It doesn’t matter whether you ski or snowboard, there are five basic secrets that will guarantee a relaxed, stress-free time on the slopes. You’ll always have all your stuff, your gear will work perfectly and you can even give yourself a pleasant surprise.
Start with the most important part: the condition of your skis or board. The word of the day is: wax. Bases with the wax worn off will run slow and have less glide. A fresh hot wax should be done after every five hours of use at least, especially if used in icy or extremely cold conditions. Save money: talk to a shop tech and learn how to do a hot wax yourself, it’s actually quite easy.
Also check your bases and edges for dings and gouges. A nicked edge can cause your gear to have a mind of its own and not run the way you intend. A gouged base may let moisture into the core of your ski or board, ruining it forever. If the bottom of your gear looks roughed up, get it professionally tuned. Tuned and waxed gear is the key to having an epic day.
The second secret is how to prevent that sinking feeling when you get to the mountain and only then realize you forgot your goggles or sunscreen or — Oh no! — your boots. Prevent the “left at home” fail by doing this:
First, have a mantra for essentials. As you walk out your door, say “skis (or board), boots, gloves, sunglasses (or goggles).” Include your season pass if you have one. Forgetting any of those will be a major stress factor. At the same time, keep the little necessities together in a plastic grocery bag. Use it for stuff like lip balm, sunscreen, water bottle. neck gaiter and so on. When you head for the hills, grab the bag — nothing will be left at home. Distribute the bag contents in your pockets and shove the bag into one of your shoes. Someone may steal a backpack, but no one will steal an empty grocery sack. When putting your shoes back on, take the stuff from your pockets and put it back in the bag, where everything will always be ready.
Secret number three: If you’re with someone, have an agreement that if you get separated, you’ll meet at the bottom of the lift. That way, no one has to waste time looking for anyone else and getting irritated.
The fourth secret protects you against this season’s crazy weather patterns. Call the resort before you walk out the door and ask what the temperature is, and what changes are coming. That way, if it is, or will be, more windy or colder than you expected, you’ll know to take a vest or extra long-sleeve shirt. Being uncomfortably chilled will ruin your day.
The fifth secret is a way to give yourself a pleasant surprise when you hit the slopes. Every so often, put a five dollar bill in the pockets of your snow pants or jacket and try to forget about it. You won’t miss the money at the time. On the mountain, after the lifts close and you feel hungry or thirsty, you can put a hand in your pocket and pull out more cash than you ever realized you had stowed there. It will be like found money — the perfect ending to an epic day.
Wina Sturgeon is the editor of the online magazine Adventure Sports Weekly, which offers the latest training, diet and athletic information.
©2014 Adventure Sports Weekly
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