“ Manufacturer: Firefly / Type: Snowboard „
Firefly Spheric Women's Snowboard
I have been snowboarding for many years now, but up until Christmas 2011 I had never been on a mountain as I lived in Birmingham and because of this I had only ever used our local indoor Snowdome with borrowed equipment. Before I moved from the UK I found out we were going to be going snowboarding in the Czech Republic for Christmas obviously I was rather excited and purchased a few items before I moved, however the snowboard itself I decided to buy once I had moved. This turned out to be a great decision as I managed to buy the Firefly Spheric snowboard here in Poland for a lot cheaper than in the UK.
After traipsing round many different sports shops I finally found the snowboard I wanted and to make it even better I managed to find it in the sale. I paid 400zl (Polish Zloty) for my snowboard which at the time of purchase worked out as only £50! Of course, this price didn't include the bindings needed to actually use the board but I did purchase them separately.
The board itself is a lovely mix of purple and blue swirls and random shapes which I think make it look fab and extremely cool. Underneath the board is white with the word 'Firefly' written across it in bright pink lettering. Now I just need to get my snowboarding skills up to a standard which matches the coolness of my board!
Suitability to My Style... or Rather Lack of Style!
The Firefly Spheric snowboard is advertised as an ideal board for snowboarders who are at the beginner to intermediate level and those who are simply looking for a board to 'play' on. I would personally say I am at the low intermediate level as I meet the UK recreational standards and I am competent enough to use the intermediate slopes graded according to European slope ratings.
The snowboard is really lightweight which from past experience I can tell you does make a difference, especially, if like me you are a short 5ft 1inch, the lighter the board the easier it is to control. My board is sized at 149cm which is apparently correct for my height. The size of your board is important and coincides with your height as this will affect your ability to control yourself safely. This board is also made in the Freestyle design, meaning it is pretty much symmetrical, although I am told not 100% as there is still a correct leading end. The freestyle design also makes the board more versatile and for me I find it much easier to control and if needed, to stop quickly. The edges have a metal trim which helps with the way the board moves over the snow and after cutting my finger on this I can recommend that you take great care and don't do as I did and run your finger along the shiny smooth edge!
The board has a flex rating of 3 to 4. This rating is given on the scale of 1 to 6, 1 being very flexible and 6 being not flexible, to give an idea of what the board is more suitable for. The 3 to 4 rating of this board means it is suitable mainly for mountains and also for varying terrain. It can be used for tricks both on the mountain and in the ramps and rails area. I personally cannot do tricks, yet, but I do like to have a reasonably flexible board as I feel more in control and I do enjoy jumping at the top of the mountain to get me started as it makes me feel more confident.
On The Mountain
So, Christmas 2011 arrived and I'm just a big ball of excitement and ready to go snowboarding!
On Christmas day and Boxing day we spent a total of around 10 hours (split across both days) on the mountain and between then and the middle of March we made numerous trips back to the Czech Republic for many more snowboarding adventures. So, here is how the Firefly board is performing...
When I first used my new board I was a little nervous as compared to the boards I had borrowed in the past it initially felt very slippery on the snow and a little hard to control, at this point I had a little panic that maybe this wasn't the board for me. However, after a few runs down the mountain I think this was more nerves and feeling tense than anything to do with the board. The mountain we use most often begins with a reasonably gentle slope which I used to my advantage to get a feel for the board and get used to the weight, how easy it was to turn and so on. After I was over my initial nerves I found the board really easy to turn and because of how lightweight it is I have, on quite a few occasions began to get brave and try the occasional jump. This has so far been successful and I find I can lift the board with ease, I do however need to work on my landing as I am quite often a human snowball!
After the gentle slope of the mountain I have to stop playing around and really concentrate as there is quite a long section which is rather steep and requires me to have full control of my board as it is possible to have quite a nasty fall there, I've lost count of how many times I've seen people being carried down the mountain on the back of the snow mobile from this area after falling. So this is the part of the mountain I am most cautious about and feel most confident when I am in full control of my snowboard, thankfully I have always felt in control with my Firefly and although I have fallen many times I have always managed to control my speed and turn the board so that I slow down instantly if I feel as if I am going to fall so therefore this has minimised the impact with the snow. Because of how much I do feel in control I feel as though my confidence is growing and on our last few trips I was actually quite happy to take a risk and build up some speed while feeling confident that my board was easy enough to slow down if I needed to.
From the bottom of the steep area we enter into the top of the beginners run on the mountain, this area is similar to the top of the mountain but unfortunately I cannot play too much as there are usually too many people around, this is of course good practice for me and my turns and after many hours spent in this area I really appreciate how well my snowboard responds to the way I shift my body weight to turn and avoid other people.
Although I haven't had my snowboard very long, I have had quite a lot of use from it already and therefore the aftercare of my board is very important as I want it to last for as long as possible. At the end of our last trip I took my board to one of the service centres in Czech and they worked their magic to remove a couple of very minor scratches I'd managed to get on the base of the board, they then provided me with a block of wax and told me to wax my board regular next season and this should help prevent any major scratches and damage.
The snowboard is now being stored in a snowboard carrying case which I bought at the time of purchase to protect it from any knocks or falls. I have checked on it a couple of times as I was worried that the metal edge may rust after being exposed to the moisture on a regular basis and then suddenly being stored away, but as of yet nothing has appeared.
After searching online I cannot find this snowboard in stock in the UK, they do have some in the US retailing at $179 plus any shipping charges. My personal recommendation if you want this board is to get a cheap Ryan air flight to Poland, have a nice holiday and buy your new snowboard here as after looking around online I see that I actually managed to get my entire collection of snowboarding equipment for under £250! This is much cheaper than I have ever seen in the UK!
YES! Not only is this snowboard incredibly sexy and looks very cool, but it is also lightweight, easy to control and very responsive. I am not the most confident of snowboarders but with this snowboard attached to my feet I do feel very much in control and confident enough to push myself to the next level.
Thanks for reading! :)