Winter is almost upon us, which means snowboarding and skiing are right around the corner. The Snow Bomb Ski and Board Festival will help kick off snow season in the Bay Area with an event in San Jose on Nov. 23-24 at San Jose Convention Center.

Expos will also place this year in Sacramento, San Francisco. According to founder Jim McAlpine, the draw is that it isn’t a typical snow-season expo.

“There were a couple of ski shows around the country and they were just kinda old,” he says. “They used to just sit at a table and hand you a ski map.”

McAlpine says the sub-culture devoted to snow sports, with its community of avid fans who wait all year to trek to the mountains, is what inspired him to create the event.

“Everyone didn’t like the ski shows, so rather than bitch we started our own ski show. That’s why we plugged in beer and bands and fun,” he says. “Everything that used to be there is on steroids.”

On top of offering attendees free lift tickets from the likes of Sierra at Tahoe, Dodge Ridge and Bear Valley, Snow Bomb also gives them a chance to become immersed in the season.

“There’s movie premieres, there’s a BMX and a skate show, some professional athletes come out and couple big name skiers too,” says McAlpine.

In 2011, Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley and X-Games gold medalist Daron Rahlves were two of those big names.

McAlpine says the event also offers discounted gear from last year, beer and wine tastings from local vendors and a learning center for first-timers.

“There’s a duality between the people who’ve never done it and the old timers have been around a while. It’s not an expo, it’s more of a festival,” he says.

He says the same culture that inspired him to start Snow Bomb gets a boost from what the festival brings to the start of winter.

“It’s an addiction, really,” he says of snow sports. “You get engaged in the spirit and you do everything you can get your hands on.”

This year’s Silicon Valley expo will be held at the San Jose Convention Center, Nov 23-24. Tickets are $10-$40 at