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…
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.
6) Especially not skiers, with their super-long and not remotely powder-friendly skis.
7) So you’d never have to put up with this.
8) Parks were pretty basic…
9) …so we had to find our own fun features in the backcountry.
10) Or build a kicker: the ultimate shred bonding session.
11) In a world without GoPros you could brag about the gnarly lines you’d taken with no regard for supporting evidence.
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.
16) It was a golden era for snowboard movies. And we’d watch them every night on a loop.
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.
21) Energy drinks were contraband (in France at least) so the vibe was super mellow.
22) And low cost airlines were still cheap, so were season passes, beer, bread and cheese.