Category Archives: Imported

The Best Snow Apps – Weather, grabs, and more – Blog for


SNOW APPSWHAT DO YOU WANT, WHAT DO YOUThese days we never ride without our phones. With improved signal and cheaper rates we can now actually use our mobiles while abroad, there’s even Wi-Fi in some of the mountain bars so you can check it and upload those selfies, but more usefully, we can check out the action and news with a huge range of snow apps. But which ones are worth the download, we’re here to find out!


OnTheSnow – For android and iPhone, this is a nice little app with all the info for nearly all the resorts (certainly most of the ones you’ll be off to!) They provide pictures, piste maps, and more data about your chosen mountain, along with weather forecasts and powder reports. It works well, and doesn’t eat up the data too quick, or nail the battery. The pictures and most relevant snow reports are user uploaded though, so some are a little low quality or irrelevant, but mostly you’ll be looking at the blue bird skies or 3ft visibility, depending on how many other people read the weather report.


Trace Snow [iPhone – Android] – Linked up with the usual social media culprits, Trace Snow tracks your movements around the resort using GPS and at the end of the day gives you a little report of what you’ve been up to. Recording vertical drop, horizontal distance, speeds and stops, even counting your jumps and air time. It has a few leaderboards for all these stats, but without any friends (you’ll need to search them out yourself even though it links through Facebook) it only has global stats, which are rather tricky to beat.


Trick Bag – As always, available on both platforms (we don’t count Windows Phones…) The principle here is that you’ve got a huge library of ‘how to’s at your fingertips, split into levels of difficulty with short instructional videos showing you how it’s supposed to be done. While the tutorial section isn’t exactly informative, a writen explaintion would be nice. But if you’re looking for inspiration of what to try next, or simply trying to build up your bag of tricks this can really help you out. Be aware that downloading the videos will rack up the data charges though.


SnoCru – This is a social network style app designed to let you add your riding buddies and shred friends so you can always find some people to hang out with. Popular in the States, it hasn’t taken off so huge in Europe yet, but if you want to to know who’s in the same resort as you (especially if you’ve got a load of seasonairre pals) it can be a wonderful tool.


Ski and Snow Report iPhone Android Not one we’re recommending, it’s telling us there’s no snow in the resort we’re in, while it’s snowing!


Snowboard Trick List iPhone Android Pretty much the same as the Trick Bag app, but you have to pay for this one. It’ll probably have ironed out the odd creases that Trick Bag has, but whether it’s worth the money is up to you. For us, while it is nicer than the competition, we’d rather save the money for socks.

Benjamin Duff



All the gear, no idea? – What you actually need, what you don’t – Blog for


So the world of Snowsports has thousands of different bits of kit and snow gear that someone will insist you can’t be without – here’s a little list of technical gear we think you actually need. (There’s a list of everything you’ll need for your uni trip here, for those who are going the first time)


  • Skis/Snowboard – Yeah, you’ll need this one,pretty essential snow gear, we’ve got you covered here
  • Boots – Perfect fit, before you get to the resort, that’s why we’re here
  • Poles – Only for the skiers, and we’ll get you sorted as well
  • Socks – Your feet are where the action happens, and where the pressure is so you need good socks to protect your tootsies. Football and rugby socks really won’t cut it, and wearing two pairs is just going to be blister city. Get some decent ski socks and they’ll keep your feet toasty and free of blisters, and we have plenty for you to buy
  • Helmet – Long gone are the days of yore, when helmets were for Groms and Gapers, these days we all wear them, all the time and we don’t like people who don’t. We’re not wasting time making friends with suicidal people. Hire and helmet, save a life. 100% essential snow gear.
  • Jacket and Pants – We’ve got these for you as well, and it’ll do you fine. You don’t need a £200 jacket if you’ll just be hitting the greens and blues, but don’t go buying the cheapest jacket you can find, it probably won’t do so well. Please buy something though, your leather jacket might look cool on the streets, but on the slopes you’ll look rather special.
  • Gloves – Again snow specific gloves are essential, but the cheapest will tear within days. If you want the cheap option without the tears, hire them from us with the premium clothing rental package.
  • Goggles – there’s a lot of variation here, but if you’re only out for a week a year, you probably don’t need a pair of low lights, mid lights and blue bird goggles. Stick with something in the middle and you’ll be grand.

IMG_20141127_153829There’s a lot of cheap gear out there, and eBay can be very good at tempting you with stuff you don’t need. Be wary of deals that sound to good to be true, they often are.

Keep an eye out for keen salesmen as well, we’ve seen people wearing fluffy socks that the ‘guy in the shop’ swore were professional riding socks, and wooly gloves with the same recommendation.Full NinjaCheck the brand is something you’ve heard of before, or take a buddy who’s got some experience so you don’t get a bad deal. Decathlon don’t seem to have much clue about snowsports, while Snow + Rock will be pushing the expensive stuff in our experience.

But even easier than all that, just get the clothing rental packages from us and we’ll supply good quality gear for a budget price. If you like it enough, you can buy it from us and it’ll cost you less than the full RRP!

Benjamin Duff


P.s. If you like the look of that onsie, get it online at


Save Money on your Holiday with Pre-Fit Delivery – Blog for


There’s plenty of way that we can help save you money, and as only we know them right now, we thought it would be nice to share!

  • Avoid admin charges – Some tour operators will charge you to make changes to you bookings, including changes to your Pre-Fit Delivery time slot. This is due to the effort required to process this and send the information off to us – however if you get in touch with us directly we can usually make these changes for you
  • Upgrade your gear – We can hook you up with a rental upgrade, additional clothing and add a helmet on for the base price. No admin fee on those at all


  • Discount retail – We have a supply of gear available to buy at each roadshow and fitting event. This might not be as extensive as the nearby Snow + Rock or Decathlon, but we do have all the essentials at very good prices including socks from £9 and goggles for £15 and loads more.
  • Ex-rental gear – We have a very limited supply of ex-rental bits n pieces from previous years which you can pick up at massive discount. This includes jackets and salopets from £20 and gloves and goggles from £10
  • Epic Swag – Ok, so buying extra stuff might not actually save you money, but we have some rad limited edition T-shirts and beanies from the guys at Mojo, Entirety and Park Clothing for sale, all for cheaper than it’s supposed to be.

So if there’s something you want to add to your booking, from a better pair of ski, through to switching to board hire, or you need that hard hat to protect your noggin we have it all – please get in touch with us and see what we can do to save you some dollar!


Benjamin Duff



W H A T   D OI   N E E D - - -

When heading out on your first snow holiday, there’s a tonne of questions you’ll be asking, but one of the key things is ‘what do I need to take with me??’ Hopefully we’ll be able to answer this for you right here – Here are the Snow Holiday Essentials:


SUPing the Sea – Paddleboarding Dublin – Blog for

Stand Up Paddleboarding or SUPing to the pros is a relatively new adaption of the water+board family.

The BaseHeading down on the DART south of Dublin, I soon arrived at Dun Loaghaire and from the station I was at Aboveboard within a couple minutes. I was greeted by Richard, the Venezuelan who would be guiding around the board, and the harbour that morning. The sun was shining, but the breeze was up a little, so we decided the harbour would be the best bet for a fun and interesting paddle.

Getting changed and heading down didn’t take long and soon we were getting our instructions on how to work these boards. It’s pretty simple, it involves a big board, a long paddle and a great workout;  but Richard was very good at improving our technique so we could get the most from the board. Standing straight (rather than sideways like a surfboard) you paddle with arms straight, similar to Kayaking, but this uses a lot more of you core strength. As we paddled around I could feel my core tightening and knew this would be a great workout

Working our way around the harbour we dodged kids in sailing dinghies, and paddled past million dollar gin palaces. At one point Richard decided to test the water and show us how to get back on in case we fell off, and how to pull another person on to the board if there was an emergency. Feeling a bit like the guys on Baywatch we practiced our skills, which of course meant pushing each other in so they needed rescuing!

The experience was excellent, and I left feeling happy and well worked without being exhausted. The weather held out nicely, but this would still be fun in the cold and wet, the wetsuits are so thick there’s no need to worry about freezing!

Benjamin Duff – Versestravel

Surf Ireland – Blog for

Surfing in Ireland is a surprisingly popular weekend pastime, with van loads of people heading over to the west coast from Dublin each week. I was in one of those vans recently heading to Bundoran and the Turf n Surf lodge.

Surfs Up - Versestravel
Arriving at the lodge only a few hours after leaving Dublin was like arriving in the new country, the sound of the sea only meters from the front door created a wonderfully peaceful location, while the warm welcome from the staff and other guest meant we settled in quickly and of course we were off to the pub for some local music and local beer.
Ready - Versestravel
Saturdays lesson was at 10am, plenty of time to wake up and feast on the plentiful breakfast before squeezing into a wetsuit and grabbing a board. It’s a short ride in the 4x4s down to the beach were the lesson starts after a quick warm-up.
The instructors are good fun and make sure everyone’s happy before we splash into the water.
Surfing - VersestravelThe more advanced folks headed out back to make the most of the waves while the newbies stayed close to practice riding the white wash. The instructors helped those that needed it, giving everyone some attention and making sure everyone was catching waves and getting up on the board.They had some good tips for the experts as well, shouting pointers on catching the unbroken waves and how to trim and carve as well. It’s obvious these boys love the waves and love helping people to enjoy their sport.
That afternoon we had free time to explore and wander the town, or to find another activity to do. The town has a swimming pool with slides, but after a morning in the sea, I’d had enough water, so I took a stroll over the cliffs and through the town. Pretty sights all around, and some lovely cafes to grab a bite to eat.
That night was the leaving party for one of the long term staff members, so there was live music and a fancy theme (new suit jacket 4 euro from the local charity shop) which made for a very entertaining night.
Nearly - VersestravelSunday was surf time again, and with the shorter on land lesson we got straight to it. The surf was good and the session was good fun, lots of splashing and falling off still, but there was noticeable improvement from most people and lots of happy faces as they caught waves in. I myself got a few good waves and got the excellent feel of riding before the wave. A bit like flying, only easier to fall off!
I would have loved to have stayed longer, the atmosphere at the lodge, and the positive attitude from the staff that wore off on everybody else was just brilliant.
Working hard - Versestravel
Benjamin Duff – Versestravel

Indoor Adventures – Bouldering and Trampolining – Blog for

Sometimes the Irish weather can get the best of us – but with these Indoor Adventures you’ll be getting your adrenalin fix in no time!

Just chilling -

Bouldering is very similar to Rock Climbing, you still climb up walls, but these walls are a maximum of 4.5 meters high, and there’s some lovely big cushions at the bottom as well. Which means there’s no ropes and shorter climbs. This makes it much more accessible than normal climbing, where you need a partner, knowledge of knots and more expensive gear. Bouldering is easy to get into and highly addictive.

Easy or Hard? - Versestravel.wordpress.comGravity Climbing Centre is a short walk from the Blackhorse stop on the LUAS red line about 20 minutes from the hostel. The friendly staff will get you kitted up and clued in with a few minutes and before you know it you’ll be jumping down to the pad after your first climb. Go with a few mates and hang out, taking it in turns climbing the same sections or just go alone and make some new friends. The staff and customers there are all approachable and always willing to give advice on how to tackle the next obstacle. Depending on your fitness the 90 minute intro session should wear you out, but if you want you can become a member and stay there all day.

Dodgeball! - Versestravel.wordpress.comJumpzone trampoline park is a little more casual, no special skills needed here, just lots of enthusiasm. A short bus ride north of the city, the site is the biggest in Europe. It’s a huge room, filled with trampolines, simple as that. Whether you fancy a bounce around or you want to practice those backflips this is a great place to be. You’ll be amazed at how much progress you can make within one session, and with the foam pit you try those tricks you were too scared to try before.  And for those of you with a competitive edge, there’s a couple of dodgeball courts to get into as well. Team up, or just go one on one with a buddy, there’s plenty of ways to have fun with trampolines and balls!

Jumpzone HQ -

Benjamin Duff – Versestravel

Religious Remains – Irish Religion; St Patricks, St Valentines & Christchurch – Blog for

If the history of Irish religion is something you’re interested in, then Dublin surely is the best place for you.

St Valentines' Remains - Versestravel.wordpress.comAlong with the famous sight of Christchurch Cathedral, there’s hundreds of other little spots that can hold your fascination. The first of these is the resting place of St Valentines remains, the Carmelite Whitefriars Street Church. This is an impressive church in itself, as big as some of the cathedrals in Ireland. From the outside however it is somewhat more humble in appearance. Inside it offers an impressive and decorative hall, more modern than others but still a good photo opportunity. Part way down the hall is an alcove, which contains the remain of the romantic Saint in a humble display, a simple box contains the actual remains, which is held within an alter, above which is a statue of the man. There is a book in which you can write a prayer to the Saint. Asking any of the clergy about St Valentine will reward you with an impassioned talk on the history of his life and achievements.

St Patricks' Cathedral - Versestravel.wordpress.comSt Patricks’ Cathedral is not a far walk from Whitefriar Street Church, and with the park adjacent is a wonderful stop for lunch. It also allows you to get some good snaps of the Cathedral in more picturesque surroundings. It is a small charge of €5.50 for entrance but this allows you full access of the interior, and plenty more opportunities to get those snaps for the photo album. Again, the clergy and curators are incredibly knowledgeable and will jump at the chance to discuss their favourite subject. Depending on who you ask, you can get a full history of Dublin along with the story of the development of religion in the country.


Marshe's Library - Versestravel.wordpress.comJust around the corner from St Patricks is the Archbishop Marsh Library, a small but lovely little library containing many religious texts. With a cheap entry price, this is a quick and easy stop on the tour. The rooms that hold the books are stunning, lined with shelves, reminiscent of the long room in Trinity college. However this library is much smaller, and attracts much smaller crowds meaning a trip here feels like uncovering a hidden gem in the bustling city. The intimate surroundings and old wood finish gives it an almost imposing sense of gravitas and austerity.

Christchurch Cathedral - Versestravel.wordpress.comFinally is the ever popular Christchurch Cathedral, the most expensive at €8 and also the most touristy, but with access to the catacombs beneath the main hall, this is money well spent. The cathedral is one of the most impressive in Europe and one of the most important in terms of Irish Religion, with large stained windows and a lot of statues and shrines around the edge of the room. Then the catacombs add a significant amount of intricate history and interest to the trip. The guided tours are an excellent choice as you’ll learn a lot about the cathedral, and this sight in particular has a lot of history specific to it. It has ties to nearly all of the events that have shaped Dublin city as it is today.


This is a wonderful tour you can do easily from Jacobs Hostel in a single day and even if you’re not so keen on Irish religion the sights are impressive and you will pass plenty other points of interest on route.

Benjamin Duff


Where Does The DART Go? Blog for

Seconds away from Jacobs Inn is Connolly Station, with the DART line – but where does the DART go?

Well simply enough, it heads along the east coast, both north and south of the city.


Heading South on the DART - Versestravel.wordpress.comHeading out of Dublin south will treat you some incredible coastal views. Once you get through the sprawl of the city, the railway follows the line of the coasts, cutting it’s way through headlands and over cliffs. The views are simply amazing as you head along

Bray - Versestravel.wordpress.comHeading down to Bray or Greystones is a good recommendation, both are pleasant little towns that will give you a nice walk and a great bite to eat. In fact Bray is home to the Harbour Bar, voted the best pub in the world in 2010 by the Lonely Planet guidebooks. It may have lost the title, but it hasn’t lost the charm or the quality. Heading in here will never be a mistake, the delightful decor and friendly staff will welcome you like it’s their home, and if the weather has turned less pleasant this is a wonderfully homely place to call home for a couple hours.


Malahide - Versestravel.wordpress.comTo the north is the terminus of Malahide, another seaside town. While the ride up isn’t so impressive the town makes up for it. You can buy yourself a nice picnic lunch and go sit on the grass down by the pontoons. Watching the boats and birds bobbing in the bay with some good food will put you in an excellent mood for a stroll.

Malahide Castle - Versestravel.wordpress.comIf you head back past the station you can find the lovely Malahide castle, set in the large grounds and gardens. There’s a small charge to see the inner gardens, but the castle and grounds are free to explore. Wandering through here is a peaceful and easy way to spend a sunny afternoon. Away from the bustle of the city, it’s possible to lose the sound of all traffic and hide away somewhere quiet, until you lose track of all time and the sun has set.

The last location is the sweet little peninsular of Howth a small peninsular perfectly suited for a good stroll. Up across the centre will take you to the top of the hill, known as the Summit, where a pub awaits your arrival to fuel you on the rest of the walk. On the far side the lighthouse is sitting pretty, the focal point of many a photograph. Following the cliff walk back around will offer a variety of great views over the sea that divides Ireland from the United Kingdom. Back in the town, there’s some excellent pubs many of which offer live music, and best of all – cheap beer! At least a lot cheaper than Dublin.

Dublin sunset from the DART - Versestravel.wordpress.comSo now you know where the DART goes – time to go have a look!

Benjamin Duff – Versestravel