As we ride past the mid-point of our snowboard season i wanted to check in with some commentary on a bit the gear and products i've fallen for (and on) this season to date. First i'll get the enviro-geek in me out of the way. WAX! To be honest i have never found a huge difference in wax quality from one company to another. As long as you ride the right wax for the right conditions they all seem to work very well with just subtle differences in ride from one to another. All made my board ride better after a tune-up and good 'ol New England ice was equally good at scraping them all off on me... until this season. Being the eco-nut vegan that i am i have always had concerns with waxes both from what me and our tuners inhale when we heat it and apply it to what happens to all those chemicals when they mix with our snow and eventually melt off into our brooks, streams, and water sources. After selling through all of our One Ball Jay's Biogreen Soy Bean Shredwax last season before i could try it out i kept a few aside this season to use for our tune-up and my own boards. This stuff is incredible on all fronts!
The shop smells like a soy latte when tuning (unlike that chemical wax smell we have all fallen in love with but is likely killing our brain cells... if we had any to begin with) probably reminiscent of the coffee shop that once inhabited the retail space we now call our own. It goes on well and HOLY SHITE does it ride well. Not only better than the factory wax job of the first time i rode the board but the best the board has EVER RIDDEN! i've had quite a few people come back after tune-ups to say just that same thing.
Next comes gloves. This winter i have now had to get into the habit of packing two sets of gloves because my Grenade gloves are just SOOO warm that sometimes after lunch i'm switching to a lighter pair. We're not talking Colorado or Utah winter temps, we're talking New England COLD! Too Warm? Yup. If you are someone who typically has issues keeping your digits warm enough i recommend a pair of Grenade mittens.
Lastly, the old school curmudgeon in me has been holding pretty hard-fast to classic laces on my boots throughout all the fads that have come and gone over the years. But after selling 50/50 Boa to laces last season and closer to 90/10 Boa to laces this season combined with Boa's lifetime guarantee i gave them a try (Vans Encore - i like lots of flex)... holy shite is BOA awesome! Sure they're super fast and easy to get in and out of, blah blah blah. Not having hockey-skate-lace-hands that hurt all day from your excessive lace tightening: luxury. Loosening up you boots for lunch and tightening then back up for the hill in a few twists: luxury. Tightening/loosening up right on mountain depending on what you're about to charge: luxury. Having to just deal all day with whatever tightening job you did on you laces that morning is a first world hardship that you no longer need to suffer from.
Snowboarding - you are starting to spoil me. Next i'll be be going out for manicures... alright, that's never going to happen but you are turning me soft in my old age.
PS - BTW - Grenade mitten w/ skeleton hands are vegan friendly (other models have leather), Vans Encore boots are vegan friendly non -leather as well.