You wake up on Tuesday morning and found 10 inches of fresh POW fell overnight. What do you do?
Why a powder ski?
These skis are designed to keep the skiing on top of the snow. Depending on the type of powder ski, they can offer agility and maneuverability. They resemble water skis in shape, with a noticeably rockered nose to provide lift over the fresh snow. Their large width allows the ski to float over deep snow. They are usually fat, meaning having a waist of greater than 100mm and have reverse camber (the waist sits at the lowest point).
Now that you are at the mountain and geared up, make sure you understand the mountain terrain and understand the dangers associated with skiing on un-groomed terrain. Skiing powder has a different feel and does not behave the same as groomed trial, although the adrenaline rush of floating on the snow and the powder flying by makes it all worthwhile.
Here are some tips to ski powder.
It’s always a sad day when the snowboarding season comes to an end, knowing during those last few runs, through muddy slush, it will be nearly half a year before you get to board again. With next season in mind, before you break out the mountain bikes, surfboard, wakeboard or whatever it is you do during the summer months, you need to store your gear properly. That means spending a little time snowboard waxing for summer storage.
Now, I don’t want to sound too much like your mum telling you to clean your room but if you don’t take the time to store your gear correctly then you’re going to pay for it down the line. Dry bases, rusted edges, delamination and loss of camber can all happen when you toss your board in the garage or shed over the summer. And it really only takes a few minutes to give it the necessary protection. A thick, sloppy coat of good quality wax is all it takes to keep your kit in top condition. Here’s how to do it.
1. Give the base a good clean. At the end of the season the snow can get quite dirty and a lot of that filth will find its way onto your board and into the pores. I personally use a home made citrus cleaner (all you need is some citrus fruit skins, white vinegar and 2 weeks ‘brewing’) as its eco-friendly. You can buy a cheap environmentally friendly citrus cleaners online if you don’t fancy making it yourself. Just use an old rag to work the board and keep going until it is clean.
2. This is an optional step that I tend to skip and really depends how dirty your board is. If like me you don’t live in resort so most seasons you don’t ride until the last day then you can probably skip it. To help further clean the board apply a normal amount of mid-temp wax evenly across the board but scrape it off while it is still hot, you will notice oily residue in the wax scraping.
3. Using a hydrocarbon wax, cover the entire surface of the base. Use a soft, iron-on wax and then let it cool without scraping. This kind of snowboard waxing for summer storage will hold the moisture in the base and prevent it from drying out.
4. Cover the edges with wax. You might already have enough wax on you board from the first application, but if not, slap a bit more on and make sure it is adhering to the steel. The aim is to prevent the steel oxidizing (that’s rusting to you and me) as once this process starts it can work its way further and further into the board, where even filing won’t be able to stop it.
5. Cover your bindings as much as possible, using some old plastic bags (let’s think about the environment here a little) and tape down to the surface of the board. Remember that stopping air getting in is the key.
6. Store all your gear in a dry and clean place, away from the damp and excessive heat if possible, so common storage spots such as a basement or loft should be avoided. And remember to have a check every now and then over the summer. The last thing you want is to get all excited about the new seasons only to find your board rusted and un-ridable on the morning of your first shred next season.
I like to use Green Ice Wax because its been specifically designed to be environmentally friendly and protect the health of the user and the planet – I am not a full on tree hugger but there is certainly a bit of an eco-warrior in me. Seriously though, when you can, it’s always best to use environmentally friendly products with the fewest nasty chemicals possible. After all, if you wouldn’t rub it on your skin, why rub it on your board?
Green Ice Wax is fast, safe and comes in a range of products proven to work in any conditions. And if you need any further proof that Green Ice snowboard waxing for summer storage is a good choice, then the fact pro boarder Nate Holland and pro freeride skier Chris Davenport swear by it should suffice.
You can find out more and order Green Ice wax by visiting their website: www.greenicewax.com
Author: Luke, SnowboardingHolidays.net
It all started when we thought it would be a great idea to get the kids out of the house in the winter months. No sitting around the computer screen or playing video games for my 4 and 6 year olds. They were going skiing!
We started renting ski packages, which included lessons with the local “Ski Wee” program. The mountain was little more than an overgrown hill with some manmade snow. Not only did they get outside, but so did I. The last time I had skied was 15 years prior and my skills were rusty. However, the kids took to the snow quickly. After 2 years of Ski Wee, the race coach approached us recommending that our kids begin racing.
Practice sessions became longer and more frequent, as did trips to and from the mountain. I too skied more frequently, but never as well as the kids. We still knew nothing about racing, tuning or waxing skis. This was about the time when skiers were transitioning from straight to shaped skis.
What is the USSA*? How do we join and what else do we need to do? This came as a surprise to us as parents. Having never competed ourselves, we were not prepared for the world of Ski Racing. We had to find out the hard way. Each racer had to belong to the USSA, NJSRA** and pre-register for the race. Coaches recommended that we tune and wax our children’s equipment, a completely new concept to us. Well now that was too late to pre-register, registration had to be done on race day. NJSRA does not look favorably on the same-day registration, and that day was nightmare. From that day forward, race day preparation could only get easier.
Their first race ever was held on a steep hill with an extremely icy knoll (what most racers would consider “bulletproof”). The majority of the athletes experienced difficulty navigating the icy course. One racer lost his balance and ended up falling off the trail and into the woods. He was taken down in a sled. In those days, less fencing lined the sides of trails, unlike the new regulations requiring the hill fenced in its entirety.
Now it is our son’s turn. I quickly learned an anxiety only experienced by a parent. It felt like my heart stopped for that minute. I paced back and forth, while my wife just panicked. Our son finished the skied slowly, but more importantly (for us) finished without a crash. From that day forward, he enjoyed competitive ski racing. The same anxiety feeling hardly went away. Every race my son a daughter entered from age 8 through 22 brought about similar emotions and worries.
As a family, we learned from the many experiences associated with ski racing. For example, ski a practice run just like you ski the race. Inspect the course from a point where you will ski it, not from the side of the trail. But one of the most important lessons involves preparedness. Prepare for the practice. Prepare for race day. Tune your skis well. Having properly tuned equipment allowed my children to focus on the course, confident that their skis are running fast and the edges are sharp. Remember the saying, “luck is when preparation meets opportunity”.
Ski boots are notorious for being uncomfortable foot wear. Well they do not have to be if you chose the proper boot and have it fitted. Here are three reasons why a correct fitted boot is needed to ski properly.
1 Comfort. Boots must be comfortable if you plan on spending any time on the hill skiing. Just as any footwear, ski boots come in different sizes. Typically your ski boots size not your shoe size. It is usually smaller. A good boot fitter measures your foot as to how it fits in the ski boot shell (see photo). With your toes touching the front of the boot shell (without the liner). The fitter determines how much room is between the heel of the shell and your heel. This length is determined based on the skier’s ability. A racer wants the tightest boot possible and will sacrifice some comfort. Just as good shoes come in width sizes (A through triple E), so do ski boots. Their width is called last. However, not every model ski boot come indifferent lasts. So you may not be able to get a specific brand and model if it does not come in your size.
2. Control. If a boot does not fit your foot snuggly and your foot slides either front to back or side to side, you will not have proper control over your ski. The movement in the boot is magnified by the length of the ski so when you put pressure to make a turn there is a loss of control as your foot slides before pressuring the ski. The best way to understand this is think that that your foot, boot, binding and ski all act as one unit.
3. Performance. High performance ski boots are quite stiff. Typically measured by the flex or pressure needed for the skier to lean forward on the front of the ankle. Flex is determined by a relative number typically 80-150, the higher the number, the stiffer the boot. The flex you need is dependent upon your strength, weight and ski ability. A racer uses a flex of 130- 150. Here again improper flex will affect performance. Too much flex will inhibit the ski from turning. Too little flex will not distribute the pressure properly again reducing performance.
Once the best boot is chosen, there are many ways a boot fitter can make then comfortable without sacrificing control or performance. Boots can be modified by spreading, grinding and adjusting to remove pinch points. Boots should fit tightly but not hurt or cut off circulation in the foot. Many boot liners are moldable to the foot. They are heated prior to being placed in the shell or on the foot. They are allowed to cool which the foot is in the boot.
Recently, boot manufacturers came out with moldable ski boot shells. The shell is made of a plastic which is softened by heating. Once soft, the boot, including liner, is put on. A cold pack is placed around the boot followed by a pressurized pack. It is then allowed to harden in place and thus mold to the foot. The manufacturer of this technique calls it “Vacuum Fit” which is a bit confusing as the technique utilizes pressure (the opposite of vacuum).
Custom foot beds are a good choice. The foot beds are molded to the foot giving support to the arch and heel. Custom foot beds will help keep the foot in a neutral position giving the skier more control and comfort.
It is critical to choose a boot that fits snuggly without pain and whose stiffness matches the skier’s ability. Just remember a good boot fitter can adjust the fit of the boot as necessary to be comfortable, maintain control and achieve the best performance.
Green Ice Wax athletes Andy and Hayden ripping the terrain park at Snowbasin Resort.
As early as 2003, rocker skis and boards were introduced to the ski world. However, this technology is nothing new, as water skis and wake boards have taken advantage of the rocker design for many years. Recently, these skis/boards became increasingly popular. Now what is it that makes a rocker design and why is it effective?
First we must look at the traditional shapes available. Since the parabolic shape has become the standard, consider this ski/board as our basis. To describe rocker, a concept of camber must be understood. The traditional ski has a camber. While laying a ski/board riding side down on a flat surface, it can be seen that the center (under the binding) does not touch the underlying surface. Once pushed downward, the flex allows the board to touch. This upward curvature is called camber. It is the camber, in conjunction with the parabolic shape, which allows the rider to carve turns once on edge.
The newer design for skis/boards is rocker or reverse camber. Now if we do the same thing as with our traditional ski/boards and lay a rocker flat on the surface, the board will touch the underlying surface in the center. The ski/board will flare up at the tip and/or tail. Ski manufactures have produced many variations of rocker skis. The degree of rocker can be from extreme to moderate.
All skis including camber and rocker produce a rocker shape when pressure is applied while turning on edge. A traditional camber board puts more pressure on the tip and tail in the curve as it must flex in order to turn. A rocker ski/board requires less energy to initiate a turn. With the shape of the ski already in a “flexed” position, the ski engages more quickly and effortlessly.
By combining these technologies, manufactures have produced skis and boards that fit all types of terrain and riders abilities.