Shred Mama: Are Soccer Moms Invading Snowboarding?

Okay ladies, it’s time to sit down and have a little talk about how we, as moms are behaving.

Or maybe I shouldn’t say WE, because obviously I’m the epitome of excellent snowboarder mom behavior.  An icon even.  I almost never overshare on my Instagram, for instance.  Like only once or twice a week.  Seriously!

Myself aside though, let’s get down to the real problem here.  Soccer moms, apparently bored during the winter months and off-season, seem to have migrated into snowboarding.  Who knows why, maybe they saw one of those viral videos and thought to themselves, “Gee self, my child is more adorable and more athletically talented than that kid!  Here is how we get famous!”  Or maybe they figured their minivan shaped SUV’s were already ideal for the mountain commute, what with their enormous capacity for gear carrying and four wheel drive.  Maybe they were once passionate snowboarders, who have been corrupted by maternal hormones and crazed ambition.

But wherever they come from, they’re here.  And the ones who used to be on the side of the soccer fields yelling at the refs?  Those ladies are now at the competitions yelling at the judges, and in the terrain parks yelling at unsuspecting skiers and snowboarders. 

So how do we deal with this influx of Soccer Moms?  The urge is certainly there to mock or shun these women, but I think we would be better served to help them adapt and acclimate, to understand or recapture the joy of snowboarding that goes beyond witnessing their child standing on a podium, and to want to instill that joy in their children.  The bottom line here is that these women are getting their kids into snowboarding at a time where snowboarding could use a little growth, so let’s help them to do it the right way and to integrate well. 

Whether you’re a mom yourself, or just a regular snowboarder, some gentle encouragement can help every Soccer Mom relax again and enjoy the feel of a good carve.  Here’s how YOU can help.

1. If you see a soccer mom out there with her kids, talk to her!  If you have kids of your own, invite them to take a run.  Show them how to snowboard without the GoPro turned on.  Show them the proper pocket to store their cell phone in while following their children.  It may take a few tries, but soon your effort will be rewarded and you will see the Soccer Mom actually enjoying spending quality time on the mountain with her children!

Pro Tip - have your children demonstrate essential snowboard skills, like toeside turns in front of the soccer mom.  If appropriate, make statements like “great job honey, once you really get those toe turns down, we can try the terrain park.” In front of the soccer mom, to subtly encourage an understating of snowboard progression. 

2. Once you’ve established a rapport with a Soccer Mom, find ways to subtly imbue her with your understanding of snowboarding.  Point out terrain park safety signs to your children in front of her, and review the things that you’ve taught your children so that they won’t get killed.  Even if it’s something that seems obvious to you, it never hurts to quiz your kids and make sure they’re thinking about safety, and if you can do it in front of a confused Soccer Mom, all the better!  It doesn’t have to be boring, make the questions fun and exciting! Q: “Kids, what happens if you hang out just below the knuckle of a jump?”  A: “People using the jump won’t be able to see you, and the sharp edges of their snowboards could cut off your head!” 

3. Try and help the Soccer Mom understand what kind of terrain is the most FUN for her child’s level.  Coming from competitive sports, they will be eager to get their child started on the competitive side of snowboarding, so you will need to gently coax her out of the terrain park and encourage her to build a complete understanding of the joys of things like powder and carving.  WARNING:  when extracting a Soccer Mom from the Terrain park, watch for a defensive reaction, which will include bold statements about being a paying customer and her right to be there.  If this occurs, we recommend disengaging and resuming your attempt at another time.  Terrain Park extraction takes a delicate touch to avoid violent outbursts.

4.  Invite the Soccer Mom for a Momma Only shred day.  Have an amazing time.  Point out the nature and the views, the side hits and tree runs, and everything that your own children really enjoy.

Pro Tip: teach Soccer Moms how to take chairlift selfies, so that they can capture their experiences for social media while they’re bored on the lift instead of while they’re having a great time shredding.

5.  If all else fails, tell the Soccer Mom about coaching programs at their local mountain, especially ones that do not allow the Soccer Mom to be present or intervene.  Although these competition-focused programs may maintain the Soccer Mom’s soccer-ness, at least you can rest easy knowing that her children are snowboarding with someone who probably loves snowboarding and understands how to do so safely.

Do you have more tips for turning Soccer Moms into lifelong snowboarders?  Please share!

Posted by Kelly Vance on 03/29/16

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