There may be as many reasons for riding as there are riders. But here are a few of the most common reasons that adult snowboarders give for taking up the sport.
Learning promotes happiness
- “The temptation [for midlife adults] is to opt for stuff that seems fun or easy, especially if you are getting run ragged at the office. But studies indicate you will likely be happier if you make a point of trying activities that are enriching or challenging, such as volunteering or taking up a new exercise program.” — Wall Street Journal, 5 October 2005. Riding is indeed fun, once you get the hang of it. And learning is certainly challenging.
- Once you get past the initial learning curve, snowboarding offers many other opportunities to improve yourself through setting new learning goals, and achieving them.
Snowboarding improves the family dynamic
- Snowboarding is the new family pastime, as skiers find their minor children (or grandchildren) taking snowboarding rather than skiing.
- Some parents take it up to join their adult children on the slopes. As an expert skier with 25 years of experience told a Wall Street Journal writer, “I don’t want to ski by myself.”
- It may even impress the kids.
Snowboarding makes winter tolerable, and even enjoyable
It’s easy to hate winter. Cold. Ice. Shoveling snow from the driveway. Driving in the snow.
But snowboarding puts good use to the cold. While the snow is a nuisance if it’s on the road, it’s a source of pleasure if it’s on the mountain. If you’re in the northern part of the U.S., you’re going to have a cold winter and some snow; you might as well find a way to enjoy it.
Snowboarding is a new way to play on the snow
- For accomplished skiers, snowboarding makes an otherwise boring, small (shorter) ski area interesting again.
- It’s a new way to enjoy the winter; snowboarding is a new challenge, and a change of pace.
- As one 34-year old instructor put it, “the breakthroughs happen quickly in snowboarding.”
It lets you float
Many people find that snowboarding gives a great feeling:
- It’s easier on the knees than skiing.
- Even with shaped skis, skiers cannot duplicate the carving performance of snowboards.
- Some people have compared snowboarding with surfing.
- “It’s the way the board effortlessly floats over crusty, windblasted and cruddy snow that really gets you hooked.”
- “The feeling of boarding in deep, untracked powder is incomparable. Your hands are free. It’s as close to flying as anything.”
- “The freedom and fluidity I found on a board was something I had never achieved on skis, despite having reached a good level of competence with them.”
It’s a natural high
There are also physical and mental benefits to snowboarding:
- “I never enjoyed anything so much as snowboarding. I don’t know, it’s like a natural high.”
- “It feels like you’re floating.”
- “I wanted to play hard, to do something just a little out of reach.”
- Snowboarding is a great workout.
- “It is an exhilarating experience [that] requires speed, skill, and coordination.”
- It’s a better way of spending winter than sinking into the couch.
- Depending on where you go riding, you can enjoy some spectacular scenery.
Snowboarding can give you a bigger brain
Did you know that snowboarding can give you a bigger brain and reverse the mental decline of aging? We’re exaggerating, but perhaps not by much.
Is it worth the effort?
Learning to ride will take work, and a willingness to return to that awkward “beginner” status. But many people have found that the rewards are worth the trouble. Maybe you’ll be one of them.