Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The inverse relationship between snowboarding skill and age

photo via Garage

By Jeremiah Paquette

Calling all aging snowboarders, getting old doesn’t suck anymore. Sure it hurts more to fall and you spend less time on the slopes each day but read closely, we’re actually getting better every season. I can hear you now saying, “but I didn’t learn anything new this season?” Learning new tricks is a young man’s game. Self-preservation is what you’re all about now.

This morning I awoke to an epiphany. To get better at snowboarding all I have to do is wait. I know this is the complete opposite from what you’ve been told your entire life so let me explain.

As a youth growing up almost everyone wants to be able to do all the cool moves and get the recognition of friends, sponsors and babes. To do this you spend hours every day watching edits, memorizing the motions and practicing the moves. Every year you progress a little bit. I eventually came to the realization that I was trying to climb an endlessly growing ladder. I would get better every year but so would the pros.

But then the breakthrough. Unlike the kid trying everyday to progress and fight the endless battle with time, we (aging snowboarders) just have to let time pass. As we get older all we have to do is maintain our current level of skill and let time do the rest. How many times have you seen an older dude riding through the park and said to yourself, “damn, that old guys still got! He kills!” When in reality all he did was front board the down rail or 540 a jump.

And here’s the best part. Every year that passes we get a little bit better, relatively speaking. Not because we have learned anything new, but because we can still do those moves year after year. Those tricks done by a 16 year old, not impressive. Done by you at 35? Hammers.

I have finally found what I’ve been searching for all my life, the ability to get more out of something by doing absolutely nothing. I can sit back, do nothing and let the years pass by as I “get better” at snowboarding. All I have to do is spend a couple days each year to make sure I can still get that down rail and 540. Think of it as snowboarding paying you royalties for the time you spent as a youth hucking your meat around.