The Little Extras for Snowboarding
By Cori Jones

If you are going to go snowboarding there are several things that you will need, a board for starters and some boots and bindings of course. Then there are a lot of other things that you should have like gloves, snow pants and jacket, goggles and a hat. After you get all that gear together you may start looking for the little extras for snowboarding. What I am reviewing in this article are a few of those extras. Da Kine is a small company headquartered in Oregon that started making accessories for action sports back in 1979. They have a huge line of well-made packs for the action sport markets as well as a ton of handy accessories help make life easier.

Da Kine was good enough to hook me up with several of the little extras for snowboarding. They sent me an aluminum "DK" stomp pad, a lace protector, lace tightener, knit cap, and a Deluxe tune kit.

Lets start with the stomp pad. A stomp pad is a stomp pad, right? Well some stomp pads do seem to work better than other and some defiantly look better than others. The aluminum "DK" stomp pad is very sharp looking. The texture stems from the pattern of steel walkways or steps on large machinery, like dump trucks or Jeeps. This texture is great because it gives traction without sticking. That means the snow doesn't stick to it but your foot doesn't slide ether. Stamped in the middle of the pad are a large "DK" in blue letters. The only down side is that the metal is a little heavier than many of the foam stomp pads that are available. I still think that the style and functionality of the "DK" pad makes the slight bit of extra weight worth it.

Now lets move over to the lace protector and the lace tightener. These are both great little extras. The tightener looks kind of like a small packet knife but in place of a blade it has a hook. The hook swings out near the center of the handle so you can get a good grip for pulling with the hook. What is the hook for? Pulling your laces tight of course. Most of us have experienced the sore fingers form pulling our bootlaces as tight as we can get them. The thin laces almost seam to cut into your skin, especially when your fingers are cold. Well with the lace tightener from Da Kine you can pull the slack from the laces with one hand while tugging at each cross of the laces with the hook. This does seam a little awkward at first, but it if you like your laces tight and you like your fingers whole, you will like the lace tightener. As for the lace protector, if you like to rest your board on top of your back foot while riding the lift then you have seen what those sharp metal edges can do to your nice $200 boots. They cut up the leather and slice through laces. Well once again Da Kine comes to the rescue with the lace protector. The lace protector is a thick vinyl sheet with a separate plastic strip that weaves back and forth through slits in the sheet. The places where the plastic strip makes a loop behind the vinyl sheet is where your laces go. This makes it so you can put on the lace protector without taking you laces all the way off. It goes on real easy and works great. I suppose it probably ads a little weight but if you want to avoid damaging your boots or laces I would suggest getting one.

The Da Kine knit cap isn't anything to spectacular. They do have a nice thin fleece lining strip that goes up far enough to cover your ears, this makes the hat very comfortable and warm. All the caps that I have seen are very stylish and of course they have the cool Da Kine logo on them. If you need a cap and want one that will keep you warm and looks cool, grab a Da Kine cap.

Last but not least is the Deluxe tune kit. Most of us will get our boards waxed regularly but tend to put off a full tune up till latter. We may only tune our boards once a year or ever less frequently. A full tune up consists of patching deep scratches in the p-tex (the base of the board), smoothing the surface and waxing the base, and sharpening the edges. Going a long time with out a full tune up is like driving on bald tires. They may not seam to bad just a little slipping here and there, but man you sure can tell the difference when you get the new tires on. If you want your board to perform to its maximum you should tune your board before every ride. Well that would cost a fortune not to mention the extra time and so that is where the Deluxe tune kit comes in. With the kit you can do a complete tune-up the night before a ride or just quickly sharpen up the edges in the parking lot. Tuning a board correctly can be kind of tricky and you could mess things up so I would advise getting a little advice from a local shop or watching someone else do a tune up before trying it on your own.

These little extras will most likely not make you ride better than you already do, but they can make you more comfortable and they will make you look cool. They are relatively inexpensive and I would suggest picking up a Da Kine catalog at your local shop or on line at www.Da Kine.com to check out all the little extras they have to offer.

Cori Jones is a new contributor to GearReview.com and specializes in snownboarding and mountain biking.

For more information, contact:
408 Columbia Ave. Hood River, Oregon 97031

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