You don't have to be professional to have a snowboarding career. I'd say anybody that snowboards on a regular basis and uses it as a primary hobby or activity can class themselves as a snowboarder. Just like somebody who plays sunday league can say their a footballer.
Most of us will snowboard on a regular basis for our whole lives, and that's great. However there is an unspoken number of us out there who, due to unforseen circumstances, have had our release of freedom torn from our grips without any pre notification. Call us bitter, call us non commital, I am pretty sure there are some people out there (myself included) who simply cannot partake in their second love due to the following reasons.
(For those who are still living the dream, please use this as a guide to prolong your dream even further, and, avoid the below for as long as possible)
Lets face it, not all of us can afford to jump on a plane to the mountains every winter or pay extortionate prices at an indoor snowslope. Like it or hate it, snowboard is an expensive sport and which is still a primary factor as to why participation levels will never reach that of skateboarding. My advice, if you're not in the mountains go find a local dryslope which is half the cost and just as fun.
It's horrible, and it's inevitable you will get injured at some point during your snowboarding life. However for a select few of us it's so bad we actually have to call it a day, and I feel for you. It's a tough ask, but try and find something else which can give you the same highs as floating off a booter or first tracks in waist deep pow. Then let me know what that is.
3. You discover cycling
I've seen it a lot, and most snowboarders will use cycling as a lovely summer sport to take a break from the mountains and see them in a different light. This is fantastic, but unfortunately the lycra completely consumes some of us that we develop a case of RCS (road cyclist syndrome). This syndrome is yet to be backed by scientific research but there is plenty of articles out there on how to find a balance between the two.
This can apply to most aspects of life, and the more you have the harder it is to pursue your dreams. Your priorities change, and immediately these little humans require 100% of your attention and focus. There are some people that are probably reading this that think, 'well if you truly love snowboarding you will find a way to still do it', but those people don't have kids.
5. You get a job
Snowboarding is still a relatively small industry and there are some lucky people out there that can make a living out of it. But with the cost of living ever increasing, sometimes life just forces us to stop doing seasons and get behind a desk. It's so hard to keep the motivation to ride whilst your plugging numbers all day in microsoft excel, so maybe set cool screensaver, watch some snowboard videos on your break and it may torture you even more, but will hopefully keep that passion alive.
I'm not bitter, as you may have noticied some of these aspects have happened to me and physically stopped me from riding for a while. It would be easy to give up on snowboarding altogether, but it's about maintaining a passion for it without stepping on a board and one day you'll get back at it I'm sure.