Powder vs. Packed Snow: The Age Old Debate

During this time of year, you’re bound to run into a lot of white stuff…snow, that is! Unless you’re traveling in the Deep South or Hawaii, we’re going to bet that you’ll most probably be traveling through and playing in plenty of snow.

The slopes and ski resorts are more packed than ever. Believe it or not, it’s good to know what types of snow you’ll be experiencing if you participate in any snow sports.

It comes down to the age-old debate; which is better, powder or packed snow?

The Powdery Stuff

Powder is snow that has just fallen from the sky. It’s untouched and as the name implies is powdery soft. This form of snow is often preferred since it provides a natural pillow-like surface for any and all crashes for skiers or snowboarders.

Thick, fresh powder is often best for trying any new tricks or for trying to increase personal speed, whether that’s on a board or two skis. When the snow is more powder-like, it’s also easier to accomplish sharp turns, control speed and hold an edge.

However, powder also poses various challenges. For example, it’s important to keep speed while skiing or boarding on powder. If you slow down unexpectedly, you might sink and be forced to dig yourself out.

  *Remain aware! Powder can easily cover rocks, ice, tree stumps and other hazards.

Pack It Down

As the day goes on and more people ride over the powder, the snow forms piles and gets packed down. Soon enough, the fresh powder that was so soft and inviting turns into packed snow, also called crud.

Snowboarding or skiing on crud can be more challenging than on powder. Made up of powder and slippery patches, the resistance is always changing when it comes to your ride.

Riding on packed snow can be a challenge, but can also be exciting and fun. The uneven surface will keep on your toes…literally! You’ll need to keep your knees bent to absorb the shock from the various bumps created. Make sure to keep your eyes on where you want to go and enjoy the ride!

If you have any tips, or would like to add your input as far as the packed vs. powder debate goes, leave a comment below!


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