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Spring Skiing & Snowboarding...Sign Us Up!  4 Ways to Make the Most of Season’s End.

by Virginia Buechel on April 02, 2015

With Winter quickly fading and the sun hanging around longer, the white stuff is rapidly  softening and disappearing on the slopes. But just because some resorts are closing doesn’t mean you have to hang up your board or skis. There are plenty of opportunities to make the most of the warmer weather and last bit of snow on the ground.

1 - Improve Your Riding With Changing Conditions

When you’re heading up to your local mountain for some laps, keep in mind that morning temperatures can still drop below freezing during the spring months. This can result in some harder conditions on the groomers, as well as icy spots throughout the woods. Temperatures will rise with the sun, which could change the texture of the snow every hour. With softer snow, you’ll have to be prepared for the ever-changing conditions.

When you’re heading up the lift, the next run down can be completely different from your last; which will require you to pay more attention to the conditions and your riding technique. With harder snow conditions, you’ll find that you’re sliding along a lot quicker. As a result, you may encounter some slick spots which will force you to be on your toes or heels and have quicker reactions when riding. Learning to control your speed during fast conditions is important for your safety. As the day goes on, the sunny spots will become softer and more like mashed potatoes. This changes your entire riding style. Not only is the snow going to be much slower, but it’s a new challenge for you to get to know your board or skis. More often than not, you’ll have to sit back seat a bit on your board or skis to ensure you don’t do a nose dive into the mushy stuff. Snowboarders should make sure to gain enough speed to make it through any flat conditions.

2 - Learn to Tune Your Gear Differently

Along with changing conditions on the slopes, you’ll have to change the way you’re tuning your board or skis during the months of spring. If you’re tuning your equipment yourself, it’s important to look at the weather and see what kind of temperatures you’re expecting when you head up to the mountain. There are several different waxes that cater to different temperature ranges, which can make a huge difference. Remember: the range of temperature can fluctuate between 10-20°F during a normal spring day. So it’s essential that you your wax is suitable for those temps. In fact, it’s a good idea to have some rub on wax with you on the hill for a quick midday tuneup.

Also when you’re day riding during the spring, your edges may lose a bit of grip on those harder surfaces in the early morning hours. So make sure to check them after a day of riding. You may want to sharpen them up before you go out next time, too. *Quick Tip* When you’re putting your board or skis away after a spring riding day, be sure to dry the edges with a towel to prevent rusting, as spring conditions tend to leave more water on your gear.

3 - Learn New Tricks and Techniques in Playful Conditions

The warmer temps of spring is a great time to be more playful and try some new tricks, or improve on techniques. If you’re heading to the park, the landings are going to be a lot softer — which is good for those busted butt crashes. With such forgiving conditions, it could be a good time of year to go a bit bigger on that kicker you’ve been eyeing up all season, or try a new rail in the park.

If you’re trying to play around with some ground tricks, the conditions can also be a bit forgiving when you’re looking to do some manuals, switch riding, or other progressive exercises. Yes, your legs are probably working a bit harder with the mushy conditions, but just think about how you’re making them stronger for the summer surfing or wakeboarding season coming up.

4 - Ride, Even When the Lifts are Closed

Looking to make some turns despite the local lifts closing? You may be in luck. Some states and resorts allow hikers up the mountain year round; which means you can grab your backpack, hiking poles, skins for your skis, split board, and maybe a couple friends to hike up and earn your turns. Hiking up the mountain will no doubt be a workout on your legs, but it could be a great adventure to get out and still get some turns in before the snow is gone for the season.

Remember that when you’re day hiking, the sun is gets stronger throughout the day. So having proper sun protection is important. Also, you may want to pack some other essentials that you normally wouldn’t carry riding.

  • Food Fuel - While you’re burning all those calories hiking, you will get hungry. Bring a few energy or granola bars up with you.
  • Plenty of Fluids - The sun is hotter, which means you’re working up a sweat and losing water. Hydrate yourself with water or a sports drink.
  • Cell Phone - Be sure to bring a phone or radio that can reach out for help to prepare for the worst. Remember the lifts are closed, which means ski patrol is nowhere to be found.
  • Basic First Aid Kit - Be prepared for any emergency. You never know what could happen out there.
  • Lighter Clothing - You’re getting a harder workout, and  may get hot or you want to catch some rays. The Mountain Shred Baseball Tee or SheShreds Team Jersey could be great solutions for a lighter layer.

Just because Spring Fever is here and the snow is disappearing, doesn’t mean your riding season has to. Grab a couple girlfriends and have a great adventure out in the spring snow. Be sure to snap some pictures of your spring riding sessions and show the SheShreds Team how you ride in the spring by tagging them with #ShredOnSisters or #SheShredsTheSpring.  

Author: Ambassador, Virginia Buechel   Follow her on Twitter to see what else she has to say about shredding! @BueWho

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