Thursday, November 6, 2008

Know Your Enemy - Snowboarding's War on Terror


Way back when, in days of snowboarding yore, there was an epic and bitter conflict between the great cultures of snowboarding and skiing. It was a time when it was clear to us snowboarders who our enemies were and a long and hard fought battle ensued. However, over time this clear-cut hatred became blurred. The barriers slowly fell one by one until we found that we had nothing much left to fight about and today we find ourselves standing shoulder to shoulder with our old enemies. Snowboarding ended up giving twin-tips, carving skis and baggie trousers to skiing and in return skiing gave us improved technical outerwear and resort-built snowparks.

That war may be over, but don't be fooled, because today a series of minor skirmishes still continue. Gone, is the clearly demarked enemy of old, and in their place we find a new and common enemy. Our modern enemy is fanatical, determined and resourceful. They are not a single force but a loose association of people with similar beliefs. They are hard to spot and often live amongst us without us knowing. But, if you are vigilant, there are subtle and important differences that can help you identify the threat. It is your duty to recognise these signs so that we can fight them together.

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce -
The Axis of Evil...

The one-piece suit. A horror that evolved directly out of the battle dress of the great snowboarder/skier wars of the of the late 80's and early 90's. This gang can mostly spotted in faded neon colours, with oversized letter graphics, struggling to use the toilet. The Suits are a clear and present danger. They are perhaps the most insidious enemy of all as over the last couple of years they have left the confines of skiing and have started to invade the sanctity of snowboarding...

Exhibit 1.1
Hard to spot because it is a camo print but if you concentrate and stare just here you might just be able to make out one of Burton's latest offerings.

Where is the poo hole?

The Fuzz
Commonly seen wearing fur and designer goggles in Courchevel or Italy. This is a well-funded break away sect of the Suits. These infidels can also be identified as they rarely venture out of the comfort of the cafes and restaurants at the bottom of the slopes. As a result of their lethargy they seem to pose little danger.

Please note: It is important that you do not confuse the stylings of The Fuzz with bling, which is of course excellent.

(Note to self - Are they invading my mind through hip-hop?)

Exhibit 2.1
A mutt in a fury one-piece....and a puppy

Ovar Har
English translation “Over Here”. A additional splinter group of
The Fuzz. Easy to spot as they are often in slow moving and inherently lost groups greeting each other with this common phrase. The phrase is often followed by a moniker like Rupert, Farquhar or Darling e.g. “Ovar Har Rupert”.

Although a slow moving enemy they are experienced. These were the frontline shock troops of the terrible conflicts of the 20th Century and they are still bitter today.

Just like their street-roaming brethren, the rollerbladers, snowbladers are evil. They cruise about on a stubby pair of uncontrollable skis looking about as in control as ducks on ice. Fortunately for us snowboarders, Blades are strangely drawn to mogul runs where they proceed to wildly flail their arms about and break their legs. They are danger to themselves and a menace to us all. Snowbladers are made easier to spot as they often also wear the uniform of
Suits and the FHats...

Exhibit 4.1
A blader in their natural element...A heinous outfit.
Exhibit 4.2
Nope. I have no idea either.

Festival Hats.

Rhyming slang: Festival Hat = Twat.

Exhibit 5.1
The prosecution rests M'Lud


Just keep and eye out for this. Something about people wearing purple just makes us suspicious.

Small kids with big red helmets. Basically they act like a moving line of traffic cones who will section off whole parts of a mountain just as a snowboarder approaches. This obstacle is a lot more dangerous than you might suspect but you do get bonus points if you can jib them.

They are the one enemy we can take pity on as they are often forced against their will or knowledge to join the forces of the
FHats and Suits

Exhibit 7.1
Look mum - A moving barricade!

Don’t be fooled, they ride one stick like us but they are the devil. You can tell them apart by the muggy board graphics, the figure hugging suits and their rubbery hips as the mince merrily down the slopes.

And they are mostly French.

Exhibit 8.1
One members of this fearsome Mono gang are clearly also affiliated with the FHats

European-style Carving Boards. Hard boots on a snowboard! They’ve decided to take all the bad bits of skiing and added it to snowboarding. Why?
Probably because they are mostly French
Good news is that this tribe appear to be dieing out and are only to be spotted in the Olympics.


If Skiing instructors are the equivalent of Nazis then French skiing instructors are like a flock of Hitler.

Exhibit 10.1
An ESF instructor clearly taunting a disabled person


And lastly I'll leave you with this little gem

2005 saw one of the most evil additions to the already prolifically badly dressed denizens of the Axis of Evil. This time the clothing infiltration was instigated by our own side going bad.

Burton brought out a Burberry outfit...

Exhibit 11.1
Spot the difference between the chav and the 'snowboarder'

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