Daylight Savings is around the corner, are you ready for longer days? Warmer temperatures, Bluebird skies, fun end-of-the-season parties and events— Spring is the best time to hit the slopes! Here are a handful of tips to help you make the most of your spring skiing. Oh, and don’t forget your sunscreen!
1. Prep your gear
Spring skiing is glorious, we think most people can agree. While there are plenty sunny, warm, skiing perfect corn-snow type of days, there are also many of the classic spontaneous spring powder days that can hit us just when the summer-time vibes kick in.
Hearing that a fresh powder from a spring dump is upon us, and typically makes you want to throw everything in the car and hit the slopes as soon as possible, be sure to take a few precious minutes to sort your gear and make sure you’re prepared. Spring skiing can mean very various conditions- snow gets softer/slushier through the day from the sun, freezes over night.. leading to stubborn and hard snow in the mornings and powder days–that fresh snow will only stay fluffy if it’s cold. it can be tough to figure out how to keep your gear tunes appropriately with the every changing snow conditions.
The base grind and wax that you had for the freezing days aren’t appropriate for the softer snow, which leads to more water under your skis and create a suction cup effect. If you’re in too much of a hurry to change your base grind, definitely change your wax. Not only will a spring-specific wax often include additives that can help repel dirt, but it’ll make gliding over the slush feel much more like surfing than sticking.
2. Use warm-temperature wax
Speaking of suction cups.. when the snow surface gets too wet in the direct sun, it can get sticky and make you feel like your’e skiing at the pace of a snail and you wont be able to accomplish those high intensity carves on the perfectly groomed run like you’ve dreamed of. The ‘sticky’ effect is especially evident on a catwalk with sunny and shady spots. Skis or a snowboard will glide easily over the shaded stretch then grab and stick on the the softer snow that is getting hit by the snow in the. A wax rated for warm temperatures can reduce that water suction effect.
Make sure you pop in to the shop to let us help get the right wax on your gear!
3. Follow the Sun
How do you avoid the funky spring snow mentioned above? Spring’s higher temperatures and sun angle create a freeze-thaw cycle that affects how you ski the mountain. The snow typically refreezes each night, so adventuring off the safe groomer runs first thing in the morning can be an unpleasant experience. While warming up yourself on the groomers, look for the runs with an eastern exposure that are warming up in the morning sun. Those runs will soften up first and will make for a much more peaceful morning.
After a few hours, the softer snow turns to corn, the holy grail of spring skiing. Corn snow is sometimes called “hero snow,” because it is really forgiving and easy to ski. Corn snow turns to wetter slush after a few more hours- causing the ‘sticky skiing’, so the strategy is to move across the mountain staying on the trails that are in that precious time window of corn. Take the above tips, mixed with a fresh tune by your VBSR pro’s and you’ll be a spring skiing master!
One last pro-tip: This is the perfect time of year to take advantage of our demo opportunities and try out different sticks in the varying conditions: you could find the perfect pair to add to your quiver. You never know- we may even let you go home with them at a wicked ‘end of season’ price!