What are the reasons for snowboarders’ not so splendid image among people? Is this the truth, or is there a deeper bias against people of this sport because of its history? Here is the truth:
The notion that people don’t like snowboarders is a misconception. In the past, skiers disliked snowboarders as they thought they were rebellious and ruined the snow. A series of accidents between skiers and snowboarders saw snowboarders take the blame, which led to clashes between the two groups.
Below, we will cover this issue from a historical context and discuss how things are with the current generation.
People do not hate snowboarders! It is common for a particular group of people to dislike others, often leading to a broad generalization far from the truth.
Though there are toxic individuals in every sport, the vast majority of current snowboarders are respected and liked among the mountain community.
However, there have been instances in the past when snowboarders were disliked.
Back in the 60s, when snowboarding started to gain popularity, it was met less than enthusiastically by the skiing community.
Many skiers did not like the attitudes of snowboarders.
Subsequently, the resorts banned snowboarders from the mountains or created tests to prove their skills to gain lift access.
These incidents ignited a conflict between the two groups.
The snowboarding community vehemently rebelled against these regulations, which they considered unfair.
Here is a shorthand version of what transpired between them.
Let us first explore the cultural conflict between these two groups.
Early snowboarders shared a cultural bond with skateboarders and surfers, which did not align with the skiing culture.
Many skiers believed that the two sports were incompatible by their very nature.
For example, skiers saw snowboarding as an impulse-driven sport that contrasted with skiing, which was seen as sophisticated.
Additionally, the age demographic between these two sports is essential in understanding their soared relationship.
In its early years, snowboarding was mainly made up of middle-class teenagers who liked to rebel against authority.
This did not sit well with the older, primarily upper-class community skiers had built for themselves.
You can easily guess why these two groups had trouble getting along with each other: the adrenaline-driven teenage behavior of the snowboarding community was considered a nuisance by skiers.
These initial differences in age and attitudes between members of the groups eventually developed into dislike between them.
Skiers also think snowboarders endanger their lives by riding fast and seeking a rush as they make their way down the mountain.
It was easy to pin this on snowboarders, as they were younger adults who enjoyed the risks of this new sport.
This was compounded as early snowboarders did not have the luxury of technological advancements available in today’s market, such as sophisticated bindings and easy to maneuver boards.
Hence, managing a snowboard was much more difficult in the 60s than today.
As a result, many resorts were happy to oblige with the skiing community’s requested and restricted access to snowboarders.
At present, most meetings between snowboarders and skiers are nice and friendly.
Yet, I have certainly come across certain skiers complaining that snowboarders are dangerous on hills.
So you could imagine the mindset that prevailed in the 60s and 70s among skiers without the modern innovations of the snowboard.
Snowboarding is a dangerous sport! This leads us to the following reason on the list.
Snowboarding is often touted as being more dangerous than skiing.
The main reason is that collisions and falls on snowboards are much more common, particularly for those new to the sport.
Certain studies have pointed out that snowboarders carry a much higher risk for injury as beginners and when trying to learn the sport than skiers.
And skiers were often happy to cite this as a reason for keeping snowboarders off the mountain.
Snowboarders were stereotypically seen as teenage kids with bad manners, which didn’t help their image at all.
A few rude exchanges on the mountain from a single snowboarder after a minor collision irked skiers, and a stigma against snowboarders was born.
The next time this happened, the table was already against the snowboarder.
Although it may have been a genuine accident, a mild-mannered and deeply apologetic snowboarder may have been seen as an instigator.
Raised eyebrows were standard among skiers when witnessing a collision because of the perceived bias.
Skiers simply didn’t want to believe it was just an accident, thinking that snowboarders were out to get them.
Hence, lawsuits demanding hefty compensation from unfortunate snowboarders were a common thing.
Today, many skiers still believe snowboarders are reckless and dangerous, citing these few incidents.
To smoothen relationships, it is in our best interests that the snowboarding community does its best to not live up to this belief.
Snowboarding as a sport had gained immense popularity after the 80s.
As you might expect from the business-minded enterprises, resorts started catering to the snowboarding audience by installing features that, at the time, were specific to snowboarding.
Many resorts began opening terrain parks with various rails, boxes, and jumps.
These alterations in the terrain drew sharp criticism from the skiing community, who were annoyed by these modifications built specifically for snowboarders.
We all know that the runs get tracked out after a busy day on the mountain.
Be it from snowboarders or skiers. However, skiers were quick to point out that snowboarders ruined the snowpack much more quickly than skiers.
Arguing that the wider area of the snowboard speeds up the compact process much faster. This further ignited the fuel between these groups.
However, both skiers and snowboarders could agree that the sloes were overused and that the snow is not ideal for anyone after a few warm days.
This is the truth; if only both sides could have acknowledged it much earlier.
From their historical context, the rift between these two sports has become considerably lower within the last decade or so. This is because:
- The average snowboarder is no longer viewed as a teenager looking to score points with their friends by doing cool stuff and being rebellious.
- Skiing is now enjoyed by many people, not just the upper class.
- The age demographics among these sports are now reasonably equal.
Moreover, freestyle snowboarders and skiers merge gracefully in park and pipe, and the two groups use many different tricks interchangeably.
Things are generally pretty cool between these groups, and we can all enjoy a day on the slopes together.
As these sports evolve, we expect these two groups to come closer and enjoy their passion for snow and speed.
Helping each other by preserving things they love, snow!
I hope you now have more insight into why snowboarders are disliked.
Historically, snowboarders were opposed by skiers and were banned from riding on the mountains.
The dislike stemmed from many reasons, including differences in perceived cultures, age, sporting styles, and the notion that snowboarding is a dangerous sport.
As resorts began to open up to snowboarders, the climate began to change.
Today, things are relatively cool, as these two groups had enough time to mingle and enjoy their passion together on the runs.