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The Ugly Side of Snowboarding


utahcarver
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Warning: opinion below.

A former high school friend recently told me a story about surfing in small Florida surf and being accosted by a shoulder-hopping foul-mouthed 13 year old male surfer. The young miscreant kept repeatedly dropping in on him until he took action and subdued the young pup. As soon as they both reached shore he realized where the potty-mouth came from: the boy's mother who's language would have made a sailor blush.

He went on to assert that the reason for the young trash talk and the crowded conditions for even poor surfing conditions was to be blamed on marketing corpo-types who sell the surf lifestyle via clothing, shoes, attitude,etc. Typical, really, of where our society is and where it is

headed. Which, frankly, scares the bejesus out of me. The marketing of the

surfing lifestyle to the masses is at a sick level. It almost

approaches the malignancy of the cancerous rot of snowboarding. EVERYONE I KNOW SNOWBOARDS! What small brotherhood of boarders existed in the late '70's and early '80's has been replaced by a Grand Horde of "boarders" who's foul-mouthed chain-smoking white trash minions have become like vermin at my local hill.

I remember traveling on Interstate 15 down to Alta in 1982 with two Winterstick swallowtails strapped to my car and being forced off of the road by a displaced surfer dude from southern California. He wanted to know where he could get snowsurfboards like I had. I can remember being the only snowboarder on the hill for at least 2 winters at Beaver Mountain. Now look what corporate money has done to my beloved passion. Elitist I may sound but I never got asked to leave or had my ticket pulled.

Burton Snowboards made a Bazillion dollars last year. Some of it was made

selling snowboards. Most of it was made selling clothing to young girls in junior high and high school. The rest of it was made by selling the same clothing to their moms who were trying to fit into clothes that wouldn't fit them in high school 15 years earlier.

What in the hell happened to snowboarding? The same thing that happened to

surfing except on a much larger scale ("...there is in fact more earth than

sea..." Genesis/Seconds Out).

I recently sat across a lunch table from a man who was twice my girth and had more money than he could possibly spend in one lifetime. He claimed that he was a snowboarder. Now, it's true he had ridden a snowboard, for I myself had seen him ride one before the season closed at our local ski area. He looked like two pigs wrestling in a gunny sack but, yeah he was riding a snowboard. This poor slob with all his money and Ford Centurion pulling 10 snowmobiles on a $50,000 trailer couldn't buy any grace or style to save his life.

"How do you make them fancy-carve thingy's in the the snow?" he asked while choking down a Wendy's Triple Chili Heart Attack Burger. "It's called carving. It's what a snowboard was designed to do instead of making a skidded turn."

"Oh, I carve all the time. Me and my kids are always carving on the snow. We started snowboarding in 1995 when snowboarding was still new". That was it. I'd had all I could take of this gastropod.

"Listen, I gotta go back to work. But, before I go I gotta tell you that I can

only hope to one day be as CORE as your are at snowboarding, see ya!".

"KEEP ON CARVING," he yelled as I walked out of Wendy's and threw my half-eaten hamburger away in disgust.

I'm so embarrassed when someone asks me if I snowboard that I no longer say yes. It's like being a redheaded stepchild being a hardbooter: you aren't really a skier and your not really snowboarding in the park monkey sense. I have little or no connection to the marketing geniuses of Team B or their clones.

I should of moved to the coast and taken up kiteboarding years ago, when kiteboarding was core.

Mark

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I hear your pain Mark.

Just try to reflect back on how much fun it was to do something "Rad".

How folk's thought you were crazy to strap yourself to one board with no release!!

Frankly I didn't care what they thought then, and I don't care what they think now. No matter how many possers there are, I still try to focus on the fun I am having, the feel of the pow giving way , the float, the pure carve on a grippy well groomed surface.

In many ways alpine brings back that wonderful feeling of having a secret that know one else has figured out. I don't need them to understand to have the best time of my life!!!!! That is the key.

Now, have a couple a good beers, hug that son of yours and visualize those killer pow runs you got last season. That should hold you over till the snow flies again!

Your a good guy and there are good times ahead my friend. Don't let the masses change your good vibe. Ride on, ride for yourself, be the real snowboarder that you are. It is it's own reward.

POWDER TO THE PEOPLE!!!

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Yeah, I tell people that I snowboard, but I know that when I do, they're developing a 100% wrong idea of what it is that I do up there on the mountain. Who cares? The total, iredeemable n00bs make good gates, the ones that stay with it will eventually get to the point where they might come up to you one day and say "so...how can I ride like that?"

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...I did pick up a NOS 192 Tanker from RJ a few weeks ago. Mmmmmm, go to my happy place and make some turns with some tunes.

There, I feel better already.

Mark

That is a great hardboot pow/ carver. As narrow as the 172 if I recall correctly. Glad you got one, they are becoming harder to find. I thrashed mine on March 23rd last year and RJ came to the rescue with a fresh one. That means he is either out or only one left? Good call! Take care and hope to get a chance to come back to SLC for some riding with you.

Bryan

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Bryan,

Yep, I'm hoping the 192 will fit a bit better in between the trees this season. The 200 Tanker I got from hardbooter.com floats and stings so I figured the 192 would be as good or better. I love the Tanker line.

The Wasatch Mojo 181 performed well, too. I called the guy I bought it from and asked him if he was going to be pressing more. No more Mojo's. So, I told him if he changed his mind to put me down for 3 of them and I'd prepay for them. Too bad, it's a great ride on both groomers and the pow.

Mark

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Mark, I feel the same way. Just about everybody I board with is a skier. To most skiers I'm just another snowboarder, and it's frustrating. To all the skiers I board with it's just the opposite... To them I'm NOT a snowboarder. "Why don't you just get skis and get it over with..."

You can't please everybody. In fact, I'd say the only one you need to worry about is pleasing yourself. And when you're in the waist deep or your arms are brushin the snow, there is nobody else. It's just you and gravity.

And all those fad chasers giving real boarders a bad name... F*** 'em. Same goes with those that group us all in the same category.

And what is cool? Cool is nothing. Just know that when you're goin down the mtn and you're lovin it, that's cool.

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"Oh, I carve all the time. Me and my kids are always carving on the snow. We started snowboarding in 1995 when snowboarding was still new".
I've just come to accept that people use "carve" as a generic name for turn these days. That's pretty funny about the 1995 thing. When I tell people I started in 1986, they think I got in on the ground floor but not really - I think Sims and Burton had been making commercial product for 5 years by that time. It was very early days for resort acceptance, though.
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Gentlemen,

If it wasn't for snowboarding, a lot of the ski hills would be hurting or closed. Snowboarding is easy to learn and fun. (and you don't need a triple black diamond to get a buzz - like you do skiing.)

Up here in Ontario the hills basically suck for skiing. Nothing challenging, short with long lines. Snow boarding (especially carving) allows us to enjoy a simple blue groomer. Most ski hills now groom off the mogule runs, build terrain parks and cater to snowboarders.

If it wasn't for carving and soft booting I would never of kept going to the hill and most importantly never got my kids into it.

My son skiis and kills himself boarding in the terrain park.

My 16 year old daughter would rather carve with me or board the terrain park with here friends than go to the mall.

My wife has a stiff all mountain board with here 20 old Nordica rear enty ski boots bolted on it (very comfortable and gives here more edge pressure than soft boots). Then at some point in the afternoon she skiis with her girl friends - without changing her boots!

As for me, I am that fat 45 year old guy that skiis, carves, boards (oh yea and I ride centry on my road bike once and a while).

Its not about the image or identity- its about experiencing life with multiple passions.

P.S. Has any body carved in Norway for the spring session? http://www.flegmatic-carving.com/joomla/index.php

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"Why do we love to label people and point out the differences instead of the similarities?"

Well, because there are many instances in which the differences dwarf the similarities. There isn't anything inherently wrong with making such distinctions. Suggesting that this isn't so is rather pollyannaish.

For many, "riding" consists of travelling from the lift to whatever terrain feature one plans to jib. Skateboarding on snow---NOT snowboarding.

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"Why do we love to label people and point out the differences instead of the similarities?"

Well, because there are many instances in which the differences dwarf the similarities. There isn't anything inherently wrong with making such distinctions. Suggesting that this isn't so is rather pollyannaish.

For many, "riding" consists of travelling from the lift to whatever terrain feature one plans to jib. Skateboarding on snow---NOT snowboarding.

and a GUIDO than can carve is ten times better than some vinny in a starter jacket on short skiis with a flask of jack daniels and a crappy attitude.

YO! :nono:

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