Snow Trends 2012

Celia Miller rocking the ‘Dye Hard’ trend in her signature style for O’Neill, the ‘Sparkle Jacket’

Have we seen the end of snowboarding’s super bright era? This winter it’s all about getting back to nature, being down to earth and rolling with tradition. RIP neon, the future’s faded

Words by Poppy Smith

This year it’s all about blending in with your environment rather than standing out from it.


It feels like the hills have been radioactively glowing with neon snow threads for decades, but the biggest story in snowboarding this coming winter is the shift from uber bright to totally earthy. Yes, this year it’s all about blending in with your environment rather than standing out from it. Literally every snowboard brand out there, even the die-hard colourists like Nikita and O’Neill (see above), are moving towards earthy tones. But fear not, it’s not all brown and khaki, our favourite hues in this trend are mustard and rusty brown from Rip Curl, Zimtstern, and Holden.

‘Back To Nature’

Back To Nature

In line with the big shift towards earthy tones, nature-inspired graphics are popping up on boards and outerwear like a marmot out of a hole. Board-wise, Nikita’s first line of boards includes the ‘Sideways Sista’, which features beautiful illustrations of toucans and deer, Capita’s boards are adorned with our favourite feathered friend, the owl, and DC’s boards include dolphins to leopards. On outerwear, photorealistic nature prints get literal with feathers and flowers on jackets from Roxy, Foursquare and Volcom.

‘Wash Out’ with the Westbeach ‘Harrow Vest’


In times of economic uncertainty, so the fashion legend goes, hemlines supposedly sink faster than share prices. But designers, it seems, also find a sense of security in fashion’s great comfort zone – tradition. Plaids, corduroy and tweeds are materials of choice this winter, in old school cuts with leather and embroidered logos that hark back to the birth of snowboarding. Give tradition a twist in Westbeach, Holden, Vans and Zimtstern.

It’s A Wash Out

The snow/denim love affair has been going strong for at least five years, ever since they found the technology to waterproof it. But somehow it never looked quite right – too starchy, too dark, too fake. We are very excited, however, about the new washed out denim and cotton trend for this winter. It’s more natural, laid back and works magnificently with the heritage look, our favourite piece being Westbeach’s ‘Harrow Vest’.

Plaids, corduroy and tweeds are materials of choice this winter, in old school cuts with leather and embroidered logos that hark back to the birth of snowboarding

Ethnic Undertones

It may be down to the influence of the flying tomato aka Shaun White and his penchant for all things native American Indian. But, whatever, we’re down with the ethnic undertones of K2’s tie-dye board, Kjersti Buass’ signature jacket covered in Indian feathers and Billabong’s ‘Coda’ jacket, which transports us back to the mid 90s. All we need now is a dream catcher.

Kjersti Buaas going ethnic with her feather printed signature jacket for Roxy
Fake it with the Rip Curl ‘Pizzaz Jacket’

Material World

Is there a fabric that you can’t wear on the hill in the 21st Century? Don’t answer that. Let us tell you what you CAN shred in this winter: canvas, cotton fleece, plaid, twill, corduroy, shearling, chambray, tweed, denim, suede and leather. Damn, those waterproof tech dudes are all over it.

Faking It

Fed up of technological limitations, snow brands are faking it with optical illusion prints of wool, feathers and even climbing rope on jackets and pants. A knitted snowboard jacket would be a very daft idea, you’d end up smelling and feeling like a wet dog, but Roxy and Rip Curl’s photorealistic wool prints are so real your granny could have knitted them.

Digi Camo

Camouflage came (mid 90s), then it went (mid noughties), now it’s back again with a new twist. Digital camo prints at Nike and Holden bring it bang up to date – less Dad’s Army more GI Jane on acid.

Quiksilver Women

Snow Show

Quiksilver Women launched a few years ago with a streetwear collection to lust after. This winter sees their first collection of technical snow wear, and it’s equally lust-worthy. The similarity to Holden can’t be ignored, but that’s no bad thing. They’ve got earthy tones and heritage vibes dialled. A mention should also go out to makers of tech bags and luggage, Dakine, who are also launching snow wear for the first time this winter.

For more trends and style advise for the mountains, check back next week!


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