The sport of snowboarding has seen massive growth over the past few decades. Twenty years ago there were few snowboards on the slopes. It was seen as a rebel fringe sport.
Snowboarders were seen by skiers as little more than an annoyance who routinely got in their way on the mountain. Now, there are just as many snowboarders if not more on the mountain as there are skiers. Why has snowboarding become so popular? Why is snowboarding so addictive?
Speed, speed and more speed. If speed is what you want then skiing is for you. In a downhill race skis will beat snowboards every time, but is speed simple how fast you can get to the bottom or is it something more. Snowboards are plenty fast and the feel that a snowboarder gets through their board and body often leads to the perception that they are going faster than they actually are. Snowboarding is more exciting because of the level of control that a boarder feels over their board. Speed plus fine control leads to a more exciting run than simply speed.
The versatility of a board is another factor in its growing popularity. A board can go anywhere as long as it’s downhill.
Its broader base means that boarding through powder that would bog most skiers down is no problem. It is also easier to carve and cut with a board than it is with skis, meaning that moving through an obstacle strewn path is easier on a board. Boarders can venture where skiers do not dare to go.
The tricks are what suck most snowboarders in. There are a lot more ways to look cool on a mountain with a snowboard than with a pair of skis. Never underestimate the appeal of looking cool. Every snowboard can be used in a bowl or half pipe, where specialty skis are often required to pull off the more impressive tricks.
The final addictive factor of snowboarding is one that is shared with skiing. The silence. That crisp silence that is only found when you are barreling down a mountain. That feeling of speed and isolation that is accompanied only by the hiss of your board on snow.
It’s an amazing feeling that is hard to duplicate. It is certainly addictive. Why else would people constantly drag their bruised and sore bodies up a mountain time after time? They love the rush. They are addicted.