Whether it's Vail, Aspen, Park City, or the French Alps, celebrities love hanging at ski resorts. While some opt to sit by the fire sipping champagne and cocoa, we especially love the ones that keep fit by hitting the slopes. Check out our slideshow to see which celebs you're likely to see catching air this Winter.
If you're planning on snowboarding or skiing this Winter, but don't own any gear, rent equipment from a local sports store before leaving for the mountains. You can rent gear at the resort, but renting in advance saves time and guarantees that you'll see action on the slopes. Here's why:
No wasted daylight hours at the rental booth — From personal experience, renting gear at the ski resort (or a nearby shop) is always hectic and takes longer than anticipated. With gear already in hand, you can head straight to the mountain and bypass the rental shop, which is especially important since most ski resorts close around 5 p.m.
First come, first served — Resort rental shops have a finite amount of sizes, and once they run out, you're left out of the fun. A friend of mine once lost an entire day of skiing because the mountain rental shop ran out of her boot size. Secure your gear before you go so that you'll have everything you need to hit the slopes.
If you're unable to rent gear ahead of time because of time or car size, call the rental equipment shops near your ski resort to see if they will hold equipment for you. And remember: rent a helmet!
Riding a bike is a childhood milestone. Once you master the technique, you'll know how to ride for life. Cycling requires left-to-right balance, like walking, so it is easy to learn. Although more challenging, surfers and snowboarders turn their bodies to the side using front-to-back balance. This type of balance inspired Michael Killian, inventor of the Sideways Bike. Also called a Snowboard Bicycle, you sit on it with both legs on one side, similar riding sidesaddle on a horse. Killian says that the front-to-back balance, combined with the drifting ability of the independent wheels "affords you tremendous grace and motion. It's dance-like. It's mesmerizing and entertaining."
Want to see this bike in action? Then read more
Whether you're new to snowboarding or have been riding for years, wouldn't you be psyched if you could design your own board? The Series 13 website from Burton allows you to do just that.
First you choose the style and size board you want from 15 of Burton's high-end boards costing between $800 to $1200. Next you select a theme for your board from Burton's themes, such as argyle, flames, safari or camo, or you can design your own theme using your own original artwork or photos. Next you pick your colors for the design for the top of the board, as well as the base (bottom). You can also personalize your board with your name (so no one can walk away with it) or a message.
My design (pictured above) would only set me back about $850. Hey, I guess being in control of design doesn't come cheap. But the concept sure is cool.
I know snow is a weird topic to bring up now, but in certain parts of the world, spring hasn't quite sprung. Many of the mountains are still covered in snow, so this weekend might be the last time to snap on your skis or board and hit the slopes.
For some, spring skiing and riding is better than winter skiing because there has been tons of snowfall, the skies are clearer, and the air is warmer. There's nothing more exhilarating than flying down the mountain in a t-shirt.
Here are some tips to keep you safe and happy:
- Get some spring clothes. I know this seems obvious, but if you wear your heavy winter coat, snowpants, mittens, and base layers, you'll overheat and sweat profusely. This will make your clothes wet, and that will inevitably make you cold and uncomfortable.
Get yourself a lightweight waterproof jacket to wear over a thin fleece jacket and short-sleeved wicking shirt. You can probably ditch the base layers altogether, and some people just wear lightweight mudpants instead of bulky snowpants.
If you have glove liners, you can use them, or get yourself some lightweight mittens. Also, get yourself a cute spring hat - no need for one that's fleece-lined.
Want to hear the other tips? Then read more
Snow may be long gone soon, but there are still some variations on snow play you all might be interested in. Kitewing, or "the wing" for short, gives you the wings to fly. Check it out. It's like windsurfing, but you can use it with skis, snowboards, ice skates, or in-line skates - so you can use it when all the snow has melted. All you need is some wind and a big open space to soar.
Most riders learn to use the wing within 30 minutes. You can glide along gently, but are capable of hitting speeds of up to 62 mph. You can also use the power of the wind to help you jump and hit heights of up to 15 ft high and 120 feet long.
What's great about this sport is that all you need is you, the kitewing, something on your feet, and the wind of course. That's it. You don't need any assistance to get you going. Plus, it's easy to assemble, disassemble, and transport (once broken down, it's about the size of a ski bag).
Fit's Tips: If you're interested in purchasing one, you can find a dealer near you on their website. Or check Tahoe Demo Center. They have the Kitewing on sale for $1,99.99. Or you can check out Super Dairy Boy website for cheaper models that are between $809.99 - 1.999.99.
March may soon be coming in like a lion, but there is still plenty of good skiing to be had. I just found a really great resource called ski like a woman. It's an online directory of ski and snowboard lessons and programs for women, at over 250 resorts around the world. Isn't that a brilliant idea?
You can search for different types of snow sport lessons, like alpine, telemark, or cross-country skiing. Or you can search a certain area in the world, such as the U.S. or Europe. And you can also search by dates.
It's an easy way to locate women's programs, or even ones for the whole family. You can focus on a certain sport or a certain skill, and learn from instructors who understand that men and women learn differently (they're patient and sensitive).
You can find a program that's right for you, where and when you want it. Could it be anymore convenient?
If you are a surfer in your heart and soul, nothing can compare to the freedom of gliding over ocean waves, with nothing but a board between you.
But in the winter, your only option is to snowboard, but the feeling of being locked into bindings that are attached to a board, isn't much like surfing at all. Until now.
Check out the noboard. No bindings. Nothing but you and your board. In order to stay on, you hold onto a rope that's attached to your board, which has a heavy duty, thermal-set, elastomeric pad. This just means that it's specifically designed to have outstanding grip and it's able to handle cold temperatures.
Noboarding allows you to use your body more freely, which obviously makes it much more difficult than regular snowboarding. Which was why it was created in the first place by the late and great Gregg Todd.
You can check out the Noboard short film (Yes to the No) coming to a town near you - the Banff Film Festival World Tour features this and other stunning short films on mountain themes that are like nothing you've ever seen.
Want to see a some photos and a video of noboarding? Then read more
How cool would it be to design your own snowboard? Burton can make it happen.
You can design a snowboard using your own art or photos. You upload the image, customize your board design and they'll make it at BMC, the finest snowboarding manufacturer in the world.
Here's how it works:
You choose the type of board you want, the size and the shape of the base. You can choose a theme or pattern they have or use your own art design or photos. Then you pick out the colors, and any text you want on it. That's it. Then you're good to go.
So I did a mock design and if I ordered it, it'd run me $849.95. Not cheap, but very cool.