I saw this question in one of the several snowboard Facebook groups that I am a part of. At the same time, I’ve had friends ask me this many times before already and I figured I might as well share my response to anyone googling this online: “Do you snowboard by yourself? Isn’t it lonely/sad?”. The questions omg lol.
When NOT to go solo
Let’s go to the most important aspects first. There are situations, places where YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO GO SOLO. These are (but are not limited to):
- Going backcountry: omg big fat no-no. Avalanche possibilities? FUUUUUCK NO.
- Going the big mountain resorts BUT going off-piste: Add to the fact that if you’re going to a totally new resort you have no info about, don’t even try it.
- Going through the glades / trees: one, you can get lost and end up at some bottom of god-knows-where. At the same time, there are so many accidents that can happen (e.g.: hit a tree then now you can’t move) or tree wells or this other tree well or trees randomly falling on you 😱 Based on my experiences, cellphone signals are worst here too so if you think that the worst thing that might happen to you is just ‘getting lost’ , bruhhh….
- These are all I can think of tonight; there might be more so be careful
When I go solo
So when I go solo, it’s obviously the opposite of that list above: I go to ski resorts, I stay on-piste (on the actually designated paths and trails in ski resorts).
Y u do dis?
My reasons for going solo is pretty much practical actually:
Life / social thing
First, as one commenter puts it:
“If I waited every time for all the people who said they would go, I’d end up never going”– a smart guy in Facebook
It’s not a snowboarding problem. This is a life, events, inviting-friends deal. You know how it is.
It can also be a simple logistical, timing problem. E.g.: you’re available when they’re not and vice versa.
There’s also a situation where you’re going with a big group of friends but everyone wants to go to different paths so you’re stuck. Most of the time this is fun but if the group you’re with are not into the trails/things you wanna hit, then you’re screwed.
Some of my friends who ski/snowboard have been doing so since they were kids. Their skills are up there. Meanwhile, I just learned this within the decade. I may be stable and intermediate but there are still lots to learn. I still have to do my 10,000 hours.
So for them, they might be too pro for me. That means I may be slowing them down, at the same time I’m not going to force and pressure myself to keep up and then have a shitty time or worse, get seriously injured on the risky/stupid shit I’d get into (more than I normally would).
I also have friends who just started this year or the last so sometimes there’s a role reversal thing too lol. So I’m stuck in the middle and if I stick to one group or the other then I’ll never be able to enjoy it myself.
Last but not the least–and this is my biggest reason for riding solo–is that I like progression, learning, improving my skill. This means, I actually go ride alone because I treat it as my ‘training day’ or like going to the gym.
There are many times where I would go to the exact same trails again and again, back to back just so I can master a skill. Sometimes I take longer breaks or sometimes I even just park on the side, unstrap, then hike up (terrain parks)!
So if I was with someone and they didn’t know what I was doing, they’d be so bored and confused as to why I ride this way haha!
At the end of the day I feel happy, satisfied, and mentally drained (in a good way; like when you know you were present / “in the moment/flow/zone”).
This way too, you just level up so much so fast that the next time you’re with friends (and this is always my case), you can level with anyone. Riding with the pros? No prob. Riding with the beginners? Practice switch riding and ollie time!
If you’re wondering if people ride solo, they do. It’s not just me. There are a bunch of people who do this. There’s even another story I saw wherein a guy’s wife is a ski team coach so obs the girl is coaching while he rips the mountain.
If you’re thinking it’s ew, stupid, lonely, whatever, it’s not. (what are you, 12?)
Riding solo can actually be advantageous and practical given the points above.