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24 Reasons Why Snowboarding Was Better In The Early Noughties

A golden era before GoPros and helmets, when freshies and rebels ruled and even Shaun White was cute

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…

Photo: ParkRatShredder

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.

Photo: Lat34

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.


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.

Whitelines covers

19) Fashion was plain baggy so at least you knew where you were.

Photo: Onboard

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.

Photo: wn.com

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