If you for some chance got messed up channel surfing like I did last Thursday night and stumbled upon the Big Air snowboarding competition at Fenway Park, how lucky you were! Imagine snowboarding acrobatics off a man made mountain jump from center field to home plate in Fenway!! Stunning!
I don't think it would be out of bounds to say that snowboarding is one of the fastest growing snow sports and Winter Olympic events. If you look at what events have been added over the past 20 years, I think the various snowboarding competitions would have to win the day. Whether it is working the half pipe or working big air, this sport packs a potent punch of thrills, danger, excitement, and awe. Not to mention, it's cool--it's sexy! The athletes are young, athletic, good looking, crazy, and eccentric. Talk about a made-for-TV sport!
In light of this popularity, however, it absolutely blows me away that there are so few books by snowboarders. You guys are killing me! Pull out the earbuds for a second. Do you have any idea how many teenage kids come to me looking for books about snowboarding?? I'm not talking "how to snowboard" junk. I've never met a teenager that wanted to learn how to snowboard by reading a "How-to" book--they want to break limbs and get concussed. What these kids want are stories!! What makes you guys click? Hell, if being a librarian were a standard of coolness and people were demanding books, I'd have the computer warmed up and sordid tales of coffee drinking and Dewey transgressions would fly.
So take this as advice. There's a market demand. There's an Olympic year on the horizon. Could the stars align better?
There are some titles that I have in my library that might be a nice add to a collection that serves an under 21 crowd. Most of these stories trace the basic rise of the sport and talk about how the image of the sport of snowboarding and it's competitors have evolved. Take a peek at these, and let's hope we get some more action in the coming years.
On My Own Two Feet by Amy Purdy reveals the intimate details of her triumphant comeback from the brink of death to making history as a Paralympic snowboarder. When the Las Vegas native was just nineteen, she contracted bacterial meningitis and was given less than a two percent chance of survival. Purdy fought to live and ended up the only competitor, male or female, with two prosthetic legs to claim a bronze medal for the U.S. Paralympic team in adaptive snowboarding (Amazon).
P3 by Todd Richards. One of the most charismatic, popular, and talented snowboarders in the world, Todd Richards, tells the story of his life as a skateboarder–turned–world–class–snowboarder, and of the sport that in less than 10 years has gone from underground to the forefront of the Olympics(Amazon)..
Pretty Good For a Girl by Tina Basich. When Basich grabbed her rented snowboard and headed to the mountains in Lake Tahoe, snowboarding wasn't even considered a sport . . . yet. It was the beginning, and could have easily gone the way of many other sports and become dominated by male-driven competition. Representing for women everywhere, she became a snowboarding all-star, started her own signature board and clothing lines for women, founded Boarding for Breast Cancer, and followed her heart, which led her on the adventure of a lifetime(Amazon).
Off the Chain by Ross Rebagliati begins with the sport’s early days, when the pioneers built their own boards and snuck onto the slopes. Rebagliati profiles snowboarding’s most notorious figures, explores the nature of snowboarding culture, and tells what touring as a young World Cup snowboarder is like. He traces the mainstreaming of the sport, the evolution of snowboard fashion, and the emergence of Shaun White as snowboarding’s first megastar. He’s unsparing in revealing the sport’s more controversial aspects, from groupies to drugs, including his own experience having his gold medal revoked — and then restored — after failing a drug test(Amazon).
Chasing Epic uses Jeff Curtes’s camera juxtaposes the best snowboarders of our time, including Shaun White and many others, across impossibly beautiful, majestic, and insane mountainsides. His compositions emphasize the lone individual soaring across awe-inspiring landscapes in an almost surreal and sometimes abstract figure/ground/sky relationship. Curtes’s images capture the skill, courage, and freedom that these athletes possess in their pursuit of the perfect ride (Amazon).