The cannabis and snowboarding communities have always been intertwined in some way. At its core, the snowboarding population has always been a creative bunch ever since the sport's inception. It is a strong possibility that cannabis had something to do with the invention of snowboarding, going back to its roots as a way to surf on the snow. Nowadays, in Steamboat Springs where I live, smoking on the gondola is so common that the attendant at the top has Febreze handy to spray around the gondola whenever they suspect someone has been smoking!

Snowboarders use marijuana for a multitude of different aspects related to snowboarding. It can be a great pain reliever for people with foot, ankle, or knee pain, which are common problems for long-time snowboarders. More importantly, cannabis helps keep your creativity levels up and encourages a freer flowing experience on the slopes, which can be a huge mood booster and enhances your enjoyment. After consuming pot on the hill, a snowboarder also won't become as aggravated by long lift lines and the huge influx of gapers on busy weekends. I won't go so far as to say that all snowboarders use marijuana, but I would argue that more do use cannabis than don't, and I am among the people that do.

When, where and how it helps

For me, the mountain is part of daily life and I usually sneak runs in as much as possible throughout the week. Weekends are usually left for tourists and many locals avoid snowboarding altogether on those days. During the week in Steamboat Springs, you can usually get your own gondola (which is the optimal way to start your day) and I like to have a joint ready to go if I get lucky. If I can't get the "club car", which is a gondola all to myself or just with friends, I usually wait until I can get a private moment in the woods. I very rarely ride without herb. Almost never.

Smoking helps with my aches and pains, which are numerous after 20 years of snowboarding and skateboarding in the summer time. After so many years of riding and as I approach turning 30, my aspirations of X Games glory have long faded and been replaced with the simple enjoyment of the sport. Marijuana helps me look at the mountain in a unique way all the time, keep the creative juices flowing, and reimagine the same runs I have done a thousand times with a new twist and different approach. I'm not sure if it makes me better, but I know it makes me think I'm really, really good periodically, which is priceless.

The best strains for snowboarding

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With regard to the best strains for snowboarders, Sour Diesel is my favorite strain to ride with. All natural, soil-grown Sour D has a very cerebral effect and is a huge creativity booster. I believe its pain-relieving properties are also potent and the taste is always a nice fuel-driven profile that coats your mouth and is a pleasure to smoke in papers. Different strains affect everyone differently though, and there is no strain specific to snowboarders. However, I think sativa-dominant hybrids would be a good place to start for anyone.

If you want to start using cannabis during your snowboarding adventures, remember to not use excessive amounts that you haven't before. Stick to what you know and see how you feel, as riding under the influence of cannabis is not for everyone. Have fun!

Anthony Franciosi was born and raised in New Jersey until 2008 when he moved to Colorado to become a marijuana farmer. Since then, Anthony has founded HonestMarijuana.com, an all-natural marijuana growery. Outside of work, Anthony can be found high up in the mountains on his snowboard.