Humans are mortal, even more, we’re pretty wimpy-ass animals as far as terrestrial species are concerned. Our big brains have enabled us far too much luxury in life and as result we’ve grown softer, flabbier, and squishier than our contemporary mammalian relatives. With such vulnerability it’s utterly absurd how much danger we willingly expose ourselves to in the pursuit of activities that do not serve to satisfy any physically tangible need.
What are you silly? I’m still gonna send it. Skiing and snowboarding are two of the best examples of this behavior. Considering the many potential hazards of the alpine environment compounded by velocity, it’s pretty easy to understand why insurance companies deem them as ‘high risk activities.’ On the other hand, risk is ultimately determined not by the presence or even scale of the hazard but by the degree of control one has to manipulate and navigate it.
As a skier of 28 years with accolades ranging from skier-cross, to freestyle, to the backcountry and big mountain, here’s a pearl I bestow to every beginner I encounter. That feeling you get the first time you consciously apply your weight correctly through that boot to the ski edge and feel it engage as you make that first turn across the fall line. That “woah, woah, waaahooaoa… Oooooh! Aaahh” feeling. That’s the exact same vibe that the X-games pros spinning a double, twisty, flippy, mc-chicken, cork-butter, grinder slide get when they stick that landing over a huge 60 foot booter. With a little patience, the right progression, and a whole lot of practice, you’ll learn to ride in ways you never imagined possible. See, it’s not just about where you’re going and how fast you get there, it’s about the unique path that you find and take. And maybe a little bit about how you look while you’re taking it too.
The sacred art of creative alpine line choice is the ultimate coalition between creative expression and the physical freedom of mobility. Beyond even piloting an actual aircraft, riding snow is the closest thing to unadulterated flight that a
human can presently experience. Undoubtedly some do it for the workout, some to experience nature, others for quality time shared with friends and family, and still others ride to tap into the more subtle and spiritual realm. At the end of the day, we each make what we want from it. Next time you ride a lift, pay attention to the people riding below you. The lines they pick and the way they ride can tell you more about who they are than you can learn from 100 hours of conversation with them. Unofficial Networks wants to know why you ride. Comment and tag the person/people who introduced you to the addiction.