Today’s reader question:
Can you recommend some shovels for building snowboard jumps and going into the backcountry?
Picking a good shovel is actually pretty simple, you just need to make sure your shovel meets a couple simple requirements.
1) Aluminium blade / shovel head
Ski shovels usually come with either a metal aluminium shovel head or a plastic composite shovel head. Don’t get any shovels with a plastic head.
Plastic shovel heads suck for cutting through snow. They just bounce off instead of cutting the snow.
Aluminium shovel heads are definitely something you want when you buy a good snowboard shovel.
2) Telescopic handle
You’ll want a handle that collapses down to make it easy to carry with your backpack.
While there’s nothing saying you can’t have a non collapsible handle, you don’t really want to snowboard while carrying a long shovel the whole time.
What shovel brands should I buy & Where do I buy a good shovel?
As far as shovel brands go, any of the companies that make a lot of avalanche safety and mountain hiking gear tend to make high quality shovels.
Here are just a few companies I’d recommend you look at:
- Black Diamond
- G3 – Genuine Guide Gear
- BCA – Backcountry Access
You can find them online, but if you want to buy locally you can find good shovels at most outdoor backcountry / mountain shops. Snowboard shops sometimes carry shovels too, but your best bet for quality shovels are the backcountry and hiking shops.
Hope that answers your question.