Right now, just as the evenings are starting to draw in and the chances of leaving the house for five minutes without getting rained upon drop to just about zero, the internet is swamped with articles about how to get ready for the snowboard season.
These, we confirm, are all shit. Utter nonsense. Bollocks, bobbins, and balderdash. And how do we know? Because this is the guide to getting your mind, body, and soul ready for the coming snow season. Start now, tomorrow is too late!
1) Eat Cheese
For years, food scientists have argued about the health properties of cheese. Here at Mpora, however, we couldn’t give an Edam about what the man and women in white coats say.
All we know is A) cheese is delicious and B) in plentiful supply in the Alps. As such, it’s key to surviving any ski trip that you start increasing you cheese tolerance now.
According to fictional European law, you now have to eat your bodyweight in cheese during the duration of any snowboard trip away. Glorious if you’re away for ten days, but more of a challenge if you’re just having a quick weekend blast on the snow.
From Fondue to Raclette to Tartiflette, and numerous local dishes in between, you’ll be worshiping cheese like a new God, so get on the cheddar now in preparation.
You heard us. Strip! Go on. But naked. Whether you’re 18 or 80, this is a vital step in preparing for your time on snow.
“But Mpora, you daft sausages" you cry “I’ve got a tremendous velvet all-in-one to cruise the slopes in. Why are my jingly-pops on display?". So you feel the shame!
Who hasn’t had the nightmare where you go to school only to realise you're naked? Pretty embarrassing, right? Right! And this is good. You need to live every second of this naked shame.
Within eight to ten weeks of complete, unadulterated, pube-liberating nudity you’ll have developed such a thick skin, both figuratively and literally, that whatever stupid shit you get up to on the mountain, the shame won't be as great as the time you got booted out of Londis for rooting for the milk with the longest use-by-date while the shop-keeper eyes up your Thom Yorkes.
3) Dip your fingers
If, like us, you’re a purveyor of gloves from the cheaper end of the market, you’ll spend most of your holiday on show with cold, soggy fingers.
Now, you could go out and buy some proper gloves, or you could just prepare correctly before you go. Between now and when you board the plane to the mountains, dip your fingers in a bowl of icy cold water, and leave them there for half an hour.
Ignore the paid, and blackening of the skin, and eventual chunks of flesh dissolving. No pain, no gain, right?
This will provide adequate preparation for the icy-cold drenching your hands will get through the gloves you stole from your old man’s potting shed. Or, if you lose your bottle, buy some proper gloves.
4) Hammer your gear
Many pre-season preparation lists will tell you to take your gear to a reputable snowboard merchant to get the edges tuned up, any rust removed, and have the lame sticker you once thought was rad discreetly peeled off, so that your board handles properly in the snow.
This is a complete and utter waste of time. What’s the point in spunking some of your hard earned cash on your set-up looking fly when all that’s going to happen is some elderly Italian wank is going to scratch the shit out of our top sheet with his ski poles in the queue for the lift.
And, should you be lucky enough to escape this almost certainty, you can guarantee that some seven year old shit-sock will just trash your gear by skiing over it while his dad shouts encouragement in French from the lift station. "Zats it, Tierry, ail for ze rostbiff. Fuck iz shit ep!"
Save them the bother by going town to your local hardware store, buying a chisel and a hammer, and setting about your board before you’ve even stepped onto the snow. The gear-destroying-Giovannis out there never seem to ruin already trashed decks. You’ll be safe on your beater.
5) Start a fight
Speaking of lifts, you’re going to have to get used to queuing the mountain way. Now, the nature of this queue depends on where in the world you go. Some places seem to have a natural sense of order, where people politely queue because, well, it’s just the done thing, isn’t it.
However, many people visiting ski resorts think of queuing as an alien concept, only adopted by the weak.
You can never to too careful, so you’ll need to bulk up and get good at throwing elbows before you head off. And if we learnt anything from instructional documentary Fight Club, it was that starting a fight is the best way. Hell, it’s the only way.
6) Arm your liver
Some people go on a snowboard holiday and don’t drink. It’s true. Well, we’ve never witnessed it personally, but we’ve been told it’s happened at least twice. But, it won't happen to you. It just won't. However good your intentions or clean your diet, as soon as you hit snow, you’ll be plied with enough alcohol to keep a boat full of sailors randy for a month.
Bottles of red wine that would cost north of £30 in Blighty are dirt cheap – usually about €3 - if you head to what the French call a supermarché, the Italians call supermercato, and the Swiss just make up, depending on what language they fancy speaking that day.
Most meals are washed down with red wine, which is usually followed by an evening of massive glasses of lager, and a night of Jägermeister and regret. The exception, of course is breakfast. That’s washed down with schnapps.
As such, you’ll want to start arming your liver now. Begin drinking immediately. No, really. Right away. Now.