Start the Season Right!

02 Nov, 2011

For many of us, our local mountains haven’t opened and we haven’t quite leaped into the full blown winter season yet. But it’s coming and it’ll be before you know it. If you were like me this year, you probably stored your gear away without thinking twice about it. But it’s time to bring your gear back, make sure your stuff is dialed and use this guide to get you ready for the 2011/12 season.

Wax your board

Take a look at your board base, if it has a coat of wax on it then you stored it properly. If it doesn’t and looks dry, then it needs wax. Don’t punish your board any longer. Whether you drop it off at your local shop or wax it yourself at home with the iron, give it a good lookover because you don’t want to be the person on Opening Day who is sticking to the ground and can’t enjoy the snow.

Check your socks!

You’d be surprised how quickly your socks show wear and tear especially if you wear your snowboard socks all season long (I know I do). Grab your socks and take a peak. If they have holes on the heel or toes, throw them out. If you don’t have a pair of socks (i.e. one is missing and is nowhere to be found), chuck them. This is also a good time to re-evaluate your sock collection. If you ride enough days a week, you’ll probably want enough pairs to make it through without needing to do laundry multiple times a week. Get new comfy/padded socks for this season and your feet will thank you.

Wash your gear

You should already be washing your layers but think about your outerwear. After a couple days of riding, outerwear collects dirt from the outside and from the inside. The dirt fills the pores of the jacket/pants and starts to deteriorate your waterproofing. A clean wash will reinvigorate your gear and make sure you tumble dry low for drying your gear, that will revive the DWR coating. You can use the wash material but only if you really feel your waterproofing needs it. I generally wash my outerwear a couple times a year when I noticed the waterproofing doesn’t work as well and it improves enough for the next use.

Bits + Pieces? Hardware matters.

The last time I went snowboarding, I did not check the screws on my bindings and like clockwork after 100+ days, the toe strap screw came off. I forgot to get the part until a couple days ago for a possible Boreal trip. Same goes for washers, sometimes things don’t work out and your hardware might not work. It’s good to go now, look over your setup (especially if it’s new) and make sure everything is dialed so there are no surprises (or slacking) on Opening Day.

A scrape won’t go away!

They might say it can’t be scratched but after spending a summer stored in who knows where…your goggles might be showing signs of aging with scrapes. Take a peak, look at the lens and make sure your vision will be 100% this winter.

Get in the habit of stretching

Just because you aren’t in the Olympics competing doesn’t mean that stretching isn’t important for snowboarding. It helps warm up our muscles so that you can pull those tricks, decrease your chances of injury and help it so you feel less sore at the end of the day. Get in the habit and make your body feel a bit better this winter.

Start collecting new shred songs

Everyday at work I listen to Pandora and I keep a notepad next to my computer. Anytime I hear a song come on that I like, I write it down and add it to the collection. Same goes for snowboard films, if I like a song, I find out what it is and download it from iTunes so I can have it on my ipod for the upcoming winter. It’s a great way to build up your shredlist for the upcoming season.

What suggestions do you have for getting ready?

Any ideas/thoughts you want to share?

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. a
    November 02, 2011

    Static stretching does nothing to prevent injuries. Some recent studies have shown it may actually make your muscles more susceptible to injury for 30 minutes afterwards.
    Feels good sometimes though.

  2. James
    November 02, 2011

    Uhm, I basically just pretend I’m “training” for surfing, go ahead, laugh, it’s okay! I stretch almost every day for like a 1/2 hour in the morning & occasionally besides that. I admit that I haven’t been really doing this that much lately, but swimming is good to. When I say swimming, I don’t mean swimming laps & stuff ’cause that’s boring as h*ll, I just go into the deep end & basically do all kinds of “water exercises” if you will & some regular swimming besides that which is moreless just getting all my muscles loose, flexible, & pumped up all at the same time. I make it a bit more cardio than maybe I should sometimes but it’s still good & keeps you solid. I bike everywhere ’cause I don’t have a car but that’s not really by choice or exercise to me, that’s just a fact of life. The stretching thing you can do in moreless 2 ways, there’s the rest/relaxation/meditation kind, which is good for slowing down & releasing all your stress & just getting really flexible, or you can do it to strengthen your muscles & joints to. I do more of the 1st but it’s definitely important to get into the 2nd when it’s getting time to actually be strong & make those legs & knees pretty much injury proof. The board, equipment, etc., of course it’s good to get all that done, I’ve done it more than I probably should sometimes but I’m getting more realistic about it & don’t do it as much as I used to. Any way, all that aside, the biggest thing, is to just be able to make it to wherever it is you wanna’ ride & hopefully have good friends to do it with also. That’s challenging for me ’cause I live in a college town & am 39 years old now, hard to believe, but true. There’s a college ski & snowboard club & that’s pretty much it, besides just doin’ what I’ve been doin’ the last couple years any way, riding my bike or moped across town to a hill here in town that’s okay, & just riding by myself. But after finally making it to the resort last year for the 1st time, that’s all I wanna’ do pretty much. That hill is lame is compared to the resort. Money, money, money, oh yeah, that to, money! Any way, have fun people, later, peace!

  3. Peterborough
    November 04, 2011

    1 Sharpen/tune them edges!
    2 Call or visit all the people you have wronged and make amends.
    3 I suggest remembering to take a big ol’ dump before your first day. Don’t be a Dr. Poolittle, you will regret it as you crouch in the glade runs melting snow.

    Ever considered a waxing/tuning tutorial on the blog Shay? That would be kind of sweet.

    The debate rages on regarding stretching benefits. Sounds like hippy stuff to me!

  4. scotty
    November 04, 2011

    Strectching is great but muscles must be warm first for maximum benefit! A big Dutch study of elite athletes showed similar rates of injury between athletes that stretched before competition and those that simply warmed up first…combining the two is the best.

  5. James
    November 04, 2011

    That’s true Scotty.

  6. Kieren
    November 05, 2011

    My old gym teacher used to say… “you never see a cheater stretch”… but then I suppose you don’t see them snowboard either.

  7. T B
    November 05, 2011

    Tell me more about those paperclips on the binding base disk…

  8. November 05, 2011

    haha some awesome responses! Great to have the input on the stretching vs warming up.

    TB, I wondered if anyone would question that. I’ve frequently changed boards and realized that screws aren’t the right length but no washers around. I’ve gotten pretty good at macgyvering basic things to act as washers. In the past I’ve used wickets from lift tickets and paperclips. Basically something to act as a semi washer on those days when the right bits and pieces aren’t around.

  9. keither
    November 06, 2011

    I tore my ACL at the beginning of last season. I had several doctors tell me that part of the reason it tore was because of how tight my quad muscles were. Because I had only been stretching my hamstrings and groin, everything was unevenly stretched, caused my tight quad to put major strain on my knee.
    Now that I’m finally all healed up and limber, I plan on keeping it that way by doing a quick warm-up then stretching before and after EVERY shred session.

    One more thing, I’m so sick of seeing kids ride BRAND NEW set-ups on opening day. If you’re gonna stick to the groomers, fine. But why do you have to go riding through the sand-and-rock-laced snow with a brand new deck? Just to feel cool? Pull out last years board and do all the grass/rock rides you want. I saw a kid last weekend on a 2012 Horrorscope straight-line about 200 feet of grass and rocks, clacking noises the whole way, then he stops once he hits the snow and starts laughing. If he was my kid, that board would be listed on e-bay and he’d be riding my old capped Lamar, if riding at all.

    Oh yeah and Peterborough, your number 3 is my number 1……. which also happens to be a number 2 lol Mandatory pre-shred dump, before every session. Less weight = bigger airs!

  10. Christina
    November 06, 2011

    I jog and I can say if I dont stretch before I jog… I am feeling it. But my real point there was be active during off season. Makes a big difference come opening day. The snow has hit here and they dont clear my paths – but until its too cold to jog, i’m out there jogging in the snow and its even more of a workout and I hike the rest of the year. But doing something active the rest of the year is going to help you come season opening.

    and I’d like to know more about these paperclips, too… ?

  11. November 06, 2011

    Flexibility is incredibly important for injury prevention. Stretching during the offseason is something everyone should be doing…when you fall on your board and get twisted all around, you’re less likely to tear muscles or connective tissue if your muscles are used to stretching to that length.

  12. connor rock
    November 07, 2011

    An Idea for you shay is to instead of stopping what your doing and writing it down, you can just like it(thumbs up) in pandora then you can check to see the ones your thumbs upped when you hit itunes. just an idea. Not sure how lax your J.O.B. is.

  13. Ali
    November 08, 2011

    Great points about stretching. I am an instructor and as a standard we are told to always begin sessions with lots of warmup but never stretching until our muscles are warmed up (which takes a couple of runs.)

    I questioned this and was told by both doctors and physiotherapists that stretching cold muscles tears your muscle early. This is nothing major since you already do this when you are working out, hence why you feel sore the next day as your muscles rebuild stronger. As anyone who works out knows tear a muscle a little too much (like trying too much weight at one time or pushing it too hard in the park when already tired,) and you will cramp. So if you start that process with cold muscles then they will tighten up early and can cause injury.

    Stretching once your muscles are warm loosens them a bit and prevents tightening, it also help with soreness the next day. Geeky I know but its true. Hope everyone has a great opening day and an injury free season.

  14. keither
    November 10, 2011

    I agree, never stretch cold muscles.