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Finally! Extremely Canadian is Offering Snowboard Clinics at WB

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Snowboarders have long been the scapegoat for unfortunate occurrences such as collisions, icy patches, rocky entrances, moguls, chairlift drug use, etc at the ski resort. Remember this?

But there’s been a shift over the years, with the snowboard to skier ratio hovering somewhere around 50%. Surely half the population at the ski hill isn’t about to shoplift their lunch, celebrate with a massive doobie on the lift and then bomb through the slow zone leaving a trail of injured skiers in their wake.

Yes indeed, snowboarders are humans too. Some of them even have jobs.

For years the Extremely Canadian steep skiing clinics offered by Whistler Blackcomb have been a ski-centric affair. Snowboarders could sign up, but they’d be paired with a ski guide. That’s all fair and good, but how can someone who doesn’t understand the difference between toeside and heelside provide worthy feedback in high angle terrain?

The answer’s simple: they can’t.

This year will be different. Thanks in part to the efforts of veteran Snowboard Instructor Jeff Slack (pictured below), Extremely Canadian will be offering clinics for snowboarders, taught by snowboarders.

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I caught up with Jeff to see what this blasphemous form of “progress” was all about.

Is this the course that I sign up for to become a licensed snowboarder? So they let me on the slopes?

More and more resorts are actually starting to allow snowboarding, which is really neat.  But yes, we pretty much just lifted the licensing exam that Ski Camp Fortune in west Quebec requires boarders to pass before they’re allowed on black diamonds. Don’t tell anybody.

 Will you provide the safety leashes? Or do I need to bring my own?

I’m actually working on a new snowboard braking system modeled on ski brakes with a top secret company. We’re going to use the Ex-Can program to test out the prototypes.

 I take it these courses will only happen on Blackcomb, because Whistler doesn’t allow snowboarding. Correct?

Since when have snowboarders ever followed the rules? We’ll technically be based on Blackcomb, and on the rare occasion one of us has any money to buy lunch we’ll spend it on Blackcomb, but we’re gonna poach the crap out of Whistler, obvy.

 Will the course be free? Boarders don’t really have jobs eh.

Cash is king, but we will accept barter as well. I think there’s an expression that is popular when picking up hitchhikers that applies equally well here.

 Will you focus more on Roast Beef grabs? Or Chicken Salads?

Canadian Bacons are my favourite, but we are vegan-friendly so we will have a wide assortment of grabs to sample, including, but not limited to, Melons, Cookie Monsters, Crails, and Slobs.

No Tindys though.

I’m hoping to learn new techniques for scraping all the snow off the mountain. Will you be teaching some cutting edge methodry?

 Yes. I don’t want to give away all our secrets, but there will be extensive training in how to use buttslams and bombholes in lieu of avy cuts.

When I hit cliffs, I don’t want to stomp them, and I don’t want to fall either. Is there some sort of happy medium?

Every snowboarder worth their salt-stained mambosak should have the Stompahawk, the Tomastomp, or ideally the Tomastompahawk in their arsenal. I will do my personal best to make that a reality.

 I’m looking to put the X in X-Treme. Is this the right course for me?

 One “X,” for sure. Two we can handle. For lessons of the triple x variety, I think you’re a better fit, Mikey.

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Jon Burr and Jeff Slack are both licensed for Black Diamond boardin’.

If you’re looking for straighter answers about the program, check it out here.

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