If you've ever heard of Skatopia (Brewce Martin's anarchical skatepark/micro-society in Ohio), you'll know that letting someone run wild with their plans for an ideal world can be a mixed bag. As soon as you start trying to make long term idealistic plans the future, everyone seems to think they know the answer to everything - and inevitably heads clash.
So when we started to think of the future of snowboarding and what 'Snowtopia' could actually turn out to be, we decided to take all suggestions with a large pinch of salt. Of course, the likelihood is that changes aren't going to be this extreme, but nevertheless, here's a couple of ways we reckon things could go:
[splitpost intro="true"] [part title="1. Dome Riders Take Over"]
The snow on the mountains disappears or becomes unridable due to climate change, and one group is left holding all the power. With limited snow domes dotted around, dome kids realise all the prime real estate they are sitting on and shake down the rest of the world to let them shred on their 'turf'.
Hundreds of displaced riders flock to uber-flat countries (with no natural mountains) to find the last of the shredable snow in domes, only to be confronted by gangs of territorial jib-kids. Turf wars kick off with 'last man shredding' head to head battles between team leaders. Black market trade booms, and there are frequent raids as gorilla teams attempt to swipe snow and features from under the domes' watchful noses...
[part title="2. The Big Freeze"]
The Big Freeze:
The world freezes over and there's a tonne of stuff to shred. But it's so bloody cold and harsh that only Jeremy Jones and Xavier De Le Rue could ride it.
The ultimate torture. Like being thirsty in the middle of the ocean, a global freeze covers the Earth in snow and ice - but the terrain is so hostile it's unshredable for all but the most intrepid explorers. Big mountain riders rub it in our faces by braving the cold to drop in off the rooftops of famous buildings - their yearly film collaboration is our only relief.
[part title="3. Greenpeace Take Over"] -
Greenpeace Take Over:
A global effort helps to preserve the mountains (and the snow) but they're so well protected that lifts are only open 1 day a year... bummer.
Somehow, humans manage to reverse their damaging influence on the world's flora and fauna. Gradually, animals return to their natural homes - and in greater numbers. Unfortunately the very rules put in place to make this happen also limit our access to snowy pistes and backcountry - even most street spots become grassland... In a desperate measure to keep the peace, the powers that be allow one day a year for shredding - it's everyone's favourite holiday.
[part title="4. Locals Only"]
Globalisation goes into reverse and everyone retreats to their homes. From then on, people only ever shred one spot and live in hippyish tent communities for the rest of their lives.
For one reason or another our ability to travel is limited and people return to a simpler time, living simpler lives. As a result, we all have to make do with the snow that lands on our doorstep instead of jumping on a plane to Japan to hunt down powder. People who live near naturally good spots become increasingly territorial - the rest of us just pray for a heavy winter.
[part title="5. Skiers Host a Rebellion"]
Skiers Fight Dirty:
Due to a shifty conspiracy by skiers, snowboarders are forced into hiding. There, they slowly bide their time until they have the strength to fight back...
While our backs are turned, the skiers plot and scheme. They recruit weak minded pedestrians and trend followers, and soon their numbers are too great. Snowboarders are forced off the hill and driven out - but those who are loyal never give up hope. In dark days we come up with a plan to return - one that the skiers don't expect.
[part title="6. Snowboarding Becomes a 'Proper Sport'"]
Snowboarding Goes Mainstream:
People gradually forget snowboarding's roots and everything becomes about points, massive sponsorship deals and player transfers (and let's be honest, spins). Then it takes a group of dedicated layabouts to remind everyone what it's really about - like in Baseketball.
For many, the draw of big deals and corporate sponsorship is too much and snowboarding snowballs into a money making machine. Crews become teams and the big names only ever ride at huge stadium events. Many core riders drop out of snowboarding altogether for fear of tarnishing their rep by being associated with a mainstream sport - but a disillusioned few hang on to what they know and love.
[part title="7. Gear Goes Super-technical "]
People get really into hydrophobic clothing and all their gear is made from carbon fibre (or some other fancy shit). Someone invents snowboard boots with built in jets that mean you don't even need a board at all. Fortunately, most people realise this isn't cool and stick with 'retro' gear (like what we have now).
Product designers continue to push the boat out with more and more technical gear and inevitably some get lost at sea. Unfortunately, as you may have seen from our 10 horrible snowboard inventions - people will buy into even the most terrible ideas...
[part title="8. We Go To Space"]
Someone figures out how to turn NASA's idea of snowboarding on Mars into reality. Mars becomes the new Val D'Isere...
Overpacked resorts and long lift queues drive people to look for alternative spots - and a new colony on Mars promises unrivalled and untouched terrain. Pretty soon, luxury accommodation pops up and those who can afford it head out to test their skills in an atmosphere with less than half the gravity of Earth. [part title="9. Bladers Host a Rebellion"]
Bladers Try To Take Over:
[part title="10. Everything Goes Computery"]
Someone invents a simulator that comes very close to replicating the actual feeling of snowboarding - and, while the piste remains untouched, the uber rich go into virtual-reality pods for a virtual snow-experience. For a while everyone panics that nobody will shred any more, but eventually they realise that this actually doesn't hold a scratch on real snow.
Fears are confirmed as a new generation spends more and more time in front of screens and less time outside. Modern gaming claims to offer all the benefits of a day on the mountain with no risk to life and limb - and in virtual snowboarding 14-year olds who still live at home with mum and dad are owning pros (oh wait...). Unfortunately for them - winning at a video game, like fighting on the internet, never really counts for shit.
Your gonna have to use your imagination on this one. What would really happen if Terje was President?
What's your prediction for the future of snowboarding? Let us know in comments below.