Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Evans thingy

it's upsetting that snowboarding has been pushed to the point where you are defined as a rider by what companies you own, who you're giving your money to. Yes, it matters from an economic standpoint, which companies you support, because then the business of snowboarding is fed.
it is upsetting because snowboarding is not a business. it isn't a marketplace, or a fashion show, or a lottery. It isn't a place where you can push your way to the top and snatch the best deal to make big bucks off of some popular gear or magazine ad.
it's an activity. It is the act of getting from the top of something, to the bottom of something, with the help of gravity, your snowboard, and your body. You land at the top of a mountain. Before you lie bumps, turns, trees, rocks, rails, drops, snow guns, skiers, banks, walls, stairs, ledges, buildings, rivers, bushes, stumps, barrels, fences, poles sticking out of the ground, dirt patches, puddles, slush, piles of fluffy snow, packed corduroy, bulletproof ice, chunky cookies, drop in ramps, jumps, landings, and a chairlift waiting at the bottom to take you back up so you can find another way through the mess.
what defines you, and what you do, is how you navigate the path in front of you; how you ride up that bank towards the tree and what you do to jump up and tap the tree or spin around on your tail, or whatever.
What type of personality do you have? do you pay attention to the details, assessing each obstacle in front of you closely and ripping through tentatively, putting perfect pressure on your heel and toe edges to make sure you get down just as you planned? Or do you say "that line looks sick with that big slash there" and just send it, putting your faith in your own skill with your body and your board in order to find your way through whatever ends up in front of you beyond that fucken' sweet pow slash.
your board has some cool designs on it, too bad your buds can't see them when you're spinning around on that handrail. They'll give you props on the 270 switch-up that you did, not on the way your pants fit perfectly snug on your legs, or how big your tall tee is.
what company do you support? the one that allows you to look a certain way? the one that takes your money and gives your something other than what you need to go snowboarding, such as a style, a logo, or a public statement on what kind of person you are when you're not snowboarding. and what do they do with your money? they make more product, which is good, but what has more influence than that product in the business of snowboarding are the images that it is associated with, not the things that some kid is gonna do with it. The gimmicks that made the company's advertisements and the company's mission statement are the things that you're paying for, and the very things that are diluting snowboarding.
snowboarding has been diluted all the way to the core of its recently coined mission statement: to have fun. fun is not the mission of snowboarding, it is the byproduct, or it is one byproduct along with style, reputation, friends, achievement, fitness, and injuries. Come to think of it, the only one of those byproducts that hasn't been used in a marketing campaign is fitness. It makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Everyone knows snowboarders don't care about how strong they are, otherwise people might think they're like wrestlers, or football players...right?
the merriam-webster dictionary (yeah...i pulled the book out) defines "sport" as "a source of diversion: recreation". often times snowboarders will say that it is not a sport in an attempt to separate themselves from the competitive and arrogant jocks who they experienced in high school. How hypocritical they may feel, when they hike a rail to land new tricks, or spend hours getting frustrated over a maneuver that, in the end, will gain them nothing more than what a trophy gains for a champion wrestler: bragging rights. Now some of you may be saying, "what about a sense of personal accomplishment?" and with good cause, because the feeling that one experiences after landing a new trick or a clean run is uplifting, like getting your first blow-job. But what happens next, for far too many, is what ruins the whole thing: the next day, talking to their buds, or some kids they don't even know, "hey dude, yesterday, was doin' back tail sameway on that huge rail over there, its such an easy trick once you get it. I'm trying it switch, next."
it's called claiming, and it's the root of all corruption in snowboarding. There are few snowboarders today who have never done it, myself included. Its hard not to, really. because the style you fit into, the companies you support, the tricks you've done, they all add up to who you want people to think you are on your snowboard, whatever you're claiming to be.
what matters is who you are when you step off your board and step into the world. if you aren't claiming anything there, then what's to claim? Thats the real world. thats the place where you have to feed yourself, where youll eventually have to feed babies, pay mortgages, buy gas, get a fucking job.
are the "real" snowboarders just the ones who don't leave the claims on the mountains? the ones who walk down the street and are seen as "a snowboarder" because they have that companies sweatshirt on or tell all their friends about the cool tricks they did that weekend? What are you claiming? What are your claims making you?
if you're gonna devote your life to snowboarding, then you're not claiming anything, because it takes more than an image or bragging rights to create love, which is what devotion requires. But if you're not, and you'll give up when you graduate or realize that you'll never go pro, then you know what...you can do whatever you want. 'cause you'll probably end up giving your money to the guys who are just smarter than the rest of us, creating the gimmicks that they know we'll all buy into, allowing them to keep snowboarding, and keep living.

moral of the story? Stop reading my bullshit philosophy and go snowboarding.

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