Archives for Snow

Get Fitted – Snowboard Boots Done Right

Snowboard boots are the most important part of your set-up. I know, boots are not as sexy as the snowboard itself. Boots don’t have neato looking gadgets like your bindings, and they definitely won’t make as much of a fashion statement as your outerwear. So what. You better get a good pair or all of that other stuff won’t matter one bit.

Your boots serve three main purposes: to keep your feet warm, act as the main power transfer point between your body and your board, and ensure that your knees, ankles, and feet are safe and secure. If your boots don’t fit correctly, your are going to be missing one or all of these functions. Translation: a bad day on the slopes.

Everyone wants to ride comfortably, keep their feet warm and dry, perform well, and go home uninjured at the end of the day. Here is a boot fitting checklist to keep your days on the mountain epic.

Step 1: Choosing the Perfect Flex
All snowboard boots have flex ratings. Most brands rate their boots on a scale of 1-10 with ten being the stiffest and one being the softest. In general, the more firm the snowboard boot, the faster and more aggressive the rider. A better snowboarder needs a stiffer boot to brace their body for landings and react quicker from edge to edge (the one exception being a more skate-style park rider who likes a softer boot to flex out while hitting rails). A more novice rider needs a softer boot that flexes easily which allows them to make more mistakes on the hill without pushing the board in that direction.

As a rule of thumb, buy the exact same flex in your snowboard boot (or one notch stiffer) as you would in your snowboard (snowboards have flex ratings just like the boots). For those of you that haven’t purchased a snowboard yet, stick to the chart below for guidance.

Rider Skill Level Boot Flex Rating
Novice 1-3
Intermediate 3-6
Advanced 5-9
Park/Freestyle Rider 2-5
Big Mountain/Freeride Rider 6-10

Step 2: Length Matters
Snowboard boots need to fit tighter than your shoes. Most people buy shoes with about a half inch of space between the their toes and the tip of the shoe. And while that is perfectly fine for your kicks, your snowboard boots should fit more snug than that. When trying on boots, make sure that your longest toe is touching the end of the boot liner. Your toe should not be crammed and bent up the end of the boot, but barely grazing the end of the inside of the boot. This keeps your foot from moving around in the boot while riding giving you more control over your snowboard and protecting your feet from that massive, yard-sale wipeout.

Step 3: Heel Lift
All boots have some amount of heel lift. The key is finding the right boots that keep heel lift to a minimum. Look for boots that have heel anchors (a lacing system that anchors the boot liner and your heel to the inside of the boot) rather than liner lace (a lacing system that tightens the liner, but does not affix the liner or your heel to the inside of the boot). This will ensure that your liner and heel stay in place and decrease your chances for blisters and injury.

Step 4: No Pressure
Does the boot press uncomfortably at any point against your foot? Are you cramping anywhere? Is your blood (a.k.a. that fluid that keeps your feet warm) flowing? Do you feel any sharp pains along your foot or ankle? Wear your boots around the shop for a while to make sure that there are no pressure points (or at least as few as there could possibly be). Some pressure points break in over time, but for the most part, pressure points mean that the boots simply doesn’t fit your foot all that well. Try on another pair. There will be a boot that is right for you.

Step 5: Heat Molding
Although I personally am not a fan of heat molding, the option exists to help custom fit your boots before you ride them. Ask your salesman if the boots you are buying have a heat moldable liner. If they do (and you want your boots heat molded), have the salesman mold them for you. It takes 10-15 minutes and it could be the difference between riding a comfy, cushy, grippy snowboard boot and feeling like you have your foot stuck in a bucket.

I hope that helps you our in your quest for the perfect snowboard boot. Remember: Happy feet = happy snowboarding.

 

Size Your Snowboard Right

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not Christmas. Not Thanksgiving. And, definitely not Halloween. It’s snowboard season and it will be here before you know it.

The mornings are getting cooler, the leaves are starting to turn colors, and the mountains of Colorado, Utah, and California are making their preparations for the season. So, what are you doing to get ready?

Most people start the season by assessing their gear and making sure they have everything they need to maximize their riding performance. After working in the snowboard industry for over fifteen years, I have found that the biggest problem most people have with their gear is that it is not sized correctly (thus hindering performance). Everyone seems to know how to fit a boot (start with your shoes size and make sure your longest toe is barely grazing the end of the boot liner) and the bindings simply need to match fit with your boots. But, snowboarders get stumped on how to size their board.

There is a ton of misinformation out there. Some info, such as “your snowboard should be tall enough to where the tip should be between your chin and your nose”, are purely urban legend. I mean, seriously, all snowboards in the industry could fall between your chin and nose. Other info, such as “you need a wide board for anyone who wears over a size 10 shoe”, is just slightly inaccurate. But, it all matters to the overall performance of your stick.

So, I have created this size chart to help you all out. You want to be at the bottom of the weight range if you want more control over your board. You want to be near the top of the weight range if you want the board to store a little more energy, ride faster, and ride more aggressively. And, you can ride rocker boards roughly 2 cm shorter than this chart suggests. And, you only need a wide board if your boot size is 11.5 or larger. Otherwise, it may be tougher to move your sled from edge to edge. Happy snowboarding!

Board Size in Centimeters Rider Weight Range
140 cm 75-95 lbs
141 cm 80-100 lbs
142 cm 85-105 lbs
143 cm 90-110 lbs
144 cm 95-115 lbs
145 cm 100-120 lbs
146 cm 105-125 lbs
147 cm 110-130 lbs
148 cm 110-135 lbs
149 cm 115-135 lbs
150 cm 120-140 lbs
151 cm 125-145 lbs
152 cm 130-150 lbs
153 cm 135-155 lbs
154 cm 140-160 lbs
155 cm 145-165 lbs
156 cm 150-170 lbs
157 cm 155-175 lbs
158 cm 160-185 lbs
159 cm 170-200 lbs
160 cm 180-210 lbs
161 cm 190-220 lbs
162 cm 195-225 lbs
163 cm 200-230 lbs
164 cm 210-240 lbs
165 cm 220+

 

The Times they are a Changin’

It has already been a year of change here at Ambush Board Co. and we are only a few months in. This past fall, the shop saw a serious remodel of the skate side of the store. With a new counter system, new Volcom and RVCA build outs, and updated concrete floors, things are looking good. Next up for Ambush is a total remodel of the wake and snow side. Construction began hard wood floors and will soon move into creating the most advanced wake and snow set up ever seen before. We are building a shopper friendly area that appeals to the novice all the way to advance rider. We are creating a unique boot try on area, custom displays from Liquid Force, Hyperlite, and Ronix, and a true place for all to come together and get everything they need to ride. So if you happen to be in the area, please stop by and see what we have gearing up for 2012. A bright new interior with the same great service. Hope to see you soon.

Unveiling Vail

Number one. Ask anyone who has been around the snowboard game for any amount of time and they’ll tell you Vail is the best mountain in the world. You may find a couple of contrarians that would prophesize that Whistler has better terrain or Powder Mountain has better snow…and they would probably be right. However, no mountain has a better total package. The size and scope of the mountain, the amount of snow, the quality of the parks, and the variety of the terrain all adds up to one amazing experience. So when the opportunity arose for my brother and I to spend a few days shredding the peaks of Vail, we immediately booked our tickets and jumped on a plane.

5,289 acres. Vail is massive. In contrast, Cataloochee (my local mountain), is only 15 acres. Vail is roughly the same size as the entire city of Kennesaw, GA, the birthplace of Ambush Board Co. That’s one big playground. Translation: heaven for snowboarders. It took us nearly two days and over 12 hours to ride the entire mountain. If we spent the amount of time in the park that we wanted to/should have…we may never have seen the whole thing.

60,136 vertical feet. According to Vail’s Epic Mix app, that’s the total distance in height we rode in a little more than 15 hours. 60,136 vertical feet. That’s the equivalent of riding from the peak of Mt. Everest down to sea level twice…plus 2,000 feet. We rode more than 11 miles straight down. Who knows how much the total distance was (although we estimated approximately 30 miles). Our bodies were snowboard starved and we feasted like it was our final meal.

Twenty-nine inches. Denver didn’t want the snow. The city had business to conduct, an airport that needed to function, and a population intent on making it’s way to work and school. Vail was starving for snow. The mountain had yet to completely open, which is incredibly rare for early February. It was the storm of the winter and it was heading right towards us. We couldn’t wait for the squall line to wallop Vail and deliver two feet of snow on a silver platter. We could almost taste the powder we would score the next morning. Only the storm never came…not to Vail at least. The following morning Denver employed 82 snow plows to clear the streets while Vail remained untouched. Most  snowboarders would have been frustrated. But…living in the South has made us unbelievably appreciative of any snowfall we can get. It was a treat just to be out there riding at speeds that, due to small, moderately pitched mountains, you simply cannot reach down South.

104 degrees. The perfect temperature for an outdoor jacuzzi. Our tired bodies slumped motionless in the bubbling, steaming bath. We moved only to sip from our beers. In between stoic gazes, we nodded silently to one another in acknowledgement that this was an amazing trip. May all your travels be epic.

Sh#t Snowboarders Say!

 

I’ve been watching the Winter X-Games the past few days and it has got me pumped for snowboarding. That coupled with some new videos like The Art of Flight and Defenders of Awesome have made me all about some fresh pow pow this season. The only problem is…I haven’t seen any. I have only had the chance to ride the East Coast so far this year and I am a little embarrassed to admit it. The times I was able to go looked something like this:

From what I have heard and read, the West coast hasn’t got much snow love either. Danny Kass has been kickin’ it in Park City a lot this year, but he fled to Japan for a while to find his pow pow.

If you’re watching live camera feeds of snowfall (or lack there of) and are totally bummed about it like I am, I’ve found a video to lift your spirits. Hopefully our season isn’t over yet! Pray for snow!

Sponsored

Being sponsored has become the holy grail of action sports. Some kids try their whole lives to get sponsored. Some succeed…some don’t. What if you could suddenly wave a magic wand get sponsored right now? Which company would you want to be sponsored by? What is your dream brand that you are dying to rep? Well…we asked the Ambush guys that same question.

 

Brian: Vans – “‘Cause you don’t have to buy clothing and shoes and s#!t. They got sweet flannels and make everything from skate shoes to snowboard boots.”

 

Brian’s favorite Vans product: Old Skool ’92 Pro (Ray Barbee/Forest Green)


Jake: Matix – “I like their jeans and they have a good team.”

Jake’s favorite Matix product: Miner Jean (Blue Indigo)

 


Stormy: Real – “They represent skateboarding. Good boards, good riders.”

Stormy’s favorite Real product: Brock Forever Deck 8.38

 


Ruben: RVCA – RVCA makes great quality clothing and it looks good. Also, along with sponsoring skateboarders, they support artists and musicians. My faves are the Artist Network Program tees. Their shirts have awesome graphics and are pretty comfy.

Ruben’s favorite RVCA product: Harmony Guitar Tee (Orange)


Brice: Volcom – They are involved in everything. Skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing.

Brice’s favorite Volcom product: Sansur Hoodie (Ebony)

Snowboard Season Starter Sale

The snow blowers are being turned on this weekend across North Carolina. I know…it’s embarrassing to say that with a straight face to the snowboarders out west. But that’s snowboarding life down here in the dirty south. The point is…snowboard season is kicking off and we at Ambush are upping the ante. From November 9th – 13th, all 2012 snowboards, boots, bindings, and outerwear will be discounted 20% off. No weird gimmicks…just a straight 20% off. No bait and switch…simply the best savings all year long. You won’t find that deal anywhere. SALE VALID IN-STORE ONLY.

Mark your calendar. The snowboard season begins next weekend at Ambush

November 9-13: All 2012 snowboards, boots, bindings, and outerwear 20% off

November 11: Defenders of Awesome video premiere; Capita snowboard giveaway.

Start Your Snowboard Season with a FREE Capita Snowboard

An historic October snow storm just clobbered the Northeast dropping more than a foot of snow on most towns. I’m sure the resorts up there are rushing to be the first to open their lifts for snowboarders to take advantage of some early season riding. We down here at Ambush are celebrating the beginning of snowboard season our own way…by giving away a FREE Capita snowboard.

Kick off the snowboard season with us on Friday, 11-11-11 at 9:00 pm. We will be showing Capita’s latest video Defenders of Awesome and everyone in attendance will automatically be entered to win a Capita snowboard of their choice.

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