Cold temperatures blanketing much of the country may intimidate some but it is a new year’s blessing for ski areas that are using the Arctic blast to make large amounts of snow in a short period of time. January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month and the snow sports industry has some tips for beginners that will help with lessons, dressing for winter weather, snow conditions and more.
Making it Affordable/Ways to Reduce Costs:
January is a great time to learn how to ski or snowboard since many resorts across the U.S. offer special learning deals during the Month. States that have what are known as Passport Programs offer special discounts for elementary school children. In addition, resorts throughout the country offer discounted lift tickets through brokers such as Liftopia.com and GetSkiTickets.com.
Beginner Lessons Include Rentals:
Take lessons from a pro. Nearly all ski/snowboard areas have beginner lessons or lesson packages that include rental equipment, the lesson and a lift ticket. There is no need to rent equipment before going to the ski area and today’s rental products are developed with beginners in mind. Some beginner programs are multi-trial rather than just one lesson. Many of these offer a season pass deal upon completion of the program.
Dress in Layers :
Most of the necessary clothing is probably in your closet. Undergarments go closest to the skin. Turtlenecks or fleece tops are next with an additional vest for really cold temperatures. Outer garments are waterproof pants and insulated jacket. It’s crucial to wear a hat and either gloves or mittens.
Colder Temperatures are Great for Snowmaking:
32 degrees Fahrenheit is the freezing temperature for water to turn into snow crystals, but ideal snowmaking conditions occur at 28 degrees or lower. Recent temperatures hovering in the mid to upper 20s essentially guarantees that resorts can make snow abundantly. Snowmaking usually takes place at night when temperatures are even lower. Low humidity also is a factor for determining how much snow can be produced. Resorts typically make sure their learning areas have ample accumulations of snow for lessons and especially to provide conditions that are conducive for the first-time experience.
Smart Tips for Driving in Winter Weather:
Keep the gas tank at least half full to avoid water condensation. Don’t drive with cruise control if the roads are snowy. Most ski and snowboard areas are within a reasonable drive from the majority of the population and Find Resorts is an easy way to locate them.
Ski/Snowboard Shops Provide Expert Advice and Have Long Term Lease Programs:
Most ski/snowboard specialty shops have long term leasing programs for equipment a practice that is particularly helpful for families with children who can outgrow gear quickly. Specialty retail shows are in the best position to guide newcomers ready to make purchases since staffs are professionals who understand the products. End of season sales at retail shops or fall ski swaps provide many opportunities to get outfitted without breaking the bank. Find Gear is a simple to use search engine for locating professionally run shops.
reprinted from the National LSSM newsletter on 1.4.18.