There are different types and textures of snow, and the type of snow you choose for snowboarding can have a big impact on the entire experience. You want to make sure the snow is exactly right, especially if you’re a newbie, to help you glide and offer a cushion in case you crash.
Once you’ve learned how to snowboard or ski on easier types of snow, you will be able to enjoy snowboarding and experience all types of snow throughout the winter season, and you may even enjoy snowing on some of the tougher ones too.
Let’s look at all the different types of snow you will experience in winter and which one is the best snow for snowboarding.
Types of Snow
The winter season brings with it beautiful white scenery and gorgeous snow. Yes, it’s freezing cold, but once the snow touches the ground, it’s the snowboarder’s dream. The snow, however, is not the same every time you go out to ski or snowboard.
Below is a guide to the different types of snow you can experience during your snowboarding adventures, the best and the not-so-desirable ones. Let’s start with the latter.
The Ice Snow
This type of snow is not a favorite amongst snowboarders and skiers. This type of ice is hard and unforgiving. It occurs during warmer temperatures when ice hardens overnight after melting during the day. The continuous melting and freezing of ice make it hard and very difficult to snowboard on; making turns on it requires that you sharpen your snowboard edges. Although, it might help if you simply glide across the ice at high speeds without making turns or putting an edge.
Usually, racers snowboard on icy snow as it helps them reach optimum speeds.
This type of snow also occurs when the temperatures start getting warmer, mostly during the spring season. Slush is wetter than snow and will surely get your clothes damp, but snowboarding on slush is also a challenge. The slushy snow is heavier and leads to slower speeds, which most snowboarders don’t enjoy.
This happens when the sun melts the top layer of snow, and the cold freezes it again, turning it into ice. This leaves soft powder snow underneath a crusty layer of ice.
While this form of snow isn’t ideal for beginners, it can be a fun and adventurous ride for advanced snowboarders who can jump, turn and break the ice with the snowboard’s edge and glide on the soft snow underneath.
The first snowfall of the season is loved by all, especially snowboarders, experts, and amateurs alike. The fresh dusting of snow made for a smoother ride and controlled turns.
The piste bashers groom the snow during early morning hours, making it the best time for snowboarders to head for the hills.
While fresh snow is safe and enjoyable for everyone, it does have the drawback of providing an uneven slope and resulting in a few crashes and bumps.
Hard-packed snow usually occurs simultaneously with icy snow and is almost just like icy snow, only a little more lenient. Hard-packed trails are a little easier to steer compared to icy trails and provide speedy snowboarding for thrill-seekers.
While this snow occurs very rarely, it might possibly be the worst for snowboarders. It is similar to slush, but it occurs towards the beginning of winter after the first few snowfalls of the season. A sudden rise in temperature causes the delicate snow crystals, when wet, bind themselves to the base of the snowboard, making it difficult for air to get below, causing a vacuum. This makes gliding on the snow very difficult. Even the most advanced skiers have a challenging time navigating through such pistes. Thankfully, snowboarders don’t have to deal with it very often as it is a rare occurrence.
The fluffy and fresh powder snow is any snowboarder’s dream. A piste covered with layers of ample packed snow gives a magical feeling of floating to both snowboarders and skiers. It’s smooth, fluffy, and pillowy, perfect for experts, amateurs, and beginners. Powder snow is great for practicing new moves and edges, and once you’re snowboarding at speed, it’ll feel like you’re flying; nothing beats that. Moreover, any falls or crashes will feel like landing on a pillow. The only thing you’ll have to be careful of is to watch out for any rocks or stubs hidden underneath the fluff of snow.
Now that you know about the different types of snow you can find in your snowboarding experience, here are some essential safety gears to keep in mind before you head out on an unforgettable skiing adventure.
- Helmet: never go out on a snowboarding adventure without a helmet.
- Goggles: Goggleswill protect your eyes from the cold.
- Gloves: These gloveswill not only protect your hands from the cold but are also water-resistant and won’t get wet as the snow melts.
- Boots: Of course, you need comfortable bootsfor a good snowboarding experience, so your feet can stay firmly on the snow.
Our Final Thoughts
Snowboarding is an advanced sport and knowing about snow conditions before you head out is always a smart move. The best snow for snowboarding beginners is either the fresh snow dust or powder snow as it is easier and more forgiving on the slopes. Once you have reached the amateur level of snowboarding, you can move on to different types of ice and explore the sport even more.
However, it is important that you are careful with the safety gear and always wear a helmet, goggles, and gloves to protect yourself from unforeseen accidents, wind, and cold. Every day on the snow is an adventure as the snow is always new, so gear up and have a fun time snowboarding.