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Snowboard Iskola

What is a day on snow, or a day of snowboarding? It’s a somewhat clear cut and obvious answer on the surface of it. You go snowboarding, it counts as a day on snow. But I sit here, one of those people who counts days per year of typically over 100, and months of turns in a row sitting at 68, I’m probably about to lose 69. That’s it. Something that has had immense amounts of effort poured into it just coming to a non celebratory close. It’s in a moment like this that you start to ponder two questions: What does it mean to have a day of snowboarding? Maybe, just maybe some ice shavings from the local ice rink and a hand rail on a hill will satisfy what you need. A trip to New York or Oregon fiscally improbable and approaching impossible, this is the last remaining solution. It counted when you were a child, so it should by all logic, count as an adult.

The next question is “What am I still getting from this?” Something about you, deep inside your core, wants to keep this going. You begin to lose track of why, sometimes it bringing anguish as the problem becomes more difficult to solve for. All without knowing if the work will be worth it, but sure in the knowledge that failing this idea will bring greater frustration. Rainer Hertrich had over eight years of skiinig every day before, his streak ended with heart problems that required immediate professional attention. Does it make it easier when you’re choosing living over dying for that next day on snow?

You can read Rainer’s book “The Longest Run” to learn his story.

If you drill down deep enough, all the way to the very foundation of it, snowboarding is fun. Snowboarding is a form of adventure every single time you slide down the hill. It doesn’t have to be anything more sophisticated than a kid with a piece of cardboard on a grass hill, sliding is fun. Giving to gravity is fun. And every single day that you give in to its pleasures is a day worth commemorating. Then life gets in the way and you lose track of that one, simple concept. The most fun days become deep snow and cliff drops, not hand rails on ice rink snow. Neither is more or less of an adventure when you think about it. One of them just looks a little more impressive to the outside world.

It’s really easy to get caught up in what everything looks to the outside world as an adult. We make videos and put music to them to try and share with others how we felt inside. While it matters to the rest of the world how cool or gnarly it looks, what emotions they feel when they see your video, it doesn’t have to matter to you. Sometimes all you need is the smallest patch of snow, some good friends, and that lost feeling.

It’s easy to get caught up in the thought of “is it good enough for someone else?” But that’s not what matters. What matters is that you enjoy what you are doing. Everyone who goes after turns all year has ridden the worst strips of snow to make it happen. Because they are natural formations, they feel acceptable. For some reason, more so than a truck full of Zamboni snow and a handrail on a hill.

Life doesn’t always have to be bigger, better, faster. It can’t always be that way, and when it becomes such it borders on the line of addiction. That day on snow, those turns don’t even have to look or feel official. Since when have dirtbag snowboarders and skiers given a damn about what’s “official”? How many people do you know who have set up a hand rail in Nashville Tennessee and gone snowboarding on it? It doesn’t really matter though, because it sounds like an adventure to me.

shredtoberfest at Cannonsburg
If it counts when a resort does it, it counts when anyone else does it.

So this year, when you put your snowboard on in the living room, feel it. Believe it. It’s you way of reconnecting to an experience that you have missed since all the snow melted. Sure, it seems silly. So does getting a truck load of snow from the local ice rink. But something about how it makes you feel is calming, reassuring. So who cares?

If you’re out chasing turns all year this year, go ride that white ribbon that you’ve hiked five miles to get to. Isn’t it the spectacle of it all part of what creates the thrill? You know the absurdity of it is what makes you smile, so who gives a damn whether or not anyone else thinks your day was legit. Just make sure it helps you smile both in the present and the future.

Nate from ShredSox out here doing sacrilegious things to his snowboard to make some turns.

Plus, you never know what you might see.

Coming down from the snow patch, somewhere around Lake Tahoe.


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