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Something about human nature makes it hard for us to appreciate our current situation. There are a million cliched sayings about it (i.e. You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone), so you know it’s true. But as salty and jaded as we are here at YoBeat, there’s really nothing more annoying than reading an editorial about the good old days of snowboarding. You know, the days before the sport was ruined by the Olympics and so underground only the really cool people knew about it, blah, blah, blah. Talking about the past is great, and it’s definitely important to know snowboard history and respect those who got us to where we are, but after a banner early season, I am going to come out and say it: this is going to be the best season to be a snowboarder, ever. Here’s why:
Mt. Baker, with less snow than it will get this year. photo: Dylan Hart
1. La Nina
You’ve heard the hype, but what is La Nina and why is it going to make this the best season, ever? Like most things weather, NOAA knows the answer. “La NiÃ±a is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific.” In layman’s terms, the ocean is colder. When the ocean is colder, the air is colder, and when the air is cold, rain turns into snow. Specifically, NOAA predicts this season, “Expected impacts in the United States include an enhanced chance of above-average precipitation in the Pacific Northwest, Northern Rockies (along with a concomitant increase in snowfall), and Ohio Valley.” Yep, it’s gonna snow, snow, snow. Remember 1998? No? Well, it’s the year Mt. Baker broke the world snowfall record, and another big
La Nina Spanish sounding ocean current pattern year (suck it Paul). If the past few weeks are any indication, this year might just be better.
Illustration stolen from Onboard. Hopefully they don’t sue us.
2. Board Technology Is Good and Getting Better
I’ve spent years preaching that the board you’re riding doesn’t really matter — for most people who snowboard, any modern board will do. But despite the my indifference, board companies have continued to innovate and design equipment specific for just about any purpose, and this year there are more good options than ever. These days you can get a board that will literally make the kind of riding you like to do easier. No more hours of leg extensions to get strong enough for presses: reverse camber makes it easy! Don’t want to drown in the powder? A nice board with carbon stringers, or even a split board, will treat you right. And if you’ve just gotten tired of the same old carving, try out a different board construction. Today’s boards literally change the way snowboarding feels, so there’s no excuse to be bored. Remember, in the early 90s, people used to use duct tape to hold things together. So as epic as 93/94 was, this year will definitely be better than that.
Jed is wearing a helmet. You should too! Photo: Paul Miller
3. You don’t have to die
That’s right, even though double corks are the norm, snowboarding is safer than ever, mostly because wearing helmets is no longer lame. Thanks largely in part to early ambassadors such as Jesse Burtner, and more recent helmet poster boys such as Jed Anderson, it’s actually gotten pretty cool to wear a helmet. Helmets are also a big part of the reason Kevin Pearce, Mike Schwartz and Cole Atencio are still with us, so don’t be an idiot and wear one.
Remember those trail maps you use to have to fold and put in your pocket? Those were annoying. Itrailmap3d is better!
Is there anything in life haven’t smart phones made better? Well, dinnertime conversations aside, iPhones have made snowboarding better and easier, too. Too stupid to pick what lens to use? There’s an app for that. Too lazy to write your days down on a calender? There’s an app for that. And even if you never download or used an app, the fact that you can hook your phone directly up to your helmet, listen to music, and then with a press of a button answer a call, makes fitting snowboarding into your life that much easier. You can talk to your girlfriend on lift, tell your mom what you want for dinner, or even take care of business mid run. Sure, using snowboarding as an excuse to get away from it all is great, but in this economy, it’s important to stay in touch! And more than that, a few years ago, people used to rely on walkie talkies and have to try and find an open channel to connect with their friends on hill, no more! If you are really serious about staying connected, they even make special gloves now for Facebooking in the cold, too.
The footyfeind.com Crew has a GoPro. Do you?
5. You’re gonna be famous!
For years you’ve had to snowboard and simply rely on your story telling prowess to tell everyone how awesome you are. But not anymore! Thanks to the magical invention called the GoPro, you no longer have to do ANYTHING without capturing it on video. Then you can come home, easily edit it to the new MGMT or Lil Wayne song, upload to Vimeo and boom! You’re famous on the Internet. Ok, not really, but it will be cool to look back on when you’re old and decrepit and remember: hell yeah, that was a great year!
You probably have some other personal reasons that this season is gonna be good, but you get the idea. If you’re old, stop yearning for the past. If you’re young, live it up. This is gonna be an amazing season, so get out there and ride!