Which era in history has been the best? Like, if you could hop into a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 with a Flux Capacitor etc. etc. and punch in a date what date would that be? The 1960s? The 1890s? 1944?
For me there is only one answer. Twenty-five years ago directly to 1991!
Oh how the grungy music pulsed and the day-glo popped. Oh how the rules stacked up just begging to be broken. Oh how snowboarding in its tweenhood was the most banging thing ever. The personalities crackled. The best of times were genuinely the best of times.
But guess what? You can do the next best thing to time travel right now courtesy of the fabulous new book Snow Beach! Shall we read its description?
Snow Beach is the definitive book of snowboarding in the late 80s and early 90s: action and style on the mountain.
In these early years, snowboarding culture was full of rebellious riders: off-season skateboarders and generation X’s outcasts trying to find their way through early adulthood and adolescence. At the same time, the sport was maturing and growing into the mainstream giant it is today. Snow Beach draws on the best photographers of the era to document the lifestyle, fashion, and feats of athleticism that defined the decade.
In these tightly cropped action and lifestyle shots, snowboarders flaunt their outsider status as champions of the alternative winter sport. The images in Snow Beach are of snowboarders with grunge, punk, and hip-hop sensibilities. There is a lingering 80s ski flair mixed with the emerging 90s look pioneered by fledgling brands like Burton, Sims, and Ride, showcasing looks that are popular in modern fashion.
The book doesn’t drop for a few more days (BUY HERE!) But the New York Times T magazine has a fabulous photo feature. Clickand feel the sheer joy wash over you like a snowy wave.
We’re naturally inclined to put our faith in ridiculous bullshit ideas. Like, “I can clear that gap” and “My method is pretty stylish” or: “El Niño year, bro, it’s gonna dump.” Straight up Fantasy Island.
Hope. Pray. Sit, stand, kneel. Repent. C’mon. Why bother? There’s no puppeteer pulling the strings. You knuckle. The photo of your method is actual dogpuke and … sadly … Colorado right now.
So stifle those prayers to little baby Jesus and face reality head on. Suffer or thrive on merit and chance. On effort. On physics! And/or, if you just can’t let go and still need an all-powerful space fairy to lead you through life, choose Santa Claus instead. Here’s why:
• He rewards you before you die.
• He leaves gifts like Union Ultra bindings and Airblaster Ninja Suits no matter what your religious beliefs, sexuality, gender, or lifestyle may be.
• Santa’s “plan” is to stoke you out, not to teach you a lesson about humility by breaking your leg.
• If you’re naughty, he might punish you but next year you start with a clean slate.
Are you a selfish snowboarder? Do you only think about your own needs when on the hill? Will you put your desires above the snow’s every time?
According to Dr. Gracie Landes, a snow, relationships, and family therapist based in New York, a selfish snowboarder may be harder to peg down than you think.
“I see [selfishness] as existing on a spectrum that runs from not showing very little care or concern about the snow (not relational and absolutely not okay) to knowing what you want and being able to ask for it (relational and okay as long as you ask respectfully and negotiate rather than coerce),” she said in an interview with Bustle.
The latter, as she points out, is highly advised; you are aware of what you want, and you are taking initiative to get it in a healthy manner.
The former, however, is the attitude that presents a problem.
This glove here will help put you in touch with what the snow wants.
The history of snowboarding, who exactly first turned sideways on one plank down a hill, etc. is shrouded in the wonderful mists of time. Tom Sims and Jake Burton and the snurfer guy and all of them credited and all of them deserving of praise and all of them patriotic Yankees.
Yes, snowboarding is as American as apple pie. As Bruce Springsteen. As baseball. As the colors red, white and blue. As the Ford F-150. As Donald J. Trump’s combover. As the Big Mac. As U and S and A.
Wait one goddamned second!
Apparently they were snowboarding in Turkey some 300 years ago. Making snowboarding as Turkish as hammams. As pashas. As the Hagia Sophia. As the Bosphorus. As Ottomans. As Young Turks. As Turkish delight.