Good afternoon, fellow thrill junkies. I recently joined the world of winter outdoor activities, and thought to myself, It’s been too long since I was in the hospital, why not try snowboarding? Thus began a miserable series of events, all leading up to frostbite on my taint. For those of you mounting up for the first time, don’t fret! There are others just like you, sauntering around like one-legged behemoths, begging anyone to pull them over to the lifts.

One of my favorite parts of the slopes is watching toddlers ski. You know, kids so young they can barely walk, let alone ski, scooting along behind mom and pop, looking purely dissatisfied with the way the world is treating them so far. They remind me of newborn giraffes. Moments after birth, the giraffe, like the toddler skier, slowly gathers its energy, rises to its feet, buckles its knees, and then skis down the hill for the first time.

This will essentially be your first experience snowboarding.

Don’t tell other skiers or snowboarders when you’re coming up behind them, as this will only serve to scare them.

So how might one sign up for this dangerous downhill endeavor? It’s quite easy! Just take out a second mortgage on your home and then go spend a small fortune on top-of-the-line gear that you’ll only use once. If you’re searching for somewhere to go, make sure to check online for ski resort recommendations before deciding to ignore them and go elsewhere.

The art of snowboarding (or “snowflying,” as it’s called in many Norwegian circles) was born in the late 1990’s, when a large group of skateboarders realized they hadn’t yet sustained enough tailbone injuries. The cold grasp of winter didn’t allow them to skateboard in their streets, or hang out around 7-11’s, so they took the wheels off their boards and pushed one another down a mountain. Many moves from skateboarding carried over into snowboarding, including “board jump,” “turn move,” “ankle destroyer,” and “stop and sit down mid-trail,” just to name a few.

One of the harder parts of snowboarding is mastering the lifts. Before you can go down, you need to learn to go up! Ski lifts are built with a function that allows them to quickly attempt to sweep you up and knock you over. After you’ve successfully attached your butt to the seat, turn to the stranger on the lift and ask them for weed. (NOTE: Snowboarders are notorious for being potheads. Make a quick comment about how “fresh the pow is today,” and then demand they sell you marijuana. This is considered polite ski lift etiquette.)

Let’s assume you make it to the top of the mountain. To get off the lift easily, without falling or embarrassing yourself or your new drug dealer, fall forward and crawl down the off ramp. Others will be impressed at how you’re not falling! Next, go ahead and strap yourself into your deathboard, making sure you have no feeling in your feet once you feel comfortable standing (you should already be losing feeling in your hands by this point), and then slowly inch your way forward until it’s too late for you to stop.

Once you’re barreling down at breakneck speed, without knowledge of how to stop, make sure you don’t tell other skiers or snowboarders when you’re coming up behind them, as this will only serve to scare them. Instead, simply turn your body 1/16th of an inch any direction in a good faith effort until you inevitably hit them and topple down into the fresh snow. Make sure you curse loudly as you fall, as this will allow other death wishers nearby to know that you’re actually very good, and it was just the wind was weird, that’s all.

Now that you’ve mastered falling, learn how to stop! While skiers have the luxury of two poles to help them brake or swat away nearby objects/people, snowboarders rely on straight physics to slow down. This is done by quickly turning your board perpendicular to the mountain, which will cause a brief snowstorm in front of you, eliminating the last shred of visibility you had before your goggles fogged up.  Stay crouched and lean backward when you brake, so if you fall it’s the shortest way down. “Brake checks” are simple and easy ways to maintain a slow speed and deprive you of any real joy while snowboarding.

Keep your head in front of you, your board straight, and your body constantly ready for impact, and you’ll be shredding in no time!