6 Tips for Making the Perfect Snowball

iStock/SrdjanPav / iStock/SrdjanPav

‘Tis the season for spreading joy, spending time with loved ones, and vanquishing your opponents in a fierce snowball fight. The ground might not be slick with snow in most parts of the country just yet, but it's never too early to start preparing for battle. Here are a few tips for stepping up your snowball game and crafting the perfect wintry weapon.

1. Wait for the right kind of snow.

As Popular Science points out, the perfect snowball requires snow with just the right amount of moisture in it. As you’re packing a snowball, check to see how much water you can squeeze out of it. If it drips, you may end up hurting other players by hurling an icy object at their heads. If it crumbles, it probably won't hit your target at all. Wait for snow with a medium amount of moisture in it.

2. If the snow is dry, try lying on top of it.

If you aren’t willing to wait for the next blizzard, you can add moisture to snow by lying on the ground for a few minutes and warming it up. You can also take snow from sunny spots or patches surrounding buildings, which tend to give off heat.

3. Dig deeper.

Snow that’s buried a few inches below the surface is better for snowball-making because it’s already slightly packed.

4. Rotate your hands while forming a snowball.

Scoop up a pile of snow, then bring your hands together while rotating them. Gradually increase the pressure as you pack it to help you achieve that perfectly round shape.

5. Make a bunch, then set them aside.

The warmth from your hands will cause the snowballs to release moisture, thereby making them softer. But if you set them aside for a little while, the moisture will freeze again and firm them up. Having a stockpile of the wintry projectiles also means that you'll be prepared for rapid-fire snowball-hurling (should the need occur).

6. Duke it out in freezing temperatures.

You’ll probably want to bundle up first (and please, wear gloves), but temperatures around 32 degrees Fahrenheit are perfect for forming snowballs. The snow won’t be frozen or slushy, and you'll be able to pack it into a ball more easily.