If you’re getting a new snowboard this season, skip over to the Buyers Guide, make sure to get the dopest thing there and only read the parts of this story that apply to you. If not, get out your board (if you’ve been sleeping with it, maybe just move it onto the floor), and clean it off. Check for any defects, such as delaminated edges. If you want to send anything back for manufacturer defects, do it now, and you may even have it in time for the season. If everything checks out, get it tuned! Even if your edges are sharp and the base is fast, chances are rust has managed to accumulate along the metal. Sharp edges and rust equal tetanus, and tetanus will do very little to help you learn rodeo flips. Use some base cleaner or scrape the base to get rid of any dust or dirt, then treat yourself to a fresh coast of wax. The closer to opening day you wax, the faster you’ll go.
Now your board will ride like new, but everyone will know it’s the same one you rode last year. Get out a razor blade and treat yourself to a new sticker job. Do it right and remove the old stickers first so it lasts beyond the first day. You can also give your board a paint job or maybe even some base tats.
Next, brush off your boots and put them on. Make sure there are no strange bumps or weird pressure points. A certain East Coast icon is rumored to have ridden an entire day with a dead mouse in the toe of his boot because he skipped this important step. Make sure they still tie up tight. If not, they should have come with thin foam pads, which can be inserted under the foot beds now to tighten them up. Get new laces or invest in custom foot beds that will make them ride like new. Most shoe stores sell waterproofing spray for leather, and a coat of it won’t hurt your cause.
With your boots on tight, strap in to your bindings. Now could be a good time to replace that strap that drove you nuts all last season because it no longer has any tread. Most shops will still have their spare parts supply that disappears by December and have straps only to sell. Jump around on your board and make sure all the screws are in tight, and the straps are properly adjusted. No matter how dialed you got things last year, they will probably need some tweaking.
Now it’s time to do a clothing inventory. You should have both a right and left hand glove, beanie, goggles, pants, jacket, long underwear, and at least two socks. Check the pockets of your jacket and pants for any money (the ultimate early season bonus) or ketchup packets, then throw your outerwear in the wash with some nix wax, available at any shop. Not only will you look clean and shiny, but hopefully, you’ll repel water as well. Look for any rips in your clothing. Any holes that filled up with snow last year will undoubtedly do so again this year, so have Mom stitch them up, or if this is not an option, in true Mt. Baker fashion, get out the duct tape.
Check your gloves for holes and decide if you can splurge on a new pair. This relatively inexpensive item is once you can never have enough of anyway, and will change your entire experience on a cold day. The duct tape fix will also work here, though. Clean your goggle lenses thoroughly and look for vision-impairing scratches. Such scratches could be the motivation to buy this year’s trendiest goggles, or at least splurge on a new pair of lenses.
Finally, get off the couch and do something. Ride a bike, join the meatheads in the gym or roll around on your skateboardd. Your muscles will thank you on that first day when it is not the first time they’ve moved in six months. Be ready for the first day pain anyway though, because no matter how good of shape you are in, this year, snowboarding will still use muscles you didn’t know you had.