When does the Snowboarding Season Start?
By. Jenna Rickard
I remember being back in High School about a week before Halloween. The temps were starting to get low and we had gotten some light snowfall here and there. One of our local resorts was actually starting to fire up their snow guns and despite the normal projected opening date of Thanksgiving weekend, was planning an early opening, all be it only temporary. It was the talk of the school, and I remember digging my stuff out of the basement as soon as I got home while my mom stood there insisting we were nuts for wasting our money. We rode for hours hitting up one lift and a lovely white ribbon of death with a small hand built kicker at the bottom. Sure it was crowded, and we practically paid full price to do it, but I guess the point is that we still remember it right?
Days like this seem to be only memories now. In most parts of the US, our seasons been starting later and later, and it’s definitely putting a strain on our resorts as well as participation levels. Even if we’ve gotten some snow or temperatures are low enough to make it, non-season pass holders seem weary, waiting for the heavy, snowy winters we all know and love. As lift ticket prices seem to increase, people want to wait until the entire mountain is open and they truly get the best value for their hard earned money. Casual riders and skiers wait until there’s snow on the ground and it “feels like winter” and some people wait so long for the ideal conditions that the season ends up being half gone by the first time they step foot out on the snow. But is it worth the wait?
For me, I know it’s not. As we prepare for a Rail Jam this upcoming weekend at one of our retail locations, even the “snow” that will be provided by a Zamboni at a local ice arena will get my blood going. I know I’ll be chomping at the bit for the first local resort that gets their guns spinning, and will be praying for the low temps that allow it to be done. Sure it may not make sense to pay full price for a resort that’s only open 40%, but some will offer discounted rates and those who take advantage of them may be rewarded with light crowds and a great way to start their season off. Weather patterns seem to be changing, and our ideal winter just might not come every year. Just because the snow outside your window doesn’t look great, doesn’t mean you still can’t find decent conditions are your local resort. Often, you might even find it more desirable as the snow is softer and the weather might allow for lighter dressing. If you’re learning, get yourself into some early lessons so when the snow does hit, you’ll be ready to truly enjoy it. As I’ve said before, some of my most memorable days of riding have come early or late season.
So when does your snowboarding season start? I know mine will start as soon as nature allows…