presents intro

It's that time of year isn't it? Our brains are toeing that fine line between 'shit I should probably go and get some Christmas presents', 'maybe I could leave it a bit longer' and 'fuck it, I can't actually be arsed this year'...

Buying gifts for your expansive checklist of friends, relatives and 'other obligations' can be a nightmare - and when you're looking to put a smile on a snowboarder's face, the problem is multiplied tenfold.

The trouble is that the majority of the actual snowboard gear that they're really quite keen on is understandably outside of the realms of budget for most people. Yes, you might be able to manage in the case of a very close relative or spouse, but estranged uncles or drinking buddies? They should be so lucky...

So inevitably you're left in that gift limbo - you want to get said long-lost snowboarder a present, but nothing too big. Well thankfully there's a myriad of tenuously snowboard related gifts out their too!

We can't guarantee they'll get a great reception, in fact we'd assume they'll get you the cold shoulder 99% of the time - but if you're really not too bothered about the end result, these mediocracy-defining gifts should be on your list:

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tube socks

Socks are an absolute Christmas classic - right? In fact, as long as they're not your sole present sitting wistfully under the tree, we're normally pretty happy to unwrap a new set.

Unfortunately - a standard set of tube socks for snowboarders is a bit hit and miss. While they do valiantly try to replicate snowboard socks in length, they're somewhat lacking when it comes to warmth and features.

We're not going to say you can't brave it out on the mountain with a pair of M&S finest - but if you're looking to one-up the annual multipack, it's worth having a glance at Stance's eye catching snow range or a merino pair like these from Burton.

woolen gloves

Great for everyday wear - maybe not so welcome when they asked for something they could snowboard in...

Woolen gloves and mitts don't quite cut the mustard when they come into contact with something cold and wet, in fact they have a tendency to make things quite a lot worse.

If you're pushing to see your comrades sporting a 'thanks, but no thanks' face try some like the ones pictured above - if not, take a gander at a few other options here.

head torch

Head torches do actually come in handy on occasion - but there's only a finite amount any one man or woman needs... Nevertheless, they seem to be a regular for any snowboarder who's been bundled into that 'outdoorsy type' category by their family and friends.

whistle

In a similar category to the head torch are whistles. It may be that mental attachment between the mountains and camping and survival gear, or simply the fact that they're often found in that handy stand near the checkout. Either way, chances are your snowboarding buddy could probably find their existing noisemaker with a good rummage through their own stuff.

hats

We've covered the topic of shit hats in quite a lot of depth already so we won't linger too long here.

The long and short of it is that the majority of snowboarders are already hat aficionados with a slightly intense connection to their personal collection of headwear. Stepping into that zone as an outsider is risky business...

poster 2

"The key to happiness is freedom, the key to freedom is courage"

As much as we appreciate the courage it takes to grab Tindy - your standard poster featuring a stock photo of a snowboarder with a motivational caption overlay is unlikely to stoke out your snowboarding buddies.

For something a bit more proper you could take a look at Radshot however...

t-shirt

Despite niche popularity - we've got to say that the snowboard slogan t-shirt is another item in the high-risk gift category. In fact, slogan products have a unique ability to draw out a giftee's cringe face, so if you really want to test their acting skills, you're on the right track.

Even if you do happen to hit the mark on an opinion that they'd like to broadcast to the world - there's something about being handed that statement on a t-shirt that just doesn't sit well...

We can imagine that the one above, for example, consistently haunts the dreams of Chris Moran.

moon boots

Moon boots might cast a similar shadow to snowboard boots - but they are by no means to be confused with one-another.

Under no circumstances. Not even once.

Also, if you are thinking of splashing out on a pair of foot-toasters for any reason - you might as well push out the purse strings and pick up a cheap pair of snowboard boots - much more fun.

lift pass holder

'Little Timmy's off snowboarding this year - I'll throw one of those handy lift pass holders in his stocking, that'll be nice!'

In the majority of cases, this seemingly innocuous statement is unfortunately misinformed.

Many resorts now use fancy hands-free micro-chip technology in place of the old-school barcode scanner technique when it comes to lift passes - and in any case, lift pass holders are a serious concern for sufferers of the spring-loaded backlash they deal out all too regularly.

Think of the children - leave them at home where they belong...

plastic shovel

While snowboarders on the whole are fans of making our own creations out of snow - we do need to be slightly more discerning with our tools than your average winter frolicker.

If you're choosing a shovel for a backcountry rider for example, don't necessarily expect an over-enthusiastic response when you gleefully hand them a flimsy plastic spade to 'go and build a jump'. Chances are they need something a bit more heavy duty if they're venturing off piste; and in all seriousness, the right kit could save someones life one day.

cagoule waterproof

If you ever remember taking a school trip and being handed a soggy, punctured, kag-in-a-bag style, semi-waterproof sheet to keep the elements away on some obscure activity - you'll know that thin waterproofs are not the way forward when it comes to exercising in cold and damp conditions.

If you want to have the final word however - on a long-standing argument with someone who wants a new snowboard jacket - by all means go ahead and stick one of these under their tree. Just to see the glimmer of hope in their eyes slowly break...