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?