Bring a PB&J in your pocket: A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is one thing, but one made early in the morning, compressed into an airtight concoction in your pocket for several hours of riding, and then eaten with a ravenous, all-day-out-in-the-cold hunger is, well I’m not a religious woman, but it really is a gift from god.
Make someone else drive: Let’s face it, not being the one behind the wheel is great. Claim out of gas, no snow tires, being punished with loss of car privileges—whatever it takes to guilt your friends into driving instead of you.
Go snowboarding with a broken heart: What’s that? You and your girl/boyfriend just broke up? And it’s a week before Valentine’s Day? And everywhere you go there’re hearts in store windows and heart-shaped candies sitting in bowls and people roaming around with bouquets meant for someone special? Get up there and shred it out, my friend. Everything will be okay, we promise.
Show up before the resort is open: Leave your house at some stupid hour in the morning so you can hang in the lodge and dig on the early morning goings on of a resort: The chairlifts firing up. The loud blast of snowguns. The community of middle-aged ex-hippy dorks who get in line for first chair even though it’s icy hardpack up there. Brilliant.
Shut off your cell phone: The benefits are several-fold: Your shred time will be real “me time.” You won’t hold-up/annoy others with your seemingly “important cellular communication. And when yer all done riding, you can excitedly check the many messages that have accumulated in your inbox and feel very wanted and loved.
Hot cocoa: The real stuff—no mochaccinos or triple chai lattes allowed. Warming up with hot cocoa is a way of life.
Make snowboard sound effects: You might already do this and just not realize it, but don’t be afraid of making that motorcycle revving noise as you rip down through the chop, or a “sssschreeewwww type surf-slash sound when you lay in a real-hand-drag-in-the-snow, rooster-tail powder turn.
Getting in over your paygrade: That’s right, scare the shit out of yourself up there, ’cause that’s the only way you’re going to get any better.
Pretend you’re Jamie Lynn: Yes, pretend you are good at snowboarding, pretend you have amazing style, pretend you just don’t give a shit, pretend you have soul, pretend you are a legend. Maybe some of it will actually happen.
Go night riding: It’s fun because … well, because you’re snowboarding—at night! There’s something extra exciting about sitting on the lift all bundled up in the wintertime darkness and stealthily making your way through the shadowy woods. It’s kind of festive—so shred and be merry.
Take your boot liners out at night: Seriously, you might think just putting your boots by the heater is enough, but you have to actually take the liners out to get ’em really dry. It’s kind of a pain, but one of those things that’s worth it in the end.
Don’t bring a digital camera: Does this moment really need to be memorexed by ten idiots with Canon Elphs and that one guy who’s using his cell phone as a camera? Or would it be better off living on in eternity inside your head. That’s what good memories are for, you guys.
Watch an old snowboard movie: Roadkill; The Hard, The Hungry, The Homeless; Whiskey; Upping The Ante; The Garden; Sexual Chocolate, Milk—watch and learn, my friends.
Meet someone on the chairlift: I’ll be the first person to admit that making conversation on the chairlift can sometimes be a path through the wilds of small-talk purgatory, but since when hhas sitting in silence with someone for five awkward minutes been any less forced? C’mon, don’t be afraid, they won’t bite, and they might just have a good story or two to tell.