Snowboarding doesn't stop in the summertime, as far as Gretchen Bleiler is concerned. The 29-year-old Olympian has been spending time working on tricks, riding in the back country, and coaching the next generation of riders at camps such as High Cascade in Oregon. She's also designing her collection for Oakley and rolling out a new line of BPA-free, 50-percent stainless steel water bottles (alexbottle.com). Next up is a trip to Chile for a K2 Snowboarding photo and TV shoot.
Presenting Bleiler's top ten snowboarding tips--because it's never too early to start thinking about shred:
10. Wear your helmet! It will keep you safe and give you extra confidence knowing you're more protected! I wear Giro's Shiv helmet.
9. Take care of your skin and wear sunscreen ALL THE TIME. Even when it's cloudy the suns rays will bounce off the snow and get you! I prefer Mission Skincare's ultra sweat-proof SPF 30+ lotion.
8. Bend your knees! Even when you think you're bending them, bend them more! The lower your center of gravity the more aggressive you can be!
7. Wherever you look is where you go. Meaning look where you WANT to go instead of where you DON'T want to go. This is especially helpful when riding in the trees!
6. Being comfortable in your outerwear is EVERYTHING. Make sure you dress for the weather and always layer up for changing conditions. I have my outerwear, eyewear, lifestyle, and accessories collection with Oakley, called The Gretchen Bleiler Collection, that I LOVE. Not only does it cover all the technical bases but you'll look good, too! And let's face it, looking good is half the battle!
5. Make sure you get set up with the right board, boots, and bindings for your ability, the resort you'll be riding, and the conditions. Check out k2snowboarding.com.
4. Pay attention to your stance. The stance of your board applies to the width between your two bindings and the angle that your bindings are mounted. A good way to figure out the right stance for you is to get into a squat position and notice the width of your two feet and the way they are angled naturally. Your stance on your snowboard should be about the same.
3. Get fit! If you don't snowboard a lot then it's a good idea to go to the gym before you get up on those mountains to make for a better experience. Lots of core exercises and squats and lunges would help work the muscles you'll be using.
2. Generally, when you're snowboarding you want to be centered over your board with 60 percent of your weight in your back foot and 40 percent in your front foot.
1. Have fun! Get some friends out there with you, too, so you guys can all laugh with and at each other! is FUN!