(Mikey Basich postcard from Spain for this issue)
Letter of the month
Bud Man In A Bad Way
My first copy of your mag was April '99, a get-well gift from a good friend. I acquired a broken left tibia on my second day learning to snowboard. I felt and heard it snap on the second revolution of a three-skipper. I opened my boot, packed it with snow, and waited for the ski patrol.
I'd gotten bored with skiing. I can go anywhere on skis–hike the ridges, steeps, trees–and I wanted to trade my skis for a simpler, more fluid ride.
I like the mag. It leans more toward surfing, not skateboarding. It's more my style–ride the mountain, all of it, don't hang out chillin' my butt in a terrain park.
Sorry to hear about your ill-fated “three-skipper.” Hopefully the new Elan snowboard helps ease the pain. If not, maybe your boss at the Budweiser brewery will flow you some free beer in lieu of workman's comp.–E.M.
My name is Kate Adams. I'm ten years old and have all of my own gear for snowboarding. I like the gear I have, but I don't know much about it. I was hoping you could answer some of my questions.
What is the difference between strap-ins and step-ins? I know that step-ins are a lot quicker to get in and out of, but are they as supportive as strap-in bindings? What should kids who are learning how to snowboard use, step-ins or strap-ins? What kinds of improvements have they made with step-ins?
Thanks for any information you can give me. I'm looking forward to reading the next magazine.
Santa Monica, California
Check out the boot-and-binding buyer's guide in this issue for the latest in both strap bindings and step-ins. Basically, traditional bindings use ratchet straps to attach your feet to the board, while steps-ins use a locking mechanism that allows you to “step in” without bending down. Many step-ins are now just as supportive as strap bindings, and both work equally well for learning (although many beginners prefer the entry/exit convenience of step-ins). Many rental shops offer step-ins–try out as many different systems as you can to see if they are right for you.–E.M.
Trapped In Tokyo
I have to tell you that I really enjoy Snowboard Life. I especially like the riding tips. They give me a lot of hints how I can improve and enjoy my riding. I moved back to Japan about a year ago for my job. I am enjoying the life here in general, but riding at the Japanese ski resorts is so much different from U.S resorts.
Japanese ski areas are very small and very crowded. To make things worse, there are a lot of beginning snowboarders sitting in the middle of slopes. I love big carving turns, but I cannot do it so much here in Japan. Instead, my short turns improved a lot. If you want to be very good at short turn, Japan may be the best place in the world. I miss America and ski resorts there so much.
No Japanese snowboard magazine can be as good as yours. I have been subscribing and keeping your magazine for some time. Again, I appreciate your good job, and until I go back to the U.S., I will keep riding on the snowboard.
Hitting The Mark
Since it's my first season of boarding, I decided to pick up your magazine to get a feel for the sport. I'm very impressed with what I read. In fact, I subscribed for the next two years.
As far as feedback, I live in British Columbia and I love the amount of Canadian content in your issues, so keep that up. I know there's no way around this, but here goes: I have to flip past twenty pages of ads to get to your fiirst article. I know ads are what keep your magazine on the shelf, but the less the better for me. How about more product reviews–boots, bindings, apparel, boards, etc. Your articles on riding techniques are great, but how about fitness-related articles on top of it? Keep up the great work, and I look forward to the next two years of your magazine.
British Columbia, Canada
Glad you like the magazine. Did you miss our Top 25 snowboard test last month? Check out the latest boots and bindings in this very magazine, and look for our outerwear preview later this year. On the fitness tip, our new column Fit To Ride might be just what you're looking for. As far as the ads go, the more ad pages we have, the more editorial pages we can include. So you should really be hoping for more ads, not less. We sure are.–E.M.
Win Some, Lose Some
Hey Snowboarder Life sic, you guys have a good magazine–or so I thought. Backcountry riding is something I've dreamt about ever since I started riding. But I never thought I'd be able to go because of where I live.
You couldn't imagine my excitement when I came across your recommendation for the book Backcountry Skiing Adventures: Classic Ski and Snowboard Tours of Maine and New Hampshire in your April issue. Well, I assumed you guys knew what you were talking about, so I went and bought the book. I read it, and was very disappointed. First of all, the guy who wrote the book was a telemarker, and had no clue what he was talking about when he referred to snowboarding. His descriptions were also pretty damn vague.
I wish you guys would put some effort into portraying the East Coast scene. I barely ever hear you guys talk of us out here. Many of us (especially me) dream of what's so abundant out west, and most of us will never get to experience it. You guys should come out here and give your opinion about the East Coast backcountry–it would really be nice coming from a snowboarder instead of a telemarker, even if the East Coast backcountry sucks.
For someone so anal about accuracy, you could've at least gotten the name of our mag right. –E.M.
Step up to the mic, give it a tap, then let us have it with both barrels–tell us how you really feel. Want a free snowboard? Well, whaddya got?