Heads, hands and eyes

Burton impact gloves with built-in wrist protector

Burton impact gloves with built-in wrist protector

Photo By David Robert

Winter safety gear

Skull protection makes good sense for every member of the family. This year there’s no need to approach helmet purchases with the idea that helmets aren’t cool or cramp your style. Helmets to match and even contribute to an individual sense of style are easily found.

Bobo’s Mogul Mouse Ski & Patio, 475 E. Moana Lane, in Reno has an extensive selection of helmets. Giro helmets offer a “grow with me system” for kids, with a strap in the back that expands and contracts. These light-weight skull protectors combine form, fashion and function. One notable option is the venting system for thermostat control as the temperature and body heat rise and fall. Strategically placed ruts allow the wearer to control airflow from outside the helmet. Many styles include a goggle notch for comfortable fit in an expansive collection of colors and patterns.

Burton helmets are well-insulated with mesh air holes. Some models are ready for Blue Tooth technology, so snowboarders can stay connected via cell phone and Internet while shredding. If your helmet’s not in stock at your favorite store, a special order may be necessary, and there are numerous sites on the Web devoted to skiing and snowboard safety gear.

To glove or to mitten? That is the question

Racks upon racks of gloves and mittens in an array of trendy colors wait stoically for hands to fill them in local ski apparel outlets. Fashion follows function when it comes to keeping hands warm on the slopes. Anybody who has ever gone snowboarding in knit mittens will surely agree.

Jamie Locks, who works for Out of Bounds Board Shop, 235 E. Plumb Lane, says that he was once a staunch advocate for gloves, but now he only wears mittens. He concedes that gloves offer more dexterity, but mitten warmth ended the debate for him. He’s one mitten convert, but there is no end in sight for this debate that hinges on warmth vs. dexterity.

Mittens with internal fingers seemed like an innovative idea. But don’t be fooled. They are the worst because you end up with less warmth and less dexterity.

Make a choice. The consensus is that mittens are warmer, but either way, a removable inner liner is a must, and Gore-Tex offers superior waterproofing. Also, look for taped seams and moisture wicking material. A finger squeegee to wipe eyewear, a soft fleecy patch for itchy noses and a cuff cinch are options to consider. Try the gloves or mittens on while wearing your jacket to determine inside or outside preference.

Burton Protection line now offers wrist guards built into gloves and mittens for snowboarders. Locks says that this line “looks like the Penguin hand” from Batman comics. He says that the idea is innovative, but sales are slow.

Molehill mittens for kids attempt to end mitten loss. Parents like these mittens because they are made to stay on and keep little hands warm. But they do run large. A toddler glove will fit a 5-year-old. You’ll need to order them online because local outlets don’t stock them.

Functional Glare Wears

This year’s fashions can be blinding, so don’t forget eye protection. Goggles and glasses are available with a band to match any pattern or individual. Smith has models with “bling” that are embedded with Swarovski crystals in the band for women. Oakley offers the Shawn Smith line with stripes, polka dots and bandana prints for the guys.

Shredders with good sense purchase fog-free lenses with UV protection and clarity.

Whether you’re looking for a new look or a unique gift for your favorite shredder, you won’t be disappointed. When it comes to protecting your head, hands and eyes, it’s easy to find products that are functional, stylish and trendy.