You may have noticed your co-workers and friends have been acting a bit strange ever since the flakes began to fall. They’re skipping out of the office earlier than usual, blowing off long-standing plans and sporting goggle tans (and huge smiles) on Monday mornings.
They can’t help it — they’ve caught the snowboarding bug. Here’s a peek into their stoked, snowy world.
1. THEY KNOW THE EARLY, EARLY BIRDS GET THE POWDER
They’ll set their alarms at an ungodly hour to be the first on the slopes — and actually enjoy it. 6 a.m., 5 a.m., maybe even earlier. It doesn’t matter. They load up on hot coffee and get pumped for the long drive or plane ride. They’re going snowboarding.
2. DURING WINTER, THEY’RE YOUR FLAKIEST FRIENDS
Blowing off plans because the snow is great seems almost excusable to your pals who ride. Those Coldplay tickets you bought last June? That bachelor party in Vegas? They’ll take the mountains on a perfect day over pretty much anything.
3. THEY’RE NOT ALL TRAINING FOR THE X GAMES
Though they may dip their toes in the half-pipe (and maybe even crank out a 180 or land an epic jump), most snowboarders are just as awed and intimidated by the daredevils in the park as you are.
4. THEY’RE GEAR-OBSESSED
And they know how to keep in top form (warm, dry, fueled) on the slopes from dawn until the last lift of the day. Hardcore waterproofing is more important than insulation. Mittens keep your paws way toastier than gloves. Pocket-size snacks are key for days when it’s too good to stop for lunch. Layers, layers, layers.
5. THEIR HELMET IS THE GOOSE TO THEIR MAVERICK
After that one close call they’d prefer not to remember, they’ll never leave home without it. Plus, they know that a good helmet will keep their head way warmer than any beanie.
6. THEY AREN’T NECESSARILY WHO YOU THINK THEY ARE
Still think snowboarding is just for rowdy teenagers? Think again. Modern snowboarding got its start in the mid-1960s, so the originators of the sport are now grandparents.
7. THEY AREN’T THE BEST RIDER IN THEIR ENTOURAGE
If they’re a blue square kind of guy or girl, they hang with friends who tackle black diamonds. If they’re advanced boarders, their buddies crave the thrill of untracked lines through the woods. They surround themselves with people who push them to test their limits and improve, run after run.
8. THEY BELIEVE ADRENALINE > FEAR
They crave the moment when they’re staring down a precipice, heart pounding, knees trembling — but they somehow find the strength to dig deep, strap in and just go. Wind rushes past them, and they carve deep, leaning into each turn. It’s the closest thing they’ve felt to flying. This is why they ride.
9. THEY WERE ALL BAD ONCE
Every snowboarder started somewhere — and that somewhere was likely a bunny hill strewn with beginners slipping and sliding and, yes, wiping out. But snowboarders will tell you that with practice, persistence and maybe a few ibuprofen to take the edge off the sore spots, they got the hang of it.
10. THEY KNOW JUST HOW GOOD APRÈS SKI FEELS
With a cold brew and a hot tub, that one epic wipeout becomes a distant memory.
Feeling ready to take on the mountain? Grab a board, do your own version of a snow dance and get out there — with a lesson or two, you’ll be hooked. Or do you already shred? Let us know in the comments what we’ve missed about snowboarders.