First of all, there are more than one type of skunk. There are the whiteout skunk, no wind skunk, and the lack of equipment skunk.
Whiteout Skunk: if there is snow in the point forecast, you run the risk of a whiteout skunk especially at Skyline and PowMow. The greater amount of snow in the forecast, the more likely a whiteout. There are a few things you can do:
1. Check the cam and wind observations right before going.
2. Have a backup plan - The Reserve is a good option at Skyline. Park City, Deer Creek or Heber fields are a good backup for Strawberry, Pineview, Trapper's Loop, and Monte Cristo are backups for PowMow.
3. Wait it out - Sometimes if there is not a lot of snow in the forecast, the skies will clear. At Skyline you might go lower down and ride snowboard loops with the teens or go snowshoeing or read a book if you can't ride. Strawberry is so big that you can often find rideable conditions just by driving further down the road.
No Wind Skunk:
1. Check the wind observation for the location you are going to and nearby locations if possible to get an idea of wind strength and direction.
2. Check the upper level winds
3. Buy a big light wind kite so that you can ride on the sub 10 mph days.
4. Become an amateur meteorologist. Keep track of wind direction, wind strength and the corresponding conditions as well as what was forecast on the internet. You will soon be able to predict the wind with accuracy if you frequent a spot often enough. Don't just rely on Craig or me. We have our favorite spots and are more familiar with the weather patterns for certain areas. For example: I pay more attention to Strawberry and Skyline as they are my two favorite riding locations.
5. After you ride - check to see the wind strength and direction on the local meter - did it correspond with what you noticed while riding. This will give you a better idea of how accurate the meter is for future riding.
Lack of Equipment Skunk:
1. Always bring your full quiver - even experienced riders make this mistake. You think the wind is going to be light and it nukes and vice-versa. I repeat, always bring your FULL quiver.
2. Invest in TWO of the following and keep them in your car or in a kit: Gloves or mittens, harness, if you only use skis (or snowboard) bring 2 pairs or one of each if you ski and snowboard, 2 pairs of boots. Second pair of skis or snowboard should be big for powder days. There is nothing worse that getting bogged down in the powder because you only have a small board.
3. If possible do an equipment check the night before - if you are somewhat disorganized or new to the sport, make a checklist.
4. Sort out line tangles at home rather than right before launching. It will be far less frustrating and you will be less likely to launch a kite that still has issues (I made this mistake a couple weeks ago, I wasn't skunked but I lost an hour of good riding).
5. Buy a big light wind kite for the light days and a small kite for the days when it nukes. If you kiteboard on the water, you may want water relaunchable kites for your very large and smallest kites to get as much use out of them as possible.