Ever notice how in interviews everyone always comments that their favorite thing is just to ride with their friends. I was thinking about that the other day after I’d crashed while snowboarding. The multi-purpose Gerber tool that I always carry had stabbed me in the thigh. My eyes began to tear up a little, but it wasn’t because of the huge bruise forming; I’m way tougher than that. You see, the tool was a gift from my best friend Greg Florkowski, for being in his wedding. Greg and I have been friends since the fifth grade, and we did everything together, including learning how to snowboard.
In 1990 I had left Indiana for the last time, when I made it to Oregon, I called Greg. He drove all our stuff and my dog out from Indiana. In the beginning we lived in a house with no water or heat–but it didn’t matter, we were riding every day. Things got better when we moved in with Marc Egge and Chris Owen. Those were probably the best times I’ve ever had, but then Greg went back to Indiana. Not getting to shred every day with Flo was kind of a bummer, but I wasn’t worried. I knew he’d be back.
A few seasons later I moved to Vail, and I drove back to Indiana and got Greg. My best friend and I were shredding every day again, and even though it meant we had to live in a one-bedroom apartment with five people, we were stoked. The season ended, and Greg went back to Indiana. Again I was bummed, but not worried.
I had already been back in Oregon for a while when Greg called me and told me he was getting married. I started to worry. It had been a while since we had ridden together and even longer since we were roommates. He told me that he and his bride might move to Colorado, so I still had some hope.
Around the time of the wedding, when I learned they weren’t going to move out west, I started to panic. At the actual wedding I asked Greg if he was sure this was what he wanted–I even went as far as to say that it wasn’t too late to spilt. I wasn’t scared that I was losing my best friend, I was scared I was losing my favorite person to snowboard with. I was mournful to the point that Kelly (Greg’s wife) had to tell me to smile before I ruined the wedding. In the back of my mind, I still had faith that Greg would smarten up and come back to the mountains.
Some time passed. Then he called and told me that Kelly was expecting. Now, I don’t know much, but I know there’s no way snowboarding could ever compete with a child. I’ve never told them, but I am super happy for Greg and Kelly. I’m just bummed that my favorite riding buddy was replaced with this heavy-ass tool. It (literally) hurts!–David “I’ll never grow up” Sypniewski