Chris Moran

Sport by Chris Moran

Chris Moran 1Chris Moran British Pro-Snowboarder talks about the sport, drinking and prepping for success.

Snowboarding is usually done at altitude, so back in the day we always knew the benefits of drinking plenty of liquids. You really couldn’t hike a pipe or get back to the top of a cliff if you were dehydrated, and you start panting really fast when you’re high up the mountain. When camelbacks came out, which enabled riders to drink constantly whilst riding (there’s a tube straw that you can clip to a shoulder strap which access a fluid pouch usually stored in a close-fitting backpack) snowboarders were all over them. 

Energy drink sponsorships are all over action sports, and they have been since the mid 90s I guess, but the reality is that few athletes actually drink them, and most prefer to use water, or performance sports drinks that have science behind them – and decant to an energy drink logo-ed bottle.

Snowboarding was awash with alcohol sponsorship before the rules of sports advertising changed. Generally speaking, there always was a cultural element – snowboarders, skaters, surfers and BMXers were proud I suppose of the perceived rock n’ roll lifestyle and partying hard went with that. But the other reality is that when you compete you’re doing so against others, and if they’re looking after themselves (i.e.: a few days off drinking, stretching etc) then that’s the level you have to compete at. Since about the turn of the millennium, the amounts of money involved in action sports as a whole has meant that athletes take their sports seriously, and that means coaches, diets and training regimes. Drinking is strictly for celebration, and even then it’s in moderation. The days of the rock n’roll athlete are pretty much over. They just wouldn’t win anything.

Few riders ever drink alcohol whilst riding – I’ve never done it in over 23 years of riding. It wouldn’t work, and the potential to really hurt yourself when snowboarding is high, so why impair your decision making? It’s quite common in recreational skiing – in fact it’s encouraged with mountain restaurants often being a pub crawl by skiers of a certain age, but I think that younger skiers and snowboarders see it is like drink driving – it’s just not the done thing.

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