Adam Jensen: Take it easy out there on the slopes hot shot
While I’d love to say I lovingly get my snowboard and skis out of their secure summer homes every fall, remove the layer of protective wax applied in spring and give them full tune-ups, babying the pieces of equipment that my life will depend on this winter, it usually goes down like this: I wake up for my first morning of skiing or riding of the year, eat a bacon breakfast, dig through the overhead shelf on the garage in search of a piece of gear I haven’t seen in six months, give it a once-over, throw it into the back of my truck and head to the hill.
Same thing goes for getting in ski shape. Although I’m familiar with a host of exercises that would make that first day out on the slopes a lot less debilitating, I typically just work myself into winter shape as the season rolls on, grumbling about sore quads, shoulders and calves until they go away, typically around Presidents Day.
It’s certainly not model behavior. But, in a classic case of “do as I say, not as I do,” here are a couple of things you can do to get ready for the winter season, which is all of a sudden upon us.
Make sure your snowboard bindings are screwed on securely/the DIN is properly adjusted on your ski bindings. Check the edges of your skis or snowboards for cracks — delaminating sticks only get worse if they’re not repaired, and it’s always good to get as much maintenance out of the way as possible before a deep storm rolls in.
Consider getting a wax and tune before heading out on the slopes, or do it yourself. Well-tuned ski equipment makes a difference and doing routine work on a board or set of skis is really pretty simple once you’ve had some decent instruction and practice.
But if you’re unfamiliar, take it to a shop and they’ll set you up. Checking your soft goods to make sure they’ll last through another season of wear and tear probably isn’t a bad idea either. Finding out your gear has entered a new level of draftiness is a lot easier to handle at the bottom of the hill than at the top.
While I’m no expert on exercise, I do know every little bit helps ease inevitable second-day soreness inherent in going straight from the couch to the hill. Easing your body into the impacts of skiing and snowboarding will jump-start your season, especially if you’re not used to exerting yourself at elevation.
Just throwing in a couple stretches or doing some easy cardio before clicking in has always helped me shake off some rust.
And I guess shaking off the rust is my overall message for anxious snow lovers here. Get weird and have fun this week, but take it easy. There are at least five months of skiing and riding ahead.
Adam Jensen is the editor of Lake Tahoe Action, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.