Be prepared before you hit the slopes

Ski and snowboard retailers have a love/hate relationship with the sports. Every season retailers must pre-book (predict) what to order and how deep to go on items based on potential weather. If they gamble wrong it means losing tens of thousands of dollars in product, lost floor space and basically writing off any profit for the entire year.

If they guess right, it means huge gains and actually getting into the black over what can be some very slow months in January through March.

Where once many surf and skate shops jumped into snowboard retailing, now many have either closed their doors or have decided not to take the risk. Things shifted after a decade of failed snow brands, bad Southern California winters and eventually in some cases, too much debt and shops went out of business.

Tune up

Three necessities that make a for a good tune up:

Sharpen edges

Your board needs its edges to be sharp to hold your line. The tech will use a guide file to make that edge nice and sharp. If you're a freestyle rider, you will want softer edges so you can break out of a line easier.

Remove old wax

Get all that old wax off with a solvent (acetone) and some elbow grease. Once your board is clean you can prep it for waxing.

Apply hot wax

This will get your board to optimum performance as the hot wax goes into every crevice and gets your board back to showroom quality. Our local mountains can have some hard and icy conditions and will chew the bottom of your board up quickly. Consider the hot wax option before every season.

Hansen's in Encinitas is one of the few remaining locally owned stores that has a full snowboard selection and offers tune ups and onsite snowboard lessons. Its staff is knowledgeable about everything you will need for your time on the mountain. It's safe to say that no retailer in San Diego has been more committed to a snow program or has done it longer or better than Hansen's.

Another great option is to take equipment to the pro shop at the resort you are visiting and have them tune it up while you get your lift tickets and everything else sorted out. Many times these pro shops are super fast and really good at tuning boards for the conditions on the mountain.

If that's not an option for you, you can visit some of the larger big box stores in town such as REI and Sports Chalet. These stores will have deep selections and full service and repair clerks to help you get your equipment tuned. These big retailers know how to run a store and hire good employees so chances are your experience will be on par with what you expect.

You're now ready for what looks to be the best snow season in years. Enjoy!

Source: DiscoverSD

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