Ruckus // CGK Full Part

Ruckus // Carlos Garcia-Knight Full Snowboard Part

Watch the full video from New Zealand snowboarder Carlos Garcia-Knight

Burton and Monster team rider Carlos Garcia-Knight proves his ATV status in his new full length part, Ruckus.  Sit back and take some time to enjoy one of New Zealand's finest. .

Oakley Prizm

oakley Prizm

Why riding with a single lens is now an option.

Often, in a snowy environment, everything is white, depth perception is reduced and detail is lost due to a lack of contrast. Oakley Prizm uses precision color tuning to draw out crisp detail in the snow without getting washed out. Prizm accentuates contrast and increases visibility of snow contours, bumps and textures so you can identify and avoid hazards, and pick your line accordingly. In addition, Prizm enhances vision in a wide range of light conditions from bright sun to snowy skies without switching lenses. As a result, Prizm Snow lenses allow you to see clearly, react faster, and ride with more confidence. You will never see snow the same way again.

Oakley Prizm goggles are available at and from Boardertown stores nationwide.

The Japan Guide

The Japan Guide

Everything you need to know to to snowboard in Japan.

Jack Spence getting deep in Japan

For the last few years the Boardertown crew have been heading to Japan to snowboard.  After a few hits and misses we have it pretty much dialed on what gear to take (and not take).  Making sure you have the right gear is an art and there is nothing worse than leaving something at home or having too much gear and having to try and negotiate Tokyo rush hour with extra bags...Follow our guide and pack the right gear to get you through...

Snowboarding Gear

Packing the right gear is the difference between riding first chair to last call and spending half your day sitting in the cafe.  Whether you are cold, wet, tired or you have a gear failure, packing the wrong gear can at worst ruin your trip or at best limit the fun you will have.  Check your gear, make sure it is suitable and if in doubt, come and see the Boardertown crew for some advice.

- Outerwear (Jackets & Pants): A good quality jacket (or jackets) and pants are a must.  There are a couple of factors that are really important:

Waterproofing/Breathability: This measures how much water the jacket can keep out and also how much moisture the jacket can let out through the farbic to keep you dry.  It’s shown as two numbers (e.g 10,000mm, 10,000gm).  The first number is the waterproof rating and measures how much water the fabric can resist in a single day.  At a minimum for Japan you will need 10,000mm but can go as high as 30,000mm.  Above 30,000mm you can also get Gore-Tex.  Jackets with Gore-Tex fabric are bullet proof and regarded as the industry standard.  Each jacket is independently rated to ensure it meets the Gore-Tex standard and will ensure that you are dry and comfortable.  The second number is the breathability rating.  This should be at a minimum 5,000gm but will ideally be the same as the waterproof rating, allowing moisture to pass out through the jacket to keep you dry and comfortable.  Remember, the ratings are only a guide and although two jackets might have a similar number they aren’t all created equal.  Go for a reputable brand like 3CS, Burton, RPM, Analog or DC and if you are looking for a jacket or pants, make sure the are snowboard specific and designed for use in the snow.

Seam Sealing: Snowboard jackets generally come as either critically taped or fully taped.  A critically taped jacket has all the major seams welded to prevent moisture entering the jacket and heat leaving the jacket through the seams.  Full taped jackets have 100% of the stitching welded making the considerably warmer.  This is a huge plus for riding in really cold conditions as you don’t need as thick a jacket when you have a fully taped jacket.

Insulation: The temperature in Japan can fluctuate significantly.  This is why it can be an idea to carry two jackets – a thicker one for colder days (like when it’s -25c) and a thinner jacket for when it’s warmer.  Insulation is either synthetic or down.  Down is very warm but generally bulkier than synthetic and if it gets wet it is prone to clumping which will have an effect on warmth.  Synthetic fabrics are more versatile than down and function better if wet.  The downside is that they are less breathable..

Check Men’s and Women’s Outerwear here. 

Gloves: Gloves come in a range of qualities and finishes.  For Japan we recommend a Gore-Tex glove.  Choosing a glove will give you better dexterity and movement while a Mitt keeps you warmer if you are prone to the cold.  Generally 1 – 2 pairs of gloves are recommended and I would highly recommend a removable liner which will help push moisture away from your skin and keep your hands dry and warmer.

- Snowboards: You can ride any snowboard in most conditions but for a powder experience you can’t go past a shaped board like the Yes 420Capita Spring BreakBurton Mod Fish or Jones Hovercraft.  For the girls, the Burton Day Trader or High Spirits are ideal.  Powder boards are designed with a longer nose and shorter tail which reduces volume behind you, making the board plane better through powder. This gives you more float and means that you will use less energy (and fall less) and deep snow.

If you want something more versatile that will ride in well in Japan but also back in New Zealand, a directional twin (all mountain) shape will be ideal.  Boards like the Burton Custom Flying V and Lib Tech Travis Rice or TRS will be ideal.  The directional stance sits you back further on the board than a twin shaped board but can still be ridden switch.  Looking at the board profiles, hybrid camber (Flying V, etc) will give you more float than traditional camber boards.

Whatever board you choose, make sure you have a fresh tune and re-wax your board during the trip.

Boots: When you are riding in deep powder (hopefully) for long periods you want a boot that fits nice and snuggly.  This will reduce heel lift, improve control and reduce the amount of energy used when riding.  Boots don’t need to be expensive but it is important that they fit your foot well.  Your riding experience depends on it.   If you want us to check them out and make sure the fit is good, drop by one of the stores for an honest opinion.  Not all boots are created equal and we recommend Thirty Two, Burton or DC boots.

Bindings: Bindings are easy to forget when they work well but when something goes wrong it can be a nightmare.  Make sure all your screws and hardware are tight, ratchets are working well and that there is no wear and tear on the ladders (the plastic straps that go into the ratchets).  Finding parts in Japan can be a nightmare so it's worthwhile stocking up on parts.  If in doubt, drop by a store and we can check them out and replace any parts or recommend a new pair.  As always, choosing a reputable brand like Burton, Union, Switchback, or Now means you will be less likely to have parts break and if something does go wrong will make it easier to find replacement parts.

Helmet: With all the trees in Japan, riding with a helmet is a must.  Your helmet should fit well (gently touching your head), have good ventilation and should have no visible signs of impact.  If you are in the market for a new helmet, lightweight helmets with one piece construction are a lot lighter than helmets with two piece construction which can help when you are riding for long periods.  They are also significantly lighter for packing in your luggage.

Goggles: With changing conditions it’s really important that you have good quality goggles so you can see!  Make sure your goggles aren’t prone to fogging (if they fog, replace them) and that they have two lenses – one for sunny days and another for cloudy days.  It can be good to look at a goggle with a quick change feature like the Anon WM1M2 or M3, or an advanced vision goggle such as the Oakley Prizm lens.

Facemask/Balaclava: It’s cold, very cold.  Temperatures can go to -25c in Japan so get a really good facemask that is lightweight and breathable.  Mons Royale do great Merino neck warmers and facemasks and BurtonAnalog and Anon have good synthetic options.  It’s important that they are breathable and won’t hold moisture.

Beanie: It’s really cold.  If you aren’t riding with a helmet you will need a beanie (or 3).

Thermals/Layering: When the conditions get colder you will need good quality thermals. A the lower end you can get polyprops or go for a higher end synthetic (Burton or Analog) or Merino layering (Mons Royale).  For a normal trip riding 7 - 10 days we recommend 2 – 3 tops and 1 – 2 bottoms.  Better quality thermals (Mons Royale) can be worn for multiple days so even though they are more expensive the value is much better.  Good quality thermals are anti-microbial and moisture wicking keeping you dry and smell free.

Socks: Due to a lack of blood flow, feet and toes in particular will get cold so snowboard socks are critical.  I would recommend at least 2 – 3 pairs of good quality socks.  They need to be snowboard specific so they are very thin but warm (you will get less movement and more control from your boots).  Socks come in either synthetic or Merino. Both are great and it comes down to personal preference.  We recommend Burton or Mons Royale socks.

Snowboard Bag: Last but not least you need to keep your kit together.  We recommend travelling with a wheeled snowboard bag like the Burton Wheelie Gig or Dakine Low Roller bags.  They will fit all your snowboard gear AND most of your clothing.  Having wheels in Tokyo is a MUST, as it saves from having to carry your heavy gear around.  Ideally fit all your gear into one bag.  Trying to negotiate Shibuya Train Station with two bags is virtually impossible.  Having a snowboard bag big enough to pack the essentials (and only the essentials) is a must.

Back/Side Country Gear

Snowboarding can be dangerous, especially out of bounds in the side and back-country.  Avalanches can and do happen regularly and it is CRITICAL to be prepared.  The minimum you will need is a transceiver, probe and shovel.  If you would like to learn more about the back-country we recommend going with a guided tour where you can learn about avalanche safety and do a hike into the backcountry.  The best way to stay safe is knowledge so if you are planning on going back-country  (with the on piste riding you definitely won’t need to) then do some research on avalanche safety.  

Transceiver: A transmitting/receiving device used to locate someone buried in an avalanche.

Probe: A lightweight pole that is used to check where someone is located under the snow.

Shovel: A lightweight aluminium shovel to dig people out.

BCA Float System (optional): A backpack that contains a self-inflating bag which will aid in holding you above the snow, should you get caught in an avalanche.

Day to Day Gear

Don't forget the essentials.  Japan is a fun country to travel to but it can be a nightmare if you forget any of the essentials.  

Clothing: Travel like you normally would in winter.  Jeans/pants, hoodies, etc.  Take a couple of pairs of shoes in case you get some wet in the snow.

Snowboard Insurance: A must for all travellers.  Do your research and check that it specifically covers snowboarding.  Note that virtually every insurance policy will exclude off-piste (backcountry) snowboarding.

Passport: Check you have a current passport.

Phone: Don’t forget to set up roaming and check the charges.  Alternatively you can get a Japan travel sim in Tokyo.
- Google Maps: Google Maps will help you negotiate Tokyo.  As well as general directions it will also recommend public transport and tell you which train to catch to get there.

Cash: We recommend getting cash out in NZ.  While many places take credit card it isn’t assured and cash machines are few and far between.  If you need cash in Japan you can get it from specific international ATM's but they can be difficult to find.

- Travel Adaptor: Stay charged with a travel adaptor.  

Japan offers some of the best powder riding in the world with an average of 20 metres of snow per season.  The dryness of the snow is unbeatable and the tree riding is next level.  Pack everything you need, nothing you don't and have an epic time shredding!

Boardertown is New Zealand's premier snowboard store.  With stores in Auckland and Queenstown, Boardertown has the biggest range of snowboard gear in New Zealand backed up by expert service.

Oakley 2017 Goggles

Oakley Prizm Goggles

Oakley Snowboard Goggles 2017 Range Available Now

Oakley Goggles 2017

The latest range of Oakley goggles has arrived.  This season, Oakley expands their range of Prizm goggles with new styles of Airbrake XL, Flight Deck, Flight Deck XM and Line Miner goggles.  

Why choose Prizm?

Prizm™ is a revolution in lens optics built on decades of color science research. Prizm™ lenses provide unprecedented control of light transmission resulting in colors precisely tuned to maximize contrast and enhance visibility.  What does that mean?  A traditional lens is suited to particular light conditions.  Prizm lenses are suited for a range of light conditions, making them more versatile in changing conditions and ultimately, making it easier and more fun to snowboard.  

Rider Profile - Morgan Schofield

Rider profile - morgan schofield

Park to powder - Morgan Schofield has it on lock.

Where are you from? 
Albany, Auckland

How did you get in to snowboarding and how long ago?
Mum shipped me off on a snowboard camp for a school holidays in 2005. I was hooked from the moment i made my first not so graceful falling leaf.

Where's your favourite place to ride in NZ, and overseas? 
Remarks is the spot in NZ, so much terrain to hike if you have the legs for it. Hokkaido, Japan probably the most fun I’ve had on a snowboard snaking through tree lines and sending it into bottomless landings.

What's your best travel tip for snowboard missions?
Extra socks, you can be cold hungry and tired, but there's nothing worse then wet stinky feet.

If you weren't snowboarding, what would you be doing?
Surfing.  My Whanau grew up surrounded by the ocean so it would have been only naturally to get on a different board sport.

Where do you see the future of snowboarding going, quads or carves etc?

There;s only a few guys doing quads so… Carves, grassroots snowboarding will never die!!!, Snowboarders minds are expanding on the creative side so i only see it fit that we explore every possible realm of the carve... plus anyone can do them. 

What are your goals for winter 2016, adventures or tricks etc?

My overall goal would be to pack as many adventures i can into the season, while shooting photos with some photographer pals and stacking footy for a full part. Fingers crossed all goes to plan!

What's your current setup and sponsors?
Boardertown, Capitahl, Bataleon Snowboards and Switchback Bindings.  
This season ill be boosting on a Evil Twin Asym 156 with some fresh Switchback Universe bindings for a good transition between sending booters and riding Remarks chutes. 

What's your stance, any secret tips or tweaks?
Degrees: +9, -9 degrees
Stance Width: not sure on my width... I’m short as so not very wide!

Find something that is most comfortable for you, play round with a bunch of widths and angles until you find something you like the feel of.  Everyone's is different so just play around and find whatever feels good!

If you were a cake, what kind would you be?
Cake…. nah!  Chocolate self saucing pudding - YES! 

Rider Profile - Leon Thomason

rider profile - leon thomason

Straight outta Howick.  Find out what makes Leon tick.

Where are you from?
Born in the Boardertown Botany back room, Auckland, New Zealand. 

How did you get in to snowboarding and how long ago?
Getting into snowboarding was from the strong influence of an older cousin.  My first time snowboarding was 15 years old at Snowplanet

Where's your favorite place to ride in NZ, and overseas?
Snowplanet has been home for the last 9 years and I wouldn’t be where i was today without it but most fun park in NZ has always been The Remarkables! Overseas Whistler Blackcomb is next level but for a fun day Perisher in Australia on a sunny day!

What's your best travel tip for snowboard missions?
Best tip for a snowboard mission is to double, triple and quadruple check board, boots and pants…. all other things can be improvised.  

If you weren't snowboarding, what would you be doing?
If i wasn’t snowboarding I would be pretty damn unhappy. Wakeboarding is a close second but you don’t get the freedom!

Where do you see the future of snowboarding going, quads or carves etc?
My goal for the future in regards to snowboarding has always been to be able to have my kids say wheres dad…. Oh he’s still lapping the park. Also, definitely going to see what Europe has to offer! 

What are your goals for winter 2016, adventures or tricks etc?
For winter this year as it has been every year doubles are back on the cards. Finally feeling like I’m finding my rhythm over summer. I'm hanging out to find jumps with a bit of size to have a crack at a few new things! 

What's your current setup and sponsors?
For the last five years I have had amazing support from the guys at Boardertown which has been accompanied by my sponsors Bataleon, Switchback, Sandbox and Rad Gloves. This year I am back on the Bataleon Evil Twin which for me is the perfect mix of board and the fourth time I’ve ridden this model! 

What's your stance, any secret tips or tweaks?
Goofy stance, always set as wide as possible with 15 degrees on each binding. Secret tips is to think outside the square, some of the best looking tricks are the easiest but never tried… next time try cab off your toe edge. 

If you were a cake, what kind would you be?
If i was a cake I be anything but a sponge cake…. dam i have to stop getting injured. 

Rider Profile - Jack Spence

Rider Profile - Jack Spence

Get the low down on Boardertown team rider Jack Spence.

Where are you from?
Wellington, New Zealand.

How did you get in to snowboarding and how long ago?
First time I was 12 on a school trip but started when I was 18 doing an instructor course with my two mates.

Where's your favorite place to ride in NZ, and overseas?
Cardrona for sure, best park in NZ and real fun free riding when powders around. Japan for powder overseas and Colorado/Utah for park.

What's your best travel tip for snowboard missions?
Having a good crew .

If you weren't snowboarding, what would you be doing?
Surfing, and probably a boring ass job so still snowboarding!

Where do you see the future of snowboarding going, quads or carves etc?
Innovation of style and more tweaks, comp riding will probably be quads.

What are your goals for winter 2016, adventures or tricks etc?
Film alot and try stack a shot or two, learn more technical rail and heavier jump tricks.

What's your current setup and sponsors?
Snowboard: Bataleon Evil Twin 157
Bindings: Union Team
Outerwear: O'neill
Goggles: Anon M3
Gloves: Rad Ranch Hand Mitts
Accessories: Capitahl Hood
Home Shop: Boardertown Queenstown

What's your stance, any secret tips or tweaks?  
Angles: 15, -15. 
Width: Around 20 something inches, trying to tweak everything helps

Queenstown, NZ // Snow is in the forecast

the snow is coming

Winter is looking good with snow starting to fall in Queenstown

The snowboard season is getting ready to kick off with snow starting to fall in Queenstown over the next week. is reporting snow at The Remarkables this week with over 30cm of snow in the forecast for Monday.  As a big front moves in, temperatures are dropping and the Queenstown and Wanaka regions are due for a good early dump to set us up for the season.

Need any snow gear or just want some advice? Head in to Boardertown Queenstown.  Only 2 minutes from Queenstown Airport and with ample parking and access we have the best range of snowboard gear in New Zealand.  Stocking Burton, Bataleon, Union, Lib Tech, Gnu, Yes, Jones, Thirty Two, Anon, Oakley and more, we have the biggest range of men's and women's snow gear backed up by over a decade of expertise in retailing snow gear.