Ambassador of the Snowskate

Today I brought up snowskating to some of my classmates.  A couple of them had tried it and said it was hard but fun; all of them were enthusiastic about the sport.  Then one of them mentioned an instance where they saw a runaway snowskate fly down a run at Heavenly.  My jaw dropped, and I was instantly enlightened and terribly troubled.

Who knows who the mystery snowskater was who didn’t have a leash on.  It actually doesn’t matter who he was.  He was a snowskater at that moment.  He was not an individual to all the witnesses of his stupidity.  He was only “a snowskater.”

When I am in public, I am representing all the people I have commonalities with, and I’m conscious of that.  For example: when I’m driving, I am a woman driving.  And, when I crash my car, I know I am reinforcing the negative stereotypes about women drivers.  So, I try to drive carefully!  Not just for me, but for all women who are affected by negative stereotypes about women.  Just by being a woman in public, I am making a contribution (hopefully a positive one) to the way that women are perceived and will be treated.

See how fun snowkskating is?!

So, every time we step on our snowskates, we are snowskaters, and we represent “snowskaters” as a group.  Given the precarious situation of snowskaters’ access to resorts, we need to be especially careful.  We cannot afford to have any one snowskater’s reckless actions undermine our hard work and progress.  But, at the same time, each time we are snowskaters and represent ourselves and our sport well, we are making progress and changing people’s perceptions.

Remember, we are all ambassadors to our sport.  We have a responsibility to each other:

  • Always purchase a lift ticket.
  • ALWAYS wear a leash.
  • Ride off the lift. (No walking; it is the easiest thing, seriously.)
  • Be polite and respectful in lift lines and on the chair.
  • Ride within your ability. Stay in control.
  • Obey all the other rules of the resort.
  • Be enthusiastic and patient every time you get asked, “What is that?!” Then, after you’ve explained it, do a kickflip to demonstrate radness.

5 comments on “Ambassador of the Snowskate

  1. This is an awesome blog, I gotta work on that kickflip though, ha! So true, I felt very responsible to be on my best behavior when visiting those larger, crowded ski resorts. I also have to work on being more polite. Not that I’m a pro, but I get so annoyed with the snowboarders who hangout at the top of lift! Seriously, even when I was a snowboarder I never stuck around to have a beer, a sandwich, and a facebook update at the top of the lift.

    Again, great post to keep it positive going forward!

    • Thanks Nilo! I also have to do a LITTLE bit more work on my kickflip. ;) That is so funny about snowboarders at the top of the lift! I never understood how people can take calls, text, and now facebook from their phone when they are in the middle of a winter playground. But, to each his own…? But to your point, they should get out of the way, so we can drop in!

  2. Ok, I need to drop my 2 cents on this one as it is very close to my heart. If you skate you need a leash that WORKS! Point blank, the end! Don’t show me a rope, don’t show me shoelaces tied together, show me you understand the damage you can do by using a leash that is going to stay anchored to both you and the skate.

    I chased down a runaway skate last season that had released due to snow build up in the Velcro ankle strap. Even though I was the nice guy chasing it down the hill screaming runaway as loud as I could, I still remember that being a bad night to be a snowskater as far as pushing our sport to new respectability.

    I very much like what you are doing here, especially calling us all out on being ambassadors for snowskating. But, not all ambassadors are good at this. And your last comment about being patient every time you get questioned is on the edge for me. I know quite a few skaters that are just not capable or willing to give the general public the time of day let alone a conversation about why they should try it. That leaves the work for the rest of us, plus extra work to make up for those that put on a poor demonstration. I usually have at least 3 skates every time I go up to the hill and as often as possible I offer up my extras for a snow fan to give it a shot. I even had one “new” friend call me up 4 days later to tell me he went out and bought one! That was a good day to be an ambassador! So, I guess I just wanted to warn about projecting what we should do onto people that may be unable to…

    And when a snowbored-er ask me if I can kick flip my board I ask them if they can kick flip theirs!

    Keep up the good words my friend!

    • Thanks for the support, Brian! And, unfortunately you are right about some grumpy snowskaters. :( What I don’t understand is how they can be grumpy AND snowskating. They seem mutually exclusive. Oh well! You’re right, let’s just keep putting out the positive, fun vibes!

  3. Well said Brian, and i hope you don’t mind me stealing your quote “when a snowbored-er ask me if I can kick flip my board I ask them if they can kick flip theirs!”

    i think this is the perfect response as i’ve struggled to come up with something as good as this.

    In the past, i’ve used “I personally can’t kick flip my board as i’ve only been snow-skateboarding for two seasons now, but yes, there are skaters who CAN kick flip their boards.” now i’m going to add your perfect response to this.

    thanks man!

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