Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself. Graphic by Stephen Johnson
Cracked skulls, brain damage, and death are some of the things that can happen from not wearing a helmet, and many new or inexperienced riders still choose ride without one. Most do so following the example of several professional riders.
Professionals have an uncanny way of balancing. They know where they are in the air and it seems as if they can easily catch their falls with their hands and feet.
A large majority of those professionals have also taken major crashes resulting in various types injuries, even they aren’t invincible.
Within the past five years, we have had many of our fellow riders killed or permanently injured due to accidents involving riders not wearing helmets. Just go talk to an emergency room trauma nurse about the severity and number of injuries that could have been prevented if the victim had been wearing a helmet, it is appalling.
Watch some videos on the Internet of kids hitting their heads and you will see some pretty graphic images, you might just get scared into wearing one.
Wearing a helmet shows a sign of intelligence. It shows that you are smart enough to want to protect your brain. If younger kids see you wearing a helmet they will be more likely to wear theirs, especially if they look up to you. This means you could potentially be helping protect the lives of young riders.
I went to the skate park recently and there were a total of three of us wearing helmets, and about 15 kids not wearing helmets. About six of those kids had brought helmets, but left them on the side with their stuff while they skated. Some of them were doing some pretty fast, big tricks. It was unclear to me whether they would decide to actually put it on.
If you have ever attempted to ride a skateboard down ramps, or even your driveway for the first time, then you will know that if your balance is a little of you are in danger of flying back and hitting your head. Keeping your balance is not as easy as it looks unless you have many hours logged on board.
Most professional extreme sports athletes do not don helmets, and set extremely terrible examples for riders of all abilities, mainly young newcomers. After all, you don’t want to stand out as the new kid when you’re young. You want to be like your favorite skater and be exactly like them.
There are multitudes of skate, snowboard, BMX, and rollerblade videos with sponsored professionals not wearing helmets. In the videos they pull off tricks that are extremely difficult, making them look easy. So easy, that after watching it, an attempt might be made, leaving you to find out how difficult it actually is.
Protective gear is especially important for inexperienced riders, or people who are pushing their limits; trying something they haven’t done before.
Frankie doing the right thing
Losing your balance can easily happen with any extreme sport, and unexpected elements can come into play at any time.
It is always good to be prepared for the worst, and wearing a helmet while participating in these activities is a great way to accomplish this. After all a crash isn’t usually something you’d expect or want to happen… it just does. – Leecifer
Snowboarding is super fun and going fast is super fun. When snowboarding you HAVE to learn to carve from edge to edge to be able to do it so stopping and slowing down is just part of the whole experience. With this comes the confidence to go fast, knowing you can slow yourself down at any time. There’s something about descending down a mountain at rapid rates of speed that is somewhat satisfying. Getting to the bottom and looking back up at what you have conquered. The cold air whipping at your face and hitting uneven surfaces in the snow that help get you that floaty feeling as you travel 15 ft hovering inches above the snow until you touch down again rushing down the mountain.
It doesn’t look painful but it is. Strapped into your snowboard you don’t have many bail options. This one was straight to the kneecap. The simple action of being unbalanced on snow, a rail or a box can cause this to happen. Time and time again until you get it right. Sharp edges will of course catch easier than dull ones. Lots of Big Bear and Mt high riders file their edges way down and spin on boxes for days. I only have one shredstick however so I like to keep it an all mountain board. I can take it from the park to the pow pow. Anyways enough of my banter. Enjoy this short little clip of a first person view of this stupid little bank thing that screwed me.
As extreme sports addicts we also become adventurers, explorers and outdoors enthusiasts. We are always looking for a new place to shred through exploring maps, or driving aimlessly towards a shreddable looking location.
The breathtaking places our sports take us, the adventure’s we have. Told to those who were not there through pictures and video’s but epic memories which will not be forgotten are engraved into our brains. It’s engraved in that special spot reserved for the best times of our life.These memories are not forgotten and they become stories to share with your grandchildren. Yea, Grandpa used to be cool.
The search for the next biggest, most fun road is always on. We challenge you to go out and explore your town. Search through Google Earth for a road that could potentially be fun, then go shred it. The most important thing about skateboarding or whatever adrenaline fueled activity you partake in is the fact that it’s fun.
We do this because it is an escape from reality. It is our real life video games. The things we do where we don’t have to think about what we left behind in our lives, we don’t have to think about work. The peace, the serenity. We aren’t crazy like most people think. We are adventurers who take calculated risks. Life is dangerous. Go out and live life to it’s fullest.
“Yo, so check this out dude. Me and my buddy were at Bear the other day and we hiked up in the backwoods right. We found this super sick bench out in the middle of nowhere. Check out these pics.”
John Chapman eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich way out in the deep stuff. Photo by: Joel Trotter
Joel Trotter having some lunch deep in the woods. Photo by: John Chapman
Sometimes snowboarding along with any other action sport is all about finding those hidden gems. Its why we do the things we do. Our goal is to explore terrain in order to find that perfect feature. The deep powder line. It’s all about that perfect run. Everything we do, all the work we put into the sport, its all to achieve those rad little moments, the ones we wont forget.- Leecifer
This video is nothing but radical. Snowboarding taken back down to the roots. Check out the sickest boards I have ever seen and some long board style pack runs even.
While you might be thinking about buying a new snowboard one basic design comes into mind with some slight variations between boards however Spring Break Snowboards is changing the game by going back to the roots of it all.
Corey Smith cut his shapes out of a piece of wood, fiber glassed, painted it and epoxied it and then went to shred. “This enabled me to look at the mountain and look at snowboarding from a different perspective and you know, just really enjoy it” said Corey Smith, Creator of Spring Break snowboards.
The shredding in this video is so old school and so basic, yet such a fun video to watch.
“Building and riding these boards has been one of the most best experiences I’ve had snowboarding.” said Corey Smith, creator of Spring Break snowboards. “Building these boards was just like one of the best experiences for me as far as, just falling back in love with snowboarding. I think I was just so over it, filming video parts every year.”
The minimum donation to get one of these custom made boards is $500 and it includes a 1 year warranty against breaking.
Months before the mountains open thoughts of shredding the mountains fill our one track minds. The anticipation is painful. The days are being counted down. Each rainfall brings hope as well as disappointment. Mountains and resorts throughout the United States have already opened, however it is finally time for southern California to join the party. Mt high has officially opened as of 8am this morning. The party has started and every boarder is excited to join in.
There’s a certain rush you get carving down a mountain on your snowboard. This feeling is unlike any other. Steen Strand, the man behind Freebording found a way to bring this feeling to the streets.
“What I realized pretty early on is that a snowboard has the ability to move sideways over the snow, and a skateboard doesn’t” said Strand.
By placing a wheel in the center of the trucks that rotates 360 degrees, Steen has created a snowboard on wheels. Linking turns, from heel to toe edge, a rider can carve down any hill at whatever speed he/she desires. The two center wheels simulate the p-techs base of a snowboard, and the four outer wheels act as the steel edges of a snowboard.
The ability to ride sideways, spin 360’s, and float into switch are what makes this ride so much different from skateboarding, and more like snowboarding.
Imagine being able to pick up your snowboard, walk to your closest hill, and snowboard it. Every hill becomes a snowboard run and lift tickets are free. Whether you are going to the death-defying road across town or the mellow hill near your home, you find good roads and bad ones.
Does catching an edge mean anything to you? Every snowboarder has caught an edge before, and the concept is no different here. It isn’t something that happens often, but being prepared with pads, gloves and a helmet isn’t a bad idea.
It is important to remember while you are riding one of these things that there are some major differences. The biggest one is the lack of soft cushiony snow beneath you, and the presence of rough asphalt.