By Sam McMahon
This article is from the Winter 2016 / 17 issue of Source Magazine
To say that Sam McMahon, Video Editor for Whitelines and Onboard, knows a thing or two about snowboard paraphernalia would be a gross understatement of sizeable proportions. If you’re investing in new kit this winter, don’t spend a penny until you’ve considered the following…
K2 Party Platter Snowboard
When conditions are prime (powder) there’s nothing better than standing sideways on a board perfectly designed for the job. However, for the days inbetween, the last thing you want is the old fashioned super long, extra stiff plank you might’ve coveted ten years ago. Enter K2 and their Enjoyer series of boards, my favourite of which is the Party Platter, designed to be ridden 7-20cm shorter than your usual board by way of increasing the width (the 150 version is 27cm at the waist!). To stabilise the ride they’ve added a flat profile underfoot, an exaggerated scoop in the nose and a super deep sidecut for quick turns. You end up with a ton of float in powder, heaps of maneuverability on piste and best of all, a smile on your face every time you look down at the radical shape under your feet.
Ride Rodeo Bindings
Unless you’re out charging steeps every single day of the season, it’s nice to have a bit of flex and forgiveness in your bindings, facilitating easy jibs and butters whilst preventing foot cramps. Ride’s Rodeo bindings have all of the above in spades, but their aluminium design gives them enough bombproof durability to keep them going through a season of abuse. Designed primarily for riding park, they’re the choice of Olympic snowboarder and Morzine alumni Billy Morgan, but that shouldn’t put you off them if you’re not into triple corks – these are fun, flexi and comfortable all over the mountain.
Vans Implant Boots
Heel lift: the bane of snowboarders the world over. No matter how hard you crank your laces, by the end of the day that painful calf burn is bound to catch up with you. Good job then that as well as traditional laces, Vans’ Implant boots come with an easily-accessed BOA reel just for your upper ankle, holding your heel firmly in place from first lift to last orders. There’s also a power shin strap that fits both inside and outside the tongue, allowing you to crank out a bit more stiffness when the boots start getting soft, or slacken them for a day hitting jibs. Simple stylings round this boot off and make it a firm favourite within the Vans team as well as the Whitelines office.
Dragon NFX2 Goggles
A pair of goggles that make you look as good as they let you see. Dragon have brought the frameless look to cylindrical lenses and fitted them out with a bunch a features that make them a practical choice for the hill. The NFX2s are far more compact than their spherical cousins, but the interchangeable lens is still the main stylistic feature here: there are over twenty different colours to choose from and you can swap them out without even taking them off your face thanks to ‘Swiftlock’ technology. Armored rather than foam vents mean you can bash them around without fear of ruining the airflow, and the handy silicon webbing on the strap means they won’t be going anywhere fast whether you’re wearing a hat or a helmet.
Dakine 12L Heli Pack
Truth be told, there isn’t much new with the Dakine Heli Pack for 2016/17, but if it ain’t broke why fix it right? I’ve actually owned one of these for six years and it hasn’t let me down once. Perfect for powder days in resort and light splitboard excursions, there’s enough room for your avalanche kit, skins, water and snacks, all the while staying sleek and compact. Need to bootpack up to find more powder? You can fasten your snowboard (or skis) and jacket to the outside and adjust the chest straps to distribute the weight evenly. Concerned it might clash with your jacket? There’s ten colourways to choose from this winter. Buy one this winter and you’ll still be thanking me in six years.