so i was checkin my friends myspace blog that had just come back from snowboarding for 2 months down in austrailia and his thought on snowboarding really made a lot of sense. for skiing also... if you want to read it all its pretty good just thought i would thro it out there.
I realized something about 2 months ago when i got in for my first summer session down in australia. I watched a local aussie pro destroy a jump line, spinning back to back 5's 7's maybe even a 9 on the last booter (i couldnt see him land) but next time i saw him up on the start mound i gave him props 'damn son you're on fire'....I got a weird look like i was speaking hindu. Kids dont really give props around those parts. I tried to make it positive.
How many parks are turning into scene show downs a who s who of 1-uping? Rocking the latest gear and a rad sticker job showing the reps who's ass you kiss to get some free gear to add to your ego. Am i the only one who see s this going down? Hey im guilty of the ass kissing myself dont get me wrong but leave the ego out of it.Take a mid season lap through brighton or park city's park this winter and tell me the avg kid isnt scared shitless of what other people think. Not so positive.
The first time i felt this was when i tried to learn how to surf down in san onofre(spelling?). About 5 years ago, i paddled out with the nose of the board about a foot out of the water and could feel the tension instantly. No one was smiling it was like i walked in the middle of a comp. Didn't make it positive at all, took 3 years till i tried it again and now 2 months out of the year i freeze my nuts off surfing cape cod MA on tiny longboard waves. So FUN!
I think of that day alot when im riding park. How many kids standing up there are feeling the same way? Last season we started trying to give high 5's to bring up the vibe as much as possible. The response was awesome! Next time you're out hiking a box in the park start giving props to other kids, it catches on quick. We're all there for the same reason right?
Out of everything i did last season i think the most rewarding was hiking a foot high box with some 'gapers' shooting off some tips on how to hit their first boardslide. A little encouragement goes a long way, the older i get the more i realize it. Make it more positive.
Now im not calling for a total turn around. Start like this, hike a box with a cute girl, get her to 50/50 for the first time then take it to tail press. She'll be stoked and your chances of getting a date will greatly increase over playing the cool guy 'hey everyone come see how good i look' attitude. Take your sweet bling skull candy's out for a run and maybe throw some tips at a young 'grom'. Watch the excitement, remember what it was like the first time you hit a box? Make it more positive.
I hope this winter someone can come down and see how we're trying to not only build a sick park but also bring more to it, lift the vibe. Last winter we had some local reps donate gear for us to give away in a random jam session. Roll to the top of the small park and yell out 'first boardslide to fakie gets this t shirt!' Kids were so stoked! Whats a couple t shirts to a local rep or big company? We'd focus on encouraging beginners to try new things, even get some of the younger local rippers over to demonstrate and help out bc insurance wont let us 'teach'. Together we made it more positive.
If i could go back 6 years when i moved here to utah not knowing anyone and try to imagine what it would be like to have a guy or girl (come check out mary-ellen she slays it!) on the park crew give me a shirt or hat for trying and landing my first boardslide it would make my season. Gives you that warm fuzzy feeling from doing a little good in a pretty fucked up world. Just turn on the news. Kids roll through with a bad attitude i'll call em out, let em know park city's 1 park is 5 mins up the road.
I love the start of Child Support 'this video isnt for the industry people, its for the kids'. They hit it dead on the money. Watching them session park lines gets me so pumped to ride!
I was lucky enough to spend a few days throughout last season following around JP Walker. First at Keystone for a day then a couple days in between filming up at the canyons. You watch JP and Mitch Nelson cruise around boosting unthinkable gaps and going huge on wall hits, hitting every branch and tree they could get their boards near. No camera s around just an absolute love for snowboarding. It taught me to look at things different when i rode.
Instead of racing to the park, it was try to boost that wall and tap that branch, switch back 80 that roller, boost over that rope line into powder(checking the landing first and making sure ski patrol isnt around) my fun level hit a whole new dimension. This is snowboarding. The thing i look forward to most this time of year even though i just got in from 2 months of riding down under. I know you all feel the same, but i cant help to think, how can i make it more positive for everyone?
thanks for reading-Tim