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Monday, March 10, 2014

Tips for Spring Skiing | Shred the Slush


The snow on the mountain can only last so long, and summer is fast approaching.  Skiers and snowboarders everywhere are battling the slush to squeeze in ski days before the end of the season. Here are just a few tips to make sure you do not get slowed down by the slush.

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There is more to a good ski day than just the snow, but it is extremely difficult to have a good day when you are battling the spring time slush. Here in wyoming, my fellow university-goers and I are all very familiar with slush, we have been trudging through it to class all the way since september in our first snow. While snow and slush are no stranger, it is nothing to ignore on the ski slopes.

On weekends I have been working in a local ski shop, and I have had a sudden splurge of customers for hot waxes as the weather decided to ‘Turn up’, as us college kids would say. When the snow gets wetter, it turns to the consistency of a gas station slurpee ( minus the color and flavoring of course) and can make conditions miserable.

Every college student everywhere has  been gearing up for spring break, Fad diets, workout plans, and fitness classes. While you are focused on getting your body back into tip top shape, its a great idea to make sure your skis are at the top of their game too. When checking your skis, here are a few things to look for.

  1. Check your wax: When was the last time you sent your skis to the spa? Having a good wax is especially important in wet snow. A dried out or non-existent wax will make any movement difficult, It can greatly slow you down and even stop you on the slope. A good rule of thumb is to wax after 6 full ski days.

  1. What wax to use: Its always a good idea to look at the weather forecast, because a cold front creates a more icy snow, where as a warm front creates a slushy, mashed potato like snow. With the warm spring weather its a good time to start waxing using a soft, warm-snow wax, this usually comes as a red block.

  1. Look for deep scratches or gouges: The bottom of your skis take quite the beating, especially when the snow is less than ideal. This also is important if you ski a lot of backcountry, bowls, or park. Anything that would catch your fingernail should be filled with ptex, which is the same material as your base already but comes in crayon form to be melted on as a filler.

  1. Damage Control: Not all scratches or damage comes from the slopes. Being thrown around in the car, tipped over or dropped can hurt your skis and shorten their life and hinder their performance on the slopes. Plus having some cool ski travel case or ski storage will make you look that much more official to the ski bum/bunny you have been trying to impress.
  2. Don’t forget the sunscreen: If you have been a victim, then you already know, goggle and wind burns are horrible and even worse in the spring season. So when you're packing, make sure to throw in a mountain ready sunscreen!

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These are just a few things to remember with spring skiing that can make a world of difference. After making your list and checking it twice, you are finally ready to hit the slopes. So break out the shorts, or bikini, show off your spring break bod and go shred some slush!

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