Top 10 Useful Tools For Planning A Snowboarding Trip

The new chill in the air has you and your crew chomping at the bit to run to the hills. There are now 13 ski resorts open in North America. (Actually more now… Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is now open…) Winter is stealthily upon us and we at Flow Snowboarding could not be more exited.

You have your snowboard, bootsbindings and gear all packed up in your luggage bags and ready for your first voyage up the mountain. Flow Snowboarding wants to share with you 10 useful resources to stay on top of your snowboarding plans and trips this winter.

10. Facebook Snowboard Groups
Login to Facebook and search for the ski and snowboard groups in your area. There you can communicate with those in your area that you share the love of sliding on the snow with. Share your photos, find out about events and promotions, find people looking for carpooling options, find people to go ride with, make new friends that love snowboarding.

9. College & University Ski Clubs
If you are still a student, recent grad or alumni, take a look at your local colleges and universities. In most cases there are ski and snowboard clubs within these institutions of higher learning. Even the educated need a break to be up on a hill, away from the things of man. Find those other like minded souls that are more looking forward to their next trip up the hill, than what the professor is teaching them. Checking with your college and university advisers would be a best way to contact these individual clubs.

8. Ride Share Programs
Most major cities with a solid number of snowboarders (or even skiers) like Denver, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City or Seattle to name a few have ride share programs. Cities like Denver even have those massive lots just outside en route to the resorts, making it easier for people to coordinate a carpool up to the mountains. Carpooling not only frees up the traffic, but is also a great way to save money and meet new friends who share the stoke for snow.

7. Find My Friends
The Find My Friends application helps you locate your friends and identifies their exact location on the app’s navigational map. It is the perfect way to track where on the hill your friends ended up. If your party is late for a rendezvous or Apres-ski, you can see what run they are currently on. Find My Friends uses state-of-the-art Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to provide the most accurate, up-to-date locations in real-time.
For more information on Find My Friend, please visit:
For iPhone: www.apple.com/apps/find-my-friends/
For Android:  play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fsp.android.friendlocator&hl=en

6. The Weather Channel
It goes without saying, you need to know what the weather is. The most user friendly site for weather tracking is The Weather Channel’s website. It is a useful tool as they are very up to date with their weather forecasts, maps, videos, photos and news. How much snow (or sun) will there be? What is the next storm bringing? Plug in your city or zip code and find what is in store for the resort you plan on riding.
For more information on The Weather Channel, please visit www.weather.com

5. NOAA
What better way to track the snow than with the experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)? NOAA is a solid go to resource for tracking weather and snowfall. Plug in your region, and you will get detailed short range and long term weather predictions. This site is as in depth as you want to drill into it. You can read the experts predictions of forecasts, watch infrared and satellite images, even animated sequences to track storm strength and trajectories. There are also quick links to road conditions.
For more information on NOAA, please visit: www.NOAA.gov

4. Your Local Department of Transportation
Depending on the state you are in, you might know it as CalTrans, CDOT, ODOT, WSDOT, WYDOT… They are your state’s Department of Transportation. Make sure you are familiar with these sites, especially if you plan on loading up the vehicle with your gear and road tripping it. There’s nothing worse then driving into a polar vortex and not being prepared. Road and highway closures are common in winter, even for the entire season. Knowing the roads ahead of you for your trip will also help you determine if you need a 4X4 or AWD, or if your good driving up your gas efficient 2WD whip. Make sure you are dialed into your local Department of Transportation.

3. Liftopia
Liftopia’s aim is for everyone to enjoy more of their time on the hills and in the mountains — from curious beginners to life-long athletes. They are the largest online marketplace for ski lift tickets. Their website allows you to scour the internet for some of the best lift ticket deals, via city, state, region and country. Their discounts on lift tickets range anywhere between 20% to over 50% off retail prices. If you are planning ahead for your ski trips, make sure you bookmark this page.
For more information on Liftopia, please visit www.liftopia.com 

2. There Is An App For That
Power in the palm of you hands. We live in a very digital age. Whether it is checking in with the resorts, storm tracking, finding lift deals or even discounted accommodations… search your Android or iPhone application store. You will find an app for that. Liftopia, NOAA and OnTheSnow (mentioned in the next tool) even have their own applications. Most major ski resorts also have their own personalized applications that offer promotions, GPS tracking to track your runs and distance ridden. Take a quick search in your Application Store on you smart phone. Find the apps that work best for you.

1. On The Snow
We mentioned 13 resorts are open as of today, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is set to open tomorrow on November 13th, with more resorts set to open this weekend. How do you keep track of all these resorts? One great resource is On The Snow as they stay up to date with snow reports, resort break downs, weather and even links to the live webcams at the resorts. They are also a great resource covering gear, news and travel. They also have an active and solid community on their forums. For mobile devices, they also have one of the most in depth resort and snow tracking application
For more information, please visit: www.OnTheSnow.com
For iphone: itunes.apple.com/us/app/ski-snow-report/id300412347?mt=8
For Android: play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.skireport&hl=en

Is all your snowboarding gear still in working shape? Do you need an upgrade on your bindingsboots or snowboard? Maybe a board bag or luggage to transport all your gear? Of course Flow Snowboarding has you covered. Check out our online shop, now offering free shipping for orders over $100.

Please connect with us at Flow Snowboarding and share your photos via Social Media and hashtag #FlowSnowboarding and do not forget to tag us at Flow. Who knows… you might win out Photo of the Week contest.

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Flow Snowboarding: Tim Humphreys goes off in China during the Nanshan Open

flow snowboarding tim humphreys snowboard china nashan open 2014

Earlier this year, Flow’s Tim Humphreys took a trip to China for the Nanshan Open and needless to say, Tim went off. Tim ended up getting 2nd place in the event and had plenty of time to party and explore China in between. He dropped and amazing GoPro edit (below) today from his explorations. We caught up with Timmy to get his thoughts about China, his latest edit, and the event. Continue reading