[Clemens Millauer in his park swag. All Photos: Blue Tomato/Patrick Steiner]
Clemens Millauer is one of a new breed of Austrians who’s been turning heads in the last few years thanks to his stylish yet technical approach to park riding. Don’t believe us? Check him getting the dizzle on at pre-season Hintertux (he’s in the red jacket), or just watch this.
Will he make the transition from park slayer to backcountry boss and follow in the footsteps of the likes of countryman Gigi Rüf? Having spent a bit of time on the glaciers with the dude and seen his skills in the flesh, we wouldn’t bet against it…
But for now, as he’s a young buck who’s blowing minds thanks to his prowess in the park, we thought he’d be a sterling choice to give you the heads up on what makes for a killer freestyle setup. A setup that his sponsor Blue Tomato has bought into hard, as they stock the full shebang…
If you’re a dude who wants to tackle the pro line, you’ll want your freestyle board to be on the stiffer side with plenty of pop and responsiveness and with the Process being the go-to park board for the likes of Mark McMorris – not to mention Clemens himself – you can be confident that it will handle any kind of kicker riding with aplomb. Clemens agrees, but will also keep this board for jib sessions: “I prefer stiff and aggressive camber boards for big jumps, like the Process, but I still like to use it on rails. Because doing a nose press with a soft banana is kind of cheating.”
This true twin is flex-wise certainly on the more aggressive side, with stellar edge hold thanks to Burton’s Frostbite edges, but benefits from ‘scooping’ of the tips for a looser, more playful ride too. There’s also a combined camber “Flying V’ version for riders who like more forgivingness. “I think a special thing about the Process is that most of the people who ride like it straight away and you don’t have to get used to it,” says Clemens. “It’s great straight out the wrapper. I would definitely recommend it to all park riders.”
“I think the highback, straps and everything has the perfect flex for park riding,” says Clemens of his Malavita EST bindings. “You have super good foot hold and at the same time they are super comfortable.” These two-strappers are geared 100% towards freestyle riding thanks to their epic foothold and response, which is married with the kind of flex that will permit some good old fashioned tweaking.
The lightweight one-piece canted highback gives you maximised control and comfort, with Burton’s Hammockstrap distributing pressure evenly and giving you a super snug fit to the Heel hammock. And the baseplate has heaps of cushioning to dampen chatter and take the spank out of stomps. After freestyle-focussed power, responsiveness and flex? “That’s exactly what the Malavita bindings are made for,” states Clemens.
As with his choice of board, Clemens again opts for the same equipment as Mark McMorris rides for his boots – the Ion – which says a lot about the kind of snowboarding these are best suited to. For handling the size of pro line jumps you want something stiffer and more supportive, and this high-end model from Burton certainly ticks those boxes. “The Ion is a very interesting boot,” Clemens cautions, “because there are some people that don’t like it at the beginning because it’s a little too stiff. But after two days of riding they love it. Then you can have fun with this boot for a long time, because it stays stiff and has really good quality.”
The Ions have a small footprint, consistent-flexing tongue and a heat-moldable liner that’s super comfortable. As for other features that get him hyped, Clemens is clearly down with Burton’s Speedlace: “I think the system to tie them up is insane. It’s super quick and you have the maximum amount of hold.” For serious boarding the Ion is a great choice, and a team favourite for good reason.
For warm-weather park lapping, Clemens – like many riders these days – dispenses with outerwear and opts to keep it classy by riding in a shirt, like Burton’s Glade shown here. “It’s cool to wear because it feels super loose and you have maximum freedom,” he says, “also the style is pretty unique compared to a normal snowboard jacket because the material is very light.”
It makes sense. They’re not called ‘hot laps’ for nothing and you can get quite the sweat on after a few hours of a hectic park session so the airiness of a classic shirt can outweigh the protection of a jacket in such conditions. But for riding to- and from the park or when the mercury heads south, he’ll ride a regular jacket like Analog’s Highmark“because it’s not too heavy and it feels a little bit like shredding with a hoodie, but it’s still super warm.”
Seeing as you have a much higher chance of coming into contact with snow on your body’s lower half, for park sessions even in spring it makes sense to still wear proper snowboard pants. Of course you’ll want a cut you find flexible enough for getting low and boning, plus features like vents, pockets and a good level of waterproofness/breathability. And to have your kind of style. “I think everyone should find their own style with pants,” believes Clemens. “I, for example, like pants that are a little tighter in the knee area but still baggy.”
“Back in the days when I was not on Burton me and my grandmother were trying to make the perfect pant style for me,” he laughs. “Now I think she is stoked that I’m on Burton because she doesn’t have to do this any more – the Field pant is exactly what I was always looking for.” And more than just the fit, these camo Field pants are waterproof and breathable thanks to the 10k/5k fabric, have taped seams and the continuous crotch vent will keep your family jewels nice and chilled.
Plus they’re camo, and as a wise man once said “All camo is good camo.” He was wrong for a while when it went out of fashion, but now he’s right again. Yeah camo.
anon’s flagship M3 MFI goggles are rad for any kind of snowboarding. The frame is great, the lenses are great, but what makes them really stand out is the fact that these lenses attach to that frame via super strong magnets. It means swapping them out literally could not be easier: if the light changes just twist, pull and out they pop. “It helps a lot,” he says. “Also if you’re riding powder and you have a couple of spare lenses with you.”
Not only that, but they also come with a facemask that magnetically attaches to the bottom of the frame, meaning your hot, wet breath doesn’t go into the goggle hence fogging is markedly reduced. “They never get foggy,” Clemens states.
“They are just super comfortable to wear and look good, I think,” says Clemens of his Burton Pyro mitts. They’ll also keep your pinkies warm and dry thanks to the Dryride shell and Thermacore insulation backed up with a fixed fleece lining. Mittens have swiftly become the savvy snowboarder’s go-to handwear, and other than looking on point these one have functional features like an ergonomic, pre-curved fit, a non-slip palm for hanging onto those Flying Squirrels and are made from a pretty bombproof, heavy duty fabric.
The price for these Pyro mittens is pretty damned sweet too and, oh, and another neat feature: you can also keep your Tinder game on point without getting your hands cold as these feature a special palm and tips that work a smartphone screen. Swipe right!
Neckwarmers are awesome, and hooded neckwarmers are even more awesome – pretty much in any conditions you can think of. This hooded neckwarmer keeps your brainbox and face snug and warm thanks to its toasty fleece lining, plus it’ll fit over a helmet which you’ll no doubt want to wear when you’re stepping your game up.
“This is perfect for making the helmet look better,” Clemens says. “If I’m hitting jumps I mostly wear a helmet because I think it’s way safer, and with this Hampshire Hood that I put over the helmet it doesn’t look too bad.”
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