A while back, I wrote a "tongue in cheek" reference comparing snowboarders to drivers with cell phones. I got some negative feedback, including from my good friend Nick (reader #5 out of 20 total readers).
On further reflection, I think that I may have been a bit unfair. Most snowboarders aren't bad people, they are just a bit misguided. So, I thought I'd try to improve the situation by giving some advice to those of you who prefer a single plank for your snow-riding activities:
- At most ski areas - with the possible exception of the Cascades during the winter of 2004-2005 - loose snow accumulates on the slopes. Unfortunately, it tends to accumulate more on the upper slopes than on the lower slopes, leading to a distinct snow deficit lower on the mountain. Do your best to scrape any loose snow off the upper slopes towards the lower slopes by sliding sideways down the slopes. This will make the mountain experience better for everyone.
- You don't get better by staying within your limits. You paid full price for your lift ticket (well, you might have paid $10 to that guy in the parking lot), so you deserve to use the whole mountain. Even if you have to slide sideways for 1200 vertical feet.
- You're good enough that you don't need to know what's behind you.
- Most ski areas have an ongoing peek-a-boo contest. To get the most points, find a slight rise on a busy slope, go just beyond the edge, and sit down. Say "peek-a-boo" as skiers appear at the top of the rise. Double your points by getting your friends to play along.
- Lift maze barriers are there for your comfort and convenience. If the line is slow, sit on the barrier.
- The skiers in your party are more tired than they let on. Take extra time to hook up to your bindings so that they have a chance to get a nice long rest.
- Congregate with other boarders wherever it's convenient. I suggest the top of the lift, right after it unloads, or at the entrance to the lift maze, but I'm sure you can come up with your own ideas.
- Come up with your own idea.