Avoid High Altitude Sickness on Your Ski/Snowboard Vacation

You’ve planned the winter vacation that you’ve always dreamed of. You’re heading west to the Rockies for a week of powder skiing. Bags are packed, gear is stowed and you can’t wait to hit the slopes.

You fly into Salt Lake International airport (5000) feet from your sea-level home. Pretty cool that you can leave home, arrive here and get in a few runs the afternoon you arrive. What could be better? You get your rental car and drive up the canyon to the resort with a base level of 8000 feet, hop on the lift and ride up to 10,000 feet. Get in a few runs, have a few cocktails and a nice dinner when you’re done skiing, after all you’re on vacation

Next morning you don’t feel so good. You’re sluggish, nauseous with a headache and maybe a little short of breath. What a lousy time to get the flu! It feels a lot like the flu or a hangover, but what you probably are suffering from is high altitude sickness.

High altitude sickness can affect anyone, adults or children, when you travel from a lower elevation to a higher one. Not everyone suffers from it and its relatively easy to avoid and take care of so it doesn’t ruin your vacation.

Here are a few tips to follow to help you feel your best:

  • Hydrate. Drink twice as much water as you think you need, especially if you’re coming from sea level. Start hydrating before you arrive, flying will dehydrate you as well. Carry water with you on the mountain, either a water bottle or a hydration system like a “camelback”. Use bottled water if you absolutely must, but the water from the taps on the mountain will probably taste better!
  • Avoid Dehydration. Yes, take in all those fluids as mentioned above but avoid dehydrators such as caffeine, salt and alcohol. Doesn’t mean you can’t have an apres ski cocktail, just go easy especially the first night at elevation.
  • Eat Carbs. Carbs actually take less oxygen to metabolize and digest. Don’t worry about the calories, you’ll burn them off on the mountain and the carbs will help give you the energy to do it.
  • Take It Slow. If at all possible plan to spend your first night at a lower elevation in town and not at 10,000 feet. Taking a night to acclimate will go a long way in helping your body to adjust. Have a nice dinner, take in a concert, explore the city. Make plans ahead of time for things to do that first night in town. Odds are everyone will be tired from traveling anyway.

If spending a night at lower elevation isn’t possible, at least take it easy the first day on the mountain. Take the time to get your snow legs back and explore the mountain in easy stagers. Save the black diamonds for later.

There are also some drugs and energy drinks on the market that claim to prepare you for higher elevations and do away with any adjustment period. I have never heard that they work, but I haven’t spoken to a lot of people who’ve used them either.

Other suggestions to help prepare for a trip to altitude that I’ve seen are to take iron supplements or to take Ginkgo. None of these have science behind them, but there is some logic. Iron helps your body produce more hemoglobin which is generally seen in people at higher altitudes. Gingko enhances circulation which means more blood carrying more oxygen is circulating through your body.

Altitude sickness is generally harmless and short lasting. Once your body adapts to the altitude you’ll feel better. That takes time and you don’t want to spend your ski vacation feeling lousy and not being able to ski. The best way to prevent and fend off that sick feeling is hydration. Keep your fluids up before your trip and especially while on the mountain. It may be cold out but your engaging in lots of activity that uses up those fluids.

If hydration and rest don’t take care of the situation you’ll need to get some medical care. Many ski resorts have clinics on hand or ski patrol who are experienced in dealing with high altitude sickness. You might actually have caught the flu!

Source by Sophie Thodag

Tips on Freestyle Snowboarding

Snowboarding is quite a popular sport done mainly for recreation though it is also done professionally. It is estimated that about 3.4 million people in the United States snowboard. There are three basic snowboarding styles:

Free ride snowboarding

This is the best style to start with if you are a beginner in snowboarding. Basically, it involves standing on the board and riding down the mountain or hill. The snow boards used here are longer and narrower.

Alpine snowboarding

This is snowboarding done with the focus being making clean, curved turns.

Freestyle snowboarding

It is the most popular snowboard style where the snowboarder performs jumps, spins and other acrobatics. It is mainly used in competitive snowboarding.

How to dress for Snowboarding

It is vital to dress appropriately before you begin snowboarding as this helps to avoid injuries. Warm clothing is essential to protect yourself from the cold weather. Ensure you have a snow coat, snow pants and thermal layers. The clothing should be insulated, lightweight and waterproof. The snow coat should be long enough to cover your midriff and the snow pants should fit loosely so that you are able to move your legs easily. Snow gloves are also needed. Some snowboarders may prefer mittens instead of gloves but whatever your preference, it should have insulated liners to absorb moisture and perspiration and should be waterproof. Wrist guards may be worn especially by the beginners under the gloves so that in case they fall, they are protected from injury. Snow goggles are essential to protect the eyes from direct sunlight, ultraviolet radiation, wind and particulate matter. It is also mandatory to wear a crash helmet whether you are a beginner or an expert in order to protect your head. Most snowboarding helmets have inbuilt insulation to keep your head warm. Ensure that your helmet fits properly.

Freestyle Snowboarding equipment

The actual snowboarding equipment consists of the boots, the bindings and the snowboard. There are specially designed snowboarding boots with either step in or strap in bindings used to attach the boots to the snowboards. One should ensure to wear the boots properly. Boots can either be hard or soft.

For this style, soft boots are preferred as they provide the rider with comfort, great support and more ankle flexibility. The freestyle snowboards are shorter, wider, flexible and more stable allowing the snowboarder to jump, spin or try any other trick he wishes.

How to approach and practice freestyle snowboarding

Before you can snowboard using the free style, it is important that you train yourself mentally and physically. Before you can try out a trick, visualize it. When training, train with a specific trick in mind. Physical training will ensure that you are in a good shape that that your muscles are flexible. You could go to the gym, run walk, bike, do squats, push ups or stretch your entire body to build your body’s strength and make it more flexible in order to execute your tricks.

Most importantly, believe in yourself!

Source by Bobby Bonifazi

How to Front 360 on a Snowboard

The backside or frontside 360 ​​should be attempted by riders who are very comfortable in their riding abilities, riders who have successfully mastered less advanced jumps such as 180s, cabs and so on. If you have not done such jumps before, you can still practice the 360 ​​on flat ground, still initiating the spin with your head and shoulders and letting your body follow.

Be familiar with the conditions. What is the snow like? Is it icy or slushy? How many people are out and about? Is the terrain well groomed?

Jumping the front 360

If there are other people out doing similar jumps, take note of their speed and determine how fast you would need to go.

Taking off for the fs 360

Approach the kicker on your toe edge. Change to your heel edge before taking off. As with other jumps, weight must be centered, knees bent and knees low to the ground. Upon take off, spring up and straighten your knees and open your shoulders forward, initiating the rotation.

In the air

Once in the air, you can grab your board for extra stability. Keep your legs tucked and keep looking the way you intend you go. Avoid looking down or at the landing as your body will tend to follow where you are looking.


Land on the toe edge. Keep your board as flat as possible and your weight as centered as possible. Land with the knees bent to absorb the impact and keep your back safe.

Source by Leah Baker

Snowboarding Injuries and Safety

The popularity of skiing has increased dramatically in the past century. Since its inception in the 1960s, snowboarding has become increasingly popular as well. In fact, almost 40 percent of all "sliding snow" sports participants today are snowboarders.

Skiing and snowboarding are both wonderful sports. As with most any physical activity, however, there is an element of risk. By following some basic guidelines and learning more about the risks, it is possible to decrease those risks. Remembering the following information can minimize your risks and allow more fun on the slopes.


Many variables affect injury rates in skiers, most common ability, age, gender, physical conditioning and snow conditions. Beginners have three times the injury rate of experts, but their injuries are less severe. Experts have less frequent but more severe injuries (head injuries, fractures and high grade ligament sprains). This is probably due to their higher speed on the ski slope. Intermediate skiers fall somewhere in between.

Another key factor is age. The highest injury rate is among 11 to 13 year olds. Their ability is intermediate, but their judgment is not as good as adults'. Injures in teenagers (13 to 20 year olds) are slightly less frequent, but more severe. Many have the skill levels of adults with immature judgment. Finally, children younger than 12 years old have twice the injury rate of adults, but fewer than that of adolescent.

Females have two the injury rate of males, which is thought to stem from conditioning. One study looking at female ski racers found that their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury rate was six times that of their male counterparts.


Snowboarding has a slightly higher potential for upper extremity injuries, but it may be safer on the knees. There is an increased rate of foot and ankle injuries associated with snowboarding. The lead foot has twice the number of injuries than the back foot. One study showed that the hybrid or "mid-stiff- ness" boots were the safest style of boots. There may be more high-energy injuries such as femur fractures, high-speed injuries and injuries caused by getting big air.

Source by Sam A Gastro

Choosing the Best Snowboard Boots

There are literally thousands of options that are available for snowboard boots and pretty much everyone has a problem trying to find the right pair for them if they have never purchased snowboard boots before. Snowboard boots should provide comfort, warmth and help with your performance. There are options from lower end boots to higher end boots which provide a higher quality of performance enhancing options. Really, it all just depends upon what it is that you are looking for in a boot.

When purchasing snowboard boots, you will definitely want to try them on. So, going to an actual store would be your best option; However, if you are purchasing snowboard boots over the internet, make sure that you can return or exchange the boots if necessary. They can be a large investment as some boots can cost upwards of $ 200 (depending on brand, style, etc) and you will want to make sure that if you spend that type of money that they will actually work for you.

When actually shopping for your board boots, first consider your price range. What are you willing to pay for a set of boots? This will help eliminate many options and cut the field down to help you from getting distracted. Do not forget that the rest of the gear that you will need for boarding can total up to quite a bit of money, so you must also decide what your total budget is for all of the necessary gear together. This will help you even more to decide what your price range for the boots will be.

What type of boarding will you be doing? Different types of boarding will be better if you have the right boot. Boots come in soft to hard flex options and knowing what you need while you are boarding, will help to narrow down your options immediately. For instance, if you plan on doing a lot of tricks, stunts, rails and half pipes you will want a pair of softer boots.

Make sure that the boots fit you properly. You do not want the boots to be too tight or too loose. If the boots are tight your feet will hurt and can hinder your performance. If your boots are too loose, your feet can slide around and this too can hinder your performance. You will definitely need to try the boots on before you buy them. Finding the perfect fit in your board boots will be necessary so that your feet do not suffer right along with your performance level.

Another aspect of board boots that you will want to take into consideration is the type of lacing system that you will want. How do you want your boots to fasten? Do you want laces? Do you want the BOA system that is now available on the market? Many companies offer their own variations on the lacing systems, so the choice is completely up to you.

This is just some general guidelines that you can follow that will help you to choose the perfect snowboard boots.

Source by Michael Millbank

Snowboard Tech – Magnetraction!

A couple years back Lib Tech snowboards (Mervin Manufacturing) put a new patent technology on a few of their boards. It involved an outrageous idea create oscillating edges with the possibility of gaining more edge control, and they dubbed their brainchild ‘magnetraction’. It was a huge success for Lib Tech and plenty of other companies are now chasing the same carrot. You can bet that in the next few seasons every snowboard will have magnetraction or some technology similar.

What is Magnetraction?

Go to your local shop and pull out a regular snowboard and a magnetraction. Take a look at the bottom and you can see that the edges on the magnetraction are wavy like this: ‘~~~~~~~~~~”. That’s magnetraction in a nutshell. Those oscillating edges are what makes the technology do it’s deal.

It works because if you think about turning on a regular snowboard with concave edges: “) (“, you will notice that your edges only hold two real contact points in the snow. Only the four widest points on the board are actually able to dig into the snow when you carve. With magnetraction, where the oscillating edges peak a new contact point is born, so when you carve with a magnetraction board you will have several more solid contacts where the edge meets the snow and thus you will hold a much stronger turn and just look friggen’ awesome!

Hey park rats! File the edges of a magnetraction ALL THE WAY TO THE BONE and this board will still hold a nice edge in the pipe. In other words you can enjoy all the rails and boxes hang-up free (get bucked and you’re gonna have a bad time. haha) and still be able to climb up those pipe walls for some cab 1080s.

If you happen to be in the market for a snowboard right now please consider a board with magnetraction. Like I said, I think soon there won’t be many boards without it, so buying a regular board for next season might end up only setting you back.

Source by Lou G

The Thrill Of Snowboarding For Those Who Are Unfamiliar With The Sport

Even though people did not really get the concept of snowboarding until the 1970s it did not really become part of the winter Olympics nor popular until 1998. Today is the sport that everyone is waiting for when watching the winter Olympics.

So due to many people snowboarding and many people wanting to learn many resorts offer rentals and free lessons on most of their slopes. They would want you to learn from someone who can teach rather than just renting you a board and having you go bust your rear on the hard ice.

Many people say that you should learn how to ski before you snowboard this however is not true I have a friend that a few years back had just started surfing in the earlier months like September through December and in January went snowboarding in Colorado and got pictures of him doing airs and rails. So snowboarding should not and can not be that hard if he can just go for 2 weeks and get good at the sport. He was not even that good on a surfboard and he did better on a snowboard it looked then a surfboard and on top of all that he even bought a snowboard. That's how easy and fun he said it was.

A lot of the resorts often host contest for snowboarding so if you are there and have been snowboarding before you can enter to win.

Also there are many big companies that come to these events when being hosted so it may be your shot to get a sponsor or two while boarding in some of these events. You never know if you do well enough you may become a sponsored rider. Just go out and try your best and make the best of what you have.

Today you can even have your snowboard custom made unlike back in the day you had one type of board that you could ride. Not today, today you can custom make a board to the size and figure that you want it and even have it painted the way you want. All you do is go to a shaper or maker and have it made.

One of the problems with snowboarding just like any other sport is injuries. You will need to wear a helmet when snowboarding so that you do not crack your noggin. So when you go to the icy slopes or wherever it is that you may go you need to wear protection so you do not become injured on your trip seeing as that can cause a short trip. So go out today and start riding who knows you might be better at snowboarding then the sport you already do or compete in. it is easy or everyone is the northern states would not be doing it. So go get you a snowboard and start trying to ride before you get to an age to wear you can not even get out of the house.

Source by Gregg Hall

Why Has Snowboarding Become So Popular?

When Sherman Poppen decided to tie a couple of skis together back in 1965, he must have had little idea that he was about to start an incredibly popular sport. Despite its relatively short history, snowboarding has become one of the leading winter sports in the world.

This seems particularly hard to imagine when we think back to the way that it was seen as a poor relation to skiing. Ski enthusiasts felt that they commanded the slopes. There didn’t seem to be any place for snowboarding fans. But times have certainly changed, with most resorts now welcoming those wanting to take part in both sports.

So how did the sport grow? What are the secrets behind its success? From the outset, it was clear that snowboarding was being positioned as more than a sporting activity. While people might view cross-country running, for example, primarily as a means of getting some decent exercise, it’s hard to think of snowboarding in that way. Instead, it tends to be seen as something of a lifestyle choice.

It’s always had associations with skateboarding, extending to a certain sense of style. Looking good is at the centre of what this sport is all about. If you can’t manage to look good, both on and off the slopes, then you’re going to be rather out of place.

Indeed, in many senses this is where things differ considerably from skiing. There’s an expectation here that the board that you choose and the clothes that you wear will really say something about you. But it’s also the case that style is very much part of the sport. That’s not so evidently the case with skiing.

So the rise of the sport can be explained by its positioning. It’s offering something very different to other winter sports. It manages to combine danger, excitement, skills, fashion and style. These all help to explain why it has risen in popularity at such an astounding rate.

If you’ve not previously tried snowboarding, then you might like to investigate whether it’s possible to get lessons locally. There are also numerous online stores selling appropriate equipment and accessories.

Source by Simon Barnett

How to Prepare For Snowboarding

If you have not been snowboarding for a while or are someone about to attempt it for the fist time it can be advisable to put in some training before you head off as riding a snowboard tend to be a physically strenuous activity. Most importantly you should do some form of cardio fitness work about 3 or 4 times a week in preparation and start this routine about a month before you go.

Besides achieving improved cardio fitness the strength of your legs will also be very important especially if you are not used to going snowboarding. You could have quite surprised at just how tired and sore your legs will feel even after just 1 hour so by building up the strength and stamina in your legs you'll be able to ride longer and with more comfort over the course of your holiday.

The next thing is flexibility and this is again very important in your legs. A days snowboarding could leave you so sore that you are unable to go out the next day and will instead have to rest your sore muscles. By learning how to stretch correctly and creating a daily routine in preparation before you head off you could potentially save yourself a lot of pain and discomfort.

After a day out on the snow it's a great idea to stretch when you get home and take a hot shower too, just to help relax your muscles. Remember that some pretty bad injuries are possible while doing this sport which is one of the reasons you must declare it on any travel insurance you take out! By preparing your body in advance you'll be less at risk from injury and enjoy a safer time all round.

Source by Payo W Perry

A Brief Overview of the History of Snowboarding

Though there are many conflicting stories as to “who” was the actual pioneer of snowboarding, there are a few facts that remain constant throughout each history article you read. Here is a brief overview of the key moments in time that helped push the snowboarding movement to where it is today.

1929: M.J. “Jack” Burchett used clothesline to secure his feet to a piece of plywood while tying horse reins to it for some sort of steering control while gliding over the snow.

1963: With more than a 30 year gap between the first attempt of snowboarding and the next major break-through, this year is credited to a man named Tom Sims. Tom, an eighth grade student at the time, built what he called a “ski board” for his shop class. Again, it was made of plywood, hence the apt naming with board.

1965: Two years after the introduction of the “ski board”, Sherman Poppen created “The Snurfer”. This consisted of two skis being bolted together. Even though Poppen originally made this a toy for his children, he later organized events for competition with the Snurfer.

1970’s: This was the decade that snowboarding finally built its strong base, literally. In 1970, an east coast surfer named Dimitrije Milovich was struck with an idea of developing snowboards that felt like surfing but withheld the mechanics of skiing. Five years later, Milovich and his snowboard “Winterstick” were featured in Newsweek magazine.

A now well known name, Jake Burton, started using steam bent wood and fiberglass to build his boards. Towards the end of the 70’s, Burton even went as far to add steel edges on the sides and bindings with more support for greater control.

1980: Skiing helped along the development of snowboards by unknowingly planting the idea of using a P-Tex base in the minds of Burton and Winterstick snowboard manufacturers.

1982: The first international snowboarding race was in Vermont at Suicide Six. They ran a run named “The Face”.

Mid 80’s:This period of time was difficult for the up and coming snowboard community. With more that 600 ski resorts, only 39 allowed these “snow surfers”. That gave snowboarders less than ten percent in the selection process as to where they could ride.

1997: As in time, all things change. The banning of snowboarders had almost come to an abrupt end. The new sport was now accepted nearly as well as skiing worldwide.

Today:Snowboarding is growing at such an alarming rate that skiers in the United States has dropped 25 percent. Numbers of boarders directly has risen 77% in the U.S. alone, making it the fastest growing winter sport. Today, approximately 20% of people who visit U.S. ski resorts are snowboarders. If you have been lately, it seems like many more. However, projections for the year 2015 favor snowboarding as there will be more people doing it rather than skiing.

Source by Timothy MacAlistaire