Author Archives: Kyle Bihler

Cons Space 002

Like a playground for skaters and artists, Converse Inc. created Cons Space 002 in Berlin as a temporary location for a traveling artistic showcase. The creative elements of music, art, skate and style were combined in an empty warehouse. The Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg area of Berlin played host to a two-week exhibition of art and performance that has previously touched down in Barcelona.

The ground floor featured Roberto Cuellar sculptures which are known to push the boundaries. The sculptures are meant to be skateable art, and transformed the ground floor into a one-of-a-kind skate lab. The collaboration between skaters and artists is not a new one, but the space fosters a new type of appreciation and celebratory atmosphere of the Berlin youth culture.

Throughout the two weeks, the abandoned textile factory hosted numerous artists and events which were free to enter. By reclaiming unused space, Converse encourages youth to unleash their creativity and express themselves. Whether they chose to do that through music, art or skating, is fine with Converse. The exhibition closed with a screening of skate footage taken in the space set to music by concert pianist Fortunato d’Orio.

USSA free skiing and snowboarding selection event

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) has announced an additional free skiing and snowboarding selection event for the U.S. Olympic free skiing and snowboarding teams. In partnership with Alli Sports, the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships have been named the fifth selection event. The Dew Tour will be held in Breckenridge, Colo., Dec. 12-15.

Competitors will use the slopestyle, halfpipe and snowboarding events to vie for a spot on the 2014 team. The USSA is responsible for entry and judging criteria of all of the qualifying events. The association is responsible for preparing U.S. athletes for national and international competition. Criteria must be consistent across all five events.

The Dew Tour is a celebrated event that hosts three separate locations for beach, city and mountain sports. The superpipe and slopestyle snowboard and free skiing events will be showcased at the winter tour. The event showcases live music, sponsors and a lot of thrilling entertainment every year. After the Dew Tour, there will be one more qualifying event for the Olympic team, so you can be sure that boarders and skiers will be riding their best. It is always a good show – Olympic selection event or not.

Film your ride down the slopes

Documenting your ride is a fun way to remember some of your best rides of the season or some of the coolest parks you’ve visited. Whether you have dreams of becoming a professional videographer or just want to relive your ride, using a durable camera is a great way to get a new look at the slopes.

You can wear your GoPro mounted on your helmet, strapped to your boot, or around your chest, with a comfortable chest harness. Playing with angles will create more intrigue to your film and show different points of view throughout the ride. You can easily change the position of your camera at the top of the hill or while you’re riding up on the lift. Just be sure that your GoPro is securely mounted and you have a backup leash to catch your camera if it detaches during a fall. Those little cameras aren’t cheap, so you won’t want to lose yours on the hill.

Knowing the editing tricks and styles is possibly the most important part of the process. You can have a lot of cool shots (or a lot of horrible shots) and completely change the outcome of the video with the editing. Mix in a few static shots and recruit a buddy to take the camera for a few rides to get a full body view of you going down the hills. A film with only one point of view can be boring and with shaky footage it can be downright dizzying. Pull mixed shots together with the right transitions and some awesome music, and you’ll want to watch your film again and again.

Which foot forward?

If you’re hitting the slopes for the first time on a snowboard, you will need to know a few things before you start zipping down the bunny hill. Although it may help to take a few lessons, you will need to know a little bit about boarding before you even lace up your boots.

What foot forward you ride will affect the setup of your gear. If you skate or surf, you will already know what foot forward you are. If not, have a friend give you a shove from behind. Whichever foot you instinctively put forward to catch yourself is your dominant foot and the one you will want to put forward. Left foot forward is called “regular” and right foot forward is “goofy.” Determining your stance gets more complicated the more you ride. You can fine tune your stance based on what feels right after each ride and adjust the distance, angles, or even which foot forward you are (some riders switch it up).

Not only will you need to determine what foot forward you are, you have to decide what angles your feet will be at for maximum comfort. Typically, riders have no fluctuation in the back foot and between 12 and 21 degrees on the front foot. If it’s your first time riding, chances are you won’t be bringing your own board to the slopes. The rental attendants will be able to adjust your board to the right angles based on your experience level and what you tell them. Your feet should be a little further than shoulder width apart, but if your stance doesn’t feel natural, have an attendant adjust the bindings or pick a new board for you.

How to waterproof your snowboard gear

If your old coat, snowboard pants or even gloves have seen their fair share of rides, they may be in need of a little TLC.  Although you could trade out your old gear for a whole new set for the new season, some riders like to stick with their loyal staples that they know work well. After making a connection with your duds, you don’t want to toss them aside at the first sign of soaking up a little moisture. If your gear starts to lose its waterproofing, you can easily re-waterproof it for a more sustainable – and cheaper – alternative to buying a new wardrobe. You can even waterproof your new gear to help extend its life while you’re busy wearing it in.

Before you waterproof whatever article of clothing you want, you will have to wash it first so the solution can permeate the clothing and you won’t be waterproofing in any stains or gunk. There are even waterproofing products that you can throw in the wash with your items on a normal cycle. To apply water proofing products by hand you can either use a sponge or spray the product directly onto the fabric. Be sure to use a product designed for the intended item. There will be different products for leather, down, shells and gloves.

After you have followed the instructions for the specific product you used, you may want to add extra waterproof protection to seams and zippers for good measure. Be sure that your gear is completely dry before you take it out to hit the slopes again and test out its new waterproofing abilities.

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