sports, that this leg strength will help you out there too.

Psychological and Mental Health Benefits of Skiing

Now let’s take a look at how snowboarding can positively impact your mind with the mental health benefits of snowboarding.

Improves Your Mood and Happiness Levels

Studies have found that when you snowboard, your body releases more of the hormones that influence the feeling of happiness.

To support this, Health Fitness Revolution state: “Snowboarding releases endorphins, the neurochemicals responsible for feelings of happiness and well being. Exercising outdoors also helps to elevate mood and reduce anxiety, so snowboarding can lower stress levels and support mental health.”

Can Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Following on from the fact that snowboarding can improve your mood and increase happiness, we also know that snowboarding helps to reduce stress and anxiety which will have positive impacts on mental health.

Being outdoors and exercising are proven to help reduce stress, and being surrounded by friends, interacting with other people and having fun will improve your mood.

Helps Form New Relationships and Increase Existing Bonds

Although snowboarding isn’t a team sport, but it is very much a group and very social activity.

It’s not very often that you find yourself on the slopes on your own, and because of this you spend a lot of time surrounded by like-minded people that share at least one interest – snowboarding!

You’ll also meet plenty of new people and form new relationships when you’re out on the slopes.

Greater Sense of Self-Confidence

As your start to master the skill of snowboarding and get more confident in your ability, your overall self-confidence will start to benefit and increase.

“Snowboarding involves height and speed – two adrenalin pumping things that can be daunting for many people. Pushing yourself to face these potentially scary elements can be a great way of improving your self-confidence, which benefits all other areas of your life.” Blaque.

Enhances your Ability to Concentrate 

There’s a lot going on when you’re snowboarding and a lot of information to balance. How fast you’re going, when you need to turn, how steep the hill is and much more. All of this is going on while you’re trying to keep your balance and stay upright.

As a result, you’re getting a pretty good mental workout and your concentration is being worked on.

Guide to the best snowboard bags

The Best Snowboard Bags 2019: Carry Bags, Bags with Wheels & More

By this time in the season, you’ve (hopefully) already been out a couple times on the hill.

You’ve had time to test snowboard and equipment and give them a good workout on the hill or in the park.

But after each run, the same thing happens. You throw that carefully purchased snowboard and boots into some corner of your garage or your basement. That’s why we have found the best snowboard bags around.

If you want to get longevity and even more value for money out of your gear, treating your equipment with care and looking after it will keep everything in better condition for longer.

If you’re serious about the sport, you’ve probably invested a bit of money into getting the right gear. That’s a lot of money you just throw into the back of your car or on some rack in the attic. Find the best snowboard bags for air travel in this article and the best snowboard backpacks. Read More

Snowboard Boots

The Best Snowboard Boots for Men & Women 2019

You’ve scoured out the best location, got yourself the best snowboard clothes, you’ve got a great board, you could be tempted to save money on snowboard boots or borrow them from a friend of family member that don’t quite suit you.

This is kind of like buying an amazing sports car with a great engine but not fitting it with tyres. You’ve got everything you need to get going, but things won’t be as the could be and will be very uncomfortable.

You’re almost ready for the thrill of riding on the snow, throwing tricks and grabs as you leap over berms and bumps. But if you’re not prepared with the best set of snowboard boots, it’s not going to be a good day.

In fact, you’ll discover that your boots – and bindings – are so crucial to your snowboarding experience, that we have to ensure you know as much about them as possible, and to have the options of the best snowboard bindings readily available.

Read on as we show you how to buy the best snowboard boots and which ones are the best to buy. Read More

Best Beginner Snowboards

Best Snowboards for Beginners: The Ultimate Buyers Guide

We’ve heard it said that if you’re going to get into winter sports, and if you’re new to it, the best sport to pick up is snowboarding.

Skiing can be a challenge and many people think that snowboarding is an easier option as we’d have all been on a skateboard when we were kids and wonder “how different can they be?”.

Of course it’s much (like, a lot) easier said than done, but as you start to get better at a sport, you start to look at the options of buying your own equipment and start saving on rental fees.

So you’re practicing hard, getting better with each outing and all that’s left to do is get your very first snowboard.

This can seem daunting if you’re new to snowboarding, but it doesn’t have to be that hard. In fact, we’re going to clear up all the misleading and confusing facts about buying your first snowboard.

We’re going to illuminate the right parts of the board that you need to know, and teach you everything you must understand to head out on the slopes.

But don’t worry. We’re not going to go too in depth. We just want to make sure that you have enough knowledge to buy the right board, strap on and start snowboarding.

You can learn the rest later on. Our goal is to get you out there as fast as possible.

Who knows? Maybe we can share the next chair up. Read More

Best Snowboard Exercises

Snowboard Exercises to Do at Home

If you’re a snowboarder, you’re familiar with terms that people might use to describe you such as “knuckle dragger”, “shredder”, “berm buster”.

If you don’t know what those mean, that’s okay – neither did we the first time we heard them!

“Bed rider”, that’s a term you might not want to hear this upcoming snowboarding season. If you’re too injured to “shred the gnar”, you might end up healing up in bed the whole winter from your injuries.

As with any sport or physical activity, one way to help prevent yourself from getting in that position is to prepare yourself for the sport with some pre-snowboard exercises.

Snowboarding is healthy sport, but is also rigorous and at times can be a dangerous activity, but it just happens to be one of the coolest (pun completely intended) things you can do this winter. By prepping yourself with some simple snowboarding exercises, we can prepare your body for the winter season.

What Your Body Goes Through When Skiing

We’re highly recommend that you prepare your body for what you’re about to put it through when skiing – especially if you’re not a very active person in your day to day lifestyle.

But doing some simple exercises for snowboarding at home will absolutely make the difference throughout your season.

Each time you head up for some serious shredding, you’re going to burn anywhere between 600-1200 calories every hour. Even if you’re a beginner, you’re going to expend some energy on the hill, and you’ll feel the toll on your body the next day.

Your legs will be sore, your bum will be bruised, your abs will be sore and your entire body will feel tight and aching.

But you can help prevent and ease these aches if you take the time to prepare for the day. You should plan ahead before you head out for a boarding session. Make a plan to start a training regime 4-6 weeks, at a minimum, to avoid the cost of aching muscles, or injured body parts. Snowboard fitness is so important.

Exercises for Snowboarding

We want you to stay safe and have fun on the slopes this season, so we’ve compiled some of the best snowboard exercises that you can do at home, giving you access to a world of workouts designed to get your body into shape, specifically training you to handle the rigours of snowboarding this winter.

We’ve broken it down into the main areas you’ll need to focus on for maximum results; legs and core. Once you target these areas, you’ll prepare yourself to overcome injury, last longer during the day, and even recover much more quickly from any nasty falls you may (probably) have on the hill. This snowboard workout is your key to a better winter experience.

Let’s first talk about your legs…

​​​Snowboard Exercises for Legs
​​​Exercises to do at home

If you’re going out for the hundredth time, or if you’re simply wanting to give it a go, snowboarding is tough on your legs. Make no bones about it, you will be feeling the burn after a few hours of leaning back on forth on the board, twisting and turning, bouncing over bumps and jostling over jumps.

You need to prepare your legs for what’s about to come with some targeted snowboarding exercises on each muscle group of the legs.

Quads

Ok, let’s begin with one of the most important muscle groups you’ll need to train. It’s not going to be easy to prepare this set of muscles, but it will be so crucial to having the best snowboarding experience you can.

Your quads are located at the front of your legs, above your knees. They’re important for snowboarding and because they’re so big, they’re going to be doing a lot of the work.

Wall Sits

Let’s be honest, we all hated this exercise in school, but now we realise just how powerful it can be for training those pesky quads.

Using any wall as support, lean against it, lowering your body down so that your back is straight and flat against the wall with your legs bent at a 90 degree angle. It should feel like you’re sitting on an invisible chair.

Staring straight ahead, hands on your knees, hold that position for up to 2 minutes if you can, but if this is your first time try something lower like 30 seconds. You’ll feel the burn in this isometric exercise. That’s just a fancy word for not moving the muscle back and forth. By holding it in position, you’re allowing the muscle to fatigue and then rebuild tissue stronger.

Bulgarian Split Squats

One of the best ways to get an even snowboarding workout across either side of your body is to isolate each limb on its own. Using this simple squat you can do at home, you can focus on building up your quads on your left and right legs individually.

Using a chair, a ​​​bench, or even a set of stairs, place one leg behind you, resting on the edge. You should be able to bend down and lower your knee to the floor while your foot remains elevated.

Using the elevated foot as your balance, lower your body until the knee almost touches the floor, keeping your knee centred over your ankle while you dip. This unilateral exercise should be done 10-12 reps on each leg, resting a few minutes in between each set.

Calves

Your calves are the muscles at the back your legs below your knee, above your ankle.

To build your calf muscles, we need to find ways to isolate that muscle so that you’re not relying on the heavier, workhorse quads to do all the effort.

We’ve included two different snowboard exercises here that should put all the weight on your calves, building them up and prepping them for the slopes.

Calf Raises 

To begin, let’s use a calf raise to isolate this muscle group. Use a plank of wood, a thick book, or a free weight lying flat on the ground. Stand on it with your heels hanging over the edge. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet.

Raise your body up on your tiptoes. Hold a couple seconds then lower your heels down as far as they can, to the floor if you can manage it.

Beginners should use just their body weight, but if you’re looking for something more advanced, trying holding weights in your hands while performing this move.

The calves should do most of the work, so adjust your position until the entire movement is being performed by the lower leg muscles.

Uphill Runs

We don’t need a video to explain what running up a hill looks like. Just find a hill and, well, run up it.

At least twice a week, supplement your program with an uphill run. That will force your calf to push your body’s weight, and keep your balance at the same time.

As you run, focus on keeping your calf muscles engaged. If this becomes easy, or in the days leading up to your snowboarding session, try doing a couple of these runs backwards or up your speed and run down the hill too. This will force your leg muscles to prepare for the extreme effort you’ll use during the boarding season.

Ankles and Shins

Your lower legs might not do a lot of work when they’re strapped in to your boots, but you still strengthen them. This will enable to you to keep power in your ankles and shins, carving more easily across the fresh powder and combed runs you’ll encounter.

This is also crucial for preventing season-ending injuries that could sideline you when you least expect it.

Scissor Hops

Using a cone, a book, or simply marking a spot on the ground, start to alternate legs while jumping back and forth over the spot.

With one leg going back and one leg leading forward, land on the balls of your feet before “scissoring” your legs to alternate back. Do a set of 12-15 jumps before giving your legs a break. This will help increase your mobility in your ankles as well as improving your reaction time in your feet.

Here’s a very quick (seriously, very quick) example of what we’re talking about…

Jump/Skipping Rope

By far, one of the most effective snowboard exercises you can do for your ankle and shin strength is to jump rope. It’s so much more than just a kid’s play activity.

Start with some simple skipping to begin working on your ankle strength. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet, trying to hop lightly and not use your knees. The power from your jumps should come from your ankles and lower legs mostly.

Here’s a tutorial that will show you the proper technique of using a skipping rope.

Snowboard Exercises for Core and Abs

If you’re getting ready for a day out on the slopes, the most efficient way to prepare your body is to build a better core. You’ll depend on that grouping of muscles on your abs, your sides and your lower back to give you “oomph” throughout the day.

As you twist and turn, carving up the slopes, your core is keeping you balanced and providing all the power for your run. Look after your body with some simple core exercises to keep your body in tip-top shape.

Sitting Twists

In the seated position on the ground, try to engage your core as you raise your legs up. For beginners, keep your feet on the ground. With your hands together, twist form one side to other as if you’re moving an object from one side of your body to the other.

In an intermediate position, elevate your feet off the ground to further engage your core. If you’re silly good at this, use a medicine ball or some other heavy weight to move across your body.

This will engage those twisting muscle movements that you depend on for a good ride on the mountain.

Hollow Hold

We talked earlier about isometric exercises, muscle movements that don’t go back and forth. This hollow hold is one of the most efficient isometric exercises for your abs.

Lying flat on the ground with your legs outstretched, raise your head up, hands stretched up above your head. Now raise your feet off the floor, making sure that your lower back remains pressed flat against the floor.

See the video for more variations if you’re not ready to hold this position for long.

Side Planks

Side planks also work on a key muscle group for snowboarders; the obliques or the side abdominals. These side abdominal muscles are one of your driving muscles for power and turning.

Start in a normal plank position, with your elbows on the ground and your feet together. Now, raise one arm up, reaching for the sky while your turn your entire boy 90 degrees to your left or right. Keep your feet together and hold this position for 30-90 seconds before alternating to the opposite side.

Knee to Elbow Crunches

For a complete abdominal muscle workout, the knee-to-elbow crunches work just about every core muscle group you have.

Start in a crunch position on the ground. Bring your knee and opposite elbow together while you perform a crunch. This works the upper, lower, and side abs all in one movement. It also works on your twisting motion to help eliminate the possibility of injury.

Dead Bug

These exercises for snowboarding are for the advanced user because they are so difficult to perform. The starting position is lying on your back with your arms raised and your legs bent up.

Operating the opposite leg and arm, start to slowly lower your leg down and your arm back down to the floor. Without touching the ground, come up again to alternate arms and legs. You’ll feel the complexity of this movement in many different muscle groups.

Contralateral Raises

This is also called the Superman exercise for good reason. You can’t ignore your back when exercising your core muscles. This is harder than it looks, but it’s so good for preventing a tired, achy back that could put you out of commission.

Lying flat on your stomach with your arms outstretched in front of you, raise your head up. Now with the opposite arm and leg, raise them up off the ground, holding in a tight position for a few seconds. Lower them down again before using the alternate arm and leg. Repeat until your back feels the burn.

Best Stretches for Snowboarding

Of course, part of keeping your body safe on the slopes is the do some post-sport stretches. We’re going to outline just a couple that do well to target those muscles you’ve used the most.

These stretches are best done within a couple hours of finishing up for the day. It should loosen and elongate those tense, tired muscles and help you sleep easier and recover faster.

Runner’s Lunge

With a tree or a wall, lunge forward with your hands pressed against the wall or tree. Push your hind leg backwards, pushing out and down your heel. You should feel a stretch all along your calves and thighs and glutes.

Hold for about 30 seconds before changing legs.

The video demonstrates an advanced form of this pose, still effective, and it’s worth working up to this level of deep stretch

IT Band Stretch

One area that’s tough to stretch is called the IT band, short for the “iliotibial band” which operates your hips and glutes and inner thighs.

Follow the video’s instructions on this one because it’s difficult to replicate without directed instructions. This works so well for snowboarders who often get tense muscles and worn knees. Take the time to lengthen those tight muscles and you’ll be ready to pop up again the very next day.

Groin Stretch

And again, to avoid injury and prevent tense muscles from seizing up, the groin stretch is so important. Sitting with your feet together in front of you, and your knees bent, push your knees down to the ground and keep the soles of your feet pressed together.

As low as you can manage, press your body forward, stretching out your groin as you sink lower down. This stretch actually helps before the days’ session as well as recovering from it afterwards.

We hope that you spend a good amount of time boarding the slopes. The powder is fresh, the runs are combed, the chairlifts are waiting and the jumps are pristine. A quick 4-6 week plan of snowboard exercises should prepare you adequately.

All that’s left is for your body to be ready to tackle it all. Safe shredding, dudes!