We’re not sure if it’s from hanging out with all these snobs in the office or what, but lately a few of us interns noticed a shift in our attitude, and it’s not a pleasant one. It’s one of hoity-toity, stuck-upedness. Example: A couple of us were getting our shred on last winter when we spotted a fella sporting a skin-tight, neon-green jacket-pant combo. Instead of being stoked to see another person enjoying a day on the hill, we laughed at him. “Where do you plug that thing in?” someone yelled. “Hey, are you hungry? ‘Cause your ass is, it’s eating your pants,” another snipped.

In the middle of all this it hit us: Why are we bummed on this guy? Because he isn’t wearing the freshest gear? Because he can’t name the three best video parts of the year? Who cares? Truth be known, what most refer to as “kooks” are probably the last pure thing in snowboarding. Don’t agree? Think about it.

Remember the first time you donkey-kicked the hell out of a method air? It was probably all of six inches off the ground, but it felt like a thousand. Or how about your first 180? Walking in the lodge as if you were the cock of the walk, head held high, strutting your shit. “Barneys” experience that every single day. There is no sponsor-me tape or worry about correct sticker placement. All that matters is that they aren’t at school or punching a clock. Just pure, unadulterated fun. Sure they like to wear those hats with the fake dreadlocks, but who cares? And they might smell like cheap beer and nachos at 7:00 a.m., but, hey, they like to party-who don’t?

You wanna talk kooks, think about the first time someone walked up to the ticket window holding what musta looked like a damn ironing board. Tell us he wasn’t getting some looks. With them wool army-surplus pants duct-taped to their moon boots and stoked as hell just to get in some turns. Ahh, the good ol’ days, not that any of us are old enough to have been there-but we hear the never-ending stories coming outta Hoy’s mouth, so we might as well have been.

Anyway-what we’re trying to say is it would seem this whole “sport” was pioneered by the uncool. To turn our backs on them now would be silly. So next time you see somebody with no goggles, wearing a T-shirt in a snowstorm, don’t look down on ‘em. Give them an enthusiastic “Wooooo!” That is, if they are not giving themselves one already.