6 Reasons to Consider Switching to the Dark Side (Snowboarding)

My daughter switched over to the dark side years ago and I still love her, so maybe we can all just get along. She’s tried to talk me into switching for years, I think just because she loves to annoy me. It hasn’t worked: the switching I mean, she still annoys me; she is a boarder after all.

The Boots
This is a biggie and there’s a reason it’s number one. Ski boots are archaic, medieval torture devices that haven’t improved in comfort for years. If it wasn’t for the almost orgasmic feeling when you take them off, we would never put them on again. The problem is, if you love to downhill ski, you’re stuck with them. Boarder boots look like comfy slippers in comparison and are almost enough to get a long time skier to switch right there; almost.

The Outfits
Now we all know men don’t wear “Outfits’” they wear “Gear,” and in boarding, the girls pretty much dress the same as the guys. This is a big plus when you’re the proud father of a hot teenage daughter; the Dudes can’t tell a Dudette from a Dude so your little girl is safe on the slopes. Of course once she takes off her coat, or opens her mouth her cover is blown, but it does buy you some peace of mind on the slopes. Most older guys are all for the baggy pants but we’ll leave the sagging to the young guys, and the plumbers of the world.

The Equipment
Two boards rule, especially in the flats, where you also have ski poles to help you negotiate a flat road. Boards rule when walking through the village and you only have one thing to carry. The lift lines seem more comfortable for skiers, if it wasn’t for those damn boots, but hopefully, none of us will stand in a line this season, right?

The Prep
This is also about equipment, but just getting ready in the parking lot is a major ordeal for skiers. Putting on ski boots is definitely the worse part of the day: heck I have to stretch just to get ready to put my boots on. Then after forcing them on, throwing my skis over my shoulder, grabbing my poles and walking through the village in what feels like concrete boots, I’m ready for a cocktail. Too bad it’s only 8 AM and the bar doesn’t open till 10.

The Terrain Parks
Skiers have invaded the parks and can tackle any obstacles thrown at them. Correction: some skiers can tackle anything. Most of us would rather master the bumps in the back bowls of Vail, so you boarders can pretty much lay claim to the terrain parks. That’s okay though, while you’re riding rails, we‘re claiming seats at the patio bar for Après’ ski time.

The Terrain
Powder is where boards have an advantage because they seem to float better. Thick tree runs are negotiated much easier when you have one board. Trust me: it’s hard as heck negotiating a forest with my 181 cm skies, two poles and my baggy boarding pants sagging down my legs. The Bumps are the most fun and seem to be more a skier’s haven than boarders’. If you are boarding down the bumps, carve some turns; there’s nothing worse than bumps shaved down by boards skidding over the tops. In return, we’ll leave the rails alone in the terrain park and maybe save you a seat at the patio bar.

by Michael Ryan

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