For nine months a year, the home of many pro snowboarders is a two-by-three-foot duffel bag on wheels-their mobile home. Statistically speaking, spending that much time on the road guarantees a sketchy run-in at some point. Like this time I flew to Boston and tried to take the Greyhound up north to go ride at Stowe. The cab driver kindly dropped me a few blocks shy of the bus station … after dark, in the seediest spot possible, with all my shred gear. Let me tell you, that was the longest four-block walk of my life. I was maxing-out at one mile per hour-sweat pouring down my forehead, backpack falling off one shoulder, squeaky baggage wheel pointing me out to potential muggers everywhere. I made it through to the station, of course, but not without a few bruises and a new friend with a pierced neck named Boxcar. Below are the travel stories of three pros all too familiar with the trials of a nomadic lifestyle. Take notes-each one holds its own little travel lesson.-J.S.
What is the sketchiest situation you’ve encountered in your travels?
Fredrik SarvellAge: 23Sponsors: Airwalk, Arnette”Probably when I flew to Argentina all by myself at the age of seventeen. It was my first trip alone and everything went wrong. I was going to Las Le§as but landed in a city called Mendoza. I was told Las Le§as was an hour bus drive from Mendoza, but a local told me it was actually nine or so. I didn’t know where the bus station was-I didn’t know shit, to be honest. After telling the local my story, he helped me with my bus ticket and invited me to his house. I bought dinner for his whole family and we had a good time. At midnight he drove me to the bus, and I woke up in Las Le§as to realize my visa was gone-but that’s another story … “
David Carrier-Porcheron Age: 21Sponsors: Burton, Hurley, Spy, Empire Shop”Well, this one time at band camp … no, I won’t get into that. Seriously, once in Argentina-a little before the Burton photo shoot started-I was hiking with Joe Curtes and Chris Mask. I dropped in a 1,000-foot curved chute, but the whole slope broke under me on my first turn-three-foot fracture, the whole thing. It was quite a ride. For some reason I rode out of it. Curtes and Mask had to go down the whole chute on ice looking for me with their beacons, until I yelled, ‘I’m all right-I’m here!’ It was the sketchiest situation, but the one I’ve learned the most from.”
David Andreas BenedekAge: 21Sponsors: Salomon, Bonfire, Anon, Ratiopharm”This one time it was so gnarly-I couldn’t upgrade to business class. It was really humiliating. I had to sit with all those second-class proletariat in the back of the plane. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw there was no in-seat TV-can you believe that? And I have a golden mileage card, you know, golden! Then, if it wasn’t already bad enough, that “person” next to me was trying to make conversation. I mean, what am I supposed to talk about with him? The latest advantages of the red-carpet membership? I don’t think so. Did he really think we had anything in common? I don’t think I’ve ever been so desperate in my life. At least I was still able to get some champagne-although they serve it in cheap little plastic cups-and even find some sleep after a couple glasses. I had this intense dream I was on the Titanic and fell in love with this girl from coach class. It was so real-I was really disturbed when I woke up. Luckily, they were just announcing our landing. Those were definitely the worst 35 minutes of my life.”