5 of the best snowboarding gadgets

We headed to the British Ski and Snowboard Championships (aka the Brits) to check out some gear for the white stuff

The British Ski and Snowboard Championships (or Brits), held every March in Laax, Switzerland, is a whole week of awesome riding, comp watching and partying. But does that mean you can’t get your geek on? Of course it doesn’t. Here’s how…

Get up close and prismical

The Brits features the very best Brit riders, nailing Laax’s super-pipe, slopestyle, ski- and boardercross and, of course, Big Air. But this isn’t the Olympics. No-one arrives by helicopter, and there are few barriers to keep you off the course. So take your camera, with just a reasonable telephoto lens, and you’ll be able to get up close and personal with Olympic-class skiers and snowboarders.

Use this – Canon EOS 60D

The 60D ain’t cheap but it nets five stars for video and fast stills.

Go inside and shred

Laax has one of only two indoor freestyle academies in the world (the other is Copper Mountain in the USA). It’s a jibber’s mecca of crash mats, foam pits, trampolines and big, big kickers. What does this mean? That you can get your skis or board on, throw yourself of a massive jump and not hurt yourself. What does it also mean? It’s a great place to take your video camera/camphone and catch some amazing (or hilarious) action.

Use this – Sony MHS-TS20 Bloggie Touch

One for PC users only, but the 360-degree lens attachment works well in a mad indoor environment such as the Freestyle Academy.

Nail some satellites

GPS watches are awesome for measuring your day’s riding. Cumulative height and descent, max speeds, and how the hell to get back out of the woods. Garmin know this more than most so are at the Brits every year, lending out Forerunner 310XTs and logging their speeds on a leader board, embarrassingly placed right outside the biggest après-ski bar in Laax. At the end of the week there are prizes for the fastest. The winner this year logged 124km/h on, amazingly, a snowboard. Your Stuff test rider achieved, ahem, barely half that.

Use this – Garmin Forerunner 310 XT

Super multi-functional, including recording your soaring heart rate as you pelt down the mountain.

See your way clear

Somewhat pricier than the Garmin Forerunner, but considerably geekier, is these goggles with built-in GPS and a heads-up display. So if you’re really determined to get the fastest possible downhill speed to the point where you need a real-time display of your speed in your eyes, these are the way to go. Still, at the bottom, you’ll have to convince Garmin that they’re as accurate. Good luck with that.

Use with – Zeal Optics Transcend GPS goggles

Awesome heads-up display GPS goggles. Fighter plane chic… and price.

Upload the mountain

No matter who you’re riding with, no matter how many British pros you impressed in the park, you’re going to want to report your day’s riding to the whole of your social network. Fortunately both of the big swanky new accommodation resorts at Laax – Rocks and Rider’s Palace – have, as well as flatscreen TVs and DVD players, full Wi-Fi. So even while you’re supping an après beer downstairs, you can upload your images and videos to Facebook.

Use this – Google Nexus S

This Android figurehead has an awesome screen, great camera and all the social network integration you could want.


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