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Black Runs Suck.

Sacrilege, or truth-bombs?

Right, I’ll say it. I think black runs are actually pretty shit and I don’t like them. When I go snowboarding, I want to have fun; mobbing around with my pals, boosting sidehits, razzing through the park, I don’t want to cautiously slide my way down a piste steeper than Germany’s tax rates, full of bottle necks and covered in boilerplate ice. Black runs are the snowboarding equivalent of driving a sports car- we get it, you’ve got a tiny pecker.*

* There are some exceptions to this. If you’re aged 60+ and you’re one of those leathery-faced, rock-hard-thighed veterans who came out the womb in a fully tucked schuss position, you have my full blessing to go buckwild on Black Runs. You eat that shit for breakfast and more power to you.

“There’s always at least one lone child sobbing after their dickhead parents aggressively raced to the bottom”

Before all you weirdos with a hard on for moguls start doxing me and sending bags of dog shit to my mum, hear me out. Is it fun? Have a proper think about it and tell me honestly that it’s an enjoyable experience.

The inevitable truth of black runs is there’s always at least one lone child sobbing after their dickhead parents aggressively raced to the bottom to show off their skills, the child’s shrill cries pierce the air and are now the soundtrack to your formally enjoyable day on the hill. You have to weave your way between skiers dejectedly walking uphill to retrieve the skis that came off as they slid 300m down on their arse, desperately avoiding eye contact in case they ask you to pick up their stuff and ride it down to them.

Mayrhofen’s Infamous Harakiri

The stress is palpable, the thin sheen of sweat coating your face has started dripping into your eyes. You start to panic that you haven’t serviced your board in a while, your edges are dull as fuck, but everyone thinks you’re a good rider so if you fall, you’ll look a right prick. You’re on ultra-high alert for the arsehonkers on a lad’s holiday who’ve been necking Jäger since 8am, egging each other on to careen down the slope and end up taking out everyone in their way, culminating in a nice dog pile at the bottom. You untangle yourself from the resulting scrum, only to find one of their snow blades has lodged itself firmly up your arse.

If you’re saying that you enjoy that, either you’re a big, fat liar or you stick forks into toasters just to feel alive. Black runs are like a weird pissing contest between you and the mountain, but when you reach the bottom and turn to celebrate your victory, you realise you’ve actually been pissing into your own mouth the whole time.

“If you’re really that desperate to have the fear of God put in you, snake a local’s line on a pow day”

Cue the predictable “Oh, you’re probably just shit at snowboarding” comments. Yes! I am pretty shite to be fair. Both my snowboarding technique and personal style could be described as ‘gangly and unkempt’, I’m far from the best snowboarder in the world, I won’t be snagging a spot on the FWT anytime soon, and if I can’t ride it half-cut I don’t wanna ride it. But that doesn’t change the cold hard facts- black runs are a bit shit. Any half decent rider can get to the bottom of a black run, but you’ve gotta be out of your gourd to not see you’ll have more fun on a mixed terrain red, full of sidehits, big rollers and sidecountry dips.

I’ll admit that standing at the top waiting to drop into a Black gives you a bit of a buzz, but it’s undoubtedly the same buzz a heroin addict feels as they prise apart their toes to shoot up again. “Are my affairs in order? Have I told my mum I love her? Everyone’s gonna laugh if I’m a slobbering mess at the end. Am I crying again?”

If you’re really that desperate to have the fear of God put in you, snake a local’s line on a pow day instead. It’s infinitely more rewarding and at least you’ll have a nice black eye to show off at the end of it.

“How do you spot a psychopath in a ski resort? It’s the person loudly bragging that they did 12 Black Runs before lunch”. Call me a kook as much as you like, I’ll gladly take a jazzy red or a long, winding blue any day. This is the hill I will die on. And unlike you and your ball-shrinking, mogul infested, icy black run, my death is purely metaphorical and poetic.

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