The Greatest Feeling in the World

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by Brad Hays

Life, as I recall began at the age of two. Yes, it seems like a stretch, but looking back, I feel every decision and opportunity that came along has led me to where I am now.

My first memories of childhood were immortalized onto Poloroid’s instant still image photos while on cross-country ski trips to the Rockies. I was a little young to ski, but the energy I got from being in the mountains, never went away.

At the age of 6, I began skateboarding and began taking control of my brothers homemade board. I loved the feeling and challenge that I got from it; I was hooked.

By age 11, my brother, and best friends who lived at the end of our block would race home from school to skateboard after schools, however, it wasn’t enough. I remember, winter came early that year and blanketed Calgary in November.

Taking advantage of our creative imaginations, we found our dad’s tool set, an old pair of skis and began swapping parts. Two of our skateboards quickly lost their trucks and wheels were replaced by a single front ski binding, which we wedged our on our floppy white Sorel boots into and ungracefully push our way to a nearby tobogganing gully a few blocks away.

Standing at the top of the gully, we wobbled the board forward towards the tipping point of the hill. When the board gained momentum, we would straight lined the 300 foot slope or in most cases fell. The board couldn’t turn and our boots would constantly pop from the front binding, but it was the greatest feeling in the world …. Not having visited an actual ski hill in years, I thought, “we invented sport!” It was 1986, I was 11 and I thought we’d all be rich!

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