4 Things Snowboarding Has Taught Me About Life

Ripping down perfectly molded corduroy, tracking out powder stashes in the trees or hitting the half pipe, snowboarding is just so much fun. It's not surprising that some of my greatest moments have been on the slopes. Here are a few of the things I've learned about life from snowboarding.

learn snowboarding

4 Things Snowboarding Has Taught Me About Life

1. If you want to experience the best, you've got to get out of bed and work for it. The early bird gets the worm or in this case, the fresh powder.

2. Don't be afraid to try new things. You never know when trying something new can turn into a life-long passion.

3. Sometimes its not the activity but the people you're with that makes it remarkable. I've snowboarded waist deep powder in Vail's back bowls, raced groomers at warp speed and navigated perfectly spaced tree runs full of fresh powder but sometimes (Yeah, I just said sometimes) the perfect day on the mountain has more to do with the people you're with.

Once, I taught a girl I just met how to snowboard. After about three or four times out she was starting to get pretty good. She could do a heel turn pretty well but she was a little hesitant to get up on her toe edge. I enjoyed her company on the lift and the way her blue eyes sparkled when she smiled so I didn't mind waiting for her to catch up.

I scored some free passes to Ski Cooper, a small resort in Colorado, so I asked her to join me. I picked her up at her sister's apartment where she was sleeping on the couch until she settled into her new ski bum lifestyle. I didn't think much of it since I had a couple of guys living on my couch from time to time. Anyways, we headed up to this new (to us) ski resort for a day of working on her snowboarding skills.

Two or three runs into the day we found ourselves laughing and sharing stories on the way up the lift. She smiled at my quirky jokes and looked great rocking the snowboard look. I was pretty stoked that I had taken a cute girl I met at a shady bar and taught her to snowboard all within a couple weeks. I felt like I was finally winning at life.

We unloaded from the lift and I watched her slide safely away from the lift then use her free foot to skate over to a safe place to buckle in. Each time she was getting better at exiting the lift and I was feeling like she might actually be enjoying this.

We buckled our bindings then started down the run. I pulled back a little bit to watch her make her first couple of turns. She nailed it, a big wide turn to the heel edge then a slow and careful turn back onto her toes. It was perfection.

With a relaxed sense of accomplishment, I started riding a little faster to make a few turns of my own. I quickly got into the zone. You know, the sun was shining, the snow was soft and I was hanging out with a cute snowboard chick so I faded into that quiet place in my mind where nothing really matters except the perfect flow of riding down the semi-tracked out powder.

I was gliding down the slope on cloud nine in my perfect utopia and then.....


Out of nowhere she clocked me. I didn't even she her coming. She just plain ran into me from behind. We tumbled down the hill. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I lost my hat and goggles, maybe even a glove. I felt like my hip was broken. Honestly, I wanted to cry a little bit. It hurt so bad.

I looked over at her. She was a wreck. There was snow all over her face and she had missing pieces of gear scattered like a yard sale.

I said something like "Holy crap!" and we both busted up laughing.

When we made it down to the lift I looked at the map and discovered the name of the run we were on was called Ambush. And that's exactly what happened.

snowboarding is life

All these years later that cute snowboard chick is my wife. She's gotten better at snowboarding but I still never really take my eye off of her. You just never know.

Where was I? Oh yeah, sometimes the best part about snowboarding (or life) is the people you share it with.

4. Wear a Helmet - It's best to be prepared for anything.
Andy Hawbaker
posted by
Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
Join the Conversation