Senior Boarder Dave Hayes Returns With Exhortation: Try It!

Senior Boarders ride can ride with grandchildren! Cool, Dude. Credit: Dave Hayes
Senior Boarders ride can ride with grandchildren! Cool, Dude.
Credit: Dave Hayes

Readers of this interesting, professional and most discriminating of online magazines may have recently seen an article written in support of older snowboarders (boarders) by a person who is alleged to be named David Hayes. (See “Confessions Of A Senior Snowboarder.”)

That article was universally panned and elements of ski culture have made horrific threats of various natures against the author, the editors, the author’s children, the entire world of snowboarders and have in fact extended their distain all the way to the maker of the paper it was printed on. In point of fact, the person or persons that made allegations about the parentage of the makers of Hammermill paper should be reminded that this is an ELECTRONIC form, not cellulous paper.

Back to the article, be assured that the sanctity of ski culture is not at risk, there is room for both cultures on the mountains, except for Deer Valley and Alta evidently. The Boarders of 10 to 15 years ago have grown up (mostly) and there is a return of civility to the slopes as the maturing of boarders has provided a platform of simple manners, tossing aside the past attitudes expressed in rebellious teens now older and in some cases with children of their own.

Boarders do often seem to wear the image of rebel and adopt the swagger that only the young can carry off. But, truth be known, the more mature Boarders also carry that “devil-may-care”’ attitude with them but it is not from disdain but it is taken from the very fact that boarding is harder and takes a little more of an effort to do well. Notwithstanding the park work and a double McTwist (see Shaun White video) most of us boarders spend most of our boarding on slopes and then sneaking off in the trees and such for deep powder. This kind of thing (check video) is definitely not for us guys.

You will find those adventurous younger types in the snow parks showing how quickly they can either ruin their boards or end up in the emergency room, often both at one time. Those boarders are the ones we all worry about meeting up in the lift or the slope, these are the ones that our mothers warned us about!

The rest of us look for powder and adventure on slopes and in areas off the slopes as to board in deep powder is like looking under the Christmas tree on Christmas.

Boarders are not bad people, just different! Elegance and grace often found in the skiing community is not where the Boarders interest is found, we boarders (use word Dudes here) swoop and carve and generally look to enjoy the sensations that can only be found on a board. I invite you to try it!

“I tried it one time and it was too hard’ is often heard. “I only get a few days of vacation and I don’t have the time to learn to board” is another. But, is it not true that what is maybe different and maybe a bit harder to learn is also a greater reward when you get it? That first connected heel and toe turn. The joy of being able to actually stop without looking like you have to go to the bathroom, right now! (pizza pie stop). The freedom to swagger to the slope without carrying two boards, two poles!

I say find a good instructor, find out if you are a front faller or a back faller (see authors previous article no doubt consigned to the electronic trash can equivalent.) But try it, try to get in the groove of boarding, there are rewards to be found beyond using Dude in a sentence.

Now the season is over and I still find myself stretching my quads and calves in a crouch, waiting for the day, the perfect snow day that is out there just a few months away. Get ready mountains!

About The Author:

David Hayes is an engineer turned contractor living in central Florida but in his mind is in Ogden Valley’s SnowBasin and Powder Mountain, UT.


  1. It’s the lack of respect for others on the slopes and the danger posed to others that are the basis of my distain. Blocking lift off ramps to strap in, stopping and sitting in the middle of the slope, zipping by too close to others or changing direction without checking uphill are big issues of safety.

  2. Tom Shakey Levak says:

    I started boarding when I turned 65 (I’m 77) and I split skiing/snowboarding 50/50. I have to say that the only problem I have with snowboarders is that most don’t understand their responsibility to a rider below them. You have understand that if you’re going to make turns across the hill, that an uphill snowboarder will view you as cutting in front of their line. You have to keep your head on a swivel or take the consequences.

    • Rosemarie B. Barkr says:

      Tom – as a downhill skier I find your expectation that we keep our “head on a swivel or take the consequences” of snowboarders crashing into us is repugnant!

  3. Michael Maginn says:

    Note: This comment was made by reader Rosemarie Barker who had a problem posting. So we did it for her:

    Geeeesh – what is that all about? My comments were very straightforward about how dangerous it is to have boarders and skiers on the same trails. Too many skiers have been killed by boarders – so – the situation is not good.

    Last year a female tourist from England was skiing in B.C. and was killed when a boarder crashed into her. Many, many skiers have been injured by snow boarders. The situation is critical with skiers leaving the slopes due to the dangerous boarders.

    The boarders all claim they are “in control” – but this is not the truth, as they are seldom in control of their direction unless it is one straight line with gentle slopes, but seldom do they have the skill or capability to stop short – unless they fall to the side. THEY DO NOT WANT TO DO THAT!.

  4. Sorry that an article that intended to poke fun at boarders and allow that we all can share the mountain has provoked the responses made by a few, perhaps misguided skiers to group all boarders into a group of misfit toys. We all are responsible for our actions, on or off the mountain and no one group is better or worse then the other. Chill

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