Well it’s that time of the year when most people are getting excited about the impending summer and the return of the warmer weather and longer days. But for those of us who love wintersports it is tinged with the bittersweet knowledge that the snow is almost gone and we are in the final throes of the snowboarding season. So what can you do to still get stoked during the summer months?
Organise photos or get the GoPro footage downloaded: with digital technology we all take hundreds of photos either on smartphones or on cameras but how many of us download our photos regularly (except to make room on the memory card) and organise them into either an electronic file or upload them onto a remote storage facility? During the summer you could even make a hard copy photobook as a nice keepsake of your recent winter holiday. Companies such as Photobox, Vistaprint and Snapfish can provide you with a good value, professional looking photo album. GoPro’s abound on the slopes from those on selfie-sticks to those fixed to helmets. My husband is responsible for our family footage but the laptop memory is full so it remains on the GoPro. Maybe I’ll get to view it before next season but I am not holding my breath!
Indoor snow slopes for the kids and yourself: they will not replace the mountains but they are great for a snow-fix, a day out with the kids and a chance to brush up on your skills. In the quieter summer months slope passes are often cheaper and lessons are less likely to be full. Checkout: the Snow Centre at Hemel Hemstead, Snozone at Castleford and Milton Keynes, Snow Factor in Glasgow, the SnowDome at Tamworth and Chill Factore at Manchester. You can also have dedicated lessons with companies such as Snowboard Coach, Definition and Maverix who run sessions lasting a couple of hours through to several days.
Watch online edits and DVDs: as the season closes edits of the last few months will start to appear so keep your eyes peeled, and pull out your favourite DVDs from your collection to savour the best clips. Take a look at this nine year old snowboarder Hirota Ogiwara below. He has to be a future ‘one to watch.’
Research your next trip: It’s never too early to start thinking about 2015/16 as early bird offers tempt people to book sooner rather than later. Where do you fancy going next year: a familiar, old haunt or somewhere new to explore? If you want to go away in the school holidays, to a particular resort, do not leave it too late as availability can be limited sooner than you might expect.
Re-read snowboarding mags: looking back at past issues, if you have kept any, is a good way to reconnect to the snowboarding scene; who was hot; what were the latest developments in the sport; what new gear was available and which resorts were best? All this post-season nostalgia is even better over a cuppa when the kids are busy on the X-box, Playstation or iPad!
Organise a holiday reunion: who did you snowboard or ski with this last season? Perhaps you went with another family or took your parents, sister or cousin along to help with childcare. Why not re-live those winter holiday experiences together by watching a slide show of your newly organised holiday photos or marvel at the GroPro footage taken in the park when you realise you only got six inches of air (rather than two foot you swore you had)! All this could be done over a recreated meal of fondue, bratwurst or pasta depending upon which part of the Alps you visited.
Summer glacier freestyle snowboarding: this is not generally one for the kids but if you are desperate for some summer slope time and you want to hone your freestyle tricks or get more freestyle experience it would be worth considering a few days away. Checkout Onyx who go to Les Deux Alps, France and Definition who are going to Cervinia/ Zermatt on the Swiss/ Italian border and the Hintertux Glacier near Mayrhofen.
Checkout the Southern Hemisphere: winter is just beginning down in Oz, New Zealand and South America, so you can keep abreast of happenings further afield courtesy of the internet and social media. And for the really adventurous it is but a mere 12- 24 hour plane journey away!
So no matter what your plans are for summer, remember there are ways to stay connected to snowsports. Whether it is browsing old snowboard mags or chasing the pow in distant lands you can still feel part of the scene. Whatever you do the choice is yours. Remember to stay stoked whilst the sun shines, you slap on the sunscreen and the temperatures rise.