The first time I went snowboarding was also very nearly the last. It was the first afternoon of my first ever trip to the mountains, and with my siblings, my cousin James, and a family friend, I’d just picked up my board from the resort rental shop in Geilo, Norway. I was 12 years old, and beyond excited.
On the journey over there’d been talk of learning to ski. James, who lived in Scotland, had been going to the Highlands for years. Our friend Ali had learned on a previous trip. But Ali was also a skater, and this was 1998, when snowboarding was at the apogee of skate-crossover cool. On one side you had people like John Cardiel and even Steve Caballero trying snowboarding. On the other, you had our parents, who would be learning to ski. So the discussions didn’t last long before it was settled. We were going to be snowboarders. Yeah.
“The first time I went snowboarding was also very nearly the last”
Or at least, that was the plan. Our first lesson hadn’t been booked until the following morning, however, and we didn’t want to wait. Already dressed in our borrowed ski gear, we ran outside, strapped the boards on, and began pushing around on one foot. So far, so safe. But then someone spotted that the chairlift was still running, and like a group of excitable lemmings drawn inexorably towards a cliff edge, we scampered over to it and hopped on. James could ski. Ali was a pretty good skater (apparently he could even land a kickflip!) and we’d nailed that one-footing thing. Honestly, how hard could this be?