Dear Gospel, I really want to own my own snowboard shop when I’m older. I’m taking business classes in high school right now. Do you have any advice for me, like how to go about owning a business or anything I need to do? Miriam

Miriam, it’s a good idea that you’re taking business classes, but you might want to try working at a snowboard shop first before committing your life to owning one. If there’s a shop near you, try getting a job there this summer or part-time during school. If there isn’t one near you, working at any sports retail store will help you gain necessary experience. Also, by working at a related store, it’ll give you a chance to see if you actually want to pursue owning a shop later in life. Overall, the best advice for you will come from your own personal experiences.

I’m a serious skier, but all my friends snowboard. I want to convert, I guess. They all jump and do tricks and stuff, and I can do that on my skis, but is it totally different on a board? What’s the best board for a skier/snowboard? Laurie

First, Laurie, don’t go changing what you ride on just because your friends are dancing to a different drummer, if you know what I mean. Snowboarding rules, but so does skiing. If you want to try snowboarding, given your ski background, it might be best of you start with hard boots and plate bindings, or even step-ins such as the Shimano Skyloards or Burton step-ins. Try them on-you may prefer boots that are stiffer to the ones that have the highbacks on the board. It’s a ski thing to try and feel safe and comfy with your boots. As a skier myself, that’s the transition that’s the most difficult to deal with-being OK with loose-feeling boots. As for tricks, that’s cool you can pull Mosley’s on skis. I bet your snowboard pals couldn’t do that.

I am a female who wants to get into snowboarding. The only thing is, I’m a little overweight, maybe by 30 pounds. Am I too big to snowboard? I’m 5’7″ and weigh about 175 pounds or maybe less. Lisa

Lisa, you’re not too big to ride. I think it’s great that you’re interested in pursuing snowboarding-it’s a sport with awesome potential for cardiovascular workouts. It’ll make you stronger, more self-confident, and it’s good to be outdoors for your entire well-being. So get on board, girl! It’s more about making sure your feet fit on the board without toe or heel drap than your weight. As a beginner, don’t get too long of a board, but given your height, you could try riding between a 155-157 to start.

I took your advice about looking up the Wild Women’s Snowboard Camp. But I’m wondering if this is the best camp for learning new tricks at the terrain park and learning to ride the halfpipe. Or, is this camp more suited for beginners? I need help learning 360′s. Jen

Jen, I think the WWSC is a good camp, and it’s not necessarily for beginners only, although they are welcome. The WWSC actually, is the only women’s camp that I know of that also offers an advanced ridders session in the backcountry at Irwin Lodge, CO. But I think the camp you’re looking for is at Mt. Hood, Oregon, this summer. Perhaps Cascade? They’ll help you learn how to spin and drop-in. There are several camps every summer to chose from up there all taught by halfpipe and freestyle pros for riders such as youself. Check out the camps listed on this website.

I’ve been riding for 2 years and I want to try jumping, but I’m kinda scared about breaking something. Do you have any advice? WN

Hey WN, don’t sue me if you get hurt after taking my advice about building a tiny kicker on a powder day or soft spring snow day with your friends (preferably with one that can jump decently) and practice going over it really slowly without pulling any grabs, just air, until you can stick the landing solidly. Then try going off switch and turning 180 to land straight. From there, you might want to pull a tiny grab. Personally, I think a tail grab with your trailing hand is the easiest grab to start with.

I’m pretty new to snowboarding and I’m starting on a used board. There are some mean gashes on my poor board’s base. Is there anything I can do about it? I live in a place with pretty much NO stores to speak of. You’re my only hope.

No to sound like Obe Wan Kenobe, “but there is hope, Hopeless.” The force is with Da Kine. They’ve got this killer base kit for do-it-yourself base jobs. Email them at dakine@dakine.com or go to www.dakine.com and check out their line of products. First, though, I’d email them directly with your questions and explain to them what your base looks like (is it scratched or is P-Tex missing, your edge ripped out, and/or can you see straight through to the core?). Have them go over it via email before you order the stuff to make sure it’s even fixable, then make sure they send you instructions with your kit.

Contact me at wigmag@aol.com, or in further detail, at www.wigmag.com.