Student boarders savor snow

Gabe Carroll, Reporter

Strapping a piece of metal and plastic to your feet and carving down a mountain is something a lot of people would call “special” or “unique” but maybe not for quite the same reasons snowboarders do.

One may wonder what exactly it is that makes this sport special. Senior Michael McGee, who has been snowboarding for 9 years, sheds some light.

“When you have something you love to do, all your problems just fade away,” McGee said.

Senior Taylor Brown, who has been snowboarding since he was 11 years old, agrees.

“It’s my time away from everyone else,” Taylor Brown said.

Despite these boarders’ similar interests they all got involved with the sport in different ways.

“My cousin took me up [snowboarding] one time and I’ve been going ever since,” sophomore Jake Brown said.

But some don’t have a snow-savvy cousin.

“There was a ski bus program by where I lived and they offered lessons one year I just decided to do it,” McGee said.

In the case of Taylor Brown, snowboarding is a family tradition.

“A lot of [my family] are Swedish, so we’ve been skiing forever and my grandpa and his family are from California so we all surf too,” Taylor Brown said.

Junior Kyle Hendricks has been boarding most of his life.

“I started when I was a kid,” Hendricks said.

According to all of these boarders, there are many factors that make snowboarding the wonderful experience they say it is.

One factor is the uncommon setting which snowboarding requires; the mountain, covered in snow.

“I think that most people like snowboarding because you get to be in the snow,” Training Director at Crystal Mountains Rick Roberts said.

Roberts’ hypothesis seems to be correct, as Jake Brown shares his sentiments.

“When it doesn’t snow here, it always snows in the mountains,” Jake Brown said.

The mountain’s remote location can become a relaxing environment as well.

“It’s pretty tranquil up there,” Taylor Brown said.

Hendricks agrees.

“It’s peaceful, I like being by myself,” Hendricks said. “Going up to the mountain, just because it’s fun, you don’t get to do that every day.”

Of course, snowboarding isn’t always just peaches and cream and sick air. These snowboarders profess that it has its downsides as well.

“The drive up is sometimes a little long,” Taylor Brown said.

However, Jake Brown said that for him, the cost of snowboarding was perhaps the biggest con.

Although there is much to love about snowboarding, everyone seems to have their own pet peeves.

“[What I like the least about snowboarding is] the little kids, they get in my way,” McGee said.

According to these boarders, however, such inconveniences are far outweighed by the sport’s abundant benefits.

“When I snowboard I get this serene feeling, just like nothing matters,” McGee said.

Taylor Brown shares this feeling.

“I love having the lonely feel going down, everything is quiet, all you hear is the sound of your board and then all of a sudden you drop down and there are trees everywhere,” Taylor Brown said.

For some, the experience only improves in the company of friends.

“You can learn new stuff from other people… bringing other people into your group, whether it’s skiing or snowboarding, that starts to make friendships,” Taylor Brown said.

Friends can even help one improve.

“You have friends that push you and you always try to show each other up and that’s how you get better,” McGee said.

Yet another fantastical facet of snowboarding is its surprising variation in boarding styles, as each of these students reveal.

“I like to go fast, I like the adrenaline,” Hendricks said.

Jake Brown has a similar boarding style.

“I go as fast as I can without hurting myself,” Jake Brown said.

Others prefer boarding off the beaten path, take Taylor Brown for example

“I consider myself more of a back-country boarder,” Taylor Brown said.

Many, like McGee, thrive off the exhilaration of tricks and jumps.

“I like the terrain parks but I like doing the big jumps into the powder,” McGee said. “When you see people on TV, you look at them and you’re like ‘Wow! That looks so cool,’ and when you’re able to do that you get this accomplished feeling.”

However you like to board, it seems everyone finds something special up on the mountain.

“It’s a good time… [I go snowboarding] as much as I can,” Hendricks said.

Sometimes the joy is as simple as the unique climate.

Jake Brown said, with a smile upon his face, “I get to be in the snow.”