If these Boards could Talk
Any good ski bum has a trashed old piece of gear stashed away, some old relic from a time in their life that they don’t want to let go of.
Mine’s an Arbor Wasteland 159 snowboard that I rode for the 2010-2011 season while living in Whistler.
Maybe it’s because I recently reintroduced weed into my routine, but I picked it up the other day and felt like that entire season flashed before my bloodshot eyes.
-Vapourizing my previous snowboard in the early season bones.
-My best friend Callum Jelley, injured at the time, giving me the Arbor.
-Locking into my first real line on the thing, an inbounds spine with a little dropper to finish.
-All 1,007 of the flavoured lemonades that I made at the Old Spaghetti Factory.
-Party shredding CBC trees with all the mates.
-A couple hot flashes from my 2011 sex life.
-And a fat, unusually cold snowpack at Whistler Blackcomb for almost the whole month of April.
Hot damn, is it possible that 2010-2011 will go down as the best ski season of my life?
The Wasteland didn’t f#%k around. She was a blend of the old with a touch of the new: traditional camber, progressive sidecut, directional twin.
As a 159, she’s actually the smallest board I’ve ridden in the last 15 years.
Maybe it was because I was used to riding snowboards that I’d found in the garbage, but the old “Gnarbour” (as she came to be called) really spoke to me.
I remember the first board I ever rode had a sticker on it that said “No Perverts”.
I only wish I could have found one for the Gnarbour, but the ones I did have provided a pretty accurate record of what was going on in 2011:
STINGER – My friend Paul, when he truly fancies a word or expression, makes stickers to show his commitment to his own vocabulary.
Stingers are doobies.
All.I.Can. – An environmental ski film that blew the collective panties off both mountain and mainstream culture.
V – For Voleurz, a defunct crew of devilishly handsome skiers and boarders who, amongst many other things, made this sweet video for the 2011 WSSF Intersection Film Competition.
GETTIN SOME – Paul made this sticker too.
Under my watch, The Gnarbour was ultimately dealt a series of life-ending blows that should have ended her career.
Ski techs Eric “Turtle” Ruthowsky and Cam Martin, however, could see in my eyes that I loved the old girl and they brought her back to life for me.
Their sorcery involved base patches, popsicle sticks, a keg of P-tex and a morbid curiosity to see if the Gnarbour would ride again.
Come to think of it, I still owe those wizards some beer.
The Gnarbour did ride Again
The Resurrection was successful at first.
She was ALIVE.
I took her back to all of her favourite places and let her slash her way down the fall lines for a solid five days of powderboardin’.
But it was a really just a last dance with Mary Jane.
I’d already blown out the edge repair. But in the end, she buckled on the di-cut base graphic and ground us to a halt on the cat track.
The Gnarbour was done.
Now she sits in the corner of my room, sharing the space with a busted old splitboard that took me on a decade’s worth of adventures.
How about you? Do you have a tattered old time machine that you can’t bear to let go of?