| Winter Travel Guide 1996|
Jackets and Pants: Powder gaiters in possible snow-entry areas are important features in garments like Dub's Blackhawk jacket ($179). For those interested in semi-technical outerwear without the high price tag, Wave Rave added the GPSX1 Extreme Wet Weather Gore-Tex jacket ($300) to its technical line of rider wear. For women, there's Bombshell's Challenge jacket ($140), with the matching waterproof/breathable Utility Jean ($129). To take pants on and off with your boots on, look for knee-high side zips; Yang's Waders Tech Bib ($179) has a high bib to keep you dry on deep-powder days. Better yet are full-zip pants like the Tech by Tonawawa ($170) that allow superior ventilation.
Bindings: What you need varies depending on boot and riding style. For all-mountain freeriding, freestyle highback bindings are the norm. Forward lean and ratchet strap adjustments, heel-cup sizing, and multiple strap placements are available in Burton's Custom Freestyle ($170), the Blax Luminum ($148), and Morrow A1 ($139). Plate bindings are needed for hard boots and should offer
Boards: If you're just getting into the sport, go with a freeriding model so you can learn on a forgiving board but still have plenty of room to graduate to more advanced terrain. The Lib Tech Emma Peel ($399) and Ride Timeless 146 ($420) have stiffer tails that punch you out of turns, but softer noses for plowing through anything. For a second board on those extra-deep powder days, go with the longer boards and longer noses found in Morrow's Matt Goodwill 176 ($421) and Ice Age's Tom Burt 172 ($415). If you're into carving, most companies have shifted to symmetrical tails for quick edge-to-edge response and stability. Try the Nitro Range 157 ($350), Rossignol Accelerator 159 ($410), or Generics Geland 152 ($368).
Filed To: Snow Sports