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types of snow

types of snow for skiing and snowboarding

Here is a very brief explanation of the different types of snow you can encounter snowboarding and skiing.
This is really a beginners guide and no more.

  • Powder
    Powder is the term used for untouched, freshly fallen soft snow. Small flakes and crystals form a smooth soft surface. Powder is perfect snow for landing on, it is often packed in thick layers to form a natural cushion. This means it does not hurt as much as compacted snow when you land on it. The softer the snow the less likely you are to hurt yourself, it makes sense really.

    Powder is also very good snow for trying some new tricks. It is easier to carve turns, control your speed and hold your edge. However this thick soft snow can also bring obstacles if you slow down too much you begin to sink into it and can get stuck. The trick is to maintain your speed. Powder can also cover rocks, ice, tree stumps anything with a thin layer. Be careful and keep your eyes open especially off piste.
  • Crud
    Crud is more or less what happens to that nice clean snow after people start riding over it. The snow starts to pile up at certain places and packed down at others. That fresh lovely powder becomes uneven with lumps of soft powder-like snow and slippery patches. As you would expect snowboarding on crud is a lot more challenging than riding on powder. Riding crud types require a more aggressive technique than on fresh powder it will improve your overall control and technique.
  • Crust
    The name says it all really. Crust is the name given when snow gains a harder crust on top of softer powder snow. When the crust is hard you are riding on top of the harder, icy surface.When there is a softer crust on the snow you are more likely to break through it. Like crud riding crust types require a more aggressive technique.
  • Slush
    Slush happens when snow that is starting to melt becomes even wetter.We have all experienced this type of snow at the side of the road as it begins to thaw and after it has been mashed up by trucks and cars.The delicate snow crystals change into large grains of ice and slush is formed. Wet snow is the stickiest snow in the world and slows you down. Not much fun at all.
  • Ice
    Unlike fresh powder, soft and sweet, Ice is hard, slippery, and no fun at all for snowboarding or skiing. In terms of the slopes what we mean by ice is snow that has melted then frozen over and over again forming a solid surface. As you would imagine ice rides fast so take care

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