Life After Snowboarding

We’ve all heard it before, maybe around the dinner table at a family gathering or during a long drive with someone who never really understood us in the first place. They usually tiptoe uncomfortably around the subject for a bit, but eventually it always comes to this: “So what are you going to do? You know, after snowboarding?” The best answer is the one shred legend Ken Achenbach routinely gives: “I don’t know—eat dinner, go to bed and do it again the next day.” Because unless a person has actually strapped in, we can’t expect them to understand that for 99 per cent of us there is no “after snowboarding.” Snowboarding is not a hobby or a pastime to be casually tossed aside when the next fad rolls around— snowboarding is not hackey sack. Nor is it heroin. Yes, riding pow is addicting, but it enhances more life than it drains. Snowboarding is not even hockey; there’s a big difference between a team and a community. What snowboarding is and what it does can be hard to explain to these people. It’s strapping in with friends and floating, flying and high-fiving. It’s apreÌ€s and opening day and innovation and exhilaration. It’s a lifestyle. And unless someone has slashed a board through steep, knee-deep pow or landed a perfect Method, it’s no wonder they don’t understand that you don’t just walk away from that kind of freedom. It would be like asking a toddler what she plans to do after she’s done walking. The thought never even crosses our minds. And real snowboarders don’t have a choice even if it did. Riding a snow- board is a bit like being in the mob; once you’re in, there’s no getting out. There’s just getting old, and every- one gets old in their own special way. Some people build surf retreats in Costa Rica or spend more time skat- ing speed lines in the Whistler bowl. Others get jobs and start families and barely ride at all until they one day rediscover the stoke by teaching their kids to shred. Some people sell out and only ride once a year when they need a break during the annual Christmas vacation with the in-laws, others hole up in Bralorne, B.C. and rip untracked 100 days each year. But very few snowboarders ever really quit. And to prove it, SBC hooked up with some dorky scientists who work for the govern- ment and traded them fresh goggles and a limited edition Helen Schet- tini calendar for a couple trips in the time machine our government is using our tax dollars to build in case of a revolution. It’s actually shaped like a phone booth, this time machine, so we crowded in and traveled forward a few decades to check up on a few Canadian pros to see what life “after snowboarding” might look like. It looks like this.


Date: 2055 Rider: Gaetan Chanut 

After surviving as the longest Sims rider in history, Gaetan eventually made his millions selling off old snowboards on eBay. After a couple failed marriages (gotta love the prenup!), he retired to a luxury mountain chalet and returned to his Wildcat roots. At age 79, he spends most of his days happily medicated watching old shred videos of himself. Once a week, however, Gaetan has his private nurse fire him up with black-market adrenalin, then pays the local ski hill to close on a pow day so he can ride until his hips fail. “The secret to snowboarding longevity is to stick with your game plan and stay in the soft snow,” Gaetan confides. “You can ride forever.” 


Date: 2042 Rider: Andrew Geeves 

Geeves eventually got fed up with the snowboard industry and re- treated deep into the mountains to ride as much as possible without any of the “company bullshit.” After a couple decades of high-risk rigging and rope work for Vancouver’s film industry, he opened a tat- too parlour in West Van, B.C. to cater to the affluent Hollywood North scene. “In my 20s, tattooing was just a party trick I’d bust out when we were drunk,” says the 52-year-old Geeves. “Now I can ink up rich chicks’ asses for three or four days straight, then spend the rest of the month shredding or skating. Nothing about this sucks.” 




Date: 2066 Rider: Helen Schettini

Helen dedicated her entire life to snowboarding and retired one of the most successful Canadian pros ever. Sadly, her skill and commitment to the sport intimidated a lot of people, and combined with all the travel, Helen somehow missed the boat on any sort of normal love life. Now 81 and still single, she spends most of her royalties on food for her six cats. “This is not my first choice,” Helen admits, “but it is what it is. Cats aren’t so bad. They understand flow and have that purposeful economy of motion; they have perfect style, nine lives and always land on their feet. Cats are the snowboarders of the animal kingdom.”

Helen still snowboards six days a week, busting quick laps via the singles line. “I’m a lifer,” she says. “And that’s what counts.” 



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