Think about that for a moment. Think about all the places you’ve travelled to. Think about all the friends you’ve made along the way. Think about how you feel when you’re snowboarding.
How has snowboarding enriched your life? What has snowboarding given you? What is YOUR story?
We want you to tell us and show us how snowboarding has been a positive influence in your life. Whether you’re a weekend warrior escaping the madness of a big city, an international traveller exploring new mountains and cultures, or a seasonal worker earning a living and living the dream — we believe that snowboarding gives something to all of us. We believe that snowboarding is good for the soul.
Because of snowboarding… we want you to finish the story. Use words, photos, and videos to express yourself. There are no rules. The best response as chosen by the judges at Arbor Snowboards, 3CS outerwear, and Boardworld, will win the entire prize pack. You can edit, change, and improve your entry right until the contest closes—so get started now and don’t wait until the last minute!
Arbor Snowboard (men’s or women’s)
3CS Jacket (men’s or women’s)
Boardworld Prize Pack worth $500
You must reply to this thread for a valid entry. This contest closes at midnight on Sunday, September 11th, 2016, AEST. The winner will be chosen by the judges at Arbor Snowboards, 3CS Outerwear, and Boardworld. Arbor Snowboards, 3CS Outerwear, and Boardworld will ensure you receive products suited to your gender and size (we want you to be stoked on the prize pack). Anyone can enter, however, prizes can only be shipped within Australia. You may edit and change/improve your entry until the contest closes.
How has snowboarding enriched my life? what has it given me? Good lord, snowboarding changed my life! I didn’t"t start riding till my mid-twenties, as a skater kid I was used to going sideways but was never prepared for how different snowboarding was. The feeling of nailing that first 3, even just cutting a mean carve and pulling up without stacking it in front of a lift queue gave me the feeling that I could always have fun like a 5-year-old, no matter my age. When I started riding I was still in my undergrad at uni, a bit aimless. ended up doing health statistics, biostatistics, and kinda liking the field but bored by the topics. Somehow, I got offered a post-grad positions studying ski and snowboard injury statistics in Australia. My love for snowboarding provided a platform for me to further my education and makes my days in the office link back to dropping into an almost vertical face, hiking up a ridge for a few steep and deep turns, or even just sitting there on the lift soaking it in.
My story? snowboarding came to me a bit later but has guided all my decisions since. I wouldn’t be in the position I am now, soon to finish a PhD without the influence that snowboarding has had on me. And never will I again have savings, well beyond the next trip to play in the soft white stuff.
I first jumped on a snowboard for three days at Thredbo, way back in late August 1996 as 21 year old from Brisbane that had never seen snow. From the get-go I was hooked, even though much of those three days was not spent on my feet. I worked the lifts at Perisher for the next two winters and this really opened up my riding, as well as how I viewed the world.
I made some incredible, life-long friends with amazing people during these two winters.
I got married the following year to (it turned out) someone who had zero interest in snowsports, so only managed a couple of trips in the next ten years, yet always searching - unsuccessfully - for something that gave me the feeling that snowboarding did. With kids and work commitments, even after divorcing it was hard to make it happen until I just up and went once more in Spring 2012.
I met a new lady in 2013 and convinced her to come with me (a bit of a test of whether things would progress, really) and she is now hooked too. We make the pilgrimage south twice a year now - August for us and September with my kids - and Have started a summer pilgrimage to the Northern Hemisphere.
I’ve done a lot of things over the years, but there is nothing that compares to standing at the top of a mountain and taking it all in before throwing yourself down it - never do I feel more alive.
Snowboarding is a great metaphor for life - you get out what you put in, and it doesn’t matter if you haven’t picked the best line, you can always put on the brakes, reassess and take a new direction.
Because of snowboarding, I am a physically stronger person and living a life free of pain.
I started snowboarding back in mid-2012 at Mt Buller, at which I got a bit addicted so I then started to look at my next destination to get my fix… soon after I had started to plan my first ever overseas trip, and it was to Japan. Later that year I developed a chronic lower back pain from a bulging disc, which started from improper heavy lifting in the workplace.
Although I went to see a physiotherapist it really didn’t do too much to ease the pain long term, only momentarily while at the physio. They recommended I shouldn’t be going snowboarding, but as I’ve already booked the trip solely centered around snowboarding for a week and half at Hakuba it’s like no way I’m pulling out!!
I had only manage to get a hang of snowboarding heel side over the two days I spent at Mt Buller. Fast forward to my first snow trip overseas, the first few days at Hakuba, I pushed myself hard to learn to snowboard properly, in order to be able to link turns, in which I did by the end of the trip. The amount of falls and tumbles had somehow knocked my back into place! Eat that Mr Physiotherapist!!
My lower back wasn’t sore after that trip, but it eventually came back in the coming months, slowly, but not as intense and not as often, and after each snowboarding trip the lower back pain subsides even more, and now I’ve been lower back pain-free for atleast a few years now.
Since my first time snowboarding, I have been indulging in the good white stuff somewhere in the world every six months and have met many like-minded individuals along the way, many of which I call a friend to keep in touch with. It has changed my life for the better, not only physically, but also mentally refreshen myself from normal work life.
P.S. I’ve also met a like minded partner who also shares in with my love of snow…. so I put a ring on it.
As the 7:43 Train departs Bondi Junction I focus intently at the square of greyed plastic between my feet. Desperately attempting to avoid the eye contact of the stranger across the carriage from me. My business shirt and tie chafe around my neck and my leather shoes bite at my heels while squeezing my toes. The walk from the office chills through my jacket, cutting to my core, though the windswept streets of Sydney. I work in a job where no one asks me what I do, and I don’t tell. Its uninteresting and as grey as the suit I’m wearing. I arrive at my cubicle and prepare for a day full of mundane mediocrity. I do all this so the other version of me can live.
The version of me that exists to be in the Mountains. The guy who high fives people on the T-bar. The guy who “Yewws” when a stranger nails something in the park. The guy who hikes out an hour or two to find a fresh stash. Who buys a girl a drink, not out of lust but purely because of the forlorn look on her face as she looks out the window at the snow then down at the newly minted cast on her wrist. Not even the lost toenail from ill-fitting snowboard boots can bother this guy. He lives to be in the wild. Tailored work trousers make way for baggie pants. A leftover from a decade past. The cold isn’t a factor, merely a function of fresh snow, embraced with a deep breath and a smile. Every run is an opportunity to learn something new about himself. To test and to pry at the edges of fear and fun. To be in the mountains is as close to church as this guy comes. At every turn an epiphany in the making. To stand in the sun and look down across snow-capped mountains and be free is as good a feeling as he knows.
But sadly today in my cubicle I’m not that guy. But knowing he exists makes it easier. And he exists, Because of Snowboarding.
Because of snowboarding I have completely changed as a person. As someone who was quite in the “who needs to travel, it’s pretty good right here, I’ll buy a house and further my career” my life has completely taken a 180° turn. I grew up in a family that took all our holidays and trips to summer vacations. The beach and caravan parks and things like that were the destinations and while they were never lavish holidays, we had a lot of fun.
That all changed when I turned 21. A year earlier, my brother had taken a trip to the snowfields in NSW and came back and raved at how much fun it was. When I was turning 21, my friends started organizing a trip to go themselves. So I jumped on the holiday and went to Thredbo. We stayed in Cooma and drove an hour each day for a weekend trip but it was so much fun, I couldn’t wait to do it again.
The next year we did a bit more planning and ended up at the station in Jindy and did the drive to Perisher. My friend Chris who was a skater came for the first time this year. We weren’t great snowboarders but we did go fast and try to get used to it all. We crashed a lot and thought Pretty Valley was the steepest run ever! I still have great memories of that weekend.
Queue the end of 2008 and I do a big Europe trip and end it with a 12 day Contiki tour. On the bus, I was chatting with one of the chicks who was going to Austria for a ski trip straight afterwards and how jealous I was. I got back to my job in Sydney around Christmas and hence the quietest part of the year. I was so bored I started looking for jobs at the snow.
I got a job as a holiday travel agent in Jindabyne and worked there for 4 days a week while riding at Perisher for the other 3. It was a decent season with snow from the Tuesday after opening weekend. I made a few good friends from that trip who I went and visited in future years. I finished work in late August (as nobody books holidays after August, it’s too late) and ended up as a waiter / night watchman at the Perisher Manor hotel. After a collision with a kangaroo, I headed back to Sydney and went and got a “real job”.
This lasted a few years with lots of snow trips in between, mostly weekend trips but always fun. In 2013, I was working for a healthcare company and had been there for over a year. I was making decent money but really didn’t have much work to do. I’d stay on top of things but that was about it. When Tony Abbot became PM, there was a big cut back in hospital spending so the company went from striving to struggling overnight. They made 15 people redundant in July and I knew it was only a matter of time before I’d be looking as well since I wasn’t very busy.
So many people on here had done a season in Canada before and I was quite intrigued. I ended up spending a Sunday afternoon making the “Canada Mega Thread” and set my heart on working at Sun Peaks in BC Canada. After getting a Skype interview and a job, I ended up handing in my resignation and moving to Canada. I totally went way too early but those are just mistakes that aren’t important.
I lived in staff accom and worked as a lifty. The season was great. I made some awesome friends that I’m still in touch with today and really improved my skills snowboarding. We did everything from groomers to back-country to park and road trips to Manning Park and Revelstoke. Towards the end of the season I was going to stay for summer and had almost lined up a job with the golf course. Then a few things happened back home and I decided to come back.
I moved back to Sydney for a year and lived with a mate. I had a basic job I wasn’t a huge fan of but it paid the bills and was ok work. After the year was up, I was looking to move on and one of the members here messaged me with a link to the IT role at Falls Creek in Victoria. I jumped on it and got the job, moved to Falls Creek and am now in my second season.
During the off season I went back to Canada and worked at Fernie. Being outdoors as a lifty is awesome and gets me tons of riding time.
I still think that the snow has legitimately changed my life. I plan on following winter for the foreseeable future and hope to influence other people to follow their hearts and do something awesome. Because even though it sounds to most regular people, I’m having the time of my life and am self supporting while doing it!
Sorry it was a bit of a life story but snowboarding really means that much to me.
As I look out into the distance over the concrete jungle, through the smog, I see another Iraqi sunset and I daydream of snow capped mountains once more. There is no escaping what surrounds me for another 6 long months, relentless dust, 50 degree heat, a constant thirst, routine, the list goes on. The daily grind, up before sunrise, morning routine, breakfast, out for the days activities, come back, meet reporting deadlines, dinner, watch the sunset, shower, bed. Thoughts of adventure in snowy mountains never leave me. Whether I’m deployed in Afghanistan, East Timor, Iraq or some other place I am sent to, that adventurous spirit stays alive, the pull of the mountains keeps me going, it keeps me sane.
I think of my homecoming, it makes me nervous, people, busy streets, shopping, it’s not for me. I arrive back in Australia and pine for the next days adventure. I rise once more at 0430, only this time it’s not a chore. I begin my tour in the backcountry and the cold air stings my face. I throw my hands up, breathe in and let the brisk air burn my lungs, it’s perfect. I look into the distance and see the steep mountains covered in snow, a familiar sight, I smile. The crunch of the snow under my feet, the smell of the gumtrees, it makes everything ok. I arrive at the top of a chute and feel the adrenaline building. I drop into the steep fall line, critical decisions fill my mind as the rush of speed, danger and life flash by. The feeling of snowboarding in the middle of nowhere, every choice mine to make. Ecstatic, I exit the chute and look up to the sky with tears of joy. Everything will be ok now, I am home.
Riding out of the chute on the right at Club Lake
You can see me bottom right climbing up
climbing out of a chute at Carruthers Peak
Because of snowboarding, I was able to the travel the world for 4 consecutive years! Starting in Canada my journeys have taken me to Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Australia and NZ. These were the years of my life that i’ll never forget, all thanks to snowboarding.
Top left: Standing on the border of Italy and Switzerland. Top Right, Lightening bolts in Italy. Bottom left, Hanging in Austria and Bottom right, fresh snow falls in Whistler.
Because of snowboarding, i made life long friends. Travelling to all these amazing places you’re going to meet people. All of these people were amazing humans, each who in some form or another had a positive impact on my life. A huge shout out and thank you to everyone I’ve met!
Thredbo crew top left and Aussie crew in Italy.
Because of snowboarding, I’ve pushed my boundaries and conquered new things. Self-discovery has made me evolve not only as snowboarder, but as a person. By overcoming our fears we can accomplish anything. Dare to dream everyone!
Miami Heat nose press in Perisher
Health and Fitness
Because of snowboarding, I have more respect for my body. During our younger years, we tend to take our body’s a little bit for granted. These days I’m very health and fitness conscious, being fit, healthy and eating right allows me to put faith in my body to still hit the park, and slay natural terrain features, all while pushing my mid 30’s and hopefully till I’m too old to walk or snowboard, which ever happens first.
Biathlon training is a great way to keep the body in check!
Because of snowboarding, I have a strong relationship with my Father. I think most of us can relate to having our parents bring something into our lives that will last for ever, for me it was my Dad and the snow. To this day we still both fantasise over a beer about our dream destinations to go ride. Hell we’ve taken 2 trips to NZ together and 1 to Austria!
Circa 1995, Dad and myself at Mt Hutt, NZ.
Because of snowboarding, I’m stoked! No matter the conditions or terrain, i can always take away something that makes me happy and that means the world to me. After slashing up an epic powder line or running park laps with your friends and slapping some good high 5’s, that overwhelming feeling of being stoked kicks in. Happiness is the key to life, to be stoked is to be happy. Snowboarding and all its hidden and not so hidden treasures, these things, along with travel, friendship, health and fitness, family, pushing your limits, and being stoked are the keys to life. All these things can make you have a rich and rewarding life. I know this because I’m still doing it. Because of snowboarding
Because of snowboarding… I have learnt what it means to be happy.
My snowboarding journey began when I was 10, after years of hounding my parents to take my sister and I. We went to Smiggins, and I knocked myself out and grimaced every time I caught and edge and ended up with a face full of snow. But, I still covered my school notebooks with photos taken from Snowboarder Magazine every year, determined to give it another shot.
When my sister worked her first season at Thredbo, I jumped in the car with my oldest friend, and we frothed the whole eight-hour drive toward the then wildest week of my life. With the help of a little guidance, we went from re-learning the falling leaf, to hitting the 10 footers with some grabs in the first day. Scared out of our wits, but loving the buzz that came with each sketchy landing. Staying with people we’d met earlier that day, and partying the night away with people I couldn’t name, the stoke tap was wide open. Sadly, jobs had to be worked and degrees had to be finished, so the week came to an end.
Winter rolled around again, and four friends and I piled into a car, and rented out a McMansion in the Jindabyne caravan park, squeezing a total of 7 people into the tiny rooms, with boards, boots and booze jammed into the tiniest room available. The weather was awful, and the skills were rusty, but nothing was getting in the way of the giddy feeling that came along every time I stepped back into my bindings and started the next run.
In a desperate attempt to keep the snow vibes alive, I found myself researching every facet of gear I could, reading countless reviews and testimonials about the best and worst of every shape, style and material used in board crafting; and ended up buying my very first board, followed by all the rest of the gear. But what good is a board without any snow to ride it? Solution: Japan.
Nothing could have prepared me for the love I instantly developed for the food, culture and depths of snow the worst season in years could have offered. Between numerous shrines, amazing hole-in-the-wall bars, and kind and generous people I developed an appreciation for travel and culture I never thought I could experience.
My week in Hakuba allowed me to meet 60 of the most genuinely happy and passionate people. It was then I began to realise that this sport brings together so many vastly different people, all sharing a common love for the snow. If I could live out my days on the slopes of those mountains, and spend my nights playing cards and sharing stories with people like that, I would have to consider it a life well lived.
As happens with any experience of deep, fresh powder; we were left wanting more than what was on offer in Australia, so we gathered the crew of old friends and new, packed our bags and headed to Queesntown, bringing with us the curse of terrible snow. I wasn’t optimistic going into the trip, having been left by my girlfriend of 5 years only days before our departure, but it was once again the love of the sport and the people that love it that made my time there amazing. Our squad grew once again, formed a catchphrase greeting, and even acquired a name. They reminded me that true happiness is not some distant dream, it could be as simple as a board strapped to my feet, a day on the slopes with my friends, or even an ugly sweater with my face on it.
Because of snowboarding.
Because of snowboarding I have absolutely no credibility at work…There is simply no way to be taken seriously in a professional setting while you’re sporting a ridiculous goggle tan!
Because of snowboarding I have come way too close for comfort to losing my home on more than one occasion… It can be pretty tough to make your mortgage repayments when you spend every last cent on trips to the snow.
Because of snowboarding I have years and years of therapy to look forward to…Let’s assume for a moment that in the future I don’t lose my home and job as mentioned above. In this scenario where I am not homeless, broke and unemployed, there will come a time when my body will give in (probably as a result of wear and tear, Because of snowboarding!) and it will no longer allow me to continue riding. At this point my complete addiction to the snow will give rise to full blown withdrawal, necessitating said therapy sessions. This is of course assuming that I still have enough money left to pay for therapy after years of frivolous spending on snowboarding adventures.
Ok fine, I take back my earlier statement… maybe some people can be financially successful and pull off a wicked goggle tan!
And yet despite all of this I keep going back for more. Why do I do it to myself? Possibly because of the aforementioned addiction, or maybe it’s simply because I am a happier, healthier and more well-adjusted human Because of snowboarding and because I’m doing what I love.
…Or maybe it’s just because doing this is pretty dam cool:
Some fresh lines after a short hike at Treble Cone on a pretty amazing day
And 3CS, help a brother out…I’m wearing a bloody Aldi Jacket in these pics!
Risk. Adventure. Adrenaline. All things I happily avoid in my safe, calm environment as a reasoning, conservative scientist.
Zan the scientist would happily have spent every winter holidaying somewhere in the blistering heat, far away from the snow
BUT since opposites attract, I was being dragged from one snow resort to the next, year in, year out by my boyfriend, a total snowboarding addict.
All of my travelling buddies would clip in and carve it up, leaving me alone to try and stumble my way down one green run by lunchtime if I was lucky with my calves burning (I could only ride on my toe side for the first 2 years). I had sworn off snowboarding many times. Too risky, too cold and above all, too damn hard.
Years passed. Still I snowboarded. Still I hated it.
Sitting, once again, bum in the snow on the Olympic run at Whistler I was so terrible at snowboarding a group of people were laughing and filming me. I thought to myself for the millionth time “that’s it! I am NEVER doing this again. Just get off the mountain and sit in the bar for the rest of the week”. As I limped down, calves still burning, I kept thinking to myself “just get off the mountain, just get off the mountain” and I took a particularly large stack. I sat for a minute, utterly dejected, praising global warming and looking at my feet. In tiny writing I saw the words that transformed me. “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”. Huh. I looked from my feet to the view in front of me and noticed for the first time how beautiful the mountains and the massive snow-covered trees were. I was in Canada on a long-awaited holiday. This is not a place where you “just get off the mountain”.
I stood, turned my board down the mountain and accepted that although it was risky and although it would terrify me, if I let the adrenaline flow I would not be suffering through yet another snow holiday I would instead finally be able to enjoy the many snow holidays that were in my future! I caught sight of myself in the reflection of someone’s goggles. I was no longer just Zan the scientist, I was a legit snowboarder!!!
It may have taken 8 years, but I too have become a total snowboarding addict. From first tracks to last lifts I’m on my board as often as I can be, and now I’m the one dragging the snowboarding addict boyfriend on more snowboarding holidays!
Because of snowboarding I know that pain is inevitable and suffering is optional, and that day in whistler was the last day ever in my life that I suffered.
To me Snowboarding began as a way to overcome fear.
When I was a child my family visited the snow. I have a single snapshot image of going down a flat on some skis… And in the back of my mind I always knew I’d eventually be back. Besides that I’d only seen the occasional bit of snow that fell in my home town.
Fast forward 2 years after school, I’d lost contact with most old friends. One day I got messaged out of the blue asking if I wanted to come snowboard in NZ from an old friend. That old image popped up and I knew the answer was yes. And it terrified me. It ended up being one of the greatest experiences of my life. I was terrified every moment, I fell over on nearly every traverse, I had bruises running up and down my legs from learning and I learnt to challenge that fear. Giving up wasn’t an option.
I spent all my savings on gear when I got back and bought a season pass. While hitting up the season my mate convinced me to go back to uni. From there the worlds has opened up to me. I’ve met tonnes of new friends and have learnt to take every oportunity that comes my way.
From beginning as a way to challenge fear I started to look past it and simply enjoy every turn, every jump, the crunch of snow underfoot. The feeling of standing at the top of a run and knowing I cannot chicken out. The only way is down.
But that was only a small part of it, hanging out with new and old friends made it even better. Teaching my brother to board, tedious, but seeing the joy in his face going down a green without falling on his first day? Hitting those powder days when you simply float. But to share that with a friend? It’s out of this world. Those are the moments I love.
I have had my fair share of terrifying moments. Falling into the bushes deep under the snow while going down a black run on my own (who knew all those cartoons about quick sand would come to use). Riding through some trees only to realise the track I was on was a running creek… And almost every single black run my friends took me down as a novice… Through all that I’ve learnt to love it. From blue bird to white out. Even with the occasional wipe out crash. And because of that I’ve got to experience moments like this:
I’ve competed in Snowsports events representing my uni. Beating people who I were sure we’re pros. (They weren’t, probably just like me).
And after all this? What do I spend my days dreaming about? What else, my next adventure, my next run, my next jump a plethora of YouTube videos to inspire me…
What has snowboarding given me? Confidence and a passion I doubt will ever die.