Is snowboarding like a hunk of steak that gets better with age or has it seen radder days? We strapped on our rose-tinted goggles and went back to the early noughties to find out.
1) Kids didn’t shred. So you’d never have to witness a 9 year-old do this while you were lamely trying to link your first turns…
Photo: Francesco Zoppei, Brad Smith / Rusty Toothbrush
2) Let alone an 18-month-old who could do this…
3) There was one massive exception. Shaun White. Super cute. About to enter his Marmite years…
4) …but at 13 just wowing us with preternatural steeze.
5) When it snowed you could find freshies for weeks, as hardly anyone went off piste.
Victoria Jealouse Photo: Burton
6) Especially not skiers, with their super-long and not remotely powder-friendly skis.
Photo: Plumas County Ski Club
7) So you’d never have to put up with this.
8) Parks were pretty basic…
Photo: Miles Holden for NZ Ski
9) …so we had to find our own fun features in the backcountry.
Victoria Jealouse Credit: Jeff Curtes/Burton
10) Or build a kicker: the ultimate shred bonding session.
Photo: Action Photo School
11) In a world without GoPros you could brag about the gnarly lines you’d taken with no regard for supporting evidence.
Credit: Teton Gravity Research
12) And ride lifts without the spectre of a YouTube #fail compilation.
13) You didn’t have to spin to win a contest.
14) And if you were a girl sometimes a simple grab would do.
15) The Mont Blanc tunnel was shut, so you could actually breathe in Chamonix.
17) But our days were fully screen-free. No Instagram checking on chairlifts, we just scoped lines and looked at the sky.
18) The UK had four pure snowboard magazines: Document Snowboard, Snowboard UK,
Onboard and Whitelines.
19) Fashion was plain baggy so at least you knew where you were.
20) No one wore helmets, except for gnarly Swedes with telemarks, ropes and backpacks.
Photo: Jeff Curtes/Burton
21) Energy drinks were contraband (in France at least) so the vibe was super mellow.
Credit: Joel Fraser/Transworld
22) And low cost airlines were still cheap, so were season passes, beer, bread and cheese.
23) Pro snowboarders were neither professional nor athletes,
they were rebels.
Sean Johnson Photo: Tackyworld
24) And we were the only ones wearing beanies.
You may also like
23 things snowboarders do that ordinary people wouldn’t understand
This snowboard legend gave up a 4,000 sq ft house for a tiny cottage built from rocks
How to ride world class resorts without breaking the bank