Last 12 months have been pretty incredible in terms of me falling in love with snowboarding at an “old age”. I came to Colorado on a ski trip last March only to NEVER ride the Ice Coast again (pinkie promise :-)) and I returned to CO for opening day of the next season 6 months later.
In addition to discovering riding in the West, I was incredibly lucky to watch live 3 Snowboarding competitions in 12 months (Big Air at Fenway in Boston, Dew Tour 2016 in Breck and X Games 2017 in Aspen.) This is wildly unbelievable, almost incomprehensible to me. How did I get here?! What happened?! Who believed in me?! I’m NO ONE after all. #justdoit #despiteallodds
Never have I ever even dreamt of watching the X Games live in Aspen, CO. To be quite honest, I didn’t even know about the X Games until 2 years ago when I first started snowboarding. (Yes, it’s only my 3rd season, and my first out West.) And I had no idea where Aspen was until I took a job in the area. #latebloomer #lateshredder #betterlaterthannever
When your passion for snowboarding exceeds that of all the female athletes combined, but your skills don’t even equal those of a 10 years old kid, you know WATCHING ’em ladies jump is the closest you’ll ever get to professional riding 😢 #hardtoswallow #giraffescantjump #110percentpassionzeroskill
So to be in person at the opening night of a world famous snowboarding competition was beyond a dream come true! I would have pinched myself multiple times if it wasn’t for the negative temperatures outside (-10F to be exact) that didn’t allow my fingers to move or my skin to feel anything. It was too cold even for the snow on the super pipe 🏂 (Ask the pros! 😉 Apparently the cold snow crystals are too grippy and slow down the speed of the riders so their only chance to keep speed is to land high up on the pipe which is also a very dangerous place to land!)
Inclement weather has always been part of my presence at Snowboarding Finals. Last year when Big Air was at Fenway in Boston it was SO cold out that multiple layers of clothes, warm hot cocoa, and a splash of whiskey didn’t help AT ALL. You haven’t seen cold until you experience damp, Northeast cold, with windchill! So yes, I was a frozen giraffe by the end of the first night of the X Games but I survived 4 hours at the base of Buttermilk without the assistance of alcohol, hot chocolate, warm beverages, or “legal in CO” substances 🙄 #dontdothisathome #bringbooze #notmyfirstrodeo
Second night of the X Games was still in inclement weather and no booze at venue but I arranged to crash a friend’s hot tub afterwards and pop bottles of champagne. We pop bottles better than pro riders 🏂 🛀 🍾 Fighting the cold ❄, ya know!
On the third day of the X Games I climbed all the way to the top of the Super Pipe to watch the Women’s Half Pipe Final. It is SO high, and steep, and frozen, that I was afraid just standing there trying to keep my balance. I have such deep respect and I’m in awe of all the female riders that jump off the 80ft kicker in Big Air or do double back flips on the half pipe. I’d die of heart attack the moment I drop 💔, way before I face plant in the landing zone!
If the whole experience was SO exciting, why didn’t I go to Vail to watch live Burton US Open 2017 you may ask? (I went in 2018 to correct my mistake from 2017 🙂
- A friend told me some time ago that you see the competition much better on Live Webcast, I didn’t believe him, I was too hyped up to attend in person. Well, he was right! 🙂 You almost don’t see any part of the course when you are at the base.
- It is really cold, no matter what you wear and how you attempt to cope with it. Standing in one place for hours at minus Celsius temperatures is COLD 🙂
- I have never been a groupie (music or sports), I don’t care about the concerts after the competition, or getting an autograph or a picture with the athletes. I respect them tremendously, I admire them with my whole heart, they are incredible professionals who have dedicated their life and body to the sport. But at the end of the day they are people like us and they deserve their privacy and space.
So I stayed home in Aspen and watched closely all the qualifications, semis, and finals on Live Webcast. It was awesome! (And warm and private)
And even though crowds and mass productions are not my thing in general, I will always remember my first X Games in Aspen and the year when I saw 3 major snowboarding competitions live. Now I shall go ride side country and enjoy the deep powder of Colorado with no people in sight!