Snowboarders Have a Culture All Their Own – Twin Falls Times

ALBION — After securing his snowboard bindings and prepping for
the next run at Pomerelle Mountain Resort on Monday, Ty Winmill
adjusted his goggles and then sighed, shrugging in his slate and
black sweatshirt.

An outsider would’ve guessed the 14-year-old went to great
lengths to put his outfit together. The Burley teen’s head was
capped in an electric green knit hat, and the sweatshirt looked hip
and rather new.

“If I was wearing the perfect snowboarding outfit I could still
wear my black pants, but I would wear an electric blue coat,”
Winmill said.

“This year, the brighter the colors the better; like my pants,”
said Heston Warr, 12, of Grouse Creek, Utah, who wore a
black-and-white zig-zag print coat and orange scarf.

Snowboarding, much like surfing, gained popularity in the 1960s
and entered the mainstream after becoming an Olympic sport in 1998.
Snowboarders, however, have a culture all their own.

“They’re cooler, definitely cooler than skiers,” said James
Port, 16, of Pocatello, who was at Pomerelle over the weekend but
also snowboards at Sun Valley’s Dollar Mountain with his school’s
ski and snowboard club.

Snowboarders are hipper and laid back. Lazy even, said Austin
Moss, 14, of Declo. “That stereotype is true,” Moss said.
“Snowboarding is easier than skiing and we are just more
go-with-the-flow type of people.”

Looking laid back but getting attention at the same time is an
art. Some snowboarders can do that by meandering lazily down the
hill in a bright green get-up. Others catch passing glances for
different reasons.

“It’s cool to look cool,” said Michael Curtis, 18, of Twin
Falls. But it is even better if you look cool while riding a rail,
he said, flipping a 180 or making mad hits.

“Terrain parks are huge this year and will be even bigger if we
get any more snow,” Curtis said. “They aren’t for every snowboarder
but there are more of us using the parks, so I like that more
resorts are developing them.”

Curtis likes the terrain park at Pomerelle and Sun Valley and
spends his off-season practicing tricks on the trampoline and long
board.

Although Magic Mountain, south of Hansen, doesn’t have a terrain
park, the proximity of the mountain makes it a favorite destination
for the teen as well, he said. He has a Burton brand snowboard, but
said you can often find off-brand equipment that sometimes is
better than more popular products.

“You don’t always have to get wrapped up in having to have the
‘name,’” he said.

Snowboard culture from hill-to-hill can change, said Katie
Sutter, 35, of Rupert.

“At resorts like Pomerelle or (Soldier Mountain, north of
Fairfield) it’s pretty friendly,” she said, “but in Sun Valley it
can get kind of intimidating because there are so many really good
snowboarders. I mean, they are in a class of their own. They are
world class and they don’t even look at you.”

Blair Koch may be reached at 316-2607 blairkoch@gmail.com.

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