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  • Spring Break Kaunertal, Austria 2016

    Spring Break Kaunertal, Austria 2016

    Spring Break Kaunertal, Austria 2016 | Just when you thought its time to pack up your snowboarding kit, with all the snow clearing the peaks of Europe,  there’s always one annual trip that must be attended, the ‘Spring Break’ UK snowboard test is the last call for those final laps in the sun!

    Held just an hour’s drive from Innsbruck within the Tirol valley resort of Kaunertal / Austria, lies the Kaunertal glacier awaiting the arrival of 300 folks from the UK.
    Here industry riders, brands, shops staff and regular snowboarders gather to test and ride all of next season’s kit from boards, boots, and bindings as well as a whole heap of cool kit.
    Now in its tenth year the ‘Spring Break’ is as memorable as ever, friends are made, good times are shared as the UK snowboard community bands together for 7 days of spring fun shredding!

    Spring Break Kaunertal, Austria 2016 Mark with the Capita Defender Of Awesome 2016 / 2017

    Being my third trip, I’d now like to think of myself as a ‘Spring Break veteran', I’ve shared this trip with many others, for whom too have now revisited this stunning area of Austria.
    This time id brought along my friend ‘Alex’ who was visiting his first mountain range after just a few trips at the indoor snowdomes.
    So I knew this trip would be really good to get a wide variety of kit tested from beginners to higher end models.

    Traditionally ‘Spring Break’ is thought to feature slushy, clear riding conditions, yet due to late heavy dumps of snow after the season’s end our experience was anything but!
    Experiencing every condition imaginable 3000m up was quite an ordeal, from heavy snow storms, bad visibility to a lucky clearing of sunshine breaks on our last day; we were put through it all to enjoy what was available to us.
    Yet when you have just three days of riding and kit to get through, there’s no time to pack up and go home!

    Spring Break Kaunertal, Austria 2016 Anon M3 Goggles

    When the conditions did improve some great powder riding was had as well as the odd cheeky jib session on great little hit areas around the glacier.
    With 10 runs available this isn’t about the mileage, you get on a set up and if your liking  it you might just want to spend a little more time getting to know it better… and if you don’t you’re never too far to go back up to camp and change your set up.
    It was great to finally test out some kit I’d missed from this year’s order, now covering our stores whole catalogue, to give you a taste of what we’ll be having in stock for the 2016/17 season.

    From brands such as Anon, Burton, Capita, G.N.U, Lib Tech, Union and Salomon, there were so many surprises and we can’t wait to share these with you soon!
    Check out the edit below of what I got up to, with product reviews to come during pre-season, this is surely going to be another awesome season to look forward to!


    See you soon!!!

  • Snowboard Spring Break

    Ocean Sports Board Riders Attend Snowboard SPRING BREAK
    Snow Test April 2014

    Snowboard Spring BreakJust as you all remember you recent snow trips over the past six months, having your beloved set up racked or packed away in the loft. Memories of those sweet powder days, tweaking those moves in the park and trying not to remember those hangovers after crazy après filled nights. Well, there’s still one last party in Europe to attend.

    The annual snowboard ‘SPRING BREAK’ snow test is a week-long event for all snowboarders to enjoy. This is where you can meet like-minded shredders, ride spring conditions but also get to test all of next season kit in advance!!! Traditionally titled as the UK SNOW TEST, attendance over the past years seemed to drop in numbers and would inevitably cease to continue. Alas, along came ‘Ian Sansom’ and his team at ‘THE REASON’ magazine with the great idea of setting up an event for  everybody; brands, shop owners, UK sponsored riders… and now, the public!

    A perfect insight into identifying what the customer really looks for, instead of what looks cool in the store regardless of pricing and sales. It was time to let the public decide and since then, the response has grown and grown into one of the best get together events for the UK snowboard scene!

    Hidden away in the Austrian TIROL valleys are an abundance of glaciers. Just an hour’s drive from INNSBRUCK and over 3000ft up, sits the stunning ‘KAUNERTAL’ glacier. A national park with unbelievable scenery set in a tall valley, lush green fields, a multitude of waterfalls and ever changing weather conditions, but when it gets good… it's epic!

    After attending last year’s event, Ocean Sports Board Riders employee Mark Teti couldn’t stop talking to the shop boys and fellow customers about ‘SPRING BREAK’ - rating it as "by far one of the most memorable, fun and cheapest trips" he'd been on in quite a while!

    Returning for more of the action this year, here's Mark's account of the trip:

    This year, myself, fellow Aussie employee Tim Machon and with a last minute invite of two local customers (and trusted transportation detail) Krzysztof Niezgoda & Dariusz Hajdecki all headed to Austria.

    We set off Friday evening, for a night drive to get through the long journey ready for the event. In doing so, this allowed us good time to get to know one another before our four day trip official begun!

    “A Brit, Aussie & two Polish guys sharing a common bond and love for snowboarding”

    We arrived early Saturday morning after a 14 hour trip which seemed faster than expected a bonus, however unable to check in, we decided to drive the 45 minute winding roads up to the glacier.
    Reaching the summit after rising above ever changing weather conditions, we were welcomed with bluebird skies and the ever stunning Kaunertal glacier in our sights.
    The strange topic of the week was the weather. We all want that perfect snowfall with clear skies, here on a four day trip that concern does get a little tighter as you have to make every minute count!

    “The only thing that could have made the week a little better was a little more visibility but I still got to test just about every board that I wanted to”

    We returned down to the village of ‘Fiecten’ to check in, attend the evenings welcome meeting and rise early Sunday morning to drive up to the glacier again and get involved in the test. Once we parked up at the main centre, the ‘Spring Break’ camp was set up; over 30 brands, hundreds of boards, bindings, boots and other test accessories were available to try.

    Each attendant receives a test event card / lanyard with a member’s number, so on taking out a product from various brand tents; they would know who’s using what.

    I’d introduced the group to various band reps such as Burton, Salomon and Thirty-Two alongside taking time to catch up with friends and chat about the new products. Throughout the days there were events taking place, BBQ’s, refreshment buckets and free swags of gifts were spread around, so if you missed out, you missed out big!

    The first two days brought wet snowfalls, whited out conditions but nothing too severe to handle. The slight downside to Glacier’s is they’re exposed and with no tree lines to hide through, this meant close counter jib riding was essential and grinding though trying to get the most fun whilst testing out the kit. What is great is the small runs with lips, hits, interweaving wall rides and soft snow conditions, allowing us all to just make riding a little bit more ‘FUN’.

    Being at different levels and areas of riding, there was a great mixture of testing; I was more freestyle driven whereas Tim searched out the powder and fresh lines.

    “Darek was introduced to a customer favourite, the Burton Process Snowboard, which a lot of customers have come to love, and every time we saw him he still had the same board!”

    ‘Kris & Darek’ did their own thing, a great opportunity for our fellow customers to test out all sorts of riding, and immerse themselves into the whole experience.

    Once the days wound down, the early evenings would consist of getting rest and attending various après events where most of us would gather in the local ‘Kiwi’ bar for refreshing Austrian beers & traditional Austrian dishes….or pizzas?!

    “We had a good crew and the crew out there were awesome as well. Plus winning 20 euro wasn’t too bad either”

    The events would get crazier at the ‘Pfiff Alm’ where more beers and Jager-bombs were downed and even tried out ‘Hammersmachen’; a traditional Austrian pub game that has to be seen to be believed.

    One evening someone decided to cash in bets on the game and who better to do us proud than Tim himself walking away with the substantial 20 euro cash prize!

    The final day was the highlight of our trip, after two days of fighting snowfall we were blessed with blue skies.

    After testing countless all mountain boards, the plan was to get in the park when it had cleared but after scoping some close untouched powder lines on a light face, some of us decided to whip out the powder boards and for this we were rewarded with some of the best riding of our trip.

    Eventually we hit the park and witnessed the awesome event of Dragon alliance’s ‘Methodical Madness’; seeing who could pull the sweetest and most steeziest classic method grab off a freshly shaped doubled sided hip! It was a sight to behold and many of the UK’s top sponsored riders threw up their best!

    We wound down our last evening in style and soon after the lifts closed we joined ‘Anolog’ for their après party where beers, drinks and the final test day shenanigans went off.

    “Our own waterfall BBQ was a great way to end the trip”

    Earlier in the trip we’d discovered a hidden waterfall camp behind the hills just off from where two of our colleges had been staying. We knew this would be a great location for a final get together. We ventured up, prepared a fire and stashed up beers in a dumping of snow we’d taken from up the hill to create a mini beer cooler.

    The boys shared with us traditional delicacies of polish foods & we reflected on the past day’s events whilst taking in the breath-taking sights of the waterfall dropping just a few meters besides us, a sight to be seen. Later on we joined the rest of the spring break guests for one final party at the ‘Pfiff Alm’.

    On final reflection we thought it would be great to share with you all about this amazing event. It goes to show you can get more from your trip without blasting away your budget, test all the kit you want and get the inside knowledge on what you really want to buy. After two great trips and numbers growing in our own attendance we’d love to share this experience with you all again!

    “Seeing our reps from brands and catching up, meeting new faces from around the UK and trying out next seasons gear,  a personal highlight”

    So if you’re interested in spring break 2015 and want the lowdown on kit we tested from this season and whether it’s a product we’d stock or not, don’t hesitate to ask questions in store. We’d love to hear from you all!!!




    Mark Teti (Ocean Sports Board Riders Staff)

    How was your spring break 2014?

    It was another great experience, besides the weather, I still got to test what I wanted, if not more on this trip than any previous tests. It was great being able to share it with friends and local customers who came along and got a real taste of what is out there for them.

    What was your favourite test kit?

    I came across a lot of good stuff, I finally tried the ‘switch back’ no high-backs which were really cool, I could say my current board and last year’s favourite Salomon’s ‘Sabotage’ was a winner again. I also fell in love with the Burton ‘NUG’ and Salomon’s ‘Derby’,  two very unusual boards but funny enough the ‘NUG’ reignited my love for what Burton do, for a brand of divided opinion’s, this is a board for those who over the years know what Burton can bring to the table and still leave you gobsmacked.

    What was your spring break highlight?

    This time was definitely more about the company I was in, seeing our reps from brands and catching up, meeting new faces from around the UK. But our own waterfall BBQ was a great way to end the trip, so scenic, plus the weather held dry so hopefully this can become an annual thing???


    Tim Machon (Ocean Sports Board Riders Staff)

    How was your spring break 2014?

    I had loads of fun in Kaunertal. The only thing that could have made the week a little better was a little more visibility, but I still got to test just about every board that I wanted to and a couple that I had no idea existed. We had a good crew and the crew out there were awesome as well. Plus winning 20 euro playing ‘Hammerschmachen’ wasn’t too bad either.

    What was your favourite test kit?

    I couldn’t narrow it down to just one piece of kit in particular, but had few that I liked for different reasons. The Derby by Salomon was probably one of the most fun boards I have ever ridden. With the conditions we had, a super small board with loads of float in pow and super loose surf type feel on the piste. The Salomon District bindings were a huge surprise as all the Salomon bindings I had looked at in the past were in my opinion garbage but these were a super comfortable flexi binding that did everything I wanted them to.

    Other highlights for me were the Burton NUG which again was a super small twin board with loads of float and just a super playful board. I had already tested the Salomon Villain which would defiantly be a board I would buy 100% super fun, flexi, twin shape. This classed as a park board but could defiantly go anywhere and do anything just a super good board which maybe on my ‘to buy’ list for next season.

    What was your spring break highlight?

    Too many to mention but a couple of highlight would have to be the Tie Dye High Five. Reason, tie dye shirt making was fun and just a good social thing. Meeting new guys in the industry was also good and just sitting down and having a beer after a day of like-minded people is always nice. But one of the major highlights would have to be the water fall BBQ we had at a hidden water fall with just our crew. Was a good way to finish our trip off and wind-down.

    For further details on this year’s highlights go straight to the spring break website or

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