It Takes Three Turns
Above: Brandon Craddock laying it all out on edge
It takes three unique turns to be officially back and riding for the season. It may not be your first three turns, as you’ll most likely be making low-angle groomer turns with man made snow underfoot, and way too many people around. No, what I’m talking about are the turns that blow the cobwebs off and get you officially locked in for the season.
The Aggressive Groomer Turn
Maybe you have made a couple of laps, but now your favorite chair is spinning and you found a solid blue run to properly lay your edge into. You’ve had clips of people over exaggerating turns running through your mind all day and now it’s your turn! The metal grips the snow and you push the laws of physics to max to rip around that aggressive groomer turn. The legs give a little shout as the preseason training didn’t quite get your muscles ready, but you’re back out of the turn and nodding at how good it felt.
Bonus Point – Full Circles are a display of edge prowess like no other on a snowboard. Even a peacock will be jealous of how everyone is looking at you.
The Face Shot
The Snowledge app is reporting four to six inches overnight and it’s that ungodly hour for an alarm clock to go off. But it’s all worth it as you blast off the side of the main trail and into the fresh. You drop down an inch with the weight you apply and then you begin to float back atop the snow as your speed picks up. Your jacket beings to flap lightly, acknowledging the velocity as you put your weigh back a little more and drift on to your edge. As the snow begins to slide up and off the base, wait. Once you’re set and poised strike like a cobra, snap the tail a little further forward into snow and back in line. The pow pops up and you’re sailing blind for a glorious second. Your face mask muffles the delight but your buddies will undoubtedly hear it and turn around to see you victoriously emerging from the white room.
Bonus Point – Take this one to the backcountry, but remember to stay safe out there with the earl season conditions. There’s nothing like an untouched zone to throw a couple of back to back turns that will result in multiple face shots.
The Consequence Maneuver
Feel free to take the reigns and make this one a little more free form. You will know when it happens because the consequence maneuver is the true mark of a season coming into play. My personal favorite is a short but skinny rock chute, but trees can make for a good corridor, depending what you can find. Stop and look at it for a second from the top. You know last season you could make it, but if there isn’t a nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach, it doesn’t count. Drop in with a touch of tenderness and keep your eyes on the prize. Time often plays tricks on you here, so slow down on your approach and leave yourself ample time to think about a speed check you told yourself not to take. Before you know it, you’re through the choke and out to freedom. The slope opens up again and now is the time to blast a turn, any turn. Muscle memory will take you from here as you take the season by the horns.
Getting the shot and screaming through something skinny is about as good as a GoPro POV will get. And all the better if everyone knows your coming into this season HOT.
All Photos Riley Bathurst