Skiing in Spring Corn – It Has Nothing to Do with Cereal Grains

Skiing in Spring Corn – It Has Nothing to Do with Cereal Grains

Mention spring corn and most people will think of that delicious yellow cereal grain that tastes so good with butter and salt. But to a skier, skiing in spring corn has nothing to do with dinner. It has nothing to do with cereal grains. Spring corn is a unique kind of snow formed by a combination of warmer temperatures and more sunshine.

A lot of Utah skiers absolutely love spring corn. It’s softer and more slushy. It is more forgiving than the colder snow of winter’s peak season. But here is the thing: if your skis or snowboard are not properly tuned for spring corn, your trips down the slopes will be sticky and sluggish. That’s no way to enjoy a day of skiing or snowboarding.

What Makes Spring Corn What It Is

Snow is a fascinating thing. Everything about it is influenced by temperature and water content. On the coldest of days here in Utah, snow is lighter and fluffier. That’s because it has a lower water content. Contrast that to warmer spring days when snow is heavier and more dense. It has a higher water content.

Spring corn is the result of snow on the ground partially melting and then refreezing. This creates kernels of snow similar in size to corn kernels – hence the name. It is typical of spring because warmer temperatures and increased sunshine melt the snow during the daylight hours. Overnight, lower temperatures force the snow to freeze again.

Continual freeze-thaw cycles throughout the spring transform the slopes from top to bottom. And best of all, conditions are never exactly the same from one day to the next. Overall, spring corn offers a smoother and more consistent surface on any given day. But because conditions can change on the following day, skiing in spring corn can be more challenging.

Tuning for Spring Corn

Here at Canyon Sports, we offer ski and snowboard tunes throughout the season. We can definitely tune your equipment for spring corn. Without giving away all our secrets, the three main priorities for spring tuning are:

1. Adjusting the Base Structure

Maintaining decent speed without losing performance requires a more aggressive base structure during the spring. A more aggressive structure is achieved by grinding deeper and wider grooves on the bottom of the ski or snowboard surface. Doing so increases the contact surface between ski and snow.

2. Sharpening the Edges

Spring tuning calls for sharpening the ski or snowboard edges to increase grip and control. Dull edges will not carve through the corn so well, increasing your chances of slipping and sliding.

3. Applying a Spring Wax

Finally, spring tuning to accommodate corn conditions suggests applying a spring wax. Also known as warm-weather wax, it is a product that reduces the suction effect that normally occurs when skis or snowboards glide across wet snow. The wax overcomes the snow’s higher water content.

A Great Season for Skiing

Spring is a great season for skiing in Utah. Some locals love it so much that they have a separate set of skis for spring corn. These are wider skis that offer more stability and better flotation. But even without spring skis, you can still enjoy the slopes with the same skis you have used all winter.

If you are looking to get the most out of spring corn skiing, stop in and let us tune up your equipment. There is nothing quite like the experience of skiing on a mountain of spring corn in the bright sunshine and warmer temperatures. It is serious fun regardless of your skill level.