Fine Tuning My Love | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Fine Tuning My Love

A Shred Betty fairy tale, in honor of the upcoming V-Day

Shred Betty, as defined by A cool female snowboarder of exceptional ability. 

Fine Tuning My Love
K.M. Collins
I love my snowboard... and my split board—but getting together with a lady shred crew is what life is all about.

Roses are red, violets are blue, free refills stacked in the white room, fresh and new.

Chocolates are dark, filling is creamy, set back my bindings for turns totally dreamy. 

Amethysts are purple, diamonds are icy, untracked faces picking lines so spicy. 

Champagne is classy, wine is bold, weaving through gully stashes never gets old. 

Candles are lit, slow jams are on, the stillness of snow is my favorite song. 

Stilettos are tall, cheeks are rouge, bring a snorkel for going down on the winter deluge.   

Bath is bubbly, strawberries are sweet, splashing through powder is the ultimate treat.

Pillows are soft, garments are lacy, carving in tandem drives me crazy. 

Once upon a time...

Blowing by at high speed, scabby snowblower flakes kiss a small window of exposed skin between my cheekbones and lips. Winter ignites my sensory system. Winding through trees, scouting each line in the blink of an eye, I float on cloud nine. Alternating between holding my breath and drinking in the gift of precipitation, my heart skips a beat. Trying to keep it upright with low visibility and mounting vertigo, the butterflies in my stomach rage. Fresh, naked powder makes me blush. Downy rapture. 

Riding a snowy winter tide is my hot-date, holy-grail fairy tale. I am my own knight in shining armor, gently straddled atop an all-mountain poppy twin-tip steed.

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I'm in love with my snowboard.

Kshh, kshh, kshh, kshh. My skins drag across the pow-laden Earth. The sound of carpet-brushing snow broadcasts from the bottom of my splitboard. The rhythm produced is an entrancing soundtrack as I inch toward another summit. Melody echoes against the eight-count slow dancing under an infinite winter sky. Recitations of reading snow patterns, wind loading, cornice checks and noting conditions coalesce, harmonizing lyrics in my head. 

The slopestyle love song hits double time during descent. Enlisting big mountain turns and tight, surfy heel-toe edge shifts, I intimately traverse the contours of a desert snowscape. The ratio of uphill climbing to downhill shredding, earning your turns as it were, isn't for the faint of heart. Cloaked in gear poundage, heavy breathing and heaving myself uphill, I feel sexy. Winter elevation makes me swoon and the powder always catches me when I fall. 

Fine Tuning My Love
K.M. Collins
Fine tuning her own gear helps this author give the love that gives back on the slopes.

I'm in love with my splitboard.

Riding a snowy winter tide is my hot-date, holy-grail fairy tale. I am my own knight in shining armor, gently straddled atop an all-mountain poppy twin-tip steed. I am my own prince charming, slipping my foot into glass-slipper flexy skate bindings. 

To prepare for these romantic rendezvous, I trade in the blow dryer and nail polish for an iron and hot wax. Instead of a vanity, makeup and lingerie, a solid workbench, tune kit and Carhartts are requisite.  

The art of waxing a snowboard starts with running your hands over the undercarriage, checking for blemishes—dirt, corrosion, pollen and detritus. Like a deep tissue massage, the goal is to remove knots that could prevent a smooth ride. 

To wax, I hold the milky white brick against the hot press and allow the meltoff to drip between the rails, tip to tail. Massage the blotches of wax in. Eventually, I remove excess wax with a pliable sharp plastic scraper. Finally, by dragging a soft brush along the base, I create directional runnels or conduits for tracking. 

After my board is all minted up, I check the binding positioning against the forecast: duck foot for groomers versus set back, directional stance for pow. A quick soft goods inventory and I double check I secured a mountain parking pass. Like setting the dinner table with the best china and silver cutlery, I iron out the details so my date with my snow whip flows without a hitch. 

A superbly applied layer of hot wax against a fresh blanket of powder is the crem de la crem, the pinnacle, the climax. The ultimate sugar high, an unmatched aphrodisiac and the perfect Shred Betty Valentine. See you on the flip side this February 14!  

And she lived happily ever after... the end.

About The Author

K.M. Collins

A native Oregonian, K.M. Collins is a geologist-gone-writer. Covering everything outdoors and a spectrum of journalism, she's a jack of all whitewater sports and her favorite beat is anything river related. Don't blow her cover as a freshwater mermaid amongst humans.
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