Welcome to my void
This is not an empty void. It's a clamourous and offensively loud void. It radiates of all things snowboarding. Truth may not have brought you to this void, but it is all that can escape it; and the fact is that, when everything else sucks, snowboarding still rules. This is the truth through the eyes of a militant snowboardista.
I recently attended the 2011 installment of the World Freeride Festival. This annual festival takes place on Thompson Pass in Alaska, and draws riders from all over the world to tailgate and ride some of the sickest terrain on the planet; hence its name, Tailgate Alaska. A friend told me that the problem with going to Tailgate Alaska is that you end up being compelled to return every year. My response to him was: so what's the problem? As it turns out, he was exactly right.
Tailgate Alaska officially kicked off yesterday (7PM AKDT) at mile post 29.5 on Richardson Highway. The bad news for me is that I'm writing about it while sitting in the flat eastern timezone. However, my official departure for AK is not too far off — less than seven days away — so I'm not too bummed about it either. It will give me a bit more time for some last minute preparations before I leave; like securing a good map for example.
Occasionally I receive some goodies from Rome SDS in my inbox (I think it has something to do with their affiliation with CASI). There doesn't seem to be a discernible pattern as to when they arrive — I haven't made much of an effort to notice a pattern mind you — which makes it a pleasant surprise every time. The most recent newsletter included a link to a Shred TV video: a trick tip by Johnnie Paxson to learn/perfect nollies. After viewing the video, the instructor in me decided to add his own two cents.
I've often been asked by parents how old a child should be before they start to learn how to snowboard. I usually tell them the guideline set out by the ski school, and the Canadian Alliance of Snowboard Instructors, is to discourage kids from taking up snowboarding before the ages of six or seven. As a professional instructor, I've always accepted this guideline. However, as an expecting dad, I'm anxious to be able to share snowboarding with my offspring and have found myself questioning whether this is really a guideline, or simply a rule of thumb.