Old Gold: Snowboarding is Fun

Lately, things have been a bit nasty around these parts. The hate is up, and it’s bringing our stoke down. We were blaming the holidays, and the fact that tons of snow around the world has distracted people who actually do and love snowboarding from reading and commenting, but hey, maybe it’s our fault. Maybe rejecting people’s edits, making people vie for sponsorship glory, and not just deleting the asinine hate is making it worse. Or maybe it’s just because as the site grows it’s harder and harder to keep the riffraff out. Whatever the reason, we wanted to bring back a feel-good old gold, such as this one written by YoBeat co-founder R. Cotton in 1998. Cause remember, snowboarding is fun.

This is what snowboarding looked like in ’98. Adam Moran.

If you are reading this and are, therefore, exist, you have probably heard some hypocrite say “treasure each day like it was your last.” (In reality, 99% of the people who realize its truth are dead and can no longer preach.) Although I’m sure none of you feel like hearing why this quotation has so much merit, I will tell you anyway because I honestly do not have anything better to do.

At the moment, I cannot walk without the aid of crutches and my snowboarding season is over. The walking part is almost tolerable, but the knowledge that I will probably not snowboard for at least another 7 months is really hard for me to deal with. For me, snowboarding is a release from everything wrong in my life. Hence, no snowboarding entails quite a problem; I have no outlet from the negative aspects of my life, and I am sad, to say the least, that I will not be able to partake in one of the activities which I enjoy most in the world for at least another 7 months.

I don’t claim extraordinary talent or admirable ability when I take it to the snow. In fact, the only exemplary aspect of my snowboarding is my overall attitude. I truly treasure every moment I am out on the hill, and to me that’s more important than any physical capability. I love being on the mountain; first tracks in E.C. pow (read: 4 inches), that inexplicable feeling, to anyone who has never experienced it, of the drifty flight of freeriding on a perfect day, landing that trick I never quite had, effortlessly, FORWARD LEAN!!!, and the look on the faces of friends as they are captured in my same heaven. This, to me, is the essence and beauty of snowboarding, a privately spiritual experience, something which has no fault. I urge all of you who have lost sight of this essence, to unenjoyable photo shoots or contests or whatever the case may be, to step back for a moment and remember why snowboarding is beautiful to you because it is, no doubt, or once was, or you would never have reached the contests or photo shoots. While the tedious, commercial side to snowboarding is necessary in the lives of some, obviously, to make a living and a name for themselves in “the industry, ” that’s not what it’s about, to me at least. Remember those times of peaceful serenity, when time stood still and you floated through the day, oblivious to the outside world. At that moment, there was nothing better in the world. (I believe the butchered term for this feeling, if it had to be put into words, is “stoke”, used in its true meaning.) Not a complaint was heard about the day or any of its brilliant aspects except, naturally, that it did not last long enough. Stoke, that’s what it’s all about.

This is how big you ran pictures on the internet in ’98. Jon Kramer. Photo: Zimmerman

I’m not going to lie to you and say that I never complain about snowboarding because I certainly do. I hate ice more than just about anything, and seeing as I reside on the east coast, I dish out a lot of hate in the direction of mother nature when she has not been generous. Except when the conditions are ridiculous and completely unridable, a la ice-rink-straightshoot-do-anything-not-to-fall-because-it-hurts for the ENTIRE day, however, I always find something fun and amusing to occupy my time on the mountain. While I will probably not experience an epic day (Who knows, though. The best days are usually unexpected), I generally have somewhat of an enjoyable time in the rink. If I can make fun out of these seemingly horrid days, you can too! (We won’t get into the fact that I am easily amused, mostly by my own personal antics, because that doesn’t always translate to snowboarding.) Complain about the conditions, if you must, but do so only after your first run. Afterwards, find something fun to do, even if it does not involve snowboarding in the least and entails the building of ice sculpture turtles under the chairlift. After all, a day of fun, whatever one must do to experience it, is much better than a tedious day of icy complaints. Make the best of a situation, rather than the worst.
Maybe it’s because I don’t get to snowboard a great deal (city-folk represent!) that I enjoy the meager amount of days I spend on the mountain so much. I don’t think this is the case, though. I think that snowboarding is an enjoyable activity, if you make it one, of course, and, therefore, any time spent snowboarding is enjoyable. In the days leading up to my injury, most of which dealt less than favorable conditions, I was stoked on the mountain experience, thanks mostly to perfection that is Pico. I had a great time, and few complaints were heard out of my mouth. In fact, a mere two days before fate dealt me a blow below the belt, I had an incredible day, the day that made me truly realize why I love snowboarding and what is its essence and beauty. Even on the fateful day of my injury, navigating through absolutely no visibility whatsoever, I was having a good time. I was simply unlucky, though. A flat lading dealt more than a little discomfort, I won’t bore you with the details, and I am out for six to eight months too long. At the moment when I knew that my day and, possibly, my season was over, the emotional pain of realizing that I would not be able to snowboard for much too long was far greater than any physical pain I experienced. What makes the incredibly unpleasant reality of my injury a little less tedious, though, is the knowledge that in the days and weeks leading up to it, I treasured almost every moment I spent on the snow.

Jesse Burtner. Still having fun.

If snowboarding is no longer fun and more of a job or a chore than a privilege to you, change what you’re doing, somehow, and make it again beautiful, for your own sake or, at least, for that of others who are not able to snowboard. Stop complaining and start enjoying it because this day, and I would not hope this on anyone, could be your last.

11 replies
  1. r cotton
    r cotton says:


    i should read these things at those mortified shows where people read from their old diaries.

    good call not mentioning to me at the office today that you were posting this hahaha.

    in retrospect more aptly titled: “the beginning of the end”

  2. r cotton
    r cotton says:

    look @me crushing the intended spirit of this post by HATING (on my past self, no less!)

    reader’s note: went shredding yesterday for the first time in 2 years. was GREAT. newly inspired to work on my moves to prove myself relevant to the gopro generation. potential fodder for my future arthritic self to look back upon fondly.

  3. admin
    admin says:

    For the record, I didn’t decide to post until AFTER i left the office. But yeah, since Jared won’t let me post the video of me spraying him, I’ve learned better than to ask “permission.”

  4. Seby Clark
    Seby Clark says:

    You should FOR SURE do the rejected edits instead of Jerm. Like I know it’s pretty funny or whatever and he’s just being harsh but I know a few of the dudes he’s trashed. Half the time they’re not even trying to be good or throwing the best tricks they know but he just fuckin trashes them and it’s a little much. Like they get kind of down on themselves. I think a good edit would just be people having fun. They don’t have to be doing 630s off pole jams and windells and cliff drops in japan. I love this. Snowboardings all about fun! (Skiings for being serious)

  5. fartinhalation
    fartinhalation says:

    Most kids start snowboarding because it is chill, not fun. especially these days when we have the dew tours and x games and mass media as well as mass shit companies and shit pros that leech off of something that was once so pure. A word of advice to ALL in the industry………get over yourselves.

  6. turd ferguson
    turd ferguson says:

    it should be required by law that the first trick every kid learns in the park is a proper method.

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