How to Live the Old Man Snowboarder Lifestyle

Justin LaBarge

Legacy Magazine

If you’re trying too hard, you’re not doing it right. 

My name is Justin LaBarge. I’ve been skiing 50 years straight, and many of those years on a snowboard. I want to offer you my techniques and methods so that you too can pull this off. Below are the top 6 things to know, if you’re living the “Old Man Snowboarder” lifestyle.

1. Whatever, never mind

First let’s get a few things straight. If you’re living the old man snowboarder lifestyle, chances are you’re at least a Gen X’er, and you need to learn to utilize our generational power – of indifference.

Be indifferent!

Did the chairlift line just close right in front of you? So what!  Did you just clean out the attic while throwing down right in front of the packed pub deck? A snot-bubler to the ol’ brain bucket is just part of the game, pal. Wear your infamy with pride.

However, many skiers wake at the crack-ass of a time they call “First Chair.” But you just may find yourself cutting out of work early, racing to the lift in order to catch the LAST chair. Dude, that takes a transcendent level of COMMITMENT!

Fuck it! I’m outta here to get that one run. Just don’t try TOO hard.

Speaking of which…

2. Take it when you can get it

It’s nice to be nice to nice people. But see, I never liked the word ‘”NICE.

“No friends on a good powder day” is an ancient proverb. Just go! Lay some tracks, be in the moment and make no apologies.

You’ll thank me later.

3. Know the local secrets

Cutting past the traffic, finding those the hidden backside trails, or the spot to stash your cooler. These are local secrets – they are problems others have already solved. So you don’t have to.

Because, if you’re trying too hard, you’re not doing it right. 

Speaking of which…

4. Befriend your local bartenders

They pass on the local wisdom. They are the nexus for the ongoing skiing discussion, and they hold all the secrets. Like, where do I find the powder?

They know stuff. So you don’t have to.  

Similarly, if you get the chance to ride the lift with ski patrol, take it! Chat him up; often times they’ll volunteer information you never knew you needed to know. That’s called getting something for nothing.

And get to know the wrench monkeys that tune your plank at the local ski shops. I once traded a week-long snowboard rental on a ski trip to Breckenridge for the cost of a case of Tuborg beer.

I shit you not. 

5. Duct tape

Gloves wear out fast after much knuckle-dragging, my friend. But it’s also a beacon to all that you sir, are in fact a local. Wave that freak flag, my man!

Duct tape means you’re doing it right.

6. Be prepared

This is important. Preparation is key.

At seasons start, go through the thousand pockets of your parka, ski suit, moisture shell, light jacket, ski bib, snow pants, ski bag, and boot bag to remove the snot rags, empty nip bottles, crushed beer cans, trail maps, old lift tickets, base wax, used condoms, spare glove liners, loose change, gatorade bottle caps, trail bar wrappers, hats, skull caps, face masks, balaclavas, neck warmers, earmuffs, spare socks, sunglasses, lip balm, sunscreen, vasoline (for the super cold days), ratchet screwdrivers, empty flasks, and/or wineskins.

Sort through the pile. Chuck the garbage and wash anything you may have snotted over and drooled upon.

Reload your gear and you’re good to go.


That’s it. If YOU are living the “Old Man Snowboarder” lifestyle, I hope you found this guide helpful. If you already are, you likely already know all this, and you’ve completely wasted your time reading this. Which is such a Gen-X thing to do.

Oh well, who cares?

If you did find this useful, I’m glad. Because you Millenials and Gen-Z’ers are going to need all the friggin’ help you can get!

Sorry, not sorry.

If you wish to share any lessons I may have missed, put it in the comments below. Most importantly, remember:

If you’re trying too hard, you’re not doing it right. 

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