The Inertia Mountain Contributing Editor
a snowboarder rides powder

More of this. Now! Photo: Johannes Waibel //Unsplash

The Inertia

Tell me you’ve seen them. You have to have seen them — whoever is in charge of distribution is taking to it like wartime propaganda. I’m talking about these random posts, and those tired tag lines, extending to a slew of unapologetic marketing campaigns rebuking the age-old saying, “No friends on a pow day.”I even saw: “Powder days are much better with friends…”

Are you kidding me?

Confused? I’ll explain it real simple like. The reason for no friends on a pow day is because people blow it. And therefore the weak must be abandoned. Let them deal with their shortcomings by themselves. To clarify: this is because of a Darwin-like natural selection, not because it’s more fun to ride powder alone. And that self-exploration, and self-fulfillment, is what led people to push the boundaries and in many ways is the reasoning for there being this sport at all.

I’m baffled at how the meaning can be lost on so many people. If you have experienced even one majestic powder day with any measure of success, then you know exactly what the saying means. And you know why it is the law of the land. Sure, there is a certain satisfaction in experiencing an epic day to yourself, but you have to be some sort of emotional recluse not to want to share that experience with a buddy.

But maybe I’m missing something… maybe it is me who doesn’t understand or, more likely, is behind the these newfangled “forward thinking” and supposedly “progressive” — a little while back I saw another tagline that read “That Old Saying is Bullshit”; I thought, Is this a new wave of tolerance sweeping the scene? Leave that to the trees and bees and other things that actually need a heaping of that tolerance in the way of conservation. Shredding is not the time nor place to preach such passive charity. Who knows, perhaps it is now fashionable to sacrifice your effort and discipline for those who have none. But if you deem that fashionable, then you’re a much better friend than I.

However, it isn’t only “me, me, me, me.” Consider someone who has their shit together. They are a friend on a pow day. Everyone else? Who cares. The testament commands that you sacrifice pow for no man (or woman): not your brother, not your girlfriend, not your long-lost buddy. Hell, if Jesus himself appeared after a two foot dump but forgot his goggles, you bail. His ability to walk on water does you no good today. Anyone holding back your chance at extra dimensional ascension is not a friend, at least for a select few hours. I repeat: anyone and everyone tripping you up is as much a “friend” as a patch of poison ivy. If you don’t whole-heartedly believe and live by this rule, then you have the heart of a saint, and may all possess such compassion and patience. And on the flipside, if your friends don’t get this and let you live by this rule, they are sadistic.

If buddy still hasn’t eaten as the lifts are about to pop and needs to hit the lodge for a hearty breakfast? He had either be holding the weed or paying for drinks or what supplying whatever your vice is. If you’re simply waiting, you’re a chump. Why should you forgo glory because duder couldn’t get his scene together? He must be shamed and held accountable. This can only be done by ditching his lagging ass. And, quite frankly, it’ll do him good and perhaps one day he’ll attain status of Friend on a Pow Day.

What I’m trying to say here is that “No friends on a powder day” didn’t need a rebranding, and definitely didn’t need a repurposing. No Friends on a Powder Day is not only a fun saying that serves us well on those (multiple times) aforementioned powder days, but a saying that speaks to the raw emotions of snowboarding: all snowboarders turn a certain corner where they begin to understand that riding powder is one of the most satisfying things in life. It is a pinnacle of sorts, as skill, style, and sensation all slam together to make for the ultimate session. In order for this to happen in its fullest, we must make concessions. And in that situation, selfishness is not only accepted but encouraged. Get yours. If not for those sorts of pursuits, then why would we ride?

If “That Old Saying is Bullshit” and the umpteen takes on that turn of phrase are catching on, then let it. I’ll stick to my guns and take the fresh lines. It just feels right.


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