Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 68

Field Notes: Snowboarding

The White Side
This is how to learn to just be you on the slopes.
by Endria Isa Richardson
THIS IS HOWYOU BECOME WHITE. YOU
watch what your friends do. Because
you live in Worcester, a working-class,
Irish Catholic city in the middle of
Massachusetts , you practice the " Our
Father " and the " Hail Mary " in secret; you
follow your friends to catechism at Christ
the King Church and to Christian camp
right across the northern border in New
Hampshire; you sing Alanis Morissette
more than you sing Lauryn Hill.
When, in the seventh grade, your best
friend-who was practically raised in
Christ the King, who tried Christian camp
but was allowed not to like it, who was
baptized and belongs in Worcester in a
way that you never will-tells you her dad
is taking her to Vermont for the weekend
to go snowboarding, you begin to scheme.
You sign onto America Online to search
the (new, toddling, magical!) internet to
learn whether " snowboarding " is a thing
that can be learned, or something, like
belonging, you must be born into. Your
search yields mixed results. But if there is
a chance that you can learn, you will take it.

68 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ December 2020

THIS IS HOW YOU BECOME A SNOWboarder. The summer you turn 14, you get
a job at McDonald's, the only place that will
take a chance on the questionable diligence of
14-year-olds. You, unlike your best friend, are
still going to Christian camp for one week each
summer on scholarship. During the weeks
you are not at Christian camp, you are taking
orders for fries, Big Macs, shakes, and apple
pies for slightly more than $6 an hour. You save
your money.
That fall, your best friend and her mom take
you to the annual Sale & Swap at Wachusett
Mountain. You have been to Wachusett
Mountain many times; your family used to hike
the Pine Hill trail to the summit on autumn
weekends. But you have never been to this side
of the mountain-the ski and snowboard resort
side. The white side. You half expect alarms to go
off when you step inside the lodge.
You are careful not to touch the racks of red,
yellow, blue, and pink skis stacked precariously in freestanding metal racks. You don't
want anyone to think you are stealing things,
breaking things, or coveting things you can't
have. You follow your best friend and her mom

THIS IS HOWYOU BECOME YOU AGAIN. YOU
fly down snow chutes faster than you've ever
flown before. You leave the " Our Fathers " and
" Hail Marys " behind in the slush. Your Jesus
Ska sticker peels away over the years. You ride
with a style all your own. You ride in Tahoe and
Mammoth and June Lake, but Wachusett is
always your favorite mountain. You get a new
snowboard, slick and purple. You forgive yourself for wanting to be white. You didn't know
what you were doing. What you wanted was to
be happy. You didn't know you could be happy
just being you, frozen cheeks grinning down
the line. O.R

Photo courtesy Endria Isa Richardson

NO BOUNDARIES
The author embraces
her joy at Mammoth
Mountain, California.

toward the used snowboards, and you make
yourself relax. You have a pocketful of cash. If
anyone asks, you'll take it and wave it at them.
This is my ticket in, you will say. I wasn't born
into this world, but I can pay my way.
The snowboard you choose is lime green on
top with a yellow, pink, and orange pattern on
the bottom.You pay $143 in cash. It is bright
and ugly, and you love it. You slap a Jesus Ska
sticker next to what you learn is called a stomp
pad. You shell out another $150 for a weeknights-only season lift pass and spend Friday
evenings sliding down Sundowner, Indian
Summer, and Ralph's Run on your ass, until,
on your last day of the season, you finally execute a frontside turn without toppling.
You learn, that day, that there is something
about flying quickly downhill that makes you
feel happier than you have ever felt in your life.
For at least the duration of one or two rides,
you forget that you are trying to be white. You
feel only as free as you have ever felt. You sing
" Ironic " under your breath.
The next season you sing " Forgive Them
Father, " but the Lauryn Hill version. You sing
" Everything Is Everything. " You fly down
Conifer Connection and Roper's Road, and
you even more or less fly down black diamondstudded Smith Walton.
You learn to turn with style, arching your
back and dragging your left hand in the snow
behind you. You try ollies and kind of land
them. You try manuals. You try a method and
never try one again after you land on your face
and the sharp edge of the board slams into the
back of your head. You laugh and laugh and
laugh to be alive and unconcussed.



Outdoor Retailer - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - December 2020

OUTDOOR RETAILER - DECEMBER 2020
CONTENTS
THE PULSE
HEADLINES
MARKETING
RETAIL 101
CASE STUDY
IDEAS
THOUGHT LEADERS
THE OR CHAT
RESEARCH AND RESOURCES
WELCOME TO THE PYROCENE
NATURE AS MEDICINE
FREERIDESTAN!
BREAD + BUTTER
BACKCOUNTRY BOOM
GEAR GALLERY
HOT PICKS
THE VIEW
FIELD NOTES
#SHOPLIFE
#REPLIFE
BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - DECEMBER 2020
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 4
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 6
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 7
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 8
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THE PULSE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - HEADLINES
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 12
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 14
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 15
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 16
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - MARKETING
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - RETAIL 101
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - CASE STUDY
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 20
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - IDEAS
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THOUGHT LEADERS
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 24
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THE OR CHAT
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - RESEARCH AND RESOURCES
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - WELCOME TO THE PYROCENE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 30
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 32
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - NATURE AS MEDICINE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 36
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - FREERIDESTAN!
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 40
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 42
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - BREAD + BUTTER
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - BACKCOUNTRY BOOM
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - GEAR GALLERY
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 48
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 50
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 51
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 52
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 54
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - HOT PICKS
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THE VIEW
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - FIELD NOTES
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 62
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 65
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 66
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 67
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 68
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - #SHOPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - #REPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 71
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 72
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - BACKSTORY
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