Gear Highlights — January 11, 2024
Rider Picks: Nirvana Ortanez
Nirvana Ortanez
Southern California / Salt Lake City, Utah
5'1'' or 154.94cm
119lbs or 54kg
Stance Width:
Between 19 & 19.5 inches
Stance Angles:
Front 12 or 15, Back -9

Gear Highlights is a series where we ask snowboarders to share their favorite gear selections from boards to outerwear.

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Libtech RYME, size 144

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Board: Libtech RYME

It took several boards to figure out which one I liked after being on the Salomon Gypsy for so many years. Since that board has been discontinued, the search was on and I had finally found something that was similar but in its own way. Libtech hailing from the Mervin factory has always been a household name for board design and quality. The RYME definitely delivered. This is a board that you can easily hit the steel with, but is also sturdy enough to take it out for park jumps. I’d say the flex is a true medium compared to other board brands and honestly, I don’t even notice the magne-traction - it’s not something that I would be concerned about if that’s a deal breaker. It passes the press test and if you want a quality board that will last you a couple seasons, I’d invest in this one.

Other boards that I tried to compare over the past 3 years that didn’t really do it for me in comparison to the Salomon Gypsy with the caveat that these were what was accessible to me: Roxy XOXO Pro (also made by Mervin), Salomon Abstract (way too wide for smaller feet in the smaller sizes), Nitro Fate (flex was a tad too soft).


2) Burton Talent Scout. I had the pleasure of getting to demo one at the Big Snow AD Soy Sauce Nation Stir Fry East stop and was impressed with the ease of snowboarding on it in the ole dome. Excited to try it out on the mountain on some real snow too, thinking it’ll perform well.

3) Tried and true the Salomon Wonder. It tracks a bit more all-mountain though. 

Burton Felix BOA, Size 7
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Boots: Burton Felix BOA

This will be my third season riding the Burton Felix BOA. These boots are lightweight and constructed with precision. Flex overall I would say is again a true medium maybe slightly stiffer comparatively to what's out there. My feet don’t get cold in these and I don’t have to wear toe-warmers, which I used to religiously wear with my avocado feet in the Wasatch. Most people are diehard lace up wearers or you can simplify your life and wear BOAs. Burton does make a speed lace version of these as well if that fits your fancy. If you have the right foot shape, I really couldn’t recommend a better boot. 


2) Salomon Kiana Dual BOA Boot. Again after riding the Kiana’s for so long it was hard to find something I preferred over them. The flex is medium to slightly stiff and there is definitely a break in period of about 3 days for them. The only reason why the Burton’s edged these out is because of the warmth factor. Priced at $389.95 online I’d say they are really awesome for if you need some boots that you want to last for multiple seasons.

3) Vans Encore Pro Boot. It’s wearable right outta the box.

Salomon Mirage, size small

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Bindings: Salomon Mirage

When it comes to bindings Salomon hands down make the best pair. When the ShadowFit technology first came out I don’t even know if they really had a label or name for it yet. They were the very first on-my-own with my-own-money purchased pair of bindings – the 2007 Salomon Relay Elite Bindings. I have not looked back since. Sure there were stints of riding other binding brands, but ultimately you cannot beat the freedom and responsiveness of the heel-cup designed on the Mirages. Plus they come in a classic black colorway that will go with whatever board you have.


There are no runners up at this time.

Burton W [ak] Gore Embark 2L Jacket, True Black

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Top Outerwear: Burton [ak] Embark GORE‑TEX 2L Jacket

Wow. I’ve always heard about Burton [ak] gear being the best, but damn. It really is nice. Haven’t been able to take it out on a true powder day yet, but I'm really looking forward to it. I only had minimal layers on a very brisk Brighton day and it kept me toasty lapping early season. The fit is moderate - not too loose but loose enough to fit a mid-layer. 10/10 recommend if you, again, want to invest in something that will last you multiple seasons.

Volcom V.Co AT Stretch Gore-Tex Pants, Size Medium

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Bottom Outerwear: Volcom V.Co AT Stretch Gore-Tex Pants

One pant to rule them all!!! These pants are by far the nicest I’ve ever stepped into in a while. It comes with ALL the bells and whistles. Mesh venting on the inner and outer thighs as well as being Gore-tex, these pants also passed the pocket test with flying colors (this is where I check every pocket and see if my iphone will fit comfortably in it without mashing into another part of my body). If you’re like me and prefer pants with function over if my booty will look good in them, then I’d say go for them 1000%. They have a nice baggy silhouette that comfortably fits both knee and butt pads for when you want to go to battle with the kink rail along with elastic bottom cuffs for all our short kings and queens out there who don’t want their pants to hit the parking lot floor.


Airblaster Boss Pant. Always a classic. If you don't need the gore and just want to keep it simple with great fit, you can save a couple dollars and opt for these!

Dang Shades Low Bridge Fit, Size OS

*Not available online but we are giving 3 of them away

Goggles: Dang Shades Low Bridge Fit

Dang Shades Low Bridge Fit. What is “low bridge fit”? Well, it’s a term newly coined from its predecessor “asian fit”. For those of us who have a low bridge, you often find a little breeze sneaking its way to your eyes while taking runs down the hill. That is because your goggles are not properly fitting your face. Who knew?! I didn’t realize it was a thing until I tried a pair of low bridge goggles. The difference is there is more foam there so your goggles will fit snugly on your face. No more powder snow going up and getting into your inner lens space with these.

Autumn Headwear Birdseye Beanie - Dusty Pink, Size OS

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Headwear: Autumn Headwear Birdseye Beanie

Support small biz and these beanies have the best fits, material, and feel to them :) 

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