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Snowboarding’s Culture Crisis: Moving Beyond High Fives and Handjobs

Getting all in touch with stuff a top of Mt. Hood. Photo: Matt Roebke

This Yobeat-sourced opinion piece was inspired by the fine folks of the DIG MY QUIVER community. DIG THE STOKE, BURY THE HATE is an unregistered trademark invented by Jack Cluesto.

So many people within the culture of snowboarding have become the embodiment of hate.  People with the same pretentious attitude of those old school skiers who spend their days arguing about where to hold their hands while making the perfect turns.  What happened to us!?  It’s like someone needs to beat some of you over the head with a harshmellow stool to get you to chill the fuck out.  Snowboarding isn’t about who looks the coolest.  It’s not about who has the best style or the most soul. Outside of the competition world, it’s not even about being the best rider.

It’s about having fun.

Seriously. Chill the hell out. Photo: Les Moise Boardshop

Sure, everyone loves watching a Jerry (translation: beginner) do something asburd. However it seems many of us have forgotten that once upon a time, we were all Jerry’s.  We all started out as hopeless kooks and we sucked. Most of us probably didn’t have the “right” clothes either.  Do you remember your first boardslide or your first 180?  More importantly, do you remember how many times you ate shit while figuring out how to turn a plank of wood on the snow and how much fun you had anyway?  So why are so many “good” snowboarders insistant on harshing that vibe? Do you realize how many people are apprehensive about going the park because they don’t want to be made fun of?

Context Matters

I love to talk about where I’ve been and what I’ve ridden, but where you are, who you’re talking to, and what you’re talking about, matters.  When trading war stories of bad ass days and worst falls, it’s standard practice.  But when you’re talking about things such as places you would never go to, you just sound like an arrogant douche.  So often I hear things such as, “I’ll never ride the Midwest” or “I’ll never ride the East Coast.” But just because you’ve been to the biggest resorts in the world doesn’t mean Trollhaugen doesn’t have badass parks, or Jay Peak doesn’t have killer glades.  Love the sport for the shred and the people involved — not to rack up bragging rights of where you have been and where you are too good to go.  Because when you do:

You just look like this guy. Remember when we made fun of people like this?  Replace Chamonix with Baldface and it’s the same damn thing.

Remember your roots

Remember that first day you got to go snowboard?  How excited you were to ride and that you didn’t care about anything else?  Let’s get back to that.  It’s time to feel like that kid taking a plastic snowboard to a sledding hill again.

One of the things I love about the scene in the Pacific Northwest is that culture is still alive. If there is snow, people are going to ride, whether the chairs are spinning or not.  In the same day you will  have people splitboarding on the Palmer Glacier and more people jibbing anything with snow. Some people do both.

 

The scene at “Jibsy” in Government Camp- where people come from as far away as Washington and it’s all fun, no drama. photo: Matt Roebke

Check Your Shitty Attitude dot com

This elitist attitude is even worse on the Internet.  Trolling the media is one thing, annoying, but part of Internet culture. The problem arises when the trolls feel the need to shit on people who just landed their first boardslide. If you can’t say anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face without the cloak of anonymity, just don’t say it. The “cool guy” attitude is why so many people leave snowboarding behind.  Why would you want to take something that you love and make it seem shitty to someone else?  In fact, a lot of women I know say they won’t ride park, or even snowboard at all, because of this dick swinging. Remember that sentence the next time you’re complaining about the fact you can’t get a girlfriend, let alone one that can ride.

I’ve hesitated posting this clip for a long time. I couldn’t even watch it for a good 6 months without feeling like I was about to puke. I didn’t want people seeing it because I felt like such a little bitch, and I didn’t want people to think that too. This is me trying to bury that feeling, because fuck being embarrassed. I ended up with a dislocated shoulder, broken collar bone and growth plate, a posteriorly separated sternoclavicular joint (so my collar bone got pushed behind my sternum towards my trachea and the blood vessels coming to and from my heart), some separated ribs, and a broken cheek bone. As bummed as I am, I’m hyped for all my friends involved with this project and others (yooooo @twistthevideo y’all are unreal! And so hyped to see all @the__uninvited parts) because snowboarding is the best thing in the world and I’m hyped for what’s to come 🌈🤑💭 . Head to the interwebs and watch all the Michigan homies hard work in @flanellifestyles Efforts 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 . ps. Shouts to @itsbenchpress because that shit is no joke. It took me like 3 times of watching the movie before it didn’t give me anxiety any more😉

A post shared by JACQUELINE MARIE (@jacquelinelammert) on

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Comments (30)

  1. this is awesome! more high fives and words of encouragement

     
  2. At risk of being labeled a “hater” and lumped in with some binged wearing GS carving douche, that article was wack as fuck. No mention of the grassroots community of riders that are driving this movement back to snowboarding’s roots assisted by social media. The same community that you also happened to steal you byline from. At least the articles I’ve read about collecting usually mention VST or have interviews with prominent members. The headline here seriously misrepresents the contents of the article in my opinion. But what do I know. I guess I’m just an elitist prick.

     
  3. Well, the original snowboard hate maven (ask Jeff Brushie) is now giving love advice, isn’t that special

     
  4. The sexism in this article is disgusting. You mention that “In fact, a lot of women I know say they won’t ride park, or even snowboard at all, because of this dick swinging” and then go on to assume that the readers are men (who are looking for a girlfriend, let alone one that can ride), and follow it up with a video clip that uses a gendered word (bitches) to mean bad riders.

    You talk about a need for a culture change and miss the fact that you’re perpetuating one of the aspects of snowboarding culture that needs the most work. Gross.

     
    • Or are we normalizing the use of a word by creating a healthy debate and admitting that yes, 80% of our audience is male?

      But third-wave feminism is cool too. Thanks for reading!

       
      • There is no ‘debate’ in this article. There are simply sexist assumptions and language. Doing a read of your articles and removing slurs would be a good start. Also justifying sexism by saying “80% of our audience is male” is not good enough. Try harder. Thanks for reading.

         
        • Again, there is no debate framing. You’re looking for an easy out to the problematic aspects of your article that I posed. I get it, criticism on your writing is hard to take. I’m also a writer. But when you do get it, consider it a gift of insight from someone with a different perspective. When you’re so used to the sexism in the sport, it’s hard to catch you doing it yourself. I’m pointing it out for you. The least you can do is think critically about it rather than try to justify it (poorly imho).

          What you do with that information is up to you. I hope you use it well. I’m done spending time trying to educate you. Best wishes and hope to see improvement in future articles.

           
          • *I didn’t write this article. Adam did. – xoxo Brooke

             
    • It is safe to say that we all live pretty great lives. We have few real problems that challenge the safety of our lives, where our next meal will come from, and anyone reading this has the means to even go snowboarding. A sport that costs usually thousands of dollars per year for a single person to snowboard. What major struggles do we really have? None.

      We have moved so far beyond real struggles that we are trying to make life simply more enjoyable. This is a good thing. However, with it comes issues. One of the things I have noticed is that we often look for things to be offended by. We have so few real life threatening offenses in our life that we want to be offended. We want reasons to complain, to yell at someone, to belittle them.

      I wrote this article from years of experience as an instructor and riding several 75+ day seasons a year. I live and breathe snowboarding, so yes, I have talked to a lot of women who will not ride park because of the dick swinging egos. It’s not fun for a lot of folks to be around and almost any snowboard area with a core crew of local riders suffers from this issue.

      All that said, there are two ways you can look at the comment that you’re offended by. You can be offended by it, let it ruin your mood and make you write angry comments. The other option is to think “Man, I’m glad a guy is telling other guys to stop being assholes and put their egos aside. To treat women with respect rather than as second class citizens in the park. To not treat them as unicorns to be ogled over or made fun of. Obviously you picked the one to make your life more difficult. That was your choice, not mine. I merely wrote about the problems I have been witness to over not only a decade of snowboarding, but also being an instructor that has spent a lot of time helping girls and women overcome the frustration that I highlighted at the end of that paragraph. If you think it’s sexist for me to stand up for the women who have confessed these complaints with me, then it seems you might be misguided.

       
  5. Let’s not forget the roots of yobeat.. rejected edits and constant bashing in the past.. this site is another form of Hillary Clinton. Props to finally trying to respect snowboarding as a whole but we don’t forget the toxic garbage this site used to produce. Some kids probably stopped snowboarding because of this site, no joke.

     
    • Hey Reelist. Out actual roots go way deeper than that, but apparently you only started paying attention in 2012. Hate stopped being funny when a troll got elected to the while house, and we’re running with this new direction because it’s what we want to do. To love or to hate is up to you! XOXO – Brooke

      PS here are three other times we’ve written similar articles you may have missed: http://yobeat.com/issue6.htm#Snowboarding is fun http://yobeat.com/issue13/better_person.htm http://yobeat.com/skiing.htm
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      • Prove it by sponsoring a yobeat “superpark” with no rules. I haven’t seen you sponsor much events in the snowboard community and it’s your time to shine.

         
  6. Snowboard trip to Maine? Naw

     
  7. Where is the part about handjobs?

     
  8. That bail at the end is super not chill wtf

     
  9. Don’t be silly, snowboarders can’t read.

     

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