Why Do You Snowboard? (apart from the obvious reason)

What’s the obvious reason you ask? You snowboard because it’s fun. You really enjoy it. You love snowboarding! That’s the obvious reason – snowboarding is exciting, dynamic, challenging – it’s a fun activity.

But let’s compare it with similar sports, like some of those mentioned in the companion sports post. Skateboarding, for example. I love that too. When I skate I’m totally absorbed in the session. I forget everything else. I’m not that good, but learning new tricks and stringing together the tricks that I can do, feels awesome. Skateboarding is so much fun to me, I get totally stoked by it.

And I can skate whenever I want. It’s a damn site cheaper than snowboarding. There are a handful of good skateparks within 50 miles of my house, most of them are much, much closer than that. I don’t need to get on a plane, I don’t need to pay £35 or more for a day ticket, the equipment is massively cheaper… why don’t I just skate all of the time instead?

What are the other reasons you snowboard?

Go a little be deeper than the obvious reason. What else is it that makes snowboarding so much fun?

Is it the mountains? The environment in which you snowboard? Being outside, deep within mother nature’s grasp, is exhilarating in its own right. People go “walking” in the hills, mountains and countryside. I do that! Blending the enjoyment of just-being in the mountains, with an exciting sport like snowboarding, produces a pretty good mix.

Is it the other people who also snowboard? The culture, the scene, the vibe? Snowboarders tend to be friendly, relaxed people. No fuss, they snowboard because they love it too, they are there having fun, just like you. It’s a nice group to be part of, and a nice group for you and your friends to form.

As an extension of that, is it the image of snowboarding? Being involved with snowboarding is readily accepted, some people probably think it’s quite cool. How would it go down if you told your colleagues at work, or your boss, perhaps, that you were going for a skate at the local park – when they asked if you were doing anything interesting at the weekend? “You know, just hanging out with the kids at the skatepark, but I don’t care much for those on scooters”. It shouldn’t matter, but maybe it does?

Is it that snowboarding often goes hand-in-hand with your holiday? For most, snowboarding isn’t something that’s available on your doorstep, you don’t have access to it every day of the winter season. Snowboarding is a holiday – “the snowboarding holiday”. Everyone looks forward to a holiday, it’s anticipated, it’s time off work, it’s expensive, all things that increase the appreciation and enjoyment you get from being away. Is it this lack of accessibility that increases you desire, making snowboarding more special?

Leading on from the holiday aspect, snowboarding is often something you do with your friends. A group of you get together, plan where to go, when to go, start saving, and when the time comes you all go on the adventure together. A week, maybe two weeks, with your friends. Being away in a tight group, with your partner/friends/family, is great, something we’d all like to do more of. Snowboarding during the day and then hanging out on the evening – not stop fun, it’s hard to beat.

For me, it’s a combination of all those things above. But there’s an additional element of snowboarding that I find very appealing. Mountains are quite big. When you’re at the top, it’s a good way down to the bottom. I love the notion of a long, extended run, powered by gravity alone. You strap in at the top and then ride, un-hindered all the way to the bottom. On the way down you have the freedom to snowboard however you want, to express your own style.

The top-to-bottom run – one of my snowboarding ideals. Riding fast, riding switch, landing some nice freestyle moves, stomping everything, weaving in and out with your friends, awesome. And if you get to do all of that in powder, it’s unbeatable!

So what about you? Why do you snowboard? What makes it so much fun to you?

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19 Responses to “Why Do You Snowboard? (apart from the obvious reason)”
  1. Reneator says:

    Hi Gavin,

    first of all i wanted to ask you, what exactly happened to you (injury?)? Why are you “out of action” like you wrote in the Jedi Program. (im new to this blog, but i’ve got the feeling i will like it ;)) (if your really “out of action” i wish you a good and fast recovery so you can enjoy your snowboarding this season)

    Back to the article:
    Snowboarding is for me the feeling, to stand on a Board, using different ways of movement beside walking (sounds strange^^). Its the atmosphere on the mountain, the waking up early and preparing, the car drive. So its really everything, from lunch to riding, from carving to driving home and falling instantly asleep, when arriving at home, in my bed.
    (especially i like the feeling entering the lift, because that means, ive got one more ride in front of me :D)


  2. Gavin says:

    Hi Reneator,

    good answer! This may sound a little strange too, but when it’s getting close to going away for the first time at winter, I get really excited about the sensation of just starting “to roll”. You know, after you’ve strapped in, stood up, and then you just glide on the snow. It’s weird, but it happens every year.

    About the injury. First, thanks for asking. I was cycling on my bike and a car pulled out in front of me. I was going quite fast, and collided with the side of the car: broke my femur and fractured my skull – plus a tasty little blood clot in the lungs during the operation on the leg.

    That all happened on the 12th July. The leg is pinned know. I’m just starting starting to put some weight through the right leg. Still on crutches. Come January, I don’t know how strong the leg will be, it might be fairly solid. I just don’t feel confident about snowboarding any time soon.

    Actually, I’ll be posting the X-rays tomorrow, so check back and you can take a look at the snapped bone :)

    Thanks for commenting, and I’m pleased you’re enjoying the blog.

    Thanks, Gavin

  3. Reneator says:

    Hey Gavin,

    xD That Really sounds like it hurt… Just besides, where you wearing a helmet?? :S doesnt sound like it^^

    fracture of your skull xD .autschie. have you been knocked out then?

    Looking forward the X-rays, really interested in those :D (i had my right leg once broken (weber c fracture) took a long time until i could walk without crutches (6-7 weeks)). Does it hurt when you put weight on your right leg, or is your femur to weak?

    Are you training your Leg by just doing easy walks? (may be a bit intrusive, but im really interested in those things :D)

    Greetings and again a well and fast recovery

  4. Gavin says:

    Hey. I wasn’t wearing a helmet :( I normally wear a lid when cycling if I’m on the road, but if it’s off road and not downhill/technical, I don’t. This was an off-road ride, with about a short distance between my house and the start/finish… still, there’s a good lesson there :)

    Yeah, I was knocked out, from around 9.15pm to 2pm the next day. I don’t remember anything.

    As for putting weight through the leg, the bone doesn’t hurt, but I have to use a lot of the muscles in the leg to support it. Sometimes they ache a little, but I’m not pushing into the “red” zone, as described by the physio :)

    Training the leg in the physio gym (once per week), and at home using basic weight transfer between legs (still using both legs) – and reducing the assistance of the right crutch when walking…


  5. Dav says:

    Hey Gavin,

    Great post btw!

    I love snowboarding because it really puts me in a place that is indescribable. A collective of being in the mountains, the culture, and the freedom that it brings.

    This post reminded me of the competition that Canyons is holding http://howdoyoumountain.com/the-ultimate-mountain-gig being paid to do what we love? Unfortunately I already have a job :{

  6. Gavin says:

    Hey, thanks, glad you liked it!

    Being in the mountains really is a draw; I think being in the big, open spaces, gives you a sense of freedom, as does the type of stuff you can do on a snowboard, double win :)

    I checked out that competition, nice! Kinda wish my leg wasn’t in a bad way, might have entered!

    Cheers, Gavin

  7. Reneator says:

    One more thing Gavin and im shut :D,

    If you use that injury as a chance, you can get better in sports as you ever were.
    (Sounds like a slogan for a sport pillls ad :D)
    I mean, your now, like if you couldn’t walk – in fact you can’t walk^^ (baaaddd joke) – now you have to completely relearn the basic movements of of sports: Walking :D.

    You now can get your body better known, the muscles etc. so that you later have a better motorical sense, because you have to learn nearly every movement – despite of your arms :D – from the real basic.
    That all will only work, if you dont obtain any long term disablements.

    Like i told you, i had a Weber C fracture just a bit over my feet ankle, so i had to relearn walking from the really basics (6 weeks being pinned with 7 screws, after that week one long screw, which hindered me of getting weight on the foot).

    Before the Injury i was not the Sporty guy, i had no real interest in sports, and were motorically awful :D. After that accident it became clear to me, that movement is something you can loose (but thats another story xD).

    It took me about a half year before i could do sport without feeling my foot (or longer) but i began to notice movements in a different way than i did before.
    After the big holidays i once played soccer in school sports, noticing my weak foot all the time. There was pain, but i felt that that foot was weaker, so i couldnt brake and start running with that.

    that all sounds like i wanted to convert you to some sort of sect :D
    But nevermind, thus were my last word, so i wish you a good and fast recovery a third time (There have to be three, that its good! (german saying:”aller guten dinge sind drei!”)
    And watch for yourself in future, and hope you can start over with your snowboarding at least next year and that you get better than you ever were before pal!!!!!!! (big one:!!!!!!)


    P.S Maaaannn that was much :D

  8. Gavin says:

    Hey Reneator,

    thanks, and don’t worry about dropping a long comment :) Yeah I get what you’re saying, I think. I’ll be re-building from the ground up, so like you said it’s an opportunity to put good techniques in place, and think about how to do stuff.

    Also, there’s the motivational factor. David Benedek said a the start of Afterlame, that it’s not until you’re hurt, and you can’t snowboard, that you realise how much you miss it. That’s very true. When I’m fit again, I’m going to be trying hard to get back what I could do, and then to improve some more.

    Cheers, Gavin

  9. Reneator says:

    Hey Gavin,

    Yeah, wish you good luck with that :)
    I think you can only get better than your pre-snowboarding (shouldn’t sound negativ), just that your movements were looking a bit stumbling^^ (maybe i overstate that) Please dont take anything of this the bad way. I’m just trying to be honest. :)


  10. Reneator says:

    Just forget about the last Post plz! And maybe just better delete it, would be better for us^^ xD


  11. Gavin says:

    Hey Reneator, are you sure? I don’t mind some honest feedback at all :)

    I was gonna ask which bit of snowboarding I was looking a little stumbling in? ;) Were you looking at the little frontside boardslide in the “why I won’t be snowboarding this season” post?

    There’s a little shuffle at the start…?

    I can delete the comment if you’d like, no worries, but happy to leave it there too :)

    Cheers, Gavin

  12. Reneator says:

    Hey Gavin,

    thanks for your understanding, yesterday was not really my day, so i shamed me a bit afterwards. (I got asthma, at the moment i have a cold, but i got the danger, that bacilli could settle in my a bit closed lungs, so i could get a long time infect, so i would be knocked out that winter, like i did halfway last winter. last winter i was sick for a really long time, not really knowing, what it was after all, so im now a bit worried, i couldn snowboard this winter or just restricted :S) I really wonder how understanding you are :).

    I really aprecciate it how open for critics you are!

    That what i meant was one of your Season complete videos, i just actually dont find. It was one, where you were jumping a lot, and maybe some park.

    The critics: You didn’t look really sure in your driving (it was really not bad at all, i think most better than mine^^) The jumps and your moves just were a bit stumble and unsure. Where i mean the “Flow” were missing a bit^^

    I just looked at all your blogs stuff. After your injury, you were really busy in snowboard-stuff and theory, really nice topics. Keep it on :D and a well and fast recovery


    P.s. I think you didnt hate my comments, because your the hurt here! :D
    In the time of my injury i saw the world of an different angle, and now im just a normal guy with normal problems :P

  13. Gavin says:

    Hey Reneator,

    no hating on the comments, rest assured :) That doesn’t sound good with your asthma, I hope all of the goes well and doesn’t cause you too many problems!

    Re: my end of season videos, they’re filled with some moves that I like, and some that I’d like to do better :) But I’m sure that’s similar for most people when they watch their snowboarding back!

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the topics post-injury, I’ve enjoyed writing them. Like you guessed, being injured has meant I’ve written less about my own snowboarding and more about everyone’s snowboarding. It’s been fun, I hope it’s helpful and I hope people enjoy it!

    Cheers, Gavin

  14. Johno says:

    Hi to all Afterbang snowboarders.
    The reason why I snowboard is for the enjoyment and adrenalin rush achieved by combining pure nature and pure energy. I am 50 year and started snowboarding 5 years ago. Before that I surfed regularly. I hated the cold and skiing due to class of people skiing portrait. When snowboarding culture hit in the early 80 I had settle down on the beach and started raising a family by then and got all my kick from surfing. But the late 90,s saw the emergence of the Malibu, and for a old, no so fit short board rider, waves became harder to get. My daughter notice that my surfing had stop and I was drinking a lot more. Kate and her friends was heading up the snow for the week end and ask me to be their Desi driver. I decide to have a go at snowboarding that week end. Now my MasterCard is always booked up with snowboarding gear and travel. I been to NZ heli boarding and go to Hakuba Valley Japan every March. To me snowboarding has given me another life. All I do is think about next time I get to strap that back foot in and carve.

  15. Gavin says:

    Hey Johno,

    that’s a pretty good reason to snowboard ;) Sounds like you get a lot from it, which is awesome. So keep up the shredding and best of luck with all your fresh lines!

    Cheers, Gavin

  16. dewei says:

    I wish I knew why I am so utterly addicted to snowboarding. Ever since my first lesson 4 months ago, I cannot get s** out of my head. On some days like today, I am thinking about s** every 10min or so! I cannot wait for my next visit to Tamworth snowdome.
    It is true that I do love fast descents on my racing bike, rocky twisty singletracks on my full-sus MTB and sliding the whole mountain on skis.
    Speed. Adrenaline. Fun.
    And it certainly does not help that I have discovered all these snowboard blogs and forums (especially ‘afterbang';)) that add fuel to my obsession. The online community provides an ever stretching roadmap that is urging me to progress to yet another technique/trick etc.

    Gavin, your blog was one of the first snowboard sites I stumbled upon. It has provided so much inspiration and information!

    Are you back on the snowboard?

  17. Gavin says:

    Hey dewei, sounds like you’re enjoying the shred ;) And glad that you’re enjoying the blog, too!

    So – I haven’t snowboarded since last June/July, but I’m getting ready to give it a go, sometime soon. My leg is feeling stronger all the time. Got a physio appointment next week, so looking to plan something soon after that…

    Cheers, Gavin

  18. dewei says:

    The story of your bike accident brings vivid memories.

    February 2010, I was on my road bike going downhill when a car coming from the opposite direction cut across to go in a sideroad. I swerved left and my right side of the body slammed into the car. Lots of bruises but no broken bones luckily. Had I swerved a bit later, I would have been thrown up in the air with unimaginable consequences!

    I hope you get back to 100% very soon.

  19. Gavin says:

    Hey dewei,

    that’s good news that you avoided a potentially horrible accident! I’m feeling ready to start snowboarding soon, leg feels better, gonna maybe try some skateboarding as a test!

    Cheers, Gavin