Riding with the boys

04 Oct, 2007

Since I learned how to snowboard, most of my time on the mountain has been around the presence of male snowboarders. It does help that snowboarding is a male populated sport so it’s not hard to constantly be around them.
Back in the late 90’s I was able to spend more time on the mountain and catch rides up with my brothers friends: Troy and Bean. Through them is how I really got my start and they were my idols on the mountain. They were throwing down spins and throwing themselves off the natural terrain at Ski Acres (now Summit Central at Snoqualmie) while I was still getting my turns down. Terrain parks didn’t exist at this time so back then you used the natural terrain to throw down tricks. I was amazed at their natural ability to ride. Riding with them made me ride faster and push myself to be as good as them. Eventually they moved on to other things in life and I kept snowboarding.

Of course riding with the boys means sometimes the boys become more than friends and relationships happen. I found myself dating fellow riders/instructors who shared the same passion for the mountain life. I couldn’t imagine dating someone who didn’t understand why I would spend so much time snowboarding or why I’d spend money on gear.

I found that for me I like riding with the boys but not being the girlfriend on the mountain. I’m on the mountain cause I love it, not because of some boyfriend. Sometimes I’d lose interest in a guy depending how we connected on the mountain. If he treated me like a snowbunny or like a girlfriend…I didn’t like it. When I’m on the mountain, I want to be treated like a riding partner there to have fun…not there because of some guy. Years ago, I used to like being the girlfriend on the mountain but after that relationship ended my riding suddenly got better. I realized that I was happier just being the riding partner…not the girlfriend.

Once I got into teaching snowboarding, I was around even more male snowboarders. I can only remember one other female instructor when I started teaching and she left my second season. There were not many female instructors or female riders at the time. When I passed my level II exam, I was the only female in the group…but by then I had grown accustomed to being the only girl.

As the sport developed, more female riders were getting into it which was awesome to see and be a part of. I spent many seasons teaching female students who requested a female instructor. Female students want you as their instructor because they can relate to you and they won’t feel insecure. Male students want you as their instructor because you are the female instructor who can ride and they can flirt with you.
Not to say I don’t enjoy riding with other female riders…I do enjoy having the girls time to ride. I just have less female friends that I go riding with. I can count the girls on one hand. But I have tons of guy friends that I go riding with, at least four hands.

Riding with the boys means having to push yourself every second, never slowing down and constantly taking the hits as they come. You have to prove yourself that you can ride with them, that you won’t be a girl and wuss out. There’s no holding back on your riding with the boys.

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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