Patrick McCarthy's Guide to Summer Camp


Your guide to Summer Snowboard and Ski Camp from 686 Team Manager Patrick McCarthy.

Every year kids descend on glaciers all over the world to keep the dream alive and keep snowboarding/skiing nearly year round. Win the USA, Woodward is our favorite option with two locations - Boreal in CA and Copper Mtn in CO. Mt Hood also has multiple camp opportunities so get out and do some summer riding and you can also get a public park pass there too. In Canada, Camp Of Champions announced no camp this summer due to sub-par conditions, but Whistler Valley Snowboard Club has stepped in to offer a small park on the Glacier.

Summer camp is  the best way to keep progressing in the off-season in order to start the next season with you’re A-Game rocking at full stride. These camps are an amazing way to meet people you will be friends with the rest of your life. Here are 10 important things to remember when you head off to camp. No matter which one you choose, these 10 rules will always apply.

1) Never forget sunscreen and SPF chapstick. The sun is super harsh on any snow glacier so having proper sunscreen over 50SPF is totally crucial. You can ruin your whole trip on day one if you don’t remember this.

2) Bring lots of water. Bring a re-usable bottle, straight up. Fill it up constantly and leave it by the lift so you can keep hydrated while riding. Bottled waters are played out we need to keep the environment for future generations so using a refillable bottle is key.

3) Bring a wax iron and some warm weather wax to keep your snowboard/skis riding fast. Since the snow has so much dirt and grime it can make the board slow. Wax daily.

4) Bring warm clothes for those random cold days (they will happen). You never know when the Summer time snow is going to fall. Day one at our recent session at Woodard Boreal provided 6 inches of new snow and balmy 29 degrees – not ideal hoody weather.

5) Be open to making new friends and reaching out of your comfort zone. Go sit with someone you normally wouldn’t. Make new friends - everyone lives at a different resort and you can open your options for the next season if you make friends.

6) Try something new every day. Make a daily battle plan of what you want to accomplish. I have even written mine down in the past. A detailed plan of what you want to learn and take away from being at Snowboard camp will give you things to ask your coach or pro riders about.

7) Monitor your energy so you down burn out. If you’re not feeling it, take a break go do another activity and come back with fresh legs. It’s a long week. You want to be able to make the most of time on hill, but you have to listen to your body.

8) Get involved with everything going on off-hill. Don’t be shy, its summer camp and you’re supposed to have fun! Sign up for stuff. It’s a great way to meet people and broaden your horizons.

9) Be grateful to whoever got you to snowboard camp. Make sure to knock out some extra chores for free around the house and say thank you. These camps are a once and a lifetime opportunity they are also not cheap for your family.

10) Have fun! This is the most important part just go out every day and get after it.

Being a product of these camps growing up, I know personally the impact that these camps can have. When I would go I would bring a notebook and write down every trick I wanted to learn along the way. Ask your coach, go hard in the paint and you will be ready to destroy it next season. Have a great summer!

-Patrick McCarthy, 686 Team Manager


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