Q: What can snowboarders do to get in shape preseason to help them ride better?
I'm such an advocate for hiking because I feel like it gets you outside
and in touch with the mountains. It also really works your quads, which is the whole thing when you're snowboarding or skiing. Whatever you can do to get your quads strong and your hamstrings flexible is going to help. When I was training, it was a lot of lower-body strength and then a lot of plyometric stuff—box jumps and different agility drills to keep you responsive. I was competing as a half-pipe athlete, so for that you want to be strong, responsive, and flexible.
Q: What other things can people do to get ready for opening day?
I always get all of my gear out a little bit before the season starts. A lot of times, you're not 100 percent sure how you left it on that last slushy spring day, so it's good to do a maintenance check and see that everything is up to par. Make sure your boots fit, you have good socks, all your screws are on tight. That way you can hit the ground running. You'll be a little bit rusty from not having been on the snow in a while, so you don't want to realize, “Oh shoot, my binding broke last year and I forgot.”
Q: Do you do a preseason wax or tune-up?
I’m the worst gear person ever. I can tell you what you should do, but I don't necessarily do it myself. (Laughs) But, yes, a good wax is important. Especially if you're riding an older board, it's good to do a hot scrape—that’s where you put the wax on and scrape it while it's still hot so it pulls all the dirt out of the base. In the spring, there’s typically a lot more dirt and it's mushy—things are blowing around and there's dirt in the parking lots, so it's a good idea to clean your base.