I have a love/hate relationship with early ski season. I’m always so excited to get back on snow for the first time, yet it’s disappointing how little is open. It’s mid-December when I wrote this, and I’ve gone skiing 10 times (which is admittedly low for me). I’m already bored after lapping the same 3 runs every weekend. Early season does have some advantages, and it’s a good time to enjoy things you don’t usually get to do. Here are 5 tips to entertain yourself during the early season conditions.
Do Some Drills
Ah the first day of the season: you put on your gear and quickly realize you’ve forgotten how to ski. With only a run or two open, it’s a good time to work on some drills. There are a variety of ways to sharpen those skills. Practice making turns on only one foot. Spend some time riding switch. Work on stopping in your bad direction. Change turn shapes repeatedly. Think about your weighting through the turns. The drills you can do are endless!
Demo New Skis/Snowboards
You know how your skis/snowboard work. Demoing in the early season is a great opportunity to try some gear that you otherwise wouldn’t have tried. Many brands and local ski areas offer free and/or paid demo days. Trying a bunch of gear will not only make you an educated consumer, but you might also find something you didn’t know you wanted (I know I have)!
Enjoy the Weather
The best part of early season skiing before the bitter cold of January is the warmer weather. Take full advantage of it! Sit outside and enjoy your lunch. Have an apres beer on the patio. Get some sun on your face and have a goggle tan before all of your friends.
Get Friends Together
Speaking of friends, early season is a good time to get a group together. The few runs open in the early season make it almost impossible to lose your friends. It’s a good chance to have fun with people of varying ability levels, as you all have to take the same run anyway. Since the weather will probably be nice, do a cookout for everyone out the back of your car!
Try a Different Sport
If you are really starting to get bored, try a different sport all together! If you ski, how about getting on a snowboard? Have you considered trying ski blades or a mono ski? How about one of those ski bikes? There are a lot of fun sports you could try during the early season!