Getting up there in snowboard years

09 Jan, 2009

Earlier this week someone asked me how long I’ve been riding. So I started to write down the years, 94-95, 95-96 and so on…then I added it up and hit 15 years! I’m only 25 so this amazes me that I have been riding longer than some kids on the hill have been alive.  
You would think after 15 years I would be insanely good but that’s not the case. I enjoy riding for me but I never set out to be the best. Some things come easy now, the natural riding things that took forever to learn. Whether it’s riding on flat surface, strapping in while standing up or holding a turn, I can ride without thinking of that stuff. It’s become imprinted into my head just like skating to the chairlift effortlessly. Even after 15 years I still have a lot to accomplishment, I still have to tail block and air out more than 2 feet in the superpipe.

People can judge what you have done for snowboarding, when really I think a lot of it is what snowboarding has done for you. Because of snowboarding I’ve met a ton of friends from around the world that I keep in contact with. I’ve traveled on countless road trips, hit up many parties in the mountains and traveled to various locations to keep the shred year round. I taught snowboarding for years and because of that, I got people into snowboarding that could still be riding to this day. I’ve made this blog from my experiences and knowledge of gear and snowboarding.

In 15 years, I’ve seen people fall off the lifts intentionally and unintentionally, I’ve seen some great crashes and some bad crashes. I’ve had epic powder days and horrible days (yeah I can say that but they aren’t horrible really) on the mountain. I’ve rode 10 days a year to 130 days a year. I’ve been to the hospital countless times, I’ve taken the toboggan ride down about 5 times and I am still snowboarding. I’ve overcome injuries, I’ve lost friends and I still enjoy each moment.

One thing is for sure, the gear is so much better now than when I started. I had to ride men’s gear because there wasn’t women’s gear. I had to wear boots that my feet moved around in, bindings that offered no support or response and boards that made turning to a stop an accomplishment. But that vibe and feeling from the mountain took over and riders were stoked to be part of something together regardless of the equipment.

15 years though…I can’t imagine what the next 15 will be like. Hopefully a lot of powder turns, friends and good times.

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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  1. martinboards
    January 09, 2009

    damn you have been snowboarding 5x as long as me… i have some serious catching up to do.

    question: why would anyone intentionally fall of a chair lift?

  2. Shayboarder
    January 09, 2009

    haha I used to watch friends jump off to get to powder first.

    Back in Washington there was one part of the chairlift at Snoqualmie where you were really close to the ground and it was easy to just jump off. They’d jump or sometimes we’d just push them off. Somehow I have never done either.

  3. Erica
    January 10, 2009

    Love this post Shay… you have verbalized a lot of what I feel too. (I’ve only been riding since 99 and I am a lot older than you though) 😉 I agree, it’s all about doing the best for yourself not worrying about other people. Cheers! (i’m in jackson hole right now, so much fun!)

  4. Huckleberry Hart
    January 10, 2009

    Just watch out if you get a craze to do bomb drops.

  5. Anonymous
    January 10, 2009

    rad. hit 21 years this season. ab.

  6. a
    January 10, 2009

    even 15 years ago the gear was good enough.

    old man out

  7. Becky
    February 17, 2009

    Kudos to you! i started snowboarding in 1997 (February), bought a board that summer and never looked back. And um, I completely agree about old gear vs new. On my trip to Jackson Hole a few weeks ago, I was still riding my original Nitro Nova from ’97. I couldn’t take the boots anymore with my heels and shins moving all over the place. Rode some demos and found out how bad my stuff really was. ‘Course, I had step-in bindings too. Yikes. I’m shopping for new this week!