Natural Highs: Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo

This past weekend, I had the delight of attending the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Expo at the Colorado Convention Center. With resorts like A-Basin, Copper and Keystone now open, I figured it was finally time to invest in that new snowboard I needed in preparation for what looks to be a winter “packed” with snow. Unfortunately (*wink wink) I am moving to Steamboat this winter and I figured I needed something to do to pass the time while I’m up there. I was thinking I would spend maybe an hour at most, talking with the reps from Colorado Ski and Golf, deciding on one of the many snowboards on sale, and then head back home. My camera woman-aka my girlfriend-armed herself with our $99 digital camera, and we headed into the convention center, not expecting many surprises. What we found instead were multiple exhibits where our maturation levels slowly regressed, leaving us romping like two little kids who just found out they have a snow day.

Immediately to our right, little kids like the one above were trying on skis for the first time, reminding us of our days learning on the bunny slope. This mini-hill gave children the chance to see what it is really like to strap on a pair of boards and feel the movement beneath their feet. Little do they know that twenty years from now they’ll be smoking pot and bumming on some kids couch just to catch some freshies before getting completely belligerent at the bars. Oh the joys of winter, and parenthood.

Besides teaching kids how to truly enjoy Colorado, the expo consisted of other exhibits. Slacklining, which teaches people the art of walking a tight rope, has caught on almost as much as the art of Tebow-ing. It takes quite the athlete to do either, and at this exhibit, people of all ages waited to take their turn at balancing. We had the opportunity to see some pretty cool tricks, as well as watch the cocky teens take nose dives into the not-so-forgiving foam pads. To the right here, you will see my girlfriend smiling just before going head first into the carpet. Don’t worry, no women were harmed in the writing of this blog.

The final exhibit we saw, and my favorite of the night (besides my new snowboard, of course), was how the Mountain Boarders lit up the air with their flips and spins. If you have never heard of mountain boarding, it’s like a cross between snowboarding and skateboarding. The boards are big like a snowboard, but have all-terrain tires and can be ridden on pavement or dirt. For this exhibit, a huge ramp was placed on one side of the back wall, allowing the boarders to drop in from an insane height to achieve enough speed to launch themselves over a two-ton pickup truck. They did back flips, front flips, spins, grabs, and even gave high fives. At one point, a mountain boarder dressed as a dinosaur lost his tail, exposing him as an impostor! Children were simply devastated and grown men cried, but not me. I knew they died billions of years ago. The only problem I had was comprehending just how they trained this humongous ape to pull a 540 Mctwist. Must have been all those beers he sampled in the beer garden. And did I mention my girlfriend thought he was cute? Filthy animals.

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