Very few people get more days on the snow than Phillip Yates, the terrain park manager for Snowshoe Mountain Resort. The job entails everything from helping fabricate features to running the snowcat and shaping the hits in Snowshoe’s five terrain parks. But Yates also spends half his time testing the features in those parks, and he rarely misses a day on the hill. “It’s called ‘flow evaluation,’ where we do lap after lap on the parks to make sure everything is running smoothly,” Yates says with a smile. “On average, I get 100 days of riding per season between Thanksgiving and early April.”

Bagging 100 days of continuous riding in Snowshoe’s infamously brutal conditions has turned Yates into a bit of a gear snob. Everything in his kit has to work well, day in, day out. We asked the snowboarder to detail his five most trustworthy pieces of gear.

Very few people get more days on the snow than Phillip Yates, the terrain park manager for Snowshoe Mountain Resort. The job entails everything from helping fabricate features to running the snowcat and shaping the hits in Snowshoe’s five terrain parks. But Yates also spends half his time testing the features in those parks, and he rarely misses a day on the hill. “It’s called ‘flow evaluation,’ where we do lap after lap on the parks to make sure everything is running smoothly,” Yates says with a smile. “On average, I get 100 days of riding per season between Thanksgiving and early April.”

Bagging 100 days of continuous riding in Snowshoe’s infamously brutal conditions has turned Yates into a bit of a gear snob. Everything in his kit has to work well, day in, day out. We asked the snowboarder to detail his five most trustworthy pieces of gear.

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Smith I/O ($150)

I’ve been running the Smith I/O series for three years now, and will be using Smith’s new I/0 7 this year. These goggles blend the perfect fit with perfect functionality. The anti fog is stellar ($210). I pair the goggles with the Smith Maze helmet. It’s super light and super low profile. I don’t feel like I have a giant melon on my head. Most of the time, I forget it’s there.

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Never Summer Warlock ($519)

I have nothing bad to say about the Nitro board I’ve been using for the last couple of seasons, but this year I’m switching to the Never Summer Warlock. I haven’t had the chance to ride it yet, but I’m excited. It’s a super soft, freestyle twin board with a really unusual shape; it’s kind of square on both ends. It should be fun on our little mountain.

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Burton AK 2L Cyclic Jacket / Pants (From $389)

I look for good water proofing in my outer shell. It has to stand up to wet conditions and last for more than a couple of months. I’ve trusted the Burton AK Line with GORE-TEX for years. The AK Line holds up really well.

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ThirtyTwo TM-Two ($310)

I’m really impressed with these boots, which have held up for three seasons. It’s a nice, stiff boot for the serious boarder who’s making serious turns. I give these boots a “5-Star” rating all the way around, from the water proofing to the durability to the comfort.

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Gregory Targhee 32 ($169)

The Targhee 32 was built for the backcountry, but is streamlined enough to fit into my resort days too. There’s plenty of room for PBJs, hand warmers and a beer for dad, but also a handy ski carry strap system that allows me to carry my skis on my back, so I can have extra hands for my kids’ gear.

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RefrigiWear FlexWare Top ($70)

The Flex-Wear Hybrid Top protects core warmth while maintaining range of motion. Lightweight and comfortable, the arms and back are made of stretchy, flexible fabric that moves with you. It offers a quilted torso for warmth, hand warmer pockets, and a stand-up collar that won’t sag even with intense activity.

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Showers Pass Hi-Vis Torch Cycling Jacket ($325)

The reflective Torch jacket is fully waterproof and has LED lights with three flashing modes integrated into the jacket. It also features an internal venting system for adjustable cooling with core vents, a chest pocket with audio port, a back vent, and airflow-regulating cuffs.

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RevoMax Vacuum Insulated Flask ($30)

This twist-free, thread-less bottle makes opening and closing easier than ever. Use one hand, press a button, and pop it open for a quick sip, and then seal it tight with the same button. It keeps hot or cold beverages ready for 15 hours.

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