Being alone can be therapeutic. The silence of your self-imposed isolation can open up your mind and allow it to wander in ways that are unimaginable with the constant noise and interruptions of being among others. You are able to hear the sounds of your breathing and follow your thoughts as they crawl through your mind and into places you didn’t even know existed. When you’re alone, relaxation and revitalization come easy. Snowboarding in solitude can be strangely satisfying as well. With no one pressuring you to party the night before, waking up at dawn is painless. You make your way to the mountain at your own gradual pace, which is still somehow faster than the frenetic, rush-out-the-door pace when you are with a group of friends. You take the series of long, quiet lifts up to the peak. You hike across the ridge while the snow softly crunches under your feet. You’re living in your own private Thoreau novel as you strap on your bindings. Then, you drop in off the peak, gouge a huge turn, and immediately wish you were experiencing this with all of your closest friends.
Yeah, snowboarding alone is fun. But, snowboarding with your buddies is the BEST. And, aside from skateboarding, snowboarding is one of the few board sports you can actually do together. With surfing, currents can separate you from your crew and with wakeboarding you can only ride one at a time. From a group shred standpoint, snowboarding can’t be beat.
Snowboarding is one of the most incredible experiences on this planet. Enjoying it with your crew is next level bliss. Showing off for one another, pushing each other to perform beyond your abilities, and hooting and hollering with stoke down every run makes all those days cooped up in the office worth it. Every single run is a race down the face of the mountain trying to be in front so your whole squad can see you shralp. And, if it becomes time to film, the guy who draws the shortest straw better get the shot. Oh, and the partying that starts après and rages until the coffee pot turns on, is all part of the gig. Ever be that sorry, hungover sap that puked in the snow? Yeah, me neither.
Like the old saying goes, if you hucked clean trick and no one sees it, did it really happen? Do you push your snowboarding more when your friends are around? Were you really going to learn a new trick on that solo mission or your “couples trip”? The workaday snowboarder can, and often does, improve his skills rapidly and dramatically when riding as a group. It’s easy to take the comfortable route when riding alone. Try pussying out amongst friends. You won’t live it down until someone else wimps out harder that you just did. But, when you have an image to uphold, look out body…you’re getting sacrificed. And, your snowboard skills are the direct beneficiary.
Style can benefit from riding together too. Do you pay attention to how you snowboard when riding alone? I don’t. But, when my friends are around, I hold my positioning just right. Sure, my riding style is fishing for compliments. To me, it doesn’t matter why your style looks clean and alluring, it’s just nice that it does.
Snowboard trips with your compadres can give you a whole new perspective on life and vastly different level of appreciation for the lives of your friends. Ever have a deep, meaningful conversation on the gondola? What did you discover about yourself and about your relationship with your buds? Ever come back from a snowboard trip closer than when you left? Ever look out over the peaks and say to your squad “look at how incredible this is. Look where we are?” Those profound moments of gratitude and camaraderie can impact your friendships forever.
What’s the reason for your trip? Are you celebrating a milestone birthday on the mountain? Maybe a bachelor party? Is your snowboard trip an escape as you help a friend navigate through tough times? Or, are you like most of us and just NEED to ride? Whatever your reason, snowboarding can produce some of life’s most cherished moments.
The brotherhood of snowboarding is a peculiar, inexplicable bond that manifests itself in different ways depending on the circumstances surrounding your trip. But, it is there and it is unmistakable. The brotherhood of snowboarding is what separates snowboarding from other “sports”. It’s a feeling and a vibe. It’s progressing at a rapid clip. It’s sharing in moments of both triumphs and setbacks. It’s disengaging from the rat race, social media, and your devices and focusing on your personal relationships. It’s about experiencing one of the greatest feelings in life: sharing something you love with people you love. And, that’s what makes snowboarding, well, snowboarding.