Tips And Trends: Lots New From Big Air To Free Gear For Newbies
There’s plenty new in the land of snow sports from programs to happenings to fashion. There’s something for everyone, including those who haven’t skied or snowboarded before.
Big Air at Boston’s Fenway Park
Yes! A 140-foot high snow ramp will take center field at the fabled ballpark as Olympic and world champions compete for $150,000 in prize money in this U.S. Grand Prix and FIS World Cup tour event Feb. 11-12. Snow Park Technologies is building the ramp and HKD is providing the snow guns to be manned by Killington snowmakers.
Want to be part of something big?
Those of us who want to sustain the choice of mountain resorts and see snow sports continue to progress can introduce a “newbie” anytime, including January Learn to Month. If you want to be part of the World's Largest Ski or Snowboard Lesson, sign a newbie up for a Jan. 8, 10 a.m. lesson. Over 150 ski areas are participating in this Guinness Book of World Records effort.
Want free equipment for a newbie?
More mountains are adopting an innovative learn-to program which rewards first-timers with free equipment. The 3-4 day discovery programs feature lifts, lessons, and Elan, Rossignol, or Burton equipment. Participant gets new free skis or board upon completion. Elan programs at Killington (also Burton), Pat’s Peak, Liberty, Whitetail, Shawnee Peak, Bristol Mt., and Grouse Mt. in BC; Rossignol at Bromley, Smuggler’s Notch, Cranmore, Head skis and boots at Loon weekend program.
Want a different method for learners?
Terrain-based learning (TBL™) offers a program of getting never-evers into riding or skiing by using specially shaped terrain to hasten learning and lessen fear by controlling speed. Developed by Snow Operating, specially shaped snow features as rollers, banked turns, and mini pipes up the fun factor.TBL is offered at: Blue Mountain, Camelback, Hidden Valley, Seven Springs (Pa.); Jiminy Peak, Butternut, Mass.; Mountain Creek, N.J.; Powder Ridge, Ct.; Bromley, Jay Peak, Killington, Vt.; Cranmore, N.H.; SnowShoe, W.Va.; Cataloochee, N.C.; Echo Mountain, Colo.; Sierra at Tahoe, Calif.; Brianhead, Snow Basin, Utah; and Whistler, BC.
Want to feel good on the slopes?
“When you’re looking good on the mountain, you feel good. When you feel good, you gain confidence, which enables you to have more fun,” fashion/trend consultant Jessica Kaplan told SnoCountry.com.
“You perform better when you’re comfortable – warm and dry – fashion’s not just about vanity,” Kaplan added, noting the many advances in technical wear.
Fashion stylist/event producer Kathy Benharris agrees, adding, “You don’t have to give up form.” The trend is toward more fitted styles; you “can still have technical delivery while bringing back fun and whimsy.”
Fashion trends mean bright colors, the return of some 70s’ styles, and the continuation of the plaids, prints, and solids with contrasting zips and pipings for men and women. Look for longer length parkas as well as pants pockets located just above the boot for convenience. Benharris is all for bringing sexy back with a more feminine fitted styling and puts silver belts on snow pants for a great après look.
Men are pairing brights with black, and “color blocking is in” from outdoor to après clothing.
One good thing about slope fashion today is that variety is accepted. So someone who feels more comfortable being understated can wear a blue or red plaid jacket or black cargo pant.
The truly baggy snowboard pant is waning but snow wear lasts — “You can tell an era on the slopes, but celebration of previous eras is good, too,” if it protects you from the elements and keeps you warm and dry, Benharris said.
Photo: Top -- Men's fashions mean pairing brights with blacks (Karen Lorentz); Bottom: TBL means a new way to learn like this mini pipe at Killington (Karen Lorentz)