Pre-Season Prep: How to Get Ready for Opening Day of Snowboard Season

It's that time of the year! Snowboard Expert Jonathan Campbell shares how to prepare and how to get stoked for the upcoming snowboard season.

Someone rides through powder on a Lib Tech board.

Photo courtesy of Lib Tech

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It’s that time of year. You’ve been away from the mountain for a long seven months. Your skills might be a little rusty and your gear has been collecting a healthy layer of dust in your attic but the big snow is drawing near and it’s time to prepare for the best season of your life! So what do you need to do to be perfectly ready for your first day?

Snowboard Fitness

A man does a yoga pose.

Photo by Elina Fairytale

Maybe you took it a little too easy this summer, or maybe your job had you stuck behind a desk for far too long. Either way, your legs feel a little less sturdy than they used to. We’ve still got about a month left before the real snow hits, so now is the time to get snowboard fit!

Being snowboard fit matters because it will keep you shredding longer, better, and safer. Who wouldn’t love to get the first and last chair of the day without having any aches or pains? Having greater fitness means you’ll also progress faster because you’ll have the strength and flexibility to pull new moves and not get injured when things don’t go quite right.

Many folks skimp on preseason workouts because they just don't have time to do a full fitness plan. Getting your snow legs back under you doesn’t have to mean hours at the gym though. It’s more like 15 to 20 minutes a day and some simple exercises that will improve your core and legs. If you enjoy yoga, I would highly recommend doing a simple flow every day.

Suggested Workout

If you’ve got 15 minutes, try this simple workout:

  • 15 to 40 reps of standing up on your tiptoes and back down slowly.
  • 15 to 40 reps of bodyweight squats
  • 15 to 40 push-ups—make sure to engage your core!

If those are too hard, you can always make them easier by adding a little support on a chair or countertop. For the push-ups, you can always do knee push-ups instead or do as many as you can and then just plank until your abs are burning.

Just remember, don't push it too hard. This is just a simple set of exercises to get your body a little more ready for all the work you’ll be doing on the hill!

Gear Check

A man snowboards while wearing a GoPro on his helmet.

Photo by Fade Roveda

Let’s face it, your gear hasn’t seen the light of day in a while. It’s time to brush off the dust and give things a look over. You may be wondering why you can’t just pull it out right before you leave and go have a great time, and that’s understandable. But you need to have a gear review to make sure you have everything you need and that it’s all safe to use!

Check your clothing first. Does it fit and will it give you the coverage you need for bad weather? If it’s getting older, less waterproof, or a little too tight around the belly, you should look into an update. If your clothes don’t keep you warm and dry, you’re probably on track for a bad time and maybe even a dangerous time while you’re out in the snow.

Next, check your boots and bindings. Do they close properly? Are they showing signs that the laces or straps may break soon? Do your boots still give you enough support for the type of riding you want to do? If the answer to any of these means that your gear isn’t at 100%, start looking for a replacement. Having floppy boots or bindings that break mid-run is a sure way to have a bad time on the mountain.

Snowboard time! Boards tend to last a bit longer than most of your other gear, depending on how hard you ride them. Some signs of wear you may need to keep an eye for are any dings in the base or topsheet—these can quickly kill your board if you don’t fix them before the next time you ride. Also, look out for your edges, damage to an edge could mean that your board needs to be retired.

At the very least, make sure you take your board in to be waxed and tuned before your season. This will ensure that you have the best ride you can on the gear you have.

You can find a guide here on how to wax your board at home.

If you’re unsure of what you need, Curated Experts are always happy to help you find the perfect replacement for old gear that isn’t up to snuff anymore.

Time for Passes

People ride on a chairlift on a bluebird day.

Photo by Photomix

You’ve still got a little time before the season starts, so where do you want to go? Take a look at the resorts around you and the resorts you’d like to travel to. What do they offer that you like, what do you dislike? As you figure out where you’d like to go, start thinking about day passes versus season passes.

Many people prefer to get an all-in-one type season pass. Passes like IKON, EPIC, and Indy pass can be great options if you live near resorts that they are part of. They can also be a great option if you like to travel and try out lots of different places. They can have some very specific rules too, so be careful to read up about any limitations they have as well as what unique things each has to offer.

If you live somewhere that isn’t close to a resort that supports those passes, getting a local pass is probably your best option. Local passes can have great benefits still, and even get you a few days at partnered resorts. If you travel a little less and want to get a load of days at your home resort then a season pass there will be a great choice.

On the topic of season passes, you may have noticed they can get pretty expensive. You should consider how many days you’d like to go and how dedicated you are to making that happen. For people that get to hit the hill a lot, a pass is easily worth it. Most passes are worth it if you go more than six times in the season. Otherwise, take a look at multi-day ticket packs or just buy a day pass each time you go.

Any way you cut it, doing a little research and a little math can greatly help your season logistics and help you save a lot of money!

Brush Up on Etiquette

Always make sure to review what the rules and regulations are at your main resort. This can help your time there be as stress-free and safe as possible. Not to mention you’ll avoid any unwanted run-ins with ski patrol!

In general, remember to be considerate. Leave plenty of room between yourself and people downhill from you. The downhill skier always has the right of way, meaning you should be looking out for where people in front of you are going, not the other way around. When you’re going through runs that have less experienced skiers, be nice and slow things down. The more comfortable and safe everyone feels, the more everyone can share their love of the mountain.

Finally, ALWAYS follow posted signs. Ski patrol is just trying to keep everyone safe, so follow their lead. Don’t duck ropes, don’t ignore speed signs, and follow instructions given by patrollers. A little fresh pow isn’t worth dying for.

Time to Shred!

With some time working out you’ll be able to get fit enough to shred with the best of them, laying down carves and tucking through trees with ease. After you get your gear in order, you should be safe and warm (but not too warm) all day long. Your board will last longer and run faster and smoother than you ever thought it could. And with the right pass in hand, you’ll be getting all the best snow at all the best resorts for you. Reach out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated to get geared up for a new season! Just keep up on your etiquette and you’ll have a safe, warm, fun time out there this season!

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Written By
Jonathan Campbell
Jonathan Campbell
Snowboard Expert
Howdy, I'm Jonathan Campbell. I am an avid outdoorsman and have been for life. I guess you could say I was raised right, spending nearly all my time searching for new rocks to climb, streams to fish, and powder filled meadows to lay tracks in. Now that I'm older, that's still pretty much all I can t...
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