Mr.BishopYou need some perspective on this comment.
First off - I was born in the '70s. Was a kid in the '80s. When you raced slalom, no helmets required. When you rode your bike, helmets weren't even a thing. I remember setting up jumps in the laneway behind my house as an extremely young kid - which were made with one board and a big log. I set up gaps regularly that were two of these - takeoff and landing - which were about one car length apart. Sent the fuck out of that shit on my crappy BMX bike with zero thoughts of a helmet and my parents cheering me on.
Definitely going to have to call you out on this one, Bishop. Take your rose colored glasses off, just because something worked in the past doesn't mean it wasn't dumb as hell. You survived largely unharmed, as did a lot of people, but if you think action sports is where it was in the 80's you're out of your fuckin' mind. People go faster, bigger, and get more tech now than they ever did - and at increasingly younger ages. Some of the kids I coach in elementary and middle school do crap that makes your homemade escapades look like wannabe posing.
That's just how the sport is now.
Mr.BishopWhen it comes to my son - of course I want him to be safe. Without doubt. I will teach him the value of helmets (he wears one skiing now, as well as biking) and how that is the safest way to do things. I will highly recommend it.
However, when he gets to the age that he can make his own decisions, I'm not going to fight him on it. I'll teach him the logic behind protecting his head, but if he wants to send that backie without one... I'm going to let him do it. If shit goes wrong and he knocks his ass out... maybe he'll learn on his own that a helmet is a really good idea.
So yeah - if after skiing with a helmet when he doesn't have a choice - my son wants to ski without one - I'm cool with it. He'll need to learn that if he hits his head he's going to get super fucked up, and is going to either have to try to avoid that situation or accept the consequences of his actions.
I am a huge fan of this sentiment. Allowing your son to make his own educated choices, and to then let him suffer the consequences and grow from them, is an awesome parenting style.
But let's talk about consequences for a second.
Have you met Kevin Pearce? Have you seen what his life was like after his accident? Did you know Sarah Burke, Sam Jackenthal, or a dozen other people who have hit their heads, with or without helmets, and have died or suffered extremely adverse effects for it?
Letting your son off the leash to have some fun and to learn or grow is a wonderful concept, but are you really prepared for what might happen if you don't learn from the rest of the community who are in the same position you're in? Of course you're not ready. You can't prepare for this kind of shit.
Mr.BishopI don't wear a helmet. Never have. Still don't. Why? Because that is how I like to ski. You can judge me all day long, but its my decision that I've made as a responsible adult, and I'm sticking with it.
What I have a problem with is not accepting that people do bad things. The idea that you should not do drugs, not drink, wait for marriage to have sex, wear a helmet, etc.... is retarded. People do bad stuff to themselves, and we need to teach them that there are consequences to their actions vs. ask everyone not to do anything bad. It just doesn't work.
As an adult you can decide to do whatever dumbass thing you want. That's why we're all skiers. We're dumbasses. Wear a helmet, don't wear a helmet; chug beers on gaper day doing side-by-side backies with your bros, get up at 4am to climb a mountain for some fresh tracks by yourself because you don't have any friends, drop a double-cork whatever on to a rail, whatever dumb idea you want to do - that's your thing.
People do bad things, and generally, that's okay.
But let's look at your list.
>Not do drugs, not drink
We talking marijuana? Alcohol? Let's not kid ourselves and pretend underage drinking/drug use, or drinking/smoking to excess, is exactly something that should be respected. Are kids 18+ going to end up just fine if they smoke? Yeah, probably. Should we be encouraging it more than we already do? Hell no. I'm tired as hell hearing about how many blunts some little kid smokes every day on the hill, do you really want our culture to be built purely on idiot kids doing idiot things? We can do better than that.
How about harder shit? Once you walk in on your brother practically lifeless in his bed when he should be driving you to school, wondering if the ambulance will get there in time, you change your stance on where the line between 'responsible people making bad decisions' and 'fucking stupid, irresponsible and selfish behavior' is.
>wear a helmet
Not wearing a helmet, at this point, is just people raging against the 'norm' and trying to find some way to stand out when they're own character isn't enough. I get it if you just chill and stick well within your ability range and generally aren't in danger of hitting your head - I get it. Personally I wear mine all the time, but I understand not wearing one if you're just out for fun and your feet aren't really leaving the ground.
But there is literally no good reason not to wear one when in the park, or skiing trees, or dropping shit in fresh snow, or when generally going hard trying to impress that girl who'll never like you anyways. There really isn't. "Oh, if you hit a tree or a rock under the snow your helmet wouldn't save you anyways". Bullshit, go fuck yourself. "You know there really isn't any data supporting that helmets protect you from concussions". Bullshit, go fuck yourself. "I don't do hard tricks really, I'll never hit my head". Bullshit, go fuck yourself.
People do bad things to themselves, but sex before marriage? Come the fuck on, Bishop. You have to test the boat before you set out to sea, everyone in their right mind knows that. You've got to be fuckin' with people here, you can't honestly believe this shit after all the crap our sport, and our community, has gone through over the years. Our sport, and the other sports we all do, are dangerous as fuck. Stupid as fuck. We do them for entirely selfish reasons. We do it because we have the curse of humanity. And knowing how dumb, selfish, and terrible our own decisions are we should absolutely be teaching our kids that making 'bad decisions' is okay and a part of growing up.
We should absolutely be teaching our kids that making mistakes is okay and a part of growing up.
But there's a line to be drawn between the bad-boy shit we respect and the tough-guy shit we don't. I don't want our culture built purely around immature shit. I don't want some kid better suited to xbox live and a microphone getting himself wrecked because some crusty dude is telling him to throw a backflip because, "you have to live a little". We can be responsible about having a good time. We can be aware of our choices, and we can choose what we respect.
I get your position, Bishop. I get it and I even agree with some of it - I'm not a crusty old fart yelling at kids to slow down or whatever. I just don't respect it.