The Soundtrack to Skiing and Riding

January 25, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Soundtrack to Skiing and Riding

I recently spent two days on the slopes with my little brother. While we can agree on our love for snow, we don’t see eye-to-eye on our on-snow choices: I ski. He rides a snowboard.

And while he won’t take a run unless he’s got headphones in and some intense hard rock or hip hop music playing, I’m a purist: I like the muffled sound of the wind through my helmet’s earflaps, the soft whoosh and purr of the snow as my skis arc a turn (or, in harder pack, the somewhat louder crunching and scraping), and the voices and sounds of other skiers in my vicinity.

But, especially if I’ve got a long drive ahead of me before hitting the slopes, I like to put on some good, mood-boosting music to get me pumped and energized for the ski day ahead.

It got me wondering. Do a lot of skiers and riders at Ski Butternut listen to music while they’re on the lifts or the slopes? Or during the car ride over? And what are your favorite genres / artists to listen to get psyched and motivated? Are there actual athletic benefits to listening to music before skiing or while on the slopes?

It turns out that recent scientific research has discovered a link between listening to music and increased athletic performance. A 1994 study found that participants who listened to 1 minute of music before riding a stationary bike rode more mileage than those who listened to no music beforehand. It didn’t even matter if the music was ‘frenetic’ or ‘mellow,’ just the brief exposure to music improved performance. A more recent study in 2012 found that people who listened to their favorite music during competitive athletic activity enjoyed the activity more and felt more ‘in the zone’.

Maybe that’s why US snowboarder Danny Davis (member of the US team going to the 2014 Sochi Olympics) listens to country music to relax before hitting the halfpipe and Hannah Teter, going to her 3rd Olympics this year, says that she listens to music so she doesn’t have to listen her “own pressure-filled head.

Google “ski playlist” or “snowboard playlist” and you’ll find hundreds of suggested adrenaline-boosting musical options. Spotify has a whole section called “Conquer the World of Snow with a Perfect Playlist,” including 4 playlists supposedly custom-tailored to different skiing levels (Green Circle, Blue Square, Black Diamond, and Double Black, all embedded below).

So, do you like the sounds of nature or the sound of music when you’re on the slopes? How about during the trip at the beginning of the day to warm up, or the end of the day to cool down? What do you like to listen to most?




– rj


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