The other night, Shopping Siren had an epiphany while watching the Olympic Winter Games.
Snowboarding is fun.
I know a lot of people feel that way. But I have always been of the opinion that strapping your feet to a board and hurling yourself down a mountain is a scary/dangerous/generally bad idea — when you have alternatives. Such as not doing that.
Then I saw this race. The snowboarders blasted down the mountain. There were jumps. And suddenly they were airborne. For a moment, they seemed suspended in air, floating. Then, boom! Back on the snow, speeding toward the next jump.
It was amazing.
So now I want to be an Olympic snowboarder.
Or maybe any kind of snowboarder. Preferably one that does not fall a lot.
That is one of the great things about the Olympics: the dreams. Dreams coming true for the athletes. Dreams born for those watching, awestruck.
But to snowboard, be it at the Olympic level or the I’m-just-trying-not-to-die-here level, you will first need a board. And other gear. And Backwoods Snowboards & Skateboards in Auburn.
Located on Garfield Road, just off Minot Avenue, the shop looks deceptively tiny from the outside but is spacious on the inside, filled with boards, boots, bindings, clothing and enough gear to make flinging yourself down a mountain seem both a fun and fully appropriate lifestyle choice.
Not ready to take the leap yourself, but happy to encourage the next generation? Backwoods also has stuff for kids.
Hey, the 2026 winter games (location TBD), are just around the corner. Your little one wants to fly.
• GNU B-Nice women’s snowboard, $289.99
Backwoods has a lot of snowboards. Some bear subdued gray tones, others the grinning image of Alfred E. Neuman from Mad Magazine or a shark leaping out of the water or a fire-red skull. I was partial to this GNU B-Nice board with its vibrant watercolor design and $90-off sale price. Because if you are going to try something new, it is almost always best to try that new thing discounted.
• Burton snowboard bags, $64.95 and up
In a variety of colors and patterns, so there is sure to be something that will match your personality and complement your board. Unless you want the board with Alfred E. Neuman on it. In that case, I don’t even know you anymore.
• Anon helmets, $69.99 and up
In lots of sizes and colors. Choose white if you want to blend in, red if you want to stand out. Choose black if you want to look a little like Darth Vader from a distance. And, really, who doesn’t?
• Burton kids snowboard, $139.99
Adorable, pink and looked to be about the right size for maybe an 8-year-old. If you are hoping to get your toddler or pre-schooler started on the slopes, Backwoods has even smaller boards, along with tiny boots and itty-bitty bindings. Too cute. You are guaranteed to “awwwww” every time you haul it all out of the car.
• Oakley goggles, $69.99 and up
Some of the boxes mention that you can use them with prescription lenses. Because seeing where you are snowboarding can be important.
• Face masks, $16.99 to $44.99
In a variety of colors, styles and brands. I happened to like a bright pink face mask and neck tube by a company called Turtle Fur, but maybe you would rather have a camo face mask by Snug Life. Though I hear you do not choose the snug life, the snug life chooses you.
Best find: Backwoods tie-dyed T-shirts, $24.99
Celebrate your newfound love of Backwoods in color. Lots of color. You will be a standout on the mountain in more ways than one.
Think twice: About thinking winter is over
It is not even March yet, which means there is still plenty of time to hit the slopes.
Shopping Siren’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who believe chasing snowballs should be an Olympic sport) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GNU B-Nice women’s snowboard, on sale for $289.99 at Backwoods Snowboards & Skateboards in Auburn. The next winter Olympics are just four years away. Start practicing now.