Rad, radical. It’s a word that’s firmly been in our community’s lexicon since the beginning. It’s a term used freely, usually with excitement, anticipation or affirmation. And, if you’re on the receiving end of being praised as such, it’s usually a nice place to be. But, is it a term we can honestly use to define the snowboard community at this point in time?
“Climate change poses the biggest threat to our community since its inception”
You may not realise this but climate change poses the biggest threat to our community since its inception. It’s hard for me to think of another sport that climate change affects so directly and obviously than snowboarding. Warmer temperatures, increased precipitation, wild fluctuations, higher freezing altitudes and shorter seasons are the making of our collective nightmares, and it’s happening now. If we go over the 2C degrees target set in the Paris climate change agreement (which we are well on course to do) the Alps is set to lose 70% of snow cover in 80 years. It makes for even more brutal reading when “The most affected elevation zone for climate change is located below 1,200m, where the simulations show almost no continuous snow cover towards the end of the century.” With about a quarter of ski resorts in the Alps below 1200m, these lower level resorts will cease to exist, and the commercial viability of even the higher resorts will become harder to justify. We’re talking about the end of snowboarding as we know it today.