Spring’s showers are over, Summer’s heat is past us, vibrant leaves of Autumn have started to drop, and skiers & snowboarders across the state of Vermont have begun crawling out of hibernation and prepping for another season of riding.
Alright, so maybe all of you weren’t in total hibernation this off-season, especially those who got to ride our new mountain bike park. As dedicated skiers and riders, we can all agree, there is nothing better than that first snowfall and Opening Day.
It’s been a long offseason, and for some of us that have a few screws loose… we may have forgotten about those screws we have loose from last season.
Here is Stratton’s complimentary guide on how to prep for Opening Day 2019 to make sure you get the most out of your first day back on snow.
Try-On Your Gear
Get all your outerwear out of the closet, locate your baselayers that got pushed to the back of the drawer, take your lucky socks out of their golden vault, and make sure all your mittens aren’t only for your left hand.
Getting your riding gear out is an excellent reminder of what you have, and what you need to replace before opening day. You’d be surprised how many seasons I started off with wet hands, from a pair of mittens that I previously promised myself, “I’ll just get new ones next year.”
Check Your Screws, Laces, Buckles & Boots
Throughout a 6-month offseason, forgetting about a frayed lace, loose mounting screw, or a boot/binding buckle that has seen better days is easy. It’s way harder to stand in line to get it fixed, while your crew is out there pow slashing without you. Be sure to inspect every aspect of your ride, even if you’re pretty sure it’s, “still good from last season”
Remember those lucky socks? Throw them on and tighten up your boots like your about to go take your first lap. This ensures all your buckles are working, your laces are strong, and you didn’t forget about getting those custom footbeds you were dreaming of. Boots are the most important part of any setup. Walking around the house in your boots a few times before opening day reacquaints your feet, and helps bring your boots back to riding form. Go ahead and try it, your feet will thank you.
When snowboards and skis sit around through a hot summer, bases will naturally dry out over the duration of time. Tuning your skis or boards at the beginning of each season is the most oppor-tune (get it) time for a fresh wax and edge sharpening for improved control on variable early-season snowpack. Wax, like conditioner, hydrates your base for the long season ahead, not to mention, it’ll make you faster than all your friends. What’s better than après bragging rights?
Your Lift Ticket
Whatever you do, DONT FORGET IT! After spending your summer lawn-mowing revenue on a season pass, don’t forget it day one!
Chances are it’s been sitting on your counter for a few weeks, so be sure it makes it into your jacket for opening day. There’s no bigger hiccup than having to wait in a ticket line, while your season pass is home keeping your dog company.
No season pass? Be sure to prepurchase your lift tickets online, this will significantly cut down your time at the ticket window, and get you out there riding faster.
Work Out Plan
Some of us have been crushing downhill mountain bike trails, and others have just been hiding out in their man cave/she shed all summer, but for all of us, Opening Day is around the corner and it’s never too late to start working out. A spike in activity even a day before riding will wake your muscles and mind, and get you ready to rip. Run, jog, bike, swim, stretch, practice yoga or climb on your roof and yell “IM THE BEST SKIER ON THE MOUNTAIN!” Whatever it takes, the more you prepare, the more you’ll get out of your first laps.
Proven by the earliest recorded cave drawings, since the dawn of time cavemen and cavewomen have gotten together in the weeks preceding winter to watch ski and snowboard videos to promote the crew’s stoke. History doesn’t lie, and neither do I. If nothing else from this list hits home, there is no better way to get ready for a season than by immersing yourself in the sport you love. Head to the newest video premiere, or pop in the same VHS tape that you have been watching since the first grade. Whatever your method is, it must be done. Sit down and lose yourself in the pow smashing, line riding, air catching, tree jibbing cinema know as edits, and we’ll see you all on Opening Day.