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5 5

Robert M. below me knows his stuff. I too have had great luck with Drake bindings and their elegantly simple yet solid design and construction. I picked up my first pair of Drake Fifty bindings back in 2007. I loved them dearly. In fact my second pair took me almost two 50-100 day seasons only having to replace a ladder.

This is unheard of for me as I am shorter at 5'9 ish but heavy for my size at nearly 200lbs. Needless to say, my gear takes a pretty brutal beating. The Drake Fifty's were a perfect mid for all around the mtn but could offer some park flex as well. The Reload bindings here are no exception. They just have more tech, better materials and are lighter weight.

I have both the 2012 edition and recently picked up this year's version. Drake added a canted footbed which is really awesome. I've been on the Rome Boss 390's a bunch this year and have really come to appreciate the benefits of a canted footbed. Having had ACL surgery within the last 2 years, my knee is pretty stoked for a little extra support. It isn't a make or break tech for me but I do notice more power in my ollies, less strain on my joints as well as better power transfer in turns.
You will be hard pressed to find more QUALITY and functional tech in one nice little bundle of joy for this price. There are more expensive and advanced bindings out there but make no mistake, these bindings are Legendary.

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5 5

I've had several phases in my snowboarding years. It all started with fast hard lines leading to as much powder hounding as possible. As I progressed the park started to catch my eye. I went through a super short board phase and eventually found middle ground. If you are looking for THE board to ride the ENTIRE mountain, THIS IS IT! The Mod Rocker is packed with tech to offer you snappier ollies, harder lines and buttery smooth rail steez. I may not be the best snowboarder on the mountain but I sure know how to have a damn fun time. This board is right on par with my riding style and has completely annihilated everything I've thrown at it including but not limited to pow lines, big jumps and jibs to wicked fast lines on fresh corduroy. Here in UT we often times have days that start with pow but end in the park. If it's not a specific pow board day, I'll be on a this quiver killer having way more fun than anyone on the mountain! Swapping decks mid-day isn't the most conducive option and let's be honest, ain't nobody got time for that! If you like the extra grip from Magne-Traction, you'll love the mellowed out multi-contact point (QuickRip) technology from Rome. I've found it to be much less hooky and it doesn't create as much drag. I would compare this board to the Never Summer Proto. Both boards are very versatile and very fun. I have spent some time on both the 156 and the 153 versions. I found the 153 to be a bit softer than the 156. Although the 156 is a ton of fun in the pow, I felt like I didn't lose too much float with the 153 thanks to the reverse camber in the tip and tail. The 153 is however noticeably more nimble and easier to spin. This board is among the top 3 boards I've had the pleasure of riding, EVER. Look no further because you'll be hard pressed to find a board with as much tech packed into one neat little package.

I'm about 5'9" 180 LBS.

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4 5

This is your basic cotton/poly blend style hoody with the DWR water resistant treatment. Although it has simple lines the separate collar with the zipper garage makes this look pretty snazzy. The single chest pocket does have a hole to thread your headphones through so you can rock them beats. Definitely a solid jacket, but it's not super thick. Great spring riding jacket. I wouldn't say it runs specifically large but it's a smidge larger than your average cut. Good length in the torso as well.

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2 5

I have been wearing Northwave boots since discovering their wider fit in 2008. I've had two pair of this specific model from previous seasons. This year they took cutting corners to the next level and pretty much cut this boot in half. All of the reinforced support structure on the liner has been removed. ENTIRELY! Just a foam booty in there. They also did away with the cats tongue material in the heel pocket. (slides smoothly slipping into the boot but creates friction coming out to reduce heel lift) They also fit much much tighter in the toe box and instep. My normal size crushed my wider foot, combined with the HUGE downgrade in the liner these were promptly returned. I couldn't tell you how the new model performs but compared to previous models, I was sorely disappointed. I'm now on the hunt for the perfect pair of wider boots. Fingers crossed for some redesign on next years model.

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5 5

If delicious butter smothered toast could snowboard, you'd find it killing it on the Rome Butterknife. It's no surprise considering how ridiculously buttery and playful it is. You'll find it in and out of the park leaving greased rails and stomped switch landings in its path of destruction. This board also has a serious side and is just about as versatile as a slice of bread in a sandwich shop. You dress it up with your style and enjoy. It's packed with skate style tech from the Skatecore Profiling (ollies and turns feel like a skate deck) to the Butterout transition zones (Elongated mellow contact points for ultimate rail grease-ability). The QuickRip multi contact point technology will give you some extra grip on icy runs and landings. Thanks to the single glass barrel (HOTROD) sandwiched in the core, you'll have more hops than Michael Jordan. I've also noticed a little better power transfer and reliabilty when landing heavy in the back seat. Due to the longer effective edge and blunted nose, you can size down a few cm from your normal deck. I was surprised at how well this thing did all around the mountain but due to the shorter length it won't float quite as well. If you are looking for a jibby spin-tastic adventure in and out of the park, I would highly recommend you take your toast a little more seriously.

I'm about 5'9" 180 LBS I've been having a blast on the 152 cm.

The swiss army knife of parkboards

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5 5

These are some of the best gloves I've owned. I thought the softshell on the top of the hand would be weird but it actually rocks for two reasons. It breaths MUCH better than my full leather gloves giving them a wider range of comfortable temperatures. (I've used them at 30 F down to 10 F) Also the subtle stretch from the softshell fabric allows for better dexterity and range of motion when holding poles or grabbing hold of something. Another contributing factor to the dexterity is the super supple Pittards W100X leather. That stuff has a really malleable feel to it right out of the package. They do also have a beefed up leather overlay on the palm, index finger and thumb for pole wear issues and increased longevity in general. The glove leashes are way cooler/functional than I thought and I don't even notice them under the glove. Get yourself some Nikwax leather proof to maintain the gloves and they will have some great longevity.

http://www.backcountry.com/nikwax-creme-waterproofing-wax-for-leather?ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6bmlrd2F4IGxlYXRoZXI6MToyOm5pa3dheCBsZWF0aGVy

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4 5

These will throw you back to your childhood days of stomping around the neighborhood with like minded hoodlums. Unfortunately for me, my foot it just too wide. Having that said they seem particularly slim so heads up. You may be able to size up if needed but if you're foot isn't too wide they seem to be about true to size.

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5 5

My arch has somewhat collapsed over the years of abuse. I stepped into the green insole and it was pretty uncomfortable feeling right away. The Blue seemed to offer a little more room for my voluminous foot and had a little bit less arch support. It felt like the arch support was too near my heel but the Superfeet rep told me if they feel that way it's in perfect position. Also if you are new to insoles you may want to wear these for only a few hours a day to get used to them. I've had mine in solid for about a week now. My feet feel progressively more comfortable as they adjust to the support. Great for lower volume shoes but the black works best for super low volume applications. You will need to trim these but it's pretty easy. Check out the video for easy instructions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjOOFK2id8g

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5 5

I've had three pair of Rogues. I really appreciate the simple lines and the great functionality. The foam is super comfortable and well distributed. The spherical lens and frame shape offer fantastic peripheral vision. They clean up well after a spill. The strap attachments hinge outward to accommodate the extra thickness of a helmet. The height of the lens from nose bridge to top isn't too tall for helmets causing pinching on your nose. They fit med to med/largish faces. Another great thing is the replacement lenses start at $39.95 which is SWEEEEETT!!.

The only thing that would make them a little better would be a siliconized head band so they grip your helmet real nice. Even still, these goggles are awesome. Simple, functional and styilin.

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4 5

These are very slim and pliable. They fit great under your snow pants. They're not going to take a grenade for you but they sure help with those little bumps and tumbles in the park or even when getting up throughout the day. Burton's website doesn't even offer a size guide but generally you'll measure the circumference 4" above your knee center and 4" below. If it helps at all I measure 18.5" top and 15.5" below center and the large was a little big. I would probably have purchased a medium for more of a snug fit depending on what you are wearing underneath. If you are looking for something more burly I would go elsewhere but for general riding use I would recommend them for the price. Demon makes a pretty sweet flexible option you can see via the link below.
http://www.backcountry.com/demon-snow-hyper-knee-x-d3o

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5 5

These bindings are the BOSS. It's in the name for a reason. I really really love the level of tweakablility and customization. If you are like me and love your set up super tuned, you will also apreciate what Rome has done with these. The ratchets this year are awesome. They grip like a bear trap when you want and slide off like melted butter when you need em to. The toe cap on this binding is my favorite, ever. It doesn't have any fabric or material to wear down or through in my case. It conforms perfectly to different boot shapes and can be rocked on top or over the toe. The V-Rod base plate gives you a more natural flex on any board and offers more tweakability when getting nasty in the park. The straps are super meaty and even have Auto strap tech that pulls it to the side so you don't have to struggle to get in. Given all those awesome features they even have a CANTED footbed! They come with multiple angle footbeds so you can decide what feels best for you. There really is something to the technology and I've really enjoyed the comfort and enhanced power in my ollies. I weigh about 185 LBS and can take this binding just about anywhere I want. For hard charging mountain and pow, the highback may feel a little soft depending on your preference. Get em' and ride like a BOSS.

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