Snowboarding has been a favorite winter activity of mine for many years. It allows you to be close to nature and is one of the few physical activities where it’s okay to drink while you’re doing it. This applies to skiing as well, but I made that switch from skis to board in my early teens. Skiing is cool too, it’s just not for me anymore. It just seems kind of uptight and haughty. There’s something about the laid back, stoner attitude of snowboarding that attracted me at an early age. I am by no means a professional or expert in the sport, more of a casual long time rider, but I’ve been shredding pow for a good 17 years, so I thought I’d impart a few things I’ve learned on the mountain.
First things first. Find a friend that is already into snowboarding and borrow as much of their extra gear as you can. This will help you save some cash when it comes time to start renting stuff. If you’re really lucky they will have the whole set up and it will save you some serious money. Snowboarding is definitely not cheap and if you have to rent everything, along with buying a lift ticket, you’re going to be $150 in the hole before you’ve bought your bag of medical weed or hit the bar at the lodge.
Once you’ve sorted out your gear and ticket, it’s time to hit the snow. If you’re a first-timer then you better get to the bunny hill for a while to get your legs under you. Don’t be the dumbass who tries to hit the mountain for their first time out and breaks a leg getting off the lift, or hurts someone else. It’s going to take some practice to get a feel for the snowboard but you’ll get it. Remember to keep your knees bent and your back straight and be prepared for some growing pains in the form of a few bumps and bruises. If you’re lucky there’ll be some kind-hearted snowboarding soul who’ll show you some pointers out there. Maybe even take a lesson or two to get the fundamentals down. Either way, once you’ve learned the basics it takes practice to get comfortable, but it’s totally worth it.
So what happens after you’ve begun to figure it out? Well, I guess that’s all up to you. I like to break up the day by hitting the bar up every 3 or 4 runs down the mountain. Snowboarding is a do what you feel kind of thing. Me personally, I stick to cruising down the mountain, or maybe sometimes hitting some fresh powder in the trees (not recommended for beginners). I’ve never really been into the park stuff, like jumps and rails. I always liked to chill and enjoy the ride down the mountain, and I feel like I might be too old now to get into it at this point. I’m not trying to tear an ACL or something, but if you feel like you might want to get into it then you should try it out. Just make sure to start small and have a spotter with you in case you crack your head open or something. You should probably also get a helmet, which I’m totally guilty of not doing. But you shouldn’t follow my example anyways.
So that’s pretty much the deal. Now go and load your phone up with some good music and enjoy a day on the mountain. For me snowboarding is about letting go and getting away. When you’re out there flying downhill with the wind blowing in your face, it can be a liberating experience. It’s a good way to forget your worldly troubles and truly live in the moment. The most important thing however, is to enjoy yourself, and only you know how to do that. So take it at your own speed and don’t try to impress anyone. Just be yourself and it will be a positive experience.