What is G.N.A.R.?
If you are a skier, you probably already know. And if you are a skier, and don’t, you probably should.
G.N.A.R. is best explained by watch the movie about G.N.A.R. It’s aptly named G.N.A.R. the Movie. It’s about an hour and 10 minutes, so set aside some viewing time, it is worth the watch, even if you aren’t a skier. I’ts free too…
You’re probably going to read this before you actually watch the movie, so to give you the coles notes, the game of G.N.A.R. refers to Gaffney’s Numeric Assessment of Radness. Essentially while your out skiing, you get points (50, 100, or into the thousands sometimes) for skiing a specific line at Squaw Valley. This is the basic way to score points. The fun part comes with the extra credit points; so while skiing doing stupid things like skiing naked, calling your mom while skiing a line, peeing mid line, snowblading in lingerie, farting loudly in a gondola line and claiming it, and my favourite, pro call outs: “You’re (pro’s name here) right? I can’t believe you’re sponsored/won x-games etc, I am WAY better then you!”. The more rad you get, the more points you get.
The gist of the movie is, go out with your friends and be stupid, have fun, get rad, and enjoy the sport. Don’t take the sport so seriously. Far too many people take it (skiing/kayaking, whatever) way too seriously. They legitimately think they are better then everyone, and are quite often full of themselves. (As opposed to calling someone out as a joke).
So how does this apply to kayaking? I’m sure you have all run into the type of boater that takes themself way too seriously. If you show up and try to talk to them, they aren’t interested because you’re probably not as good as they are. And if you are in fact better, that’s not cool either because now you just showed them up in front of anyone else there. So basically they don’t like you either way. Especially if you’re an open boater.(there is a mutual absence of respect that goes both ways here)
So, after watching GNAR, what message can also be taken into kayaking? In my mind, if you’re not laughing hysterically at several times throughout the day of kayaking, you are missing the point. Instead of standing by petty rivalries, dislikes of an individual person or group, and the seriousness of paddling, do something completely ridiculous, silly, stupid, and funny more or less every time you go boating. Working on that blunt or spin is fun too, but so is rip and dipping your buddy on a wave (steps: 1. tear off skirt 2. push bow down to pearl) or jumping into a hole with no boat but instead a giant inflatable manta-ray.
Mustache at Mackfest…
Kayakers are usually pretty good for this type thing, and I’ll hand it club paddlers, they are some of the best sometimes (but some of the worst other times when it comes to being cliquey). But next time you see that paddler that is too cool to have a ridiculous type of fun, I would recommend taking the piss out of them: tell them about how you just farted really hard on that bounce or boof. Or claim that you’re the best kayaker on the river right now. That one is especially fun with raft guides.
So, after watching GNAR, (as I will repeat often), go get Rad and have fun! But you do have to ask yourself: If you’re getting rad and there is no one around to see it, are you really getting rad?