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Shreddin’ the Gnar!

Guess what? I got a fever folks, and the only prescription is more Olympics! Yep, the bug has bitten me bad. Something strange happens to me every four years. Somehow, I am implanted with a super natural power as an expert judge and critic of all Olympic sports. For the next couple of weeks, I will possess total cognitive knowledge on figure skating, downhill skiing, ice hockey, the luge, speed skating, ski jumping, and snowboarding! The strange part is that I’ve spent the last 53 years here in Texas, and we aren’t exactly the center of the winter sports universe.

I know all the lingo too, and therefore I am offering this primer to my readers on typical snowboarding slang to help you translate the conversations that you see on TV. For example, if a snowboarder says,

“I was feeling pretty squirrelly takin’ off on the 45-foot booter, but I was still able to stomp my backside double cork 900 with some crunchy steerz,”

you will know that this just meant that he landed a good jump. If he had done bad on the jump he simply would have said, “Yard sale brah,” because in the world of snowboarding, a yard sale is a particularly bad wipe out that causes your goggles, beanie, gloves, and helmet to go flying from your body and lay strewn out all over the snow looking like a poorly organized yard sale.

Still too complicated? OK, let’s try some shorter translations;

“Shreddin’ the gnar” means we are going snowboarding.
“Sick” “Rad” “Crunchy” means all mean good. If you want really good use all of them.
“Stomp” means good landing
“Shred” means going downhill
“Pow” means powder- as in, “We’re goin’ to shred the fresh pow!”

Anyway, practice with these terms around the house, but don’t try them out in public until you have mastered the correct usage, tone, and dialect. I tried a sentence out on my nine-year-old the other day, but by the look on his face, it was obvious he didn’t understand me.

Gideon: “Hey dad, what are you doing?”
Dad: “Just stomped the couch with my Lipton brah, and watchin’ some crunchy rad Americans shreddn’ the gnar!”

The one sport that I’m still trying to figure out is curling. Basically, it looks sort of like a big game of shuffleboard on ice. One person slides a big doughnut made of granite with a handle on it, while the other frantically sweeps the ice with a bathroom brush. The one who slides the stone is often a woman and she yells a lot at the guy doing the scrubbing which is why he’s so hyper and jittery. Sort of reminds me of home during spring cleaning! The one thing I can’t figure out, though, is why he has to scrub the ice every time even though it gets scrubbed 75 times a game? I Googled it, and found that they are scrubbing tiny imperfections on the ice to keep the stone on a straight track. That’s weird- you’d think that if we can send a robot to drive around on Mars and send pictures back to Earth, we could figure out how to make smoother ice.

Oh well, I’ll quit writing here, and go back to the couch and watch some dudes shred the gnar. You can come and watch too if you want. It’ll be totally sick!



Cypress Halfpipe by BC Living Attribution CC BY 2.0
John Kerr
John Kerr
"Camper John" Kerr has been the Director of the H. E. Butt Foundation Camps since 2005.