Snowboarding is not just for the fellas. Outdoor Afro caught up with Tomar Brown (30) and Karen Anderson (36), of Washington D.C. who have found excitement and fun on the slopes.
When asked how they each got involved with snowboarding together they said it started with rugby, which they have played competitively for the past ten years, and is where the two met and became a couple. “Rugby seems to have started a lot of things for us,” said Brown with a laugh. In the off-season she explained that some members of their rugby team take their sporting camaraderie to the slopes, so they had a ready-made community of support to get started. Even though some years ago, Karen took her young son out on the slopes to snowboard for the first time for the both of them, she found she enjoyed the sport more than he did. So she was delighted to meet Tomar years later, who re-ignited her interest in the slopes — something they enjoyed doing together.
When asked if the two ever felt uncomfortable or experienced stares while snowboarding, especially in settings where there are few people of color, the two shrugged it off and said that the slopes can actually feel anonymous as people are hidden behind layers of protective clothing and accessories. And the journey down the mountain feels quite personal and solitary, where Tomar admits she might bump hip-hop or Kirk Franklin to get her snow groove on!
For the beginning snowboarder, Karen says, “forget the big trips and go instead to small towns.” Her favorites include North Conway, New Hampshire or when with a group, Steamboat Springs, Colorado.” She says that March is a great month to find deals in small towns, and when snowboarding away from the crowds, the experience feels more personal, and lodge bartenders remember your name! Both agreed that the most important thing is simply to learn how to snowboard, and along the way expect the sport to “beat you up, and take you down.” But once you gain control, finding that personal zone of fun and exhilarating release makes it all worthwhile.
What are your experiences skiing and snowboarding? If you have never tried, what holds you back?