JUST SAYIN’ BY KEEGAN VALAIKA
500 words… so I guess I can write about whatever I want. That in itself is really dope. Usually I get some prompt or other crap topic thrown at me and I’m told to write on it. I guess that’s just how school is… So, I think what I’m gonna talk about then is freedom.
For me, freedom comes from the traveling side, just hopping in a car and going, not caring when, where or how but just that you’re going to snowboard. Nowadays, snowboarding tends to narrow your mind so that you only think about things one way. I think the best way to improve your snowboarding isn’t necessarily by training double corks all day with your coach on the same uniform park jump. Go skate, surf, paint, bike, camp, fish, hike, whatever. Just go do something else to refresh your mind and let yourself look at the world in a different way. That’s probably why we prefer to travel by car, just so if we feel like it we can stop and do something other than snowboard. You never know, you could go fishing and end up getting inspired by the way a pelican swoops down from 100 feet in the air to catch a fish. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s the kind of stuff that inspires me to snowboard the most. The small differences in style that are unique to each individual should be cherished because that’s exactly what style is. It’s that little bit of difference in the way someone sees the world shining through in their snowboarding.
Snowboarding is just like any other art, such as music, where inspiration should be drawn from other places rather than just other artists within that specific genre. That way what you’re bringing into snowboarding is totally unique and not just an imitation of something we’ve all seen before. I guess what I’m saying is be thankful for the little differences in the way you snowboard and don’t spend all your time trying to look just like the dopest guy out there, because you’ll end up snowboarding like a cheap imitation of someone else. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to study other artists and the way they do their craft. Hell, if people didn’t do that I don’t know how we would ever progress. Just don’t ever hesitate to do things your own way and exercise the freedom that snowboarding allows you. It’s definitely been said before but, just be yourself and snowboard because you want to. If you find it not being fun anymore then fuck it… take all that money you would spend on snowboarding and spend it on something you care about. You’ll probably be happier and a little less broke (seeing snowboarding is an “upper class” “sport” these days and requires significant fundage). For some of us snowboarding is just that, means of self expression.
Conformity just breeds more conformity, whereas freedom breeds creativity.
I guess what I’m saying is Jonas (Michilot) doesn’t have such cool style because he’s trying to snowboard a certain way, it comes from something else entirely. It’s an expression of himself in the most truthful way possible. A snowboard just happens to be his paint brush during the winter. I love how people’s minds correlate with their “style.” It just makes sense to me - anything else just seems kind of less real.
Original published in Volume 2, Issue 1.