Snowboards with breaks, really? This is actually a great idea from an Australian company and the boards are set to be used by Thredbo in 2013.
The break helps beginners get over those anxious first few turns on the slopes and looks like a great confidence building tool. It will be interesting to see if any ski schools in Europe adopt these boards over the coming seasons.
We're delighted to announce that when you visit Igluski.com on your phone, you will now enjoy a whole new lovely experience. Here's a whirl through five key features:
1. Helpful Header
At the top of every page you'll see this header. We wanted you to be able to do all the key, useful stuff you already can do from our desktop website without compromising simplicity and clarity. We spent a lot of time crafting this area to get it just right.
At the top, you can search for any words (or phrases) — that's for finding specific pages or words across our site. On the right is the phone number and it's just a tap to give us a call from any page. We were careful with the opening hours too, sometimes they're a bit too dense and cluttered, we've reduced them to this simple one line. You'll notice that when we're closed, this switches to show when we next open. We think on a phone you just want to know the score right now. You can still find the full breakdown on our Contact page.
Underneath those are the three main points of navigation: 1. Search for a holiday, 2. Browse our current deals and 3. Check out the snow. We get all sorts of traffic on our site, but those three things cover the vast majority of requests, so all are an easy tap on every single page.
If you compare it to our existing desktop site, you can see just how much we've reduced it down:
2. It's Beautiful
Modern phones allow us to make the site look truly beautiful. If you've got one of the latest iPhones or Android phones, you'll be treated to wonderful high resolution photos and icons. Afterall, nothing beats a lovely, crystal-clear shot of Chamonix.
And naturally we had to choose a quality font that matches that great look. As phone screens become higher in resolution and quality, it means typefaces that are traditionally used for print now look great on screens too. So if you're on an iPhone, you'll get to enjoy browsing our site in Gill Sans.
There are also plenty of other neat touches around, from subtle dropshadow to soft patterns, giving a really solid and high quality feel as you browse.
On a phone, you've got data speeds and bandwidth to worry about. When you're on a train and browsing with 3G (or — shudder — EDGE), there's nothing worse than a stop-stutter website that's cruising through your data usage. We put a great amount of effort into keeping our site lightweight and quick. Everything (other than photos) is pure code, which means it's quicker to load and it's much more efficient than before.
With a desktop site, you have to support a lot of older browsers and therefore sites often get designed without a lot of the latest technology to make them easier support. With current iPhone and Android phones we were able to make great use of all sorts of better tech, without compromising load times.
Even our logo is pure code — no, seriously:
4. Everything is There
One thing we desperately tried to avoid was removing any useful functionality. A complaint we often hear about mobile sites, is that a missing feature forces people to switch to the desktop site. Although a lot had to change, pretty much everything key is still there. So for example our handy date grid on holidays is too big and unwieldy for a phone, but you can still change dates and airports whilst seeing prices really easily:
On top of that we've made templates for almost every existing page, so even if you find some of our most obscure pages via Google, you'll still end up on a mobile-optimised page with all the content that is present on the desktop page. And if you are struggling to find something specific, just use the search box at the top of every page, or browse the sitemap.
What we've found in testing, is that all key functions of our site are now easier. Since the size of a phone screen is so small, we've been able to focus on distraction-free functionality. So searching and filtering criteria is a cinch, snow forecasts are automatically show on all holidays, enquiring by phone is a single tap and even enquiring by web form is just three simple fields and the type of keyboard automatically changes to help you fill them in sharpish.
It means you can do the same actions quicker and easier than you could before — and it's pleasant to do so.
Unlike an app where you've got to go away to the App Store and downloading something, our mobile site just works. You don't even need to follow a special link, just the next time you visit our site on your phone, it'll all be working nicely for you. Try it and let us know what you think: Igluski.com.
With the kids going back to school today winter is going to be here before we know. With the Freeze Festival less than seven weeks away and the ski season officially arriving in under 100 days, here are five awesome films that are getting us excited about the coming winter.
Jeremy Jones' Further
Jeremy Jones' Further is this year's epic and follows on from Deeper — which was released in 2010. Deeper took us, well, deeper into the mountains and Further promises to, you guessed it, take us further into the mountains. Whether you ski or snowboard you will be able to appreciate the incredible riding and ground-breaking destinations, that Jeremy Jones will take you to, in this film.
Warren Miller's Flow State
Winter officially starts when the Warren Miller tour begins, so it would be rude not to mention this year's offering, Flow State. Flow State will no doubt be filled with incredible lines, inspiring destinations and their renowned thematic approach — this years seem to be about the outer body experience skiing brings for many of us. Polar bears, powder, parks, world class pros and terrifyingly good groms are all in store for you.
Absinthe Films have been making some of the most fun-filled snowboard films for years and Resonance looks like it will follow suit. They balance freeride and freestyle riding seamlessly. Watching Absinthe's films reminds me of days on the mountain with friends and always gets me hyped for my holidays — even if the riding surpasses my wildest dreams and capabilities. You can pretty much guarantee this film will be playing in my chalet the day we arrive!
The Dream Factory
The Dream Factory is another offering from TGR, who made the above Further as well as cracking ski films such as Light The Wick. The Dream Factory promises an atmospheric experience of Alaska's world renowned, filled with incredible lines from this past winter along with a little bit of history and clips from a trip back in '91. Alaska is the reason fat skis were invented and the mountains there never fail to captivate an audience.
If it wasn't for Jake Burton snowboarding would be nowhere near where it is today. The godfather of the sport who backed the likes of Terje and White and whose snowboards, films and riders have inspired generations of snowboarders in the sports short history. With this is mind, 13 has to be on your 2012 hit list.
If this doesn't get you in the mood for winter, well, I don't know what will.
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