How To Do Awesome Dance Moves

Cool people dancing
Let’s face it; you’re not having much fun just standing there and staring at the others dancing. Stop acting like a wallflower! You could become one of the hottest people at the party too. All you need to do to get some of the spotlight is to read the following secrets on how to nail a few of these killer dance moves.

First off, I know guys can have a harder time dancing than girls because they can’t pull off just any moves. Don’t worry, guys. The first two moves are just for you. After that, we’ll go into unisex moves, throw in some sexy steps for women and end with hot new poses you’ll want to strike soon!

1. Guys, here’s how to hang loose with the jack-in-the-box move.

This move is perfect for house music, and it’s one from the late ’80s that’s come back in style. First, practice keeping your weight on your heels. Turn your toes so that your feet point away from each other. Practice keeping your toes pointed forward and then out to the sides. Repeat by staying on your heels and say, “Toes face forward; toes face out,” as you turn your feet out and in. Next, practice bending your knees every time that you turn your toes out. Straighten your knees when you turn your toes forward again. You’ll bend your knees and turn your toes out simultaneously on the loudest beats you hear in the music, OK? Now make it more interesting by leaning to the right when you bend your knees; then lean to the left the next time you bend. Keep alternating leaning right and then left each time you bend. To finish it off with maximum style, bend your elbows a little each time you bend too. Check out what it looks like below.

2. Warm up with the easy step-touch and its variations.

This bit of dance choreography took birth around the ’70s, and it’s hot now because you have so many easy ways to mix it up and bounce lower for a stronger hip-hop feel. Start by bouncing with “baller” style! Don’t move your feet; just stand still and bend your knees every time you feel the beat of the music. Snap your fingers when you bounce to feel the beat in your arms too. Got it? Now add some foot action by taking one big step out to the left side with your left foot. Move your right foot over to tap the left one. Now repeat it on the right side; step your right foot out and follow it by touching the right foot with your left foot. Say it while moving and keep your knees bent, “Step to the right, touch; step left and touch.” You’re still bouncing to the beat; you just take a step on every beat. Add something sweet by doing the same thing and cross the “touch” foot in front and swing your arms to get into it! Watch this video to see how to rock this move.

3. Make them scream with Michael’s trademark moonwalk from the ’80s.

According to Michael Jackson, the secret to a great moonwalk is pushing back and sliding on your heels. Start with your right heel off the floor and press the top of the right big toe into the floor while pushing and sliding your left heel behind you. Then your left heel takes its turn to pop up off the floor and stay still while you push and slide your right heel back behind you. Don’t slide with your toes! See how the moonwalk master did it in this video.

4. Get into it with the running man.

Both ladies and bros can do the running man, which is one of the most popular dance steps from the ’90s that’s always a hit at any party. It’s really just two steps. You can do this! Remember when your feet are apart, always keep them both flat on the ground. Start with your feet apart, one behind the other. Then hop your back foot up in the air to bring it in line with your hips. Finish by hopping your front foot back and putting your back foot forward at the same time. Each step is two hops. Watch how it breaks down and see how to add to it in this video.

5. Dive into the dip for women.

This move is a modern hip-hop staple that every girl should know on the floor! First, start with your feet together and put your hands on your thighs; then bend your knees. As you go down when your knees bend, you’ll push your right hip out to the right when you come up by straightening your legs again. Every time think, “Dip down; come up and pop it out!” Bend your knees and pop it out to the right; then bend and pop it out to the left like in this video.

6. Learn how to do a body-roll groove.

Ladies, this move has been an epic success ever since the ’90s. Begin with your feet apart and practice one fluid motion of lifting up your shoulders, then lift and arch your chest and roll your belly from in and up to out and down as if you were rolling your body over a ball behind you. Bend your knee up after the second time you roll down. Now alternate it with chest rolls around your core from side to side like Keaira in this video.

7. Here’s how to twerk.

This freaky move started in West Africa and first reached America around the late ’80s. However, it didn’t become “socially acceptable” until after the late ’90s and the public escapades of Miley Cyrus. To do it, put both your hands on your hips. Spread your feet wide apart. Bend your knees and turn your feet out so that your toes point away from each other. Don’t let your knees go in front of your toes. Press your thumbs into your lower back to help push your hips forward. Pull your fingers against your hip bones to guide your hips back. Now squat down with your hands on your knees and grind into it like you see in this video.

8. Do simple new moves like the Tinder swipe and selfie stick.

On one awesome “Ellen” episode, a dancer made up some hot new moves for 2016. Hold an imaginary iPad in your left hand in front of you and swipe with your right hand to the beat. Swipe for three beats, then do a fist pump! At any dramatic moment in the music, raise your right arm in the air like you’re working that selfie stick, keep your left hand on your hip and then kiss the camera. Watch this video to see it in action.

21 Awesome 21st Birthday Ideas

21 Birthday Ideas

Cheers to turning 21 years old and remembering it! Here are some fantastic and fun ideas for celebrating this rite of passage from adolescence to beyond. Just be sure to pace yourself on the alcohol-related shenanigans. No one wants to be a party pooper but it’s far less lame than burying your head in a toilet, ostrich-style. So grab a lemonade if you’re not yet 21 and take notes on cool ways to celebrate one of the most fun nights in young adulthood.

1. Learn about beer or wine at a tasting event.

Beer Tasting Event

Graduate from virgin drinks while learning a thing or two. Do they taste nutty or fruity? Do you even care? Many liquor stores offer free tastings, complete with snack foods, so find the closest one near you and dabble with booze legally and cheaply!

2. Swallow your pride and sing karaoke.

3 Girls singing kareoke

Down a glass of liquid courage and get up on that stage! No one will care if your singing voice is less than stellar (and they’re most likely tipsy as well). Karaoke with a theme is an extra fun time.

3. Go on a road trip with a few of your closest friends.

Road Trippin

Visit a new road, store or restaurant. Head to a different part of the country or travel an hour away from home. You can go anywhere, as long as you haven’t been there before. The location doesn’t matter as much as making memories.

4. The traditional pub crawl is always a great option.

Pub

Especially if you live in a place surrounded by many bars and restaurants. My favorite location for a pub crawl is Fort Lauderdale, where you can take the water taxi from bar to bar, restaurant to restaurant. College towns like Boston are other awesome locations.

5. Enjoy the day outside with Beer Olympics.

Playing Beer Pong

Split your party of friends into groups, and let the battle of brawn, wits and alcoholic tolerance begin! Create a team theme song to sing as you parade around the yard. Then spend the next few hours playing beer pong, sliding to a flip cup face off and finishing with a chugging competition.

6. Do you need an excuse for an extravagant or wacky purchase? Go cocktail shopping!

Girls Shopping

Birthdays are a popular time to go shopping. After all, there must be some way to spend those gift cards! Better than shopping, however, is cocktail shopping. Yo-yo between department stores and restaurants. Later, those bright purple corduroys will make for an interesting story, even if you never wear them.

7. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but brunch is the more fun!

Party eating brunch

This meal is the best of two worlds, and you can sleep in. In addition to enjoying many delectables, brunch helps you coat your stomach in preparation for further birthday debauchery. Pair your french toast, eggs and bacon with a mimosa or hibiscus champagne cocktail. There is no downside to birthday brunch.

8. Go camping and celebrate under the stars.

Tent under the stars

Leave the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy a night outside. Spend the day barbecuing, swimming and hiking, and the night making smores, telling ghost stories and cuddling under blankets.

9. Duh! Go on a liquor store run.

Liquor Store Run

The biggest difference that we experience when we turn 21 is the ability to purchase alcohol. So go out there and buy some alcohol. Get it out of your system.

10. Visit the theater.

Musical Theatre

Attend a musical or ballet. Watch an opera. It doesn’t matter what you do, just get classy. Perhaps this means splurging a bit, but you only turn 21 once (unless you’re in denial about aging).

11. Host (or convince your friend to host) a wine-and-cheese party.

wine and cheese

Until now, you may have only heard of the heaven that is wine and cheese parties. Now it’s time to throw (or attend) one and see what the hype is all about for yourself. Asking each guest to bring their favorite bottle of wine is also a smart way to potentially stock up your wine rack.

12. Rather than drinking alcohol, eat it.

Cooking With Beer

Try an alcoholic food-themed party. There are so many different dishes to experiment with. Make spiked fruit salad, beer brats, Kahlua cake trifle and gummy bears soaked in vodka or rum. Just be sure to have some non-alcoholic foods too (though the brats should be void of alcohol content after they cook).

13. Use your birthday as an opportunity (excuse?) to flirt with your love interest.

flirting playing pool

Pair this idea up with #9 and ask your older interest to drive you to the liquor store. This is how I ended up with my first boyfriend! Even if you don’t ask him (or her) for a lift, definitely flirt. You automatically get a pass on daring gestures on your birthday, so don’t pass this opportunity up.

14. Plan a trip out of the country.

Tourists on Vacation

Everyone should travel internationally, and few years are easier than the early 20s. At this age, most of us only need to worry about ourselves. So visit the museums of France or Italy, volunteer in South America, take a safari in Africa, or hop on the scotch trail in Scotland.

15. Take 21 selfies with 21 friends (or even strangers).

Group Selfie

It’s all about meeting new people and creating memories along the way. Most people will also want to take pictures with the party girl or guy. Afterward, make a collage and share to Facebook. After all, it didn’t happen if it’s not on Facebook. Right?

16. Host a poker night.

Ladies Poker Night

Stay in, enjoy a beer or two and play your friends out of a bit of money. If you’re feeling particularly festive, round out the experience with a cigar.

17. Be brave! Try 21 new things.

Hang Gliding

Spend a day trying 21 new things. They can be food, activities or venues. Be creative.

18. Eat dessert… for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Yummy Dessert

Perhaps even all three! Everyone needs a cheat day now and then, and there is no better excuse than turning 21.

19. Enjoy a classy dinner.

Fancy Dinner

Call a friend or two and enjoy an expensive, sophisticated night of exquisite culinary treats and smooth champagne or wine.

20. Watch the sunrise as you reflect on an amazing night and welcome the adventures to come.

watching the sunrise

21. Do whatever you want… except nothing!

It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you enjoy yourself. If you prefer staying home, drinking a beer and playing video games then have at it! Ok… maybe don’t stay home alone playing video games… at least, call some friends over to play with you.

Party Dog

25 Awesome 80’s Movies You Need To Watch Again

25 Awesome 80s movies you need to watch again

Some of the best movies we’ve ever seen were released in the 80’s. They shaped who we were, the music we listened to, and how afraid of the dark we turned out to be. Here are just 25 of these movies, in no particular order, and why they’re worth another look.

1 – The Princess Bride (1987)

The most romantic story of true love, redemption, sick kids, and sweet grandpas that there ever was.

2 – Short Circuit (1986)

A military prototype robot is struck by lightning and given free will, and our collective hearts. Because of Johnny 5, I still yell, ‘No disassemble!!’ if I feel threatened in any way.

3 – Sixteen Candles (1984)

This coming of age love story centers around a forgotten birthday, involves a pantie loan, and includes a Long Duk Dong. Despite all that, remember how warm and fuzzy you felt at the end? “Oh sexy girrrrlfriennnnnnd!”

4 – The Wraith (1986)

This dark film was full of teen angst and murderous, drag-racing car thieves who got picked off one by one until, in the end, there was only true love and one hot car left.

5 – Purple Rain (1984)

Two words: killer soundtrack. Of all the 80’s movies we danced along to, this one absolutely had the best music and the most awesome hair.

6 – Overboard – (1987)

A widowed, hard-working carpenter convinces a spoiled, amnesiac heiress that she’s his wife and the mother of his 4 scruffy sons. Chaos, then love ensues and, before you know it it, folks are leaping off ships all willy-nilly and we loved every second of it.

7 – The Last Starfighter (1984)

At some point in our lives, we’ve all dreamed of playing a game so well that our talents would be recognized and we’d be expected to play every day, forever. That’s just what happens when a gamer kid from a trailer park gets recruited to outer space to help defend a planet being attacked by evil forces.

8 – Back to the Future (1985)

Sending a teenager backwards in time from 1985 to 1955, and then bringing him back, turned out to be just as amazing as we thought it would be, for a DeLorean-driving, plutonium-stealing mad scientist, am I right?

9 – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Watch this to be reminded that no matter how cool we all thought we were in school, we were never ‘Ferris’ cool.

10 – The Breakfast Club (1985)

5 kids, from 5 different backgrounds converge in the Shermer High School library for one epic, montage-filled Saturday detention.

11 – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The second installment in the Star Wars trilogy was just as spellbinding as the first. Met Yoda, we did.

12 – Ghostbusters (1984)

This movie made ghosts fun! We all wanted to be on the streets of New York City watching the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man bounce by.

13 – Friday, the 13th (1980)

ch-ch-ch, ah-ah-ah. No kid wanted to go to camp after learning about the Voorhees family. And lakes in the nighttime? Fuggettaboutit.

14 – Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

Thanks to a hard-nosed Detroit detective going head-to-head with a corrupt Beverly Hills art gallery owner, we all learned about the wonders of a banana in a tailpipe and herpes simplex 10.

15 – E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

After seeing this film, I believed that all aliens were good and would make excellent house guests. Until I meet an actual extra terrestrial who changes our minds, this logic will stand.

16 – The Karate Kid (1984)

This film is to blame for all the kids who karate’d the crap out of each other throughout the 80’s. Watching again will strengthen your crane technique.

17 – The Lost Boys (1987)

You have to admit, all the laughing you did while watching this made the terrifying parts a little easier to swallow.

18 – Footloose (1984)

Another great soundtrack that made NOT dancing impossible, hence the plot. Just remember the next time you don’t feel like going out dancing, that there are kids in a small town somewhere who are only allowed to dance in barns outside the city limits. And stop being so selfish.

19 – Beetlejuice (1988)

Ghosts, a freelance bio-exorcist, and a pretty fantastic calypso scene make this film an instant classic. “Dayyyy-o!”

20 – Labyrinth (1986)

Who doesn’t want to see David frackin’ Bowie as the Goblin King who steals toddlers and puts them in mazes again? Jim Henson’s puppets added a colorful, if chill-inducing flair to this musical fantasy.

21 – The NeverEnding Story (1984)

This fantastical tale of Bastian and Atreyu and the nothingness that threatened to eat away at everything had us holding our breath throughout the whole 107 minutes.

22 – Gremlins (1984)

Those of us who babysat younger siblings already knew how a tiny something could go from cherubic and sweet to monster-crazy, and this film captured it perfectly.

23 – Dirty Dancing (1987)

The film that confirmed all our parents fears about how we probably danced when they weren’t looking.

24 – Top Gun (1986)

The testosterone dripping from every scene in this movie should’ve had its own space on the payroll of this tale about fast boys and their dangerous toys.

25 – Child’s Play (1988)

Watch again to be reminded about why most of us will never trust a doll in the dark again.

Awesome 80s movies

20 Awesome 5k Runs That Even Non-Runners Will Love

20 Awesome 5k Races

In the past 10 years, themed races have become a big part of American fitness culture. Being a fitness enthusiast no longer has to be boring. From races that encourage you to dress up, run through obstacles, drink beer and everything in between, there is now something for everyone.

Not all races however are created equal and not all races can claim to be as unique as the ones listed here. Here are some of the most unique and awesome looking races from around the US. Share any other awesome races you’ve been a part of in the comments below.

Bad Prom Run

Bad Prom Run

The Bad Prom Run looks so bad, it’ll probably be the best prom you’ve ever had. While running through this 5K, participants will experience four different prom themes, tons of photo ops and at the finish line, a big bad prom dance party to close the night. This 5K is definitely worth checking out for anyone looking for a great time!

The Color Run

The Color run

The Color Run is the biggest event run in the US and is only getting bigger. This run was started as a simple and fun way to celebrate health, happiness and just having a fun time. Along the run, runners get sprayed with different colors and have a great time in the process.

Run For Your Lives


With TV shows, movies and video games, zombies have definitely exploded onto the scene in the last few years. Now, you can be a part of the action with the Run For Your Lives Zombie Run. Runners run through this 5k filled with obstacles while trying to avoid the zombie apocalypse and becoming one of the walking dead!

The Wicked Wine Run

Wicked Wine Run

Known as the original “race with a drinking problem”, the Wicked Wine Run allows you to either run the 5k and try the wines at the end, or participate in the 1k wine walk where you can taste wines along the way. Pair this with live music, food trucks and absolutely no wine snobs and you’ve got a race anyone can enjoy.

Warrior Dash

The Warrior Dash

The Warrior Dash is really a super fun obstacle course for adults. They claim to be a race that anyone can start and everyone can finish. With 11 fun obstacles, a medal that is also a bottle opener and a nice cold beer at the end of the race, this race is definitely something to enjoy with friends.

The NYC Pizza Run

NYC Pizza Run

The NYC Pizza Run is a celebration of New York’s incredible pizza. This 2 mile run requires runners to stop at three different check points throughout the race where they will devour a slice of NYC’s finest pizza before moving on. This is either one of the greatest races ever assembled or a cruel prank on your stomach!

Hot Chocolate 5K

Hot Chocolate 5k

The Hot Chocolate 5K/15K race was started in 2008 and is one of the fastest growing races in the country. At the end of this race, runners enjoy a fun after party filled with music, hot chocolate mugs and chocolate goodies galore.

The Boston Idiotorama

Boston Idiotorama

The Bostom Idiotorama looks to me to be one of the most fun races around. The Idiotarod, takes from Alaska’s famous Iditarod and replaces the dogs with people and sleds with shopping carts. The race also includes a pub crawl, costume and talent contest and a food drive to finish things off.

Jingle Bell Run

Jingle Bell Run

The Jingle Bell Run For Arthritis has raised over 7 Million dollars since it started. This race encourages runners to dress up in their holiday gear and tie jingle bells to their shoes for a fun jingly race.

The 5K Bare Dare


Um… So… In this race you get naked and run. Sounds Fun! Nothing better than feeling everything jiggle, bounce, swing, sweat, sway and everything else possible while running. If you’re the type of person that likes to let it all hang out, then this may be the perfect race.

The Electric Run

The Electric Run is a night time 5k that allows running to start their nightlife off with a healthy run. Runners enjoy thumping music every step of the race from dance to hip hop and classic. Runners are also given a glow bracelet that follows the beat of the music. Finish off with a DJ led dance party and rock the night away.

The Dirty Girl Mud Run

The Dirty Girl Mud Run is a women only 5k obstacle course mud run. Nearly a million women have run this one of a kind race and typically do so to remember loved ones, support cancer research or just to enjoy a women’s weekend. Think of it as similar to the Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder only without any men!

The R.O.C. Race

ROC Race 2016 Official Video from ROC Race on Vimeo.

If you want to seriously have some fun, then the Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge Race is what you are looking for. This race is inspired by the TV game show Wipe Out and sports many of the same and similar obstacles from the wrecking ball, the menacing sweeper to jumping balls. This un-timed race is fun for anyone 13+

Rugged Maniac

Rugged Maniac

The Rugged Maniac is yet another obstacle course race, but it stands out for the sheer size and number of obstacles. From a 50′ water slide and 25 other obstacles, this race definitely doesn’t disappoint. With party and plenty of beer to wrap up the race, it’s the perfect way to spend a perfect Saturday.

The April Fools Day Twinkie Run

Twinkie Run

The April Fools Day Twinkie Run is a run that was started in memory of Jim Mong, who died from ALS back in 2012. His friends decided to create this 5k race in his honor and say they added the Twinkie part because it’s funny and Jim was a funny guy who was always smiling. In the Twinkie Run, participants enjoy Twinkies along the way as well as a home made Twinkie contest after the race.

The Krispy Kreme Challenge

As far as food and running challenges go, The Krispy Kreme Challenge takes the cake, er, donut. To complete the Krispy Kreme Challenge you must run 2.5 miles, eat 12 Krispy Kreme doughnuts, then finish with another 2.5 miles. If that doesn’t make you want to puke, I don’t know what will.

The Insane Inflatable 5K

The Insane Inflatable 5k is a lot like a kids birthday party, only on some serious steroids! With inflatable obstacles around the course, the un-timed race is tons of fun for participants from any age or fitness level.

A Christmas Story Run

Christmas Story Run

Want to be a part of one of your all time favorite Christmas movies? The Christmas Story Run in Cleveland Ohio lets you dress up and race to the actual home used in The Christmas Story. While the concept is rather simple, the race brings in thousands of runners every year and raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Christmas Story House Foundation, which serves the neighborhood around the home.

The Superhero Scramble

The Super Hero Scramble is another obstacle course race only with a small twist, it has a super hero theme. While it sounds simple enough, ti definitely adds a sense of awesomeness to the racers of this race. While no 5k is offered (too easy for super heros), this race offer a 4 mile, half marathon and full marathon.

The Rock and Roll Series Run


The Rock and Roll Marathon Series is one of the oldest and most successful themed raced in the US. Started in 1998, this race has raised over 310 Million for charity since it’s beginning. During the race, runners will enjoy live bands playing all kinds of music.

 

No Grip Tape Skating

Skateboarding with no grip tape

You know how hard landing your tricks on your skateboard normally is. Now imagine trying them without any grip tape on your board! That is exactly what the guys at Major Crew did and it didn’t look easy. Once there game of SKATE gets going though, the guys start to get the hang of the no grip tape thing. Check out their awesome video below:

Backcountry Avalanche Safety Basics

Guy Snowboarding on Mountain

Venturing into the backcountry is dangerous.

If you’re not properly prepared and equipped, an otherwise perfect day of snowboarding or skiing can turn deadly in an instant.

As backcountry skiing and snowboarding continues to grow, more skiers and snowboarders than ever before are crossing the tape and heading out of ski area boundaries in search of untracked pow and unparalleled adventure. And with this increased rise in backcountry riding comes an increased need for avalanche education and awareness.

The danger of avalanche is ever present in the backcountry. It doesn’t matter what the conditions are like or what the advisories are. It doesn’t matter how close you are to the ski area. When you are in the backcountry, you can’t let your guard down. You have to be ready for the worst at all times.

The backcountry is so dangerous because the snow conditions are unstable and largely unmanaged. There is no ski patrol beyond the tape to immediately come to your aid. Saving your life or your buddy’s life will be largely up to you. Over 150 people are killed by avalanches every year – don’t be one of them.

Fortunately, the vast majority of these deaths are preventable with the proper education, awareness, and safety equipment.

Avalanche Education

Taking an avalanche safety course or clinic is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to deal with the unexpected on the mountain.

Most ski resorts and ski areas regularly host these classes during the season. Many mountain towns and towns near mountains also host similar classes.

The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education lists a number of these courses. Start your search here and expand with a Google search for classes in your area. Make sure that the instructors are certified and experienced.

Avalanche safety courses go over much of the same information discussed here. However, that is no reason not to go. They cover everything in more detail, show real-life examples of rescue techniques, talk about location specific conditions, and answer questions that you might have.

Even if you’ve been to an avalanche safety class before, it is worth attending one again. You’ll probably know most of the information already but a refresher is a hell of a lot better than digging out the body of a dead friend.

First Aid Education

Every skier and snowboarder should have a basic knowledge of first aid. This is especially true if you regularly venture into the backcountry where emergency services are not close at hand.

Whether related to an avalanche or not, injury is common when skiing and snowboarding. Therefore, it pays off to know at least the basics of first aid:

  • CPR

  • Stopping bleeding wounds

  • Treating breaks and fractures

  • Preventing hypothermia

First Aid classes are relatively easy to find with a Google search in nearly any town in the United States and Canada. Wilderness First Aid will also prove to be a valuable research in pointing you in the right direction.

Avalanche Awareness

As mentioned above, it is essential that you are always aware of the danger of avalanche while in the backcountry.

Even when conditions seem absolutely perfect or you think you’re in a safe spot, the unexpected can occur.

A few of the ways you can improve your awareness include:

  • Avalanche Safety Course – Once again, a class will be able to fill you in on how to recognize and read snow conditions.

  • Books, Articles, and Videos – Supplementing what you learned from your class with as much additional information as possible is ideal. Learning more about how and why avalanches occur and what others did wrong in them can help you make the right decisions if worse comes to worse.

  • Experience – Unfortunately, experience is one of the only ways to truly learn to recognize avalanche terrain. Though they generally travel across smooth, exposed slopes, avalanches are significantly affected by slope angles, rocks, cornices, ledges, and vegetation. This is why riding with someone experienced in the backcountry is so important when you’re just starting out. Some avalanche classes also offer courses in the field, where guides show you the actual features to watch out for. Sign up for one of these if at all possible.

  • Homework – Planning a trip? Do your homework beforehand. Never head up the hill before researching the snow conditions in the specific area that you plan to ride. Give your local avalanche warning center a ring and have a good grasp of the weather forecast. Mobile apps like North Face’s The Snow Report (FREE on iOS) let you check current trail conditions, snow measurements, and avalanche advisories on the fly.

  • Human Factor – The human factor means two things. First, unsafe riding can often cause avalanches. Second, some people don’t handful stressful situations (a friend caught in an avalanche) well. Counter some of this by riding with a group of people who have similar attitudes and plans for the trip.

Avalanche Safety Equipment

 

You should never step foot in the backcountry without the proper safety equipment.

Your avalanche safety course instructor will hammer this into your head. They will also be able to show you how to use your safety equipment. There is no reason to carry it with you if you won’t know how to use it if needed.

The essential pieces of avalanche safety equipment include:

  • Avalanche Beacon – These tools act as transmitters and transceivers when someone is buried in the snow. The buried person’s beacon sends out a signal which allows the rest of the party to track their exact location. With price tags between $250 and $500, avalanche beacons are pricey but essential. Make sure that everyone in your party has their own.

  • Avalanche Probe – When a friend is buried in the snow, an avalanche probe will help you pinpoint exactly where they are. Though they can be used on their own, they are most effective in conjunction with a beacon. Simply probe the snow until you hit something soft yet firm – that’s your buddy.

  • Avalanche Shovel – Extremely lightweight and often collapsable, avalanche shovels can easily be strapped to your backcountry backpack. Every second counts when you’re digging a friend out of the snow and an avalanche shovel will help you get them out as fast as possible.

  • Emergency Gear – Not everyone does but I always carry a small amount of emergency gear with me on backcountry trips. Extra water, a small first aid kit, and high-energy food are musts. On slightly longer trips, I throw in some extra warm clothing and even some basic camping gear. Better to be safe than sorry if you’re stuck overnight.

Each of these types of avalanche safety equipment will be discussed in greater detail in future posts. We will show you how to use each of them.  We will also give a few recommendations on the best brands and models to look for.

Remember that simply knowing how to use one of these pieces of safety equipment won’t do the trick. You need to have actually practiced with each of them before heading out. Using an avalanche beacon to track a buried friend is a lot more difficult than it might sound. Practice makes perfect so practice, practice, practice.

Smart Riding

Using your head while riding can help prevent avalanches.

Keep your eyes open while riding and don’t overlook clues. Avalanche hazards leave clues (unforested gullies and loose pack snow are a few – this will also be discussed in more detail in later posts). Furthermore, you should never get stuck in the mindset that avalanches only travel in large paths. Basically, anywhere that you can ride on your skis or snowboard, an avalanche can slide through.

It is essential to let snow settle after a big storm. Though the pow might be outrageous, it’s best to wait for at least 24 hours before heading out. On this same note, slopes with tracks from other riders aren’t necessarily safe. Wind, sun, and temperature constantly alter snow stability. What might have been safe to cross an hour ago, might not be now.

Finally, never travel alone in the backcountry. That’s always a recipe for disaster. For one thing, no one is there to help you if you get into trouble. For another, having two or more sets of eyes will pick out dangers and unsafe conditions that you might not have noticed yourself.

Avalanche Safety While Skiing and Snowboarding

This article wasn’t meant to scare you. Chances are you will never need to rescue a friend from an avalanche. But if you ride in the backcountry at all, whether it’s on a regular basis or its a one time mission, you need to know how to. Better yet, you need to know how to prevent and avoid avalanches in the first place.

I’ll end this with a video on avalanche safety from professional snowboarding madman Jeremy Jones. He knows what he is talking about. View the video by Teton Gravity Research below:

Looking To The Rock For Some Awesome Motivation

It’s 3:45 here at Much Awesome and I can guarandamntee you that we are hard at work rocking out the website and ready to get some great content put together for our readers. If you want some serious motivation this morning to get you pumped up and ready to get at it, check out this video from The Rock.

“When you walk up to opportunities door, don’t knock. Kick that bitch in, smile and introduce yourself.” – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

2014 Burton Sweet Tooth Snowboard Review

Girls that have a sweet tooth for powdery slopes and fresh powder will want to keep it locked and loaded this winter on the 2014 Burton Sweet Tooth Snowboard.

The all-mountain snowboard is designed to soak up just about any terrain with ease. A fun and playful feel is thanks to Raduction, which shrinks the overall shape, allowing you to confidently ride a board up to 5 centimeters shorter than what you’re used to. This results in increased boardfeel and precision without sacrificing pop, float, or stability.

The Burton Sweet Tooth combines Flat Top rocker with a catch-free tip and tail for the ultimate in all-mountain madness and stability. Throw a sick graphic on an already sick snowboard and you’re ready to rip.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this all-mountain shred machine.

2014 Burton Axis Snowboard Jacket Review

Need a high-performing jacket that won’t set you back a month’s salary? That’s exactly what the folks at Burton designed their Burton Axis Snowboard Jacket to be. The advanced piece of outwear has all the features and performance of top-shelf jackets at only a smidgen of the price.

Warmth is the name of the game when it comes to the Burton Axis Jacket. Waterproofing backs the warmth up when it comes to protection from Mother Nature. The strategically mapped configuration of DryRide Durashell 2L Fabric is both eco-friendly and completely waterproof/breathable.

The jacket’s tailored fit and less baggy look make it a favorite among snowboarders both on the mountain and around town. Another nifty feature is the recycled lining which combines antimicrobial fibers and carbon fiber Heat Cycle lining. This serves the dual feature of fighting off sweat stink and keeping you warm and toasty through reflective heat retention.

Don’t wait. Cop your very own Burton Axis Jacket and own it on the mountain this winter.

2014 Premier Ghettobird Snowskate Review

Heavy into skateboarding? Bummed out about all the snow that’s dropping? If you’re a skate rat that doesn’t head up to the big mountain all that often, then a snowskate might be for you. And the Premier Ghettobird Snowskate is one of the absolute best around.

Measuring 37 inches from tip to tail and 8 inches wide, the Ghettobird shares similar dimensions with your standard skateboard deck. A soft rubber top for the ultimate in grip and stick acts like grip tape and prevents you from slipping and sliding. A P-tex channel base makes getting traction easy while also limiting slip outs.

The Premier Ghettobird Snowskate doesn’t feel or ride exactly like a skateboard but it is as good as it gets for skaters this winter. Unless, of course, you prefer hanging out in the garage all winter long.