The winter season is upon us, and the temperatures are quickly dropping below freezing. Snow is starting to fall, and ski resorts are beginning to open up a couple runs. It is very tempting to just grab your snowboard from your closet and hit the slopes, but there a few things you need to do before shredding. If you don't prepare, you won't have a good season on the mountains or at the hill. Here are the top ten things you must prepare.
1. Wax your board/skis
If you still have wax from the last season, you want to get rid of that. Old wax will not do any good for you on the snow, and no wax at all is even worse. If you do not have the proper equipment or know-how, take your equipment to your local shop for a wax. This will cost $25 to $50 depending on your location and competition in the area.
2. Sharpen your edges
An edge sharpener only costs around $15 and can be used again and again. It is very simple to use and will cost much less in the long run than taking your board or skis to a shop for a sharpening. A sharper edge will give you more control in your turns and carves, but if you are on a lot of rails, a sharp edge will make catching your edge a lot easier. Either way, in storage your edges may have rusted or dulled and require at least a bit of a tune.
3. Buy your pass
A season pass will very likely pay off after five to ten trips to the hill. Often there are deals for early purchases from September to November, be sure to check your local fields website for any discounts. Be sure everything is good to go beforehand so you can get right to the slopes instead of purchasing your pass on the hill.
4. Make sure your brain bucket is in good shape
Check your helmet. Make sure there are no gashes or major scratches, and that everything is in working order. Also, make sure it fits perfectly, if it does not you need to replace it immediately.
5. Get a ride
If you don't have a drivers license or a lot of gas money, look into busing or car pooling. These options may mean you get to the slopes a little later or earlier than you would like, but you will save a lot of money. If you have a friend who also skis or boards, take turns paying for gas or driving.
6. Check your shoes
Your boots are very important, if they have any holes in them snow will get in. Wet feet can ruin a day at the hill, but can also ruin your toes. Keep them warm with proper fitting boots that have no holes or major blemishes. If your boots are too small or big, your feet will become very sore after a couple runs or sessions.
7. Hows your jacket?
Make sure your jacket fits and is nice and warm. If it is too large, there will be more air and in turn more space your body has to heat up. If it is too small, all of your skin won't be covered and you can get frostbite. Burton and Ripzone manufacture very warm jackets great for snowboarding. Remember to always check the waterproof rating before purchasing a coat.
8. And your pants?
Now you have a good jacket, but what about your pants? You need to keep your whole body warm, so make sure you have a decent pair of snowpants that fit.
9. Adjust your bindings
Most boarders never stick to one binding angle for every season. Change it up to whatever is most comfortable to you. This is especially important if you have grown since the last time you adjusted your bindings. Make sure they fit your boots and are securely tightened on to your board.
10. Know the terrain
If you are not familiar with the runs at your local resort, get a map and familiarize with the terrain. You do not want to get lost your first day out! Know where the easiest routes are, and where any lifts or buildings are.
Once you have gotten all ten of these done, you are ready to go shred!