By Anders Hagman
We do our best to live up to our journalistic obligations at Onboard. One of them is that we on a regular basis write up lists of ‘stuff’. ‘Stuff’ in this case can be anything we think is of great interest to you. Any serious publication does this. For example: Time Magazine compiles an annual list of 100 People Who Shape Our World. National Geographic does a pretentious list of The World’s 50 Most Beautiful Islands, and Sports Illustrated will eventually do a 25 Most Stunning G-string Buns in Britain. Well it’s about time we update Onboard’s tri-annual list of ‘Things we'd see in snowboarding if the world had only been rational’!
In a rational world, frontside and backside would be the same in every country. As it is now, in some nations they actually use the terms in the opposite way to what you do. Don’t want to name any names though…
Pro snowboarders would be more concerned with the development of their boards and bindings than of the latest blings on their souped-up car in a rational world. Perhaps then step-in bindings would work as well as the regular kind in a rational world.
A rational world would bring global peace and security built on education and public health – instead of weapons of mass destruction. And we wouldn’t blame McDonalds for every health-related problem in the world, including third world starvation. We’d take a closer look at what we can do about the issues ourselves.
A snow park in a rational world would only contain slideable objects that don’t harm your edges. Possibly we wouldn’t even slide on other objects at all in a rational world, but that’s a whole other story. Jibbing would probably exist in a rational world, though. There are simply too many people doing it. (This is a big improvement on our previous lists, in which we’ve always made fun of jibbers!) We’d wait until after lunch to do them in.
All snowboarders – no matter their ability – would be less concerned with brand names than with features, function and quality. Today we’re such suckers for brands and team riders, we’re even buying yoga mats from a snowboard manufacturer.
The term ‘snowboarding politics’ wouldn’t exist in the rational world. Actually ‘politics’ and ‘politicians’ wouldn’t exist at all. We’d all just get along somehow. And if all and everything were purely rational, then communism might have a chance of succeeding. ‘Reclaim the streets’ demonstrations wouldn’t be violent. Every snowboarding event wouldn’t have to involve months of trying to put together a lawyer-proof waiver for the riders to sign, to avoid getting sued in case some daredevil overshoots the landing and lands in a hospital bed. Yet we’d all carry a European health insurance card on every trip we went on, to make it easier for all involved just in case Lady Luck turns her back on us for a moment.
In a rational world, people wouldn’t spend full days sunbathing. The knowledge about skin cancer would be accepted by even the most thickheaded. (But even in the irrational world we live in, at least no-one can sue the sun for causing his or her cancer.)
The TTR Tour – Ticket To Ride – would receive twice the coverage of the FIS tour. Snowboarding events put on by snowboarders are simply so much better than those put on by the ski federation. It’s sort of like a bloke explaining to a mother how to breast-feed.
And in a rational world, skiing events wouldn’t always be exactly the same each and every time. They’d have more varitation to them, just like snowboarding events do. Football may get away with always being about kicking a ball around for 90 minutes, but watching 104 slalom skiers bash the same 47 gates for 6 hours doesn’t bring a whole lot of smiles to anyone’s face.
Snowboarding photographers would not make more money than the majority of the pros do. How hard can it be sitting on a fat gore-tex padded arse for a few hours in the park every now and then? Back in the analog days it at least required some skills in chemistry to get it right. Now it’s just: visit Akihabara – Tokyo´s huge electronics mecca – then point, click and invoice. (Or maybe this is just a low-salary writer being jealous?)
In a rational world, computer users would save and back up their files often. They would read the manuals too.
And on the topic of electronics… iPods probably wouldn’t even exist in a rational world. They’d be banned due to the amount of time they steal from our lives. If they still existed, heavy rock wouldn’t be played in them. Listening to such music is like driving an old Yankee car from the 80s such as a Camaro – a bit retro cool but it won’t take you far. Get with the times boys and girls!
In a rational world, powder wouldn’t be so much fun to ride that you’d leave your friends behind to do it, sometimes endagering both your own and their safety. But in this one it is – so be careful out there...
Snowboarding magazines wouldn’t exist in a rational world, as no rational person would be willing to plonk down perfectly good lift-ticket money to read about other people going snowboarding.
Last but not least it’s worth remembering that we are only rational people living, we think, in a rational world. But if this was the case, who would be snowboarding? Not the smart ones, anyway. They’d be having sex, enjoying a cold drink, and probably be found taking a nap in the shade of a palm tree. Or?
Anders Hagman is a Swedish former pro rider who loves to ride in irrational ways, for example snowkiting on golf courses and city parks.