In general, snow sports are fabulously enjoyable activities, though the reality is that they place tremendous physical demands on our bodies as well. Without exception, snowboarding and skiing professionals are individuals that have achieved a remarkable level of physical fitness; while you may not have the slightest interest in matching their talent on the slopes, it is nonetheless important that you be in somewhat decent shape before packing up your gear and heading for the mountain.
No matter which snow sport you are going to practice, you will want to make sure you are in relatively good physical condition to take on the activity. However, the physical demands will vary depending on the kind of snow conditions that you are faced with, which is why it?s important to understand the implications of each.
In general, lovers of snow sports are in agreement (with some minor exceptions) that the most enjoyable and incredible conditions to encounter are presented by untouched, virgin powder fields–or to use the sports jargon, “white gold.” Skiing or snowboarding on powder is incredibly demanding on the body from the hip down in particular, even more so than compared to other conditions. Given the fact that the surface beneath the snow is hard to detect and predict, your body has to literally become a giant shock absorber. It’s a serious challenge, but once you get the hand of it there are few things as enjoyable.
Quite unlike powder, there is a distinctly “rough” feel to man-made snow. It is much easier to compact and therefore the risk of sliding and slipping on stretches of man-made snow is higher than on other surfaces.
Speaking of which, iced over patches of snow (man-made or otherwise) present a serious risk to those out enjoying the trails. When you hit such a patch, remember that you don’t want to panic and should try implementing some sort of maneuver to reduce your speed rapidly, though not abruptly.
In a category of their own with special physical challenges and demands, spring snow conditions tend to be more like “soup” or “sludge” as avid snow sports lovers tend to put it. You will feel like you are much heavier in the snow, and movements will require you to exert yourself more than would be the case in more wintry conditions. Of course, the bonus is that you get to hit the slopes in your shorts and t-shirt!
Skiers and snowboarders should beware of hitting the slopes outside of the designated trail areas, which are usually clearly marked by flags, tape, or some other indicator. Not only can the snow be very deep and treacherous, but furthermore the risk of avalanches forming and of people getting lost is much greater.
If you have the urge to try out a bit of tree skiing, then take the time beforehand to put your braking skills to the test. This is an activity that is significantly more risky than regular trail skiing, as you must avoid obstacles and be ready to brake without warning. Speed regulation and a tendency to move along at a slower speed are fundamental here.
If you’ve brought kids along on your skiing or snowboarding vacation, let them get a little training in from an instructor before riding on any sort of slopes. And lastly, bear in mind that you should never assume others are experts at the sport (similar to when driving a car on the road), and should be extremely cautious when skiing or snowboarding along side others.
Whenever Byron Jonas goes skiing Japan, he has a lodge which he invariably stays at for snow accommodation Japan Its called The Hooting Owl Lodge.
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