We’ve all heard the old adage, “No friends on a powder day.” Is this a little bit mean? Perhaps. But for East Coasters where soft fluffy powder days can be few and far between, well, let’s just say there is a reason this phrase became so popular.
Just how icy days can be challenging for skiers and riders who are not used to New England conditions; believe it or not there are some New England skiers and riders who don’t love powder days simply because they aren’t used to gliding through deep snow. Shredding on a pow day is not like skiing on typical New England hard pack. And to enjoy the extra snow (up to 2 feet predicted for this weekend!!) here are a couple tips to help you have the most fun during our coveted powder days:
Make sure you have the right clothing.
An extra layer or two in your ski bag never hurts. If it is constantly snowing all day you may start to feel a bit damp with all the snow flying around, and on days when it is really pounding snow you’d be surprised how much snow will accumulate on your clothing during the chairlift ride. Also, in fluffy conditions you’ll work a lot harder and will probably sweat more throughout the day. Bringing a few extra layers, extra socks, back-up gloves, or an extra face mask be overkill, but if you end up needing it at least you’ll have it.
Consider changing your stance or positioning while on your equipment.
For snowboarders it’s pretty easy to change your stance on your snowboard—you’ll want your bindings moved farther back towards the tail of the board so you have more float in the nose of your board. On skis, you’ll probably find you need to change your body positioning to compensate for all the extra snow. We are trained as skiers to lean forward over our skis to help steer the ski from the front, but that naturally drives the nose of the ski downward. In order to not sink down into the fluff on powder days try leaning back toward your heels just a little bit more than you’re used too—the ski instructor who taught you warned against this tactic, but it helps on deeper days.
Also, remember to pay more attention to your surroundings. If you stop on a flat spot of the trail you’ll have a real tough time moving around again once you’ve lost your momentum. And you may find that depending on the pitch of the mountain you may need to point your skis down hill more vigorously than usual in order to gain enough momentum to carry you through deep, heavy snow.
Time for new equipment?
Over the last few years ski and snowboard companies have been using combinations of rocker and camber in the design of skis and boards. Camber is shaped like a rainbow so the nose is always forcing itself down into the snow. Rocker is shaped like the bottom of a rocking chair, so the nose naturally wants to rise. Nowadays, most all-mountain skis and boards have combinations of rocker and camber to provide the best of both worlds. But if your equipment is on the older side there is a good chance it is fully cambered and it’ll be much tougher on pow days.