Survival Guide for the Penis – Tips for Cold Weather Care

For men who love skiing, ice fishing, snow-mobile riding and other cold-weather sports, the winter months can be the most exciting time of year. On the other hand, although the sun is lower in the sky and there are fewer concerns about harmful UV rays, weather conditions can still be harsh on sensitive skin. While many men are savvy about carrying lip balm, and some may even admit to using skin lotion against the drying effects of winter on the face and hands, extra penis care is also needed at this time of year.

Many men experience penis symptoms such as the following during the coldest part of the winter:

· Reddened, chapped, flaking skin – even when dressed against the weather, the cold can sap the skin’s natural moisture, resulting in chapping. In addition, heating the home or workplace tends to dry the air, creating an arid environment that can be harsh on sensitive skin. These factors can lead to discomfort and put an end to any plans of long evenings in front of the fire with an intimate partner.

· Chafing from clothingHeavier winter clothing and sports gear such as ski pants can create extra chafing in the groin area, wearing away at the delicate skin and causing dryness and irritation. Dry, cracked skin is prime territory for bacterial and fungal infections to take hold, causing further unpleasant symptoms and prolonging the problem.

· Chapping due to physical activity – Even on the coldest days, men can work up a sweat when exercising or playing outside. While the cold air can be invigorating during exercise, once the body begins to cool down, the dampness in the groin area combined with the chill can lead to chapped, sore, distressed-looking skin.

When to get help

Dry, cracked and irritated or reddened skin is not always a sign of chapping or dehydration. Some common skin conditions such as balanitis, thrush and lichen planus – to name a few – can result in similar symptoms. If the chapped-looking skin is accompanied by a whitish, chunky discharge, if the skin feels warm to the touch, or if the condition does not respond quickly to treatment, treatment by a qualified medical professional may be necessary.

Keeping the cold at bay

In order to avoid the damaging effects of winter on the penis, men can take some common-sense steps to beat the cold:

1. Layer up.Dressing for the weather is really a no-brainer, but it does make a difference. While not foolproof, dressing in warmer clothing can protect the body against the drying effects of the cold. Starting with comfortable, non-binding underwear made from cotton can protect the penis from direct contact with rougher fabrics such as wool. For sports, undergarments that wick moisture away from the body are recommend, as they can keep sweat from accumulating. Long underwear is ideal for wearing under ski pants or regular clothing and can keep the area both warm and dry.

2. Keep it clean.Washing away built-up dead skin cells and oils can help to keep the penis skin healthy and maintain the integrity of its surface. Using regular soap is not recommended, as these can contain harsh chemicals that may further dry the skin. A mild cleanser made from natural ingredients may work best.

3. Moisture Matters. The most effective way to prevent dehydration and chapping is to keep the area well-moisturized. All-natural moisturizers such as shea butter or coconut oil are highly effective, and shea butter, in particular, is gentle on sensitive skin. A preparation of vitamin E provides a natural barrier to retain the skin’s hydration, fighting the effects of cold weather and the chafing caused by heavy clothing.

4. Nourishing the penis. To prevent the cold winter months from taking a toll, it is important to replace the nutrients that can be depleted through dry, stressed skin. Applying a quality penis nutrient formula (most health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) as part of the daily care routine can help to replenish the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are needed to promote healthy, smooth skin, fight off bacteria and other invaders, and maintain the skin’s natural moisture balance.

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5 Reasons Why The NHL Stadium Series and Winter Classics Are So Great

99% of the time that we see NHL games live-streamed on our mobile device or your television, they take place indoors in an arena where you have the technology to make the perfect ice and great crowd atmosphere. It also provides protection from rain, snow, warm temperatures plus freezing temperatures. But wait. Protection from snow and freezing temperatures? Yea it seems counter intuitive doesn’t it? After all, the game of hockey was first played outside shortly after it was invented. Before the National Hockey League existed games were already played indoors. It was to accommodate the fans, maintain ice conditions, avoid legal troubles and so on.

If true hockey fans had it their way, every game would be outside but unfortunately Florida and Carolina almost never get freezing temperatures and most of the snow will melt in Canada once playoffs start.

Basically, reality stinks so we have to improvise.

It was decided that hockey needed to go back to its roots like how it was first played in the 1800’s on a small patch of ice where a group of geniuses decided it was a great idea to slap around a 3 inch chunk of rubber with skinny pieces of lumber while puttering around wearing steel blades 5 millimetres wide by 2 inches high. And no I’m not being sarcastic, I genuinely think its genius.

Pretend we’re going back to 2003, the year before the first NHL outdoor game took place in the modern era and we’re asking ourselves this question:

“How do we make outdoor NHL games work?”

In order to make it work, conditions have to be met. First off, the weather has to be cold enough. Second, the technology has to be in place for the ice to hold up in case the weather gets a little warm. It can only take place in December, January or February because it’s obviously cold in those months. Someone has to make money so the owners need to be convinced that it’s a good idea (Fast forward to 2016, every NHL team wants an outdoor game now). It has be made into a massive hyped up event so seats, jerseys and other merchandise will sell out so fans have to express interest in it but most importantly, there has to be an emotional connection for the fans.

I can come up with a million more reasons but you get the drift.

As I am writing this now (February 19th, 2016), both the Stadium Series and the Winter Classics have been insanely successful since the first official Winter Classic in 2008 when Buffalo hosted Pittsburgh. T.V. ratings have been declining slightly for 3 consecutive years but merchandise sales and tickets mostly sell out.

Reason #1: Great excuse for goalies to get new gear just for the game.

Okay there is a greater purpose why the goalies get the gear made just for the big date. Some of the goalies sign them and auction it for their favourite charities and that’s awesome but some of them just want to because you only live once. The outdoor games have truly inspired some great pad designs and goalie masks as well. Just look at Bryzgalov’s 2012 Winter Classic mask when he played for the Flyers. He has some of the greatest Philadelphia sports icons infused in one mask. I think he designed the mask that way because he wanted his mask to be the centre of the universe just for that game but who am I to judge?

Reason #2: HBO’s Road To The Winter Classic Series.

If you haven’t watched any of the ‘Road To The Winter Classic’ episodes, you need to because they are great. If you want to see personality and an in-depth glimpse of the life of NHL players, then look no further than this because it will enlighten you on how some NHL players are really like in their personal lives. You see some of these guys at their best but also, at their worst. Unless you have NHL All-Access or Center-Ice, this won’t amaze you that much but without the Winter Classic, these mini-series wouldn’t exist.

Reason #3: The new jerseys introduced for the game. Some are wacky and very cool.

It’s hard to believe that there are already 29 jerseys introduced between the Stadium Series and the Winter Classics going back to 2008. Why so many? Using the outdoor games is honestly more of a way to test the market for new designs and concepts for jerseys. Only a handful of teams wear these new jerseys once a year outside and maybe a couple more times indoors so why not? The 2015 Stadium Series game between Los Angeles and San Jose were especially a new twist on design because nobody is used to seeing a 3-layered ice cream trifle design on a hockey sweater. Too me, they look better once the game happened when players were wearing them on the ice. The Philadelphia Flyers were inspired to bring back their old uniforms permanently after they were reintroduced in the 2010 Winter Classic against Boston. It was the same case with the 2008 Winter Classic as Buffalo brought back their Winter Classic jerseys permanently.

Most of these jerseys introduced are great designs with a lot of symbolism and have been getting many positive reviews.

Reason #4: Creates unforgettable experiences.

For those that have actually attended an NHL outdoor game, congratulations, I hope you had a wonderful time and I am sure it’s an experience you’ll never forget. For those that haven’t including myself, we’ll get our day eventually and I would go to one no matter how cold it is outside. As is tradition for myself and a couple members of my family and friends, we actually celebrate our very own “Winter Classic Day” by having breakfast while watching the game after a long night of partying. I made this tradition within my inner circle and we love it. Can’t wait until next year and hopefully my favourite team (Winnipeg Jets) will get their date. I don’t even care if it’s just a Heritage Classic, I’d still go.

Reason #5: Great promotion for the game of hockey.

This is perhaps the most ambiguous reason on the list so I’ll explain. As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, the main root of hockey is outside on a frozen patch of ice; most likely a pond and that’s how it was first played. It took almost 100 freaking years for somebody to say that maybe a handful of NHL games should be played outside just like the old days when the NHL didn’t exist yet. At first, some of the owners, NHL board members and others thought it was too risky to have an outdoor NHL game at such a big scale. When it was first unofficially tried in 2004 between the Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens, it received great reception. Due to the mess the infamous 2005 NHL lockout created, other priorities took over the league agenda and finally in 2008, the first official Winter Classic was hosted in Buffalo as the Sabres hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was wildly successful and everybody wanted a piece of that frozen, outdoor money pie. It was successful because big league hockey finally went back to its “roots” and people loved it because it expressed the fans’ emotional and historical connection to the game. The players felt it was an honour to play outside and I truly believe it. The merchandising and marketing of the event was very well done and everybody (Most importantly the fans) were happy at the end of the day.

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Hockey Songs

Hockey songs are inspirational songs written for the game of hockey. There are a lot of songs written about this great sport. Hockey songs are an excellent way to capture the spirit of the game.

There are many bands singing hockey songs. They play inspirational hockey songs for the team in order to boost their spirit. The themes of hockey songs vary widely from band to band. There are humorous hockey songs, songs about hockey players and songs praising the segments of famous hockey events.

There are a numerous hockey songs popular in Canada. The game of ice hockey is the most popular game and the national winter sport in Canada. Many Canadians are obsessed with hockey that has become a part of Canadian culture. Hockey songs are written in order to inspire and motivate the hockey players.

Of several hockey songs, ‘The hockey song’, is the best. Written by ‘Stompin’ Tom Connors, it is an immortal song celebrating Canada’s love for hockey. Well known for its chorus, the song has spilt up verses, each one describing a period of play in a typical hockey game. This song is the most played one at all Canadian hockey events.

Another classic hockey song is the Tragically Hip song “Fifty Mission Cap.” This song is a true song story about Bill Barilko, who scored one of the most famous goals in National Hockey League history. The legend of Barilko, who scored the 1951 Stanley Cup winning goal for the Toronto Maple, and his mysterious death are forever immortalized in this song.

Other popular hockey songs are “Hockey” by Jane Siberry, “Hockey Night in Canada” of The Shuffle Demons, “Gordie and My Old Man” of Grievous Angels, “The Ballad of Wendel Clark, Parts I and II” of Rheostatics, “Hit Somebody!” by Warren Zevon and “The Zamboni Song” by Gear Daddies.

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Big Sky Montana Fishing Guide

Big Sky, Montana is home to the largest skiing area in the United States. The outstanding winter sports combined with numerous summer activities like fishing, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking and rafting have made Big Sky a popular year round destination for vacationers craving outdoor recreation. Big Sky also happens to be close to some of North America’s best fly fishing.

Gallatin River

If you close your eyes and envision a perfect trout river, the Gallatin River would surely remind you of the river in your dreams. This gorgeous fishery begins in Yellowstone National Park a short jaunt from Big Sky. The scenery along the Gallatin was made famous by Robert Redford’s classic “A River Runs Through It” where all of the fishing scenes were filmed. After tumbling out of the park it flows past Big Sky junction and enters the Gallatin Canyon of the next 30 miles. Upon leaving the canyon the Gallatin becomes a beautiful meadow river lined with cottonwoods on its journey to form the Missouri near Three Forks. The river offers great trout fishing throughout its course. The highest trout numbers occur below the Big Sky junction after numerous underground springs improve the productivity of the river. The canyon boasts thousands of trout per mile and fishing can often be fast and furious. Rainbow trout in the 10-17″ range dominate the fishery here, but the occasional brown trout provides some diversity. The trout in the canyon are not terribly picky and a well presented attractor dry fly or small bead head nymph is all that is needed to provide steady action. Once the Gallatin leaves the canyon trout numbers begin to drop but trout size increases. The Lower Gallatin produces fish in the 20-28″ range each year and is a favorite destination in the fall for those searching for trophy fish.

Madison River

The Madison River is frequently rated as North America’s number one trout stream. This legendary fishery originates in Yellowstone National Park and flows through one of Montana’s most picturesque valleys on its journey to form the Missouri river. The Madison river has it all: great hatches, spectacular scenery, huge trout and great water. A day float fishing the Madison from a drift boat is prerequisite for any Montana fishing trip. The upper portion of the River is designated for wade fishing only and is an ideal location to target large, strong and healthy browns and rainbows in swift rocky pocket water. The large rocks and swift current are not for the faint of heart, but those that are willing to do some aggressive wading are always rewarded. Throughout most of the Upper Madison Valley, the river flows through what is fondly referred to as the 50 mile riffle. This swift, shallow stretch of water offers ideal trout habitat from bank to bank. This amazingly productive stretch holds lots of browns and rainbows of all year classes with fish up to 30″ caught each season. Below Ennis Lake, the river changes character dramatically as it enters the tumultuous Bear Trap Canyon. Big Sky Angler guides Brian and Miles McGeehan are two of a very small handful of guides qualified to offer fishing trips through the class V whitewater run. Bear Trap is safely the premier one day float fishing trip in North America. After exiting Bear Trap canyon, the Lower Madison slows in gradient as its currents wash over large weed beds filled with sculpins, mayflies and crayfish. Some of the largest trout in the Madison reside in its lower waters and it is a prime destination in the spring and fall when water temperatures are ideal for trout fishing.

Yellowstone River Fishing

The Yellowstone is the longest undammed river in the lower 48. After carving its way throughout the length of Yellowstone National Park, it travels through Paradise Valley and eventually across the state of Montana to join the Missouri River in North Dakota. This large river is ideal for float fishing and offers some of the best dry fly fishing in Montana. Most Big Sky Angler trips take place on the 100 miles of water from Gardiner at the park boundary to just beyond Big Timber. Impressive hatches of caddis flies, stoneflies and mayflies bring fish to the surface from April through July and again in the fall. In the late summer months, the Yellowstone is home to some of the best terrestrial fishing in Montana, including some awesome grasshopper fishing. Numerous alfalfa fields near the river fill up with the large insects in late July through September and are frequently blown into the river on breezy afternoons. Large trout become reckless when chasing these large tasty morsels and a day of “hopper” fishing ranks high on the list of many international anglers.

Small stream fishing

Big Sky is surrounded by small mountain streams that are filled with eager trout ready to pounce on a well presented dry fly. Speciman creek, Fan creek, Portal Creek, Moose Creek, Storm Castle Creek, Swan Creek, Hell Roaring Creek and the Taylor Fork all offer secluded fly fishing to small trout. A short three or four weight rod and a box of attractor dry flies is all that is needed to have an action packed day on these small creeks.

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The Evolution of Softball

The first softball game ever to be played was on Thanksgiving Day in the year 1887. After a football game between Yale and Harvard-specifically during the paying of bets-a man from Yale threw a boxing glove at the Harvard grads, one of whom hit the glove with a broom handle-giving rise to the game of softball.

Initially an indoor game

George Hancock, one of the Harvard and Yale alumni, tied a boxing glove into the form of a softball and proceeded to draw a softball diamond with a chalk on the floor of the boat club. Since the glove-turned-softball was soft, the players did not as yet wear gloves. Thus came about the first softball game which ended with a score of 41-40.

Shortly thereafter, Hancock wrote down the rules for the softball game and came up with a softball and rubber-tipped bat. He even marked permanent foul lines on the floor of the boat club.

Soon became an outdoor sport

Softball went on to become one of the favorite sports during that winter in Chicago. The new sport became a way for baseball players to keep practicing even during the winter season. Way past the winter season, softball was taken outdoors where it was played out in fields that are much smaller than baseball diamonds.

The evolution and development of softball, however, was credited to a fire marshall named Lewis Rober. Rober used the relatively new sport to keep his Minneapolis firemen from getting bored while waiting for fire calls.

On a lot adjacent to the fire station, Lewis Rober marked a softball field where the firemen whiled away their time playing the sport. Rober soon found that the larger and softer balls coupled with the smaller fields created a sport which had more offense and more action compared to baseball. He made it a rule to limit the game to seven innings so as to enable the game to be completed in an hour.

Very soon, softball games were staged between firehouses, drawing as many as 3,000 spectators and leading to a mushrooming of softball games in parks and playgrounds all over the city. By the year 1913, softball was officially adopted as a sport by the Minneapolis Park Board.

Became an international sport

The game spread from Chicago to Milwaukee and then to the Midwest and Canada. Different places had slightly different rules and implements. For instance, the game was called in other places by other names such as cabbage ball, pumpkin ball or mush ball. It was only in 1926 that the name softball was set as the official name of the sport.

It was only in the year 1933 that the rules of softball were standardized by the Amateur Softball Association. The sizes of the ball and of the field as well as the distances between the bases were set. The fast pitch and the slow pitch softball games were also defined.

As to softball attire, the early years of softball had players wearing sweater and pants. Today, softball players wear nylon shirts with undershirts, pants, softball cleats and softball socks. Ball caps are mandatory for fast-pitch male leagues. Metal spikes on softball cleats are prohibited.

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A Guide to Celebrating the 20th Wedding Anniversary

The 20th year wedding anniversary is one of the largest milestone anniversaries, and one that is well worth celebrating not only with your spouse and loved ones, but also with anyone in your life who wants to celebrate with you. As you celebrate this truly momentous occasion, you should be taking the time to reflect on the serious commitment that has been made to a lifetime of marriage between you and your spouse. Here is a guide to the ideas and symbols that are normally associated with the twentieth wedding anniversary. Planning a 20th year wedding anniversary is an event that should be taken seriously, and it has a lot more planning involved than simply throwing a celebratory party.

20th Anniversary Traditional Gifts: China is the traditional gift for the 20th wedding anniversary, as it is meant to symbolize the beauty, elegance and delicate nature of your love for one another over a period of the past twenty years.

20th Anniversary Modern or Contemporary Gifts: Platinum is the modern or contemporary choice for a 20th year wedding anniversary gift because it is strong and enduring in many of the same ways as your twenty year old marriage.

20th Anniversary Gemstone: The emerald is the traditional gemstone for celebrating the 20th year wedding anniversary, though yellow or golden diamonds are another available option.

20th Anniversary Color: The colors traditionally associated with the 20th year wedding anniversary are both emerald green and white.

20th Anniversary Flower: The flower normally associated with the 20th year wedding anniversary is the day lily. The meaning normally associated with the day lily is that of coquetry, including playful behavior toward your spouse and flirting.

Another opportunity available to you is to give a rose that is symbolic of this momentous occasion, the twentieth year anniversary. A few of the roses that you should consider include the China Doll rose, the Chinatown rose, the Weeping China Doll rose and the Precious Platinum rose.

There are a number of different ways that you can celebrate your twentieth year wedding anniversary. For example, you may want to consider planning an anniversary party that has a Chinese theme, possibly even making use of Chinese paper lanterns as part of the decorations. If you want to continue the China theme, you may consider planning a picnic using China glasses and plates rather than paper or Styrofoam. Take things to the next level by purchasing tickets to a concert, movie, sporting event or the theater and attend with your loved one. If you want to celebrate in style, which is recommended for this truly phenomenal wedding anniversary, you may even consider vacationing with your spouse to China or Hong Kong, where traditional China gifts can be purchased.

There are a variety of different gift ideas that you can consider when treating your spouse to a gift on your twentieth year wedding anniversary. Consider giving the gift of a Wedgwood china vase containing fresh day lilies or other flowers. You may also consider giving the gift of China plates, china baskets or China cake plates that match the style and décor of your home. If China kitchenware is not your style, China figurines or Chinese style figurines may make an excellent gift for your loved one. If China is not your style, there is always the option to choose platinum jewelry, as platinum is a contemporary gift choice for this particular wedding anniversary.

If you want to create a gift for your spouse rather than purchasing one, you may consider putting a piece of platinum and emerald jewelry, a single day lily, new paper money, love coupons and a love note in a China cup or China bowl, or otherwise combining small, beautiful gifts together in a simple way to show your most special loved one how much you care about them.

The twentieth year wedding anniversary is a large one, and traditionally is the anniversary where couples finally begin to include their friends and family in their celebrations. This does not mean that you cannot celebrate with one another privately, but to have reached twenty happy years with your husband or wife is certainly cause for a grand celebration.

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Reading the Clouds: Weather Watching

In California, late autumn usually means the door to Pacific storms starts swinging wide open, bringing snow to the high country. Regardless of where you live, weather affects your daily life, but is especially important for people who spend time outdoors. Naturally, skiers and other winter-sports enthusiasts will be listening to the latest weather reports before they head to the high country. But once they are out gliding across the crystal blanket or hiking in potentially foul weather, they may not have a radio or television or reliable cell phone service available to check on that storm the forecasters said was coming.

However, approaching storms give hints of their impending arrival at least several hours ahead. The following aids can help decipher those clues:

“A Field Guide to the Atmosphere” by Vincent J. Shaefer and John A. Day (Houghton Mifflin).

As the title suggests, this book is about more than weather forecasting. As all the books in the Peterson Field Guide Series, its primary purpose is identification – in this case, clouds, rainbows, glories, haloes, and other atmospheric phenomena. For this, it has numerous drawings, plus 336 black-and-white and 32 color photographs.

Because the atmosphere isn’t just something to identify, but also is an ever-changing system to observe, the book devotes much space to discussing the processes at work in the ocean of air. It is as much for the skier who wonders how a high, icy cirrus cloud can give the sun a halo as it is for the backcountry snow camper who wants to know if he’ll have to dig his way out of his tent the next morning.

“Weathering the Wilderness” by William E. Reifsnyder (Sierra Club Books).

The subtitle to this book is “The Sierra Club Guide to Practical Meteorology.” It is written with the outdoor recreationist in mind. The first part of the book is a basic course in the whys and wherefores of winds and storms. Of particular interest to the would-be forecaster is a table that shows how different weather conditions – pressure (for which you’ll need an altimeter/barometer to measure) wind, clouds, precipitation, temperature, humidity, and visibility – change as frontal systems approach and pass. Incidentally the chapter on “Weather Hazards”, especially its discussion of wind chill, hypothermia, and avalanches should be of particular interest to the skier.

The second part concerns the general weather patterns of various regions across the United States and Canada, including the Sierra Nevada and it’s usually mild, wet winters that produce good skiing conditions.

Pocket Weather Trends (Weather Trends Inc.)

This device is the handiest of the three forecasting aids. It resembles a simple slide rule. A slide holder has 6 boxed areas on its face with photos and descriptions of different cloud types. Each box has eight compass directions. Each slide – one for each of several regions – has a black mark in the middle that is lined up next to the wind direction within the box that corresponds to the cloud type observed overhead. Then at two horizontal windows – one for November through April the other for May through October – the slide will show you the forecast for the next 12 – 36 hours.

These books are all available on Amazon.

In addition to books or charts, there are handheld weather instruments a recreationist can carry with them. Accurate measurements of weather conditions can take the guesswork out forecasting. Companies such as Kestrel, Ambient Weather, Speedtech, Weather Mate, and Davis Instruments make handheld devices that can measure temperature (current, maximum and minimum), pressure, elevation, wind speed, relative humidity, dew point, and other measures. Plus, they are all either water resistant or waterproof. These are available directly from the manufacturer, recreation stores, or online.

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A Look at the Intriguing History of Snowboarding

To say who actually invented the sport of snowboarding would be impossible because people have always loved to slide down a snow-covered hill. Soaring through the snow on some kind of seat or board is nothing new. The ways to enjoy the snow are numerous, and people have devised ways to turn garbage can lids and cardboard into “snow boards” to enjoy an afternoon frolic outdoors. The various ways to glide through snow have become more sophisticated and have evolved into using polished boards or skis in much the same manner as a surfboarder would ride a wave.

There have been many attempts at developing a modern snowboard. In 1965, the “Snurfer” (a word play on ‘snow’ and ‘surfer’) was developed as a child’s toy. Two skis were bound together and a rope was placed at the front end to afford control and stability. Over 500,000 “Snurfers” were sold in 1966 but they were never seen as more than a child’s plaything even though organized competitions began to take place. The year 1969 brought a slightly more sophisticated snowboard based on the principles of skiing combined with surfboard styling.

The “Flying Yellow Banana” was developed in 1977. This was nothing more than a plastic shell covered with a top surface like that of a skateboard, but at the time it was considered a major advance in the little known sport of snowboarding. The first national snowboard race was held in the area outside Woodstock and was known as “The Suicide Six.” The race consisted of a steep downhill run called The Face in which the main goal was probably mere survival.

Snowboarding continued to increase in popularity over the next several years. In 1985 the first magazine dedicated specifically to snowboarding hit the news stands with huge success and furthered the popularity of this exciting sport. Hoards of fans began to organize regional events and pretty soon snowboarding events were held in all parts of the world. In the year 1994 snowboarding was finally declared an Olympic event, much to the delight of fans. The not-so-new sport of snowboarding was finally recognized and meant a huge victory for serious snowboarders across the globe.

A collection of snowboarding tricks and stunts was released on video in 1996. Filmed in Alaska, the breathtaking beauty and captivating snowboarding techniques featured in the video exposed snowboarding to a new generation, and by 1998 snowboarding constituted almost 50% of all winter activity. Today, nearly all ski resorts accept snowboarders. There are still a few holding on to the past but this is unlikely to continue as the number of snowboarders continually increases.

From the first crudely built snowboards to the advanced and specialized models available today, snowboarders have carried a “bad boy” image. This rebel reputation is still common today in spite of the fact that snowboarding appeals to men, women, and children of all nationalities and social groups. At most major ski resorts you can find snowboarding gear, information, and lessons. Olympic and world wide snowboarding events are among the most popular of winter sports and the competition to be the best is fierce.

Retailers nation wide and around the world carry many types of snowboards, and the choice in specially made snowboarding gear is immense. Snowboarders have participated in the X Games and even charity events such as Boarding for Breast Cancer. From its early meager beginnings snowboarding has progressed into a fully recognized sport, and large numbers of people are turning to snowboarding for adventure, fun, and professional recognition.

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Wind-Kissed Skin: Tips on Avoiding Windburn on a Ski Vacation

Aside from the possibility of getting caught in the middle of an avalanche and getting a frostbite during your ski vacation, here’s another threat that you should avoid: windburn. So what exactly is a windburn?

Windburn is the redness of the skin caused by long exposure to strong and cold winds for extended period of time. The cold air allows the wind to easily break down the fat molecules (oil) that maintain the normal moisture in your skin. As a result, the skin turns dry and irritated. Skin also becomes more sensitive to products. It commonly occurs on the face but it can happen to any exposed part of your body.

Signs and Symptoms

Windburn is characterized by the irritation of the skin manifested in the redness of the face and other parts of the body such as neck and hands. It can look and feel like sunburn. Sometimes, the skin can seem swollen and feel very itchy and/or sore. It usually last for a few days because it causes much less skin damage.

However, if the irritation lasts longer, consult your doctor to avoid another skin condition such as rosacea. Rosacea is a skin disease that can mimic windburn and characterized by various forms of facial redness due to the enlargement and widening of blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin.

Who might be the victims of sunburn?

Those who are involved in winter sports such as skiers, snowboarders, and ice skaters are most likely to experience windburn. Being exposed to cold, dry, brisk wind at high altitudes increases the possibility of severe windburn.

People who live in warm climates don’t usually experience windburn, however sudden exposure to cold dry winds on vacations or during a sudden weather change may increase the odds.

What are the ways to prevent it?

First, keep your skin covered. Wear a scarf or neck warmers for your neck and chin, mittens to protect your hands, a hat or headband for your ears and a face mask for your nose cheeks, and forehead.

Second, if you plan to go out for a long time, wear some moisturizing sunblock to protect you from both sun and windburn. Don’t forget to moisten your lips too, with an SPF lip moisturizer. Apply sunscreen to your skin and lips every two hours.

Third, check weather reports and know the wind-chill factor before going out. If the weather is extremely cold, then don’t stay outside far too long.

Fourth, if it happens, apply lotion about four times a day. Make sure those lotions are without fragrance or acidic ingredients to avoid further irritation. If your skin begins to peel, resist the urge to pick at your skin and continue to moisturize. In cleaning the affected area, choose a mild cleanser to keep the natural moisture in your skin. If your condition is not getting any better, best to consult your doctor.

Are you ready for your ski vacation? With these helpful tips, your vacation will surely be windburn-free.

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The Importance of a Warm Winter Coat

When it comes to winter coats for men, women, girls and boys, the importance of a warm winter coat should be of paramount concern for parents, kids, men and women alike. The thing about winter coats is that most of them just plain suck. Sure you can go to Wal-Mart and buy a winter coat for $100 but don’t it expect it to be warm, don’t expect it to fit well, and don’t expect it to be stylish. But above style, it should fit well.

A well well-fitting jacket is a warm jacket. It all starts with the type of material you find inside the jacket. Many jackets come with some kind of synthetic insolation, I don’t even know what its called but its probably no good. You want to go natural go with goose down, you can’t go wrong and you’ll always be warm. You should also consider the inside of the jacket that actually touches your skin. It usually should contain a comfortable light polyester material so you feel too warm and doesn’t absorb moisture if you happen to sweat (chances are if your doing something rigorous, like shovelling the driveway, you’ll probably sweat).

At the same time you should also consider leaving enough room to layer up. Layering up involves adding layers of clothing underneath a winter coat to provide additional layers of warmth. Layering is a must-do for winter sports, but is also advisable for general winter day-to-day. Layering isn’t just about piling on more shirts. The first layer should be a polyester or synthetic material that will keep moisture off your body, like a sports shirt. The next layer should be a light cotton based material, or hybrid cotton polyester for warmth and moisture wicking. The should be all you need plus the warm coat over top. You should never have to much space on the inside of the jacket, this is where cold air can hide and chill you quite quickly. You always want the layers of clothing and the space between clothes and the jacket to be fairly snug.

The outer shell of the jacket should always be a water proof breathable material. Don’t bother with anything that says “water resistant” or “water repellant”, choose brand name water proof shells like Goretex. The next time you get wet snow or rained on, you’ll thank yourself for spending a bit more on the waterproof material, and you’ll thank me for writing this!

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