By Joel Muzzey
While we observe-from the sidelines, from the magazine rack, or from in front of the television-snowboarders are throwing down. They’re popping switch off cliffs and setting down in untouched pow. Hitting perfect jumps against a backdrop of Alpine white-bright blue skies and big, slow spins for everyone. Inverted and holding the grab. New lines off the cliff-band and no hand-drags in the landing-everything is flawless. Riding so good it can only be surpassed by exaggeration-is it enough?What we don’t see are the miles of bumped-out sled trails that lead to the zone, or the taped ribs, or the rocks on rider’s left. We can’t hear the thunder of the slough or feel the sweaty fatigue of post-holing back to the top. The margins of error, the mental warfare, and the pressure to produce-this stuff is lost on us. We just want to see it bigger, better, smoother. We demand it-riding that will match our exaggerations-shit that’ll be unbelievable even next year. And that’s one of the cool things about snowboarding-we usually get it. Every season brings a barrage of ridiculous new stunts that up the ante and set expectations ever higher.Each winter presents another opportunity for riders to test their mettle-to ride into the realm of the unimagined. While most of us are happy to let the other guys kill themselves trying, a few truly demented kids make chase-they’re the Wrecking Crew. While we chatter on about who rips and what’s sick-telling the stories and drooling on the pictures-the riders are at work. They’re hiking farther up the in-run, spinning that last 180, and stomping the landing. These riders are getting it done-getting the shots. The time is now-yesterday is gone.