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From suck to sick

Erik Vienneau

One of the last things I remember about last season was blasting full-steam into the half-pipe at Beaver Creek, launching about 40 feet into the air and pulling a rodeo, double-grab inverted stale fish. What, you’ve never heardof the incredible rodeo, double-grab inverted stale fish? That’s because I rock so heavily I invented the trick. Oh wait, that wasn’t me. That was some 14-year-old kid.I was actually the snow-riding tool at the top of the park working up the guts to go over the beginner rail slide. You know, the one that if you fall off, it holds the deep-dark fear of tumbling six terrifying inches to soft-packed snow.This is what happens to me by the end of every summer season.I get to be a better snowboarder each day that goes by. By training on the glaciers of Alaska and hitting the gym for strenuous leg workouts every day, other snowboarders probably get really good. But for me, it’s much simplerthan that.My selective memory like a good fish story or that girl you met at 1:20 a.m. at 8150 just gets better as time passes. The reality of a marginal-at-best situation fades, and all I remember are the good times.There was that one time I dropped off a cornice in China Bowl and didn’t tumble to the bottom and get ice-cold snow packed down my butt-crack and into my goggles. There was that other time I “launched” (see, even the adjectives get more and more juicy over the summer) off of a jump in the half-pipe and cleared the table top. You were probably expecting to hear about some “sick” trick I pulled mid-air, but, sorry I’d need a full year or two tolet that “warped reality” come into existence.I know by now you are asking how can I get as good at snowboarding in my mind as you are. Well, here are the long-awaited rules:1. Watch snowboard videos as often as possible. Ones with Staind music dubbed over them are highly recommended.2. Only remember the good days from last season.3. When you talk about the time you jumped, say you “launched.” When you fell, say you “bailed,” and when you turned, tell yourself you “carved.”4. If you really think about it , the time you got lost on the bunny slope and hit a tree was actually the time you were “tearing it up” in the backcountry.5. Remember that the time you fell flat on your face in the snow and couldn’t see anything was actually the time you were taking “incredible powder face shots.”6. This one is important: Always remember that “this never happened to me before,” and that you “must’ve drunk too much.” Oops, NOTE TO EDITOR: DELETERule #6.So, I’ll see you on the mountain. It’s going to be really cool. Oh wait, I mean sick.


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