I’ve never been one for board sports. Despite having pretty decent balance and agility, I’ve never once gotten on a board and confidently felt like I could ride it out to the sunset. Perhaps it’s my lack of practice and trying, or perhaps it’s because I was raised as a Catholic school kid in the suburbs with no immediate access to surf and snow, and if we ever needed to get anywhere after school, instead of skateboarding, one of our friend’s moms would drive us. Regardless, the “board culture” has taken over America (and the world) and with so many different avenues to go down, it can get kind of confusing to keep track of them all.
There seems to be one common thread tying all board activities together. I’ve never met someone who was passionate about board sports and also wasn’t a total kook in some way. Like seriously, have you ever met a Fortune 50 Executive who also snowboards? I’m pretty sure the CFO of Burton Snowboards wouldn’t even get on one of those sleek, beautiful, deathtraps. Now that I think about it, Burton Snowboards kind of operates like the cigarette companies in the 50s, “We know it’ll kill you eventually, but we’re gonna let you look as cool as you can in the meantime.” You gotta be pretty kooky to throw your entire life on a piece of wood. That being said, here are some thoughts on America’s favorite board sports.
I’ve ever done wakeboarding, but it seems super fun. Just an ultimate white people lake sport. Oh wait, instead of already having a ton of fun drinking and partying the day away on this boat… why don’t you strap this board to your feet and hold on to this rope while we pull you through Lake Wankawankatonka. That way you can watch us have all the fun while you hold on struggling for dear life. On second thought, I think wakeboarding was invented because some guy named Craig was ruining the vibe on the party boat so they had to think of a way to get him off the boat, but not get rid of him totally (maybe just give him a little near death experience while everyone else joyfully vibes out to Kid Rock and Bud Light Seltzers). So they decided the best thing to do was strap a board on his feet and drag him around so that he could watch them have all the fun. Maybe I’m rethinking this a little, now. Having fun yet, Craig?
Skateboards are pretty standard, but whether you’re using them as a form of practical transportation or ripping the gnarliest school staircase street tricks, there’s always a huge sense of “too cool for school” involved with skateboarding. And, as you could imagine, I was never cool enough, (nor grimey enough) to hang out with the skateboard kids. So, for that reason, I was never too big into skateboarding. Plus, the one time I tried it, my parents made me pad up (helmet, wrist guard, elbow pads, knee pads, the whole shabang) and I got made fun of into oblivion. I decided right then and there, I was cool with walking. So now I wear Janoski skate shoes because they’re comfortable, not cause I actually need them to skate. I know I’m a poser, but you know what I care about more than being called a poser? Not stepping on a skateboard and immediately concussing myself.
Surfboards are tough one because they look suuuuuper suuuuper cool. However, the one time I went, I legitimately thought I was going to die. Forget actually getting out past the break, laying belly down on a board as a ten foot wave slowly builds, crests and crashes right above you is legitimately like staring death in the face. But then once you get out there, you think you’re shredding the gnar, except the gnar is moving. Forget going down a mountain, imagine a mountain that moves up and down. It’s ridiculous. On the flipside falling into the water is a lot better than falling down in the middle of a paved street. I want to give it another shot, I just have to get over my fear of surfing and my fear of shitting myself in my wetsuit. Boogieboards, however… boogieboards are fun and in 2-4 foot waves, I’ll take those any day (just don’t forget to wear a rash guard. I unfortunately learned the hard way why they call it a “rash guard”). Boogieboards are something I can definitely get behind, or technically “on top of.”
One has to have some level of crazy risk tolerance to throw yourself on a board and shred the streets or the water like a fool. You have to be downright insane to do that exact thing, except down a fucking snowy mountain. Snowboards are terrifying. At least with all the other boards you can immediately hop off and ditch if things go awry. With a snowboard, your feet are strapped into that puppy and you get no second chances. Enjoy tumbling down Whiteface and breaking every bone in your body because your snowboard decided it had a mind of its own. At least you look cool in the neon jumpsuit.
Paddleboards are so relaxing and chill. Just taking out a large paddleboard for a day on the lake is infinitely relaxing. Paddle out, post up and drink, what could be better? Any board that simultaneously allows you to transport a pocket beer along with minimal risk of actually injuring yourself sounds like an amazing activity to me.
Charcuterie Board – Ahhhh various meats and cheeses all laid out on a board?!? Now we’re talking my speed. I know went on a lil rant a while back about how much I wasn’t a fan of charcuterie boards. I thought they were stupid and gross, disorganized messes, but let me refine that. I’m not a fan of shitty charcuterie boards. You give me some high quality prosciutto and brie and we have ourselves an evening right here. Plus, if you don’t view eating an entire charcuterie board as a sport, than you’re obviously doing it wrong.