Shaping The Future Of Fun: Unique New Boards For 2017
How To Choose The Right Ski Length And Width
Choosing The Correct Goggle: A Guide To Ski And Snowboard Goggles
Behind all the action, the glorious heart-pounding shots, and the gritty locales, our video hides a story within a story. Shot by shot, This is Backcountry came together over the course of a year at the hands of multiple film crews and countless athletes. At times, it was smooth sailing, but more often than not it was a bumpy, unpredictable rumble into the unknown. Lift the curtain and take a peek into the moments that fell to the cutting room floor. This is where the story unfolds.
The number of snowboards available these days can seem overwhelming if you’re not quite sure what you want. To select a deck that properly fits your riding style and personal preferences, it helps to learn a bit about different types of boards and how their shapes and construction affect the way they ride. Board Types The first thing to consider is the kind of riding you’ll be doing most often. Snowboards usually fit into one of a few categories that give you a general idea of the board’s intended use; just remember that the lines between these categories are blurry [...]
Above Photo By: Tommy Chandler If you’re a seasoned cyclist, especially of the West Coast variety, the time of the year where burnout settles in is approaching. And if you’ve raced hard every weekend, you’ve probably raced even harder in the weekly ‘training’ crit. In other words, late-night reality TV is becoming addictive. Truthfully, though, if you’re a cat 1/2, or even have such ambitions, your coach dictates that you take a few weeks off to regenerate before tackling endless base miles. That conversation is often prefaced with the phrase “Just have fun.” You then shudder at the fallacious assumption that [...]
How does a snowboard get made? That’s not usually a question that goes through people’s minds when they watch Shaun White boost 25-foot Method grabs and huck Double McTwists in the halfpipe. Instead, most people have much simpler, one-word queries popping up, such as “What?,” “How?,” and “Dude, seriously?” But the technology under Shaun’s feet is no joke, and as talented and hard-working as he is, at least some of the credit to helping him achieve his impressive win tally has to go to the tireless efforts of Burton to provide him with the best snowboards in the world. It [...]
Wanting to run more than ten miles over rocks and mountains cannot be called a sane wish. Not that I’m trying to call you crazy. But you are crazy. It’s okay. So am I. Anyone even considering dipping their toes into a sport called ultra-running had better be crazy—running 12, 15, 25 miles at high altitudes over steep, rocky trails under the burning summer sun is exactly as difficult as it sounds. And then some. This is the point where most people will try to tell you all about how long-distance trail running is a mental game. How if you [...]
Above Photo By: Ian Matteson There are a lot of camber options out there, and if you’re a little fuzzy as to how they all work and which one will be best for you, then narrowing down your snowboard options can feel similar to wrangling fifty wild horses with a strand of dental floss. Here is an intro to camber profiles that will hopefully make your decision process easier and more effective. Traditional Camber Camber is the long standing champion of camber profiles. Holding strong as the industry standard until recent years, traditional camber is the most popular and well-tested [...]
When the dog days of summer give way to the first fall breeze, it’s like a breath of fresh air to the entire team at Backcountry. Not only are we excited because powder days are just around the corner, fall weather means it’s time to break out the most sought after sweaters, jackets, and boots. The video crew tagged along with some Backcountry ladies to give you a glimpse of this year’s autumn apparel.
“Seattle? But where are you going to ski?” This question was posed to me countless times by my Utah shred acquaintances while I was in the process of leaving the Wasatch for ever-greener hills. After years of thought on this subject, I’ve determined that the mere threat of imminent rain is enough to keep even the most adventurous individuals from recognizing that Washington’s Cascade Mountains are an untapped ski mecca—parts of their vast expanse frequently sport the deepest snowpack in the world. To the people who light up my Facebook feed with hysterically hyperbolic end-of-days dialogue anytime there are more [...]
Above Photo By: Ian Matteson That shiny new snowboard setup is just a pile of parts until you dial in its stance width, setback, and binding angles to match your physiology and riding style. Finding your ideal stance will pay dividends by keeping you comfortable and in-control every time you strap in. Width Stance width is largely a matter of personal preference. Having your bindings set closer together makes it easier to initiate and hold turns and gives you a tighter center of mass for faster spins, while a wider stance helps you stay low for better balance and improves [...]
Nearly every piece of technical outerwear today is treated with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish before leaving the factory. The DWR treatment is the first line of defense against wet weather conditions and prevents the face fabric from becoming saturated. When you see water beading up and rolling off your Gore-Tex jacket or down puffy, that’s actually the DWR technology at work. DWR is a polymer applied to the face fabric that creates microscopic pegs, or hairs, that protrude from the fabric. (You didn’t know that you were bristling like a hedgehog in your new ski jacket, did you?) [...]
Above Photo: Backcountry Employee Re Wikstrom Shot By: Tommy Chandler I made a great discovery during this Porcupine ride. Historically, at this point in the season, I would have a month of riding under my belt, but it’s turning into “one of those years” where life’s obligations have taken over the normal hedonistic pursuit of fresh air, leaving tire tracks in the dirt, and sleeping under the stars. Or maybe I’m just getting old. I barely had four rides in before heading down to Moab, and my confidence was shaky at best. What is my deal?! I’ve ridden this trail [...]
Above Photo By: Ian Matteson Different body types, output levels, and weather conditions require different amounts of insulation. Building a bomber layering system is one part trial and error and one part know-how. Here are some things to keep in mind as you fine tune your own repertoire of winter layers. The Base for Layering There’s a misconception that thickness equals warmth. This is intrinsically incorrect. Especially for a first layer. Here are some guidelines for a good first layer: 1: Keep it breathable. We’ve come a long way in breathable fibers. Many synthetic fibers, like Patagonia’s Capilene, are quite breathable, but keeping the first [...]
Above Photo: Backcountry Athletes Griffin Post and Neil Provo Shot By: Tommy Chandler Love to snowshoe or backcountry ski? Don’t want to leave all the creature comforts of the city behind? A yurt trip might be just what you’re looking for. For those of you that don’t know what a yurt is, it’s a domed structure in the middle of nowhere, most times complete with a small deck, a skylight for watching the stars, and a wood-burning stove to keep you warm. Yurts are a great way to spend time with friends and get out and comfortably and safely enjoy [...]
Above Photo By: Tommy Chandler Backcountry.com’s Gearheads are your instant connection to gear knowledge. They’re passionate outdoor experts hell-bent on helping you find the right ski, saddle, or pro. Gearhead Essentials gives you access to their recommendations. Winter Biking Essentials With Nate King Winter is coming. Days become short, nights become long, and both become downright frigid, implying a shift from white socks, climbing high mountain passes, and fancy carbon wheels to merino wool-wrapped feet, flat rides deep into wilds long ignored, and bombproof aluminum training hoops. For those who keep the flame through months when the snow falls, the rain [...]
With hundreds of skis to choose from, picking the perfect pair can be a bit intimidating. Worry not, Backcountry employees mounted up the most anticipated skis for the coming season and put them through the wringer on the greatest snow on earth. We’d say we did it all for you, but that would be a bit disingenuous. Truth is, work has never been so much fun. Check out the reviews now on backcountry.com. FEEL THE POWDER
You’ve trained your rear end off, and suffered through the agony of tapering. You’ve heard it, and you’ve read it, so it must be true: carbohydrates are an essential source of energy for your body, and they provide continued fuel for you throughout prolonged or high-intensity exercise. Stored as glycogen in your liver and to some extent in muscle fibers, carb storage is finite; simply eating a carbohydrate-laden dinner the night before a race or climb or 14-mile hike won’t give you the extended energy you’re expecting. However, with a bit of planning and deliberate eating, you can maximize your [...]
We spent a week at the Tour of Utah cheering on some of the best bike racers in the world, traveling to every corner of our state, and having a great time along the way. A dirt bike jumped the Backcountry Sprinter, a Merlin Extralight was given away, and we showcased a collection of gear at every stage. Watch the video to see all that, and a whole bunch more.
Above Photo By: Tommy Chandler Road riding isn’t the most welcoming discipline in cycling. Between snooty shops, a cultural fascination with ghastly-expensive bikes, and the endless judgment at the hands of those more experienced, it’s a wonder that anyone hops on a road bike at all. As a lifelong mountain biker, it’s easy to dismiss roadies as Euro-obsessed snobs and fitness geeks. At the same time, early-season trail rides have made it immediately clear who has logged thousands of road miles over the winter. And as we’ve all experienced, at one point or another, few things are worse than getting [...]
Choosing snowboard pants might seem like it can take a back seat to selecting a jacket, but don’t forget that your pants are what’s going to be touching that snow-covered seat on the chairlift, shielding the tops of your boots, and keeping your knees dry when you take a spill. You might find a pair on sale at a great price or some that you think go perfectly with your jacket, but if the pants aren’t designed to handle the conditions where you ride, you might end up freezing your butt off or soaking through to your long underwear by [...]
For gear related quandaries, few resources match the collective hands-on knowledge of the Backcountry Gearheads. When they’re not assisting you, the Gearheads are out crushing the same gear you’re shopping for—earning their stripes on the best bike trails, the best powder days, and the best climbs our mountain home has to offer. Just to prove it, we’re posting video of the Gearheads getting it done in the great outdoors.
Backcountry.com athlete and pro skier Kim Havell accomplished the first female descent of the Grand Teton’s Otter Body route on May 15, 2013. Here’s her account of the experience. Kim Havell accomplished the first female descent of the Grand Teton’s Otter Body The OB It’s hard not to be impressed, if not intimidated, driving into Grand Teton National Park. The impressive façade of rugged high peaks forms an imposing wall, north to south, forty miles across the Teton Valley. For expert ski mountaineers and backcountry travelers, each intricate cut of a couloir running down the mountains’ walls is a potential [...]
The 100-mile White Rim Trail outside of Moab, Utah is one of my all-time favorite mountain bike rides. No one section of it is very difficult. The real crux of it is planning, pacing, and mental fortitude. I’ve done it as a day ride about eight times and as a multi-day camping extravaganza twice, and each has its advantages. As a day ride, you don’t need any camping permits, sag wagons, reservations, tents, sleeping bags, or pads, which is nice, but you miss out on some of the most scenic campsites in Utah. As a multi-day camping outing, there’s nothing [...]
Above Photo: Backcountry Employee Brandon Collett Shot By: Re Wikstrom In no particular order: 1. Bait stinks. 2. Tuna tacos (legal-sized trout and mahi mahi are tasty, too). 3. Striking out on the river is easier on the ego than striking out at the bar. 4. Saying, “Here, fishy, fishy, fishy” or talking sexy to your fly won’t attract odd looks. 5. Fresh air, gorgeous scenery, and peace and quiet. 6. It’s easy to start and hard to master. (You can fly fish for a lifetime.) 7. Looking at fish porn at work won’t get you fired. 8. Fins and flasks go [...]
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