Sweden: The Right Gear

Storming snowboarding's Valhalla? You'll need a sturdy ride, beefy boots, and a party-proof flight suit.

Nov 1, 2003
Outside Magazine
The Riksgränsen Spirit at a Resort Near You

Alyeska Ski Resort, Alaska (800-880-3880, www.alyeskaresort.com): It's not in the Arctic, but it could be. The long spring days, wet climate, and 4,000-foot elevation all make it similar to Riksgränsen.

Now Boarding: After a day of thrashing your ride, stash it in the BURTON Gig Bag. The well-padded Gig handles up to a 176cm deck, and a top-access boot pocket and fleece-lined goggle pouch keep the rest of your crucial hardware close at hand. ($70; 800-881-3138, www.burton.com)

BOARD: The Burton T6 is the first plank built around the same aluminum-honeycomb material found inside helicopter rotors. That translates into a light, snappy board that initiates precise turns. While the T6 will whip nimbly through a halfpipe upon request, it's a stiff, all-terrain ride at heart. ($600; 800-881-3138, www.burton.com)
BINDINGS: The new Burton C16 strap binding justifies its price tag with a carbon-fiber highback that's 27 percent lighter than its previous plastic incarnation. Plus, new buckles release easier, and expanded vinyl acetate atop the highback reduces pressure on the calves. ($350; 800-881-3138, www.burton.com)
BOOTS: Simple shoelace-style board boots don't offer larger riders adequate edge control. Big guys prefer boots like the K2 Rival Boa, which doesn't pass its support responsibilities on to the binding. The two-piece Boa subdues slop via a drawcord on the liner and a ratcheting cable on the outer shell. ($279; 800-972-4038, www.k2snowboarding.com)
PANTS: The Helly Hansen Tryst wraps intelligent features into a proprietary waterproof-breathable shell fabric. Exhibit A: Cargo pockets on each thigh angle up and in; get into 'em on the chair without raining your kronors on unsuspecting sliders below. ($200; 800-435-5901, www.hellyhansen.com)
SHELL: Named in homage to snowboarding's outlaw heritage, Quiksilver's High-Speed Chase is the ultimate ride jacket. Technical touches abound: hand gaiters complete with a wristwatch "window," interior CD-player pocket with headphone-cord port, Gore-Tex, pit zips, and a powder skirt. ($330; 800-576-4004, www.quiksilver.com)
MIDLAYER: Even in a sopping storm, Patagonia's Puffball Sweater will keep your core temp in the comfort zone. Credit hardworking Thermolite synthetic insulation encased in brightly hued polyester-and-ripstop-nylon fabric. ($145; 800-638-6464, www.patagonia.com)
EYEWEAR: This season, Smith tweaked its popular Triad goggles to work better with a helmet. The add-on, a kind of pivoting bracket that isolates lid motion from the goggle's fit, parks the Triad evenly across nose and brow. ($85; 800-635-4401, www.smithsport.com)
HELMET: The Boeri Steez helmet—the company's newest and lightest brain bucket—accommodates the wild extremes of Scandinavian weather with removable ear flaps and vent shutoffs. ($110; 800-394-6741, www.boeriusa.com)
GLOVES: Swany's FX-19 GENERATIONS are stuffed with three different kinds of DuPont insulation, and the gloves include a waterproof-breathable layer that also reduces odor. ($90; 800-237-9269, www.swanyamerica.com)
PACK: The Deuter Explorer backpack has a burly snowboard-attachment system that's reinforced with rubber to keep edges from slicing the fabric. Padded hip fins stabilize your load, while interior pockets for thermos, shovel handle, and a hydration reservoir (not included) keep things organized. ($109; 303-652-3102, www.deuter.com)