Snowboarding… ahh, talk about living the dream. Sliding off the chairlift into powder so fresh and deep, you're glad you remembered to pack a power bar because you'll be too busy spraying rooster tails to stop for lunch.
Except, some days it's not just the T-Bar that's a huge drag. Crappy conditions can make a day on the mountain seem like grey skies, grey snow and… grey snowboarding. But just because conditions aren't always awesome, doesn't mean your day can't be – you just need to know how to spice things up a little. Here are five ways guaranteed to get that frown turned upside down!
Ride switch all day
We've all switched stance for a couple of minutes on an easy run, but the next time you're feeling a little stuck in a rut, take on the 'all-dayer challenge'. Start off on a blue run with some smooth turns, nothing fancy. Get those edges carving clean – no sideslipping or reverting – and after a few laps switch will start to feel natural. Then you'll be ready to start working through your usual repertoire of basic tricks, but with a totally new level of awareness of how your body moves. By the end of the day, your legs will hurt in totally new places, and by taking your riding off autopilot, you'll have given your brain a workout too.
Go super small
We've all seen those kids bombing around the mountain on ski blades – aka Big Feet – and we've all felt a little bit superior to them. But deep, deep down they look kinda fun, don't they? So, next time you find yourself in a ski resort with nothing but a lame snowpark and mogul fields for entertainment, go and rent a set of ski blades, or, better yet, a kid-sized snowboard.
All those crappy little park obstacles will instantly become totally fun again, and that mogul field will be transformed into a shreddable wonderland of epically mini proportions. At the very least, the sight of you stomping a nose press on a 90cm SpongeBob SquarePants pro model (yes, it exists) will give your buddies something to talk about for weeks.
Learn a new grab
Preferably, a really silly one. When you think about it, grabbing a snowboard that's strapped to your feet (to replicate skateboarding) is already a pretty pointless thing to do, yet it's pretty much mandatory. So find yourself a whippy little mogul to pop, or a cat track to fly off, and start reaching for that Rocket Air/ Roast Beef/ Seatbelt/ Japan. Don't stop until you've got it nailed, or it's nailed you.
Make a retro video part
Let's face it: you're never going to be as good as the guys in the videos. But what about the guys in the videos from 1985? Hell yeah, those dudes had even worse style than you! So hit up the charity shops for some vintage fluoro ski wear and zany sunglasses, give your hair a Shaun Palmer styleover, download a VHS camcorder app for your smart phone, and start tweaking those Tindys to the max!
Get your carve on
V-Turn, Eurocarve, whatever you know them as, this classic move, invented by European hard booters in the 1980s and perfected by racing legend Serge Vitelli, is the ultimate (ironic) style statement. There is absolutely nothing more satisfying than finding a smooth patch of piste (corduroy ideal but not obligatory), laying your baby on a rail, and stretching out a series of smooth, swooping turns. Once you've got your Eurocarves nicely linked in a tight S formation, you're ready to take on the ultimate challenge – a full 360.