Most of us have heard it before: “Boarders suck, they scrape off all the snow.” “They cruise in packs and scare the women and children.” “The baggy clothes are used to conceal weapons of mass destruction.” “They ruin the moguls.” “When they carve, they leave deep ruts in the snow.” “Boarders have an attitude problem.” “How does a boarder introduce himself? Whoa (crash), sorry dude.”
Rather than attempt to prove some point one way or the other, listed below are several facts and conclusions, it is a debate that will not be solved here. – The outward trappings of the snowboard culture are alien to most skiers, much like the tie-dyed clothes and long hair of the 60’s. – Snowboarding is here to stay: it’s an Olympic event, PSIA certifies snowboard instructors, 97% of U.S. resorts allow it, more than half of American resorts cater to boarders with half- pipes, its growth rate is over 10%, and the list goes on and on. – With such a huge growth rate there are a lot of beginning boarders out there. – Most boarders love their sport dearly and have money to spend. On average a boarder is on the slopes 3 times(!) as often per year as the average skier. – The sport is about 12 years old since steel edges came into use, this hasn’t given the boarder population time, relative to the skier population, to attain advanced skill levels. – The average age of the boarder population is increasing from 18, 4 years ago, to about 21 now. – Some people (especially young adolescent males) will occasionally get in over their heads and be on slopes they have no business being on.
Beginning snowboarders scrape off powder and so do beginning skiers. The issue is beginners and skill level. They both fall down on their butts a lot, and you see them sitting there either on the side or the middle of the run taking up real estate. – Some snowboarders have an “attitude” problem. Actually, we (the net) have concluded that, it’s not specifically boarders, it’s an artifact of hormone charged, adolescent males. So indict them. Deal with them. The consensus is that some people were buttheads well before they chose which way they would go down the mountain. – Snowboard discrimination is like blaming a car for driving out of control instead of the driver. Let’s face it there are weird people out there on every vertical descent device. It is the person, not the sport they are engaged in. Snowboarding is growing big time. It is in the spotlight. For every outlaw snowboarder, who cuts you off, and is in the limelight, there are a bunch who are civil and law abiding.