My riding crew will attest to the common site of a me re-enacting various emojis as I witness the daily occurrence of snowboarder fails 🤔🤨😡😫. Here is a short list of some of the best. Hopefully if any of these crop up in your life you can make a change before your slope cred is irreparably damaged or I dump you off piste never to be seen again 👋.
“Ahh it’ll be fine it’s cloudy”
“I never wear suncream at home”
“I have a beard, it’ll be ok”
Just because you have a routine in your home town doesn’t mean the same will be true for 2000m on a canvas of white reflecting snow. You’re going to get attacked by those rays, so be sensible and cream up in the morning and top up during the day, especially if you’re out splitboarding. Plus don’t forget those forearms if you’re hiking or building some features. I’ve seen some very entertaining tan lines from guys in the past.
Equipment will help you to some extent, but in all honesty it makes far less difference than you might think. Your skills not the colour of your gear will be the defining factor in your riding.
Be honest with yourself on your level and what riding you want to be doing. A stiff pair of boots is not going to aid your confindence as they'll be too responsive. A powder board looks great at the bar, but is typically not going to perform as well on piste where you'll most likely be spending 95% of your time.
Invest your cash in the gear that's going to boost your enjoyment and progression.
Snowboarders get a bad rep and in part that's is down to not giving enough space to other slope users. Snowboarders with their noisy side slips and C shaped turns scare the crap out of everyone on the piste. Plus boarders often stop way too close to other riders and invariably cause collisions, or take out their mates or other riders.
I experience it on a daily basis in the mountains. Some riders are so busy just trying to survive that their awareness of what’s around them drops to zero and wonder why they suddenly end up in some skiers grill.
I often recommend the bubble technique. Give everyone you ride with a 10m bubble and when you come to a stop with any of your mates pull up well away and slide into the group slowly rather than stop 2 metres away trying to spray them, fall over and impale one of them in the spine.
I know you think you're the don on a board, but mistakes can happen and when they do you'll be pissed at the mess you've made on your buddy.
Ending the day on a high means checking your gear before you hit the bar or leave for the lifts in the morning. We shred around in amazingly harsh conditions and seem surprised when a screw on a binding comes loose. I check my gear most days.
If I’m going off piste and a strap falls off that could be a major safety issue as well as a massive pain in the ass to hike out. Just make it part of your routine. Check your board, bindings and boots for issues and sort them before they become a drama.
If you like to plan ahead maybe carry some sturdy cable ties and a multitool so if things do happen you stand a good chance of sorting it.
Seeing someone try and snowboard down a piste one footed after loosing a strap isd not a pretty sight. Don't let it happen to you.
Yes, snowboards are expensive and yes your passionate about snowboarding but you have to remember that boards are there to be used and abused. It’s a toy made of materials that are easily damaged.
You have to log those scratches and gouges as part of the wealth of riding experience you’re building. Most damage can be repaired and if someone knocks into your board or clips it with their skis in a lift line, brush it off.
Sure if someone is a total dick pull them up on it but if you want it to stay a work of art don’t ride it.