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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😉

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  1. Shouts Paul WAll SHouTs Stingray SqUad