Not that long ago, I was still afraid of the dark. It hid shadowy evils and masked the shapes of phantasmal dangers for me¿faceless creeps lurking around dimly lit stairwells waiting to attack. When snowboarding, if I didn’t act fast to retreat indoors after the lifts quit running and the sun fell behind the cold mountains, I feared wolves would hunt me down by my boot stench. Ultimately this phobia retarded both my fun and skill, and apparently it affects more than just a few of you¿especially if you prescribe (like I did) to only riding during a resort’s open hours and by its costly access. The loss of light is deceptive; in reality there’s less out there to fear.

The real evil or dark side to snowboarding is that none of us ride enough.

Think of the time you’ve already wasted by not taking advantage of the additional hours of night. By now you might have doubled your talent, and you could have twice the fun with your friends. Recruit and train with your own Army of Darkness.