Snowboarding is excellent, thigh-slimming exercise. That's if you need to justify a bold new purchase, of course.
Travel essentials: Snowboards
Snowboarding is a faster sport to learn than skiing, equally addictive, and nearly as popular now with women as men. In the mid-1980s, when snowboarding was taking off, boards were made so flimsily they broke easily. Twenty-five years on, they're sleek, high-tech and tough enough to last the typical snowboarder two or three years. As well as flooding you with feel-good endorphins it's excellent, thigh-slimming exercise, of course. That's if you need to justify a bold new purchase.
Burton Custom Flying V
Based in Vermont, Burton is probably the world's most popular snowboard brand, and Custom its most popular line. Whereas the camber of most boards curves between your feet, the Flying V lies flat, improving the float in powder. "I've been boarding since 1984 and I'd say that this is currently the best you can buy," says Julian Parkinson at Boardwise in Scotland. "Very light, great grip and drive." Size 156 to 162 cm, £449.95 (Dh2,634) plus £50 (Dh293) p&p from Scottish, Boardwise, Edinburgh (www.boardwise.com; 00 44 131 229 5887).
Lib Tech Cygnus X1-BTX
Technologically, this one is currently the ultimate. Handmade in a limited number by designer Mike Olsen from ultra-light, end-grain eco-friendly timber, it boasts a core of lighter-than-carbon power rods arranged to maximise energy transmission and a seamless biopolymer sidewall for maximum impact resistance. Size 157cm, £1,880 (Dh11,006) plus £120 (Dh702) p&p from British sports specialists Snow & Rock (www.snowandrock.com; 00 44 1483 445 335).
If you want to try snowboarding but are not sure you will like it, you can find a board for under £80 (Dh465). But that's not the attitude! You'll learn faster on a better construction such as this easy-to-ride steel-edged beauty from the long-time ski manufacturers Salomon. "And they know snow," says a muscly spokesman at the new Decathlon in Dubai. Size 144 to 152cm, for Dh1,522, Decathlon, Mirdiff City Centre, off Emirates Road (www.decathlon.com).