It’s been about a year since Jason Robinson and I began a dialogue that will continue well past me writing this. Some of it is in this magazine, but most hasn’t been recorded. No one wants to read about two dudes’ respective girl drama or their thoughts on whether a van or truck is the more ideal mobile living scenario. Our friendship isn’t reliant on snowboarding—we spend little time talking about lines or tricks, and there is minimal discussion of that nature in his interview beginning on page 74—but this common interest is what initially put us in the same place, at the same time. It’s been said over and over that this activity brings people together, and the cliché rings true with each utterance.
Snowboarding is the foundation for friendships that grow deeper than this rather surface-level commonality. It is what first brought Eric and John Jackson together with Curtis Ciszek and Darcy Bacha, before their shared love of flyfishing united them further. Fishing is what introduced the trio to Geoff Mueller, who wrote a piece on Eric’s project this season, Alignment, starting on page 44. But it’s the conversations about real life, catalyzed by a day on the river or in the backcountry, that form true connections. Friends are inspired by each other’s creativity and individuality. I hope to some higher power that those traits continue to drive us as snowboarders—that desire to win a medal has not come to point of using performanceenhancing drugs in order to gain a competitive advantage over another. That goes against everything that makes snowboarding what it is, to me. There is a piece by Ed Leigh on page 56 that explores this concept.
Without snowboarding, would Jérôme Tanon have met Victor Daviet, Thomas Delfino, or Seb Konijnenberg? Hard to say. Friendship is often based on a shared interest, but it is more than that. It is time spent in in the mountains together, on early-morning treks and latenight drives—or in their case, on a boat in the Mediterranean— that develops lifelong bonds. You can read about their Corsican sailing trip on page 64. Through my desire to learn more about the mountains and how to travel safely within them, I made a friend named Mike Bortnowski, who you can learn more about on page 28. Mike has a unique perspective, as he is an openly gay snowboarder in a culture with no prominent male figure that also identifies as part of the LGBT community. Hopefully his experience opens up conversations conducive to a more inclusive culture as snowboarders—one that is as accepting as we like to believe it is. Snowboarding is about unity, not alienation. It is about friendship.
The experiences these guys have had together can make you love or hate someone. Three amigos above hairball terrain, after being cooped up in tight quarters for grey days on end.