Ignorance: An Essay Over The Ridiculous Bans On Snowboarding

Submitted By ryan0813stark
Words: 1176
Pages: 5

Resist Ignorance: An Essay Over The Ridiculous Bans On Snowboarding

Imagine yourself in the early 1980’s as a diehard skateboarder in the summer, and a passionate, eager advocate of the brand new but slightly unpopular sport of snowboarding in the winter. You live in the ski town of Alta, Utah and would like to conveniently ride down the mountain that’s basically right in your backyard. As you carry your board and pack up to the ski lift lines, barely audible mutters of disgust are heard as you look up at the sign that reads “Alta is for skiers ONLY”. The feeling of being looked down upon is evidently strong, as well as the sensation of disappointment. Thirty years later, snowboarding has gained immense ground and is ever progressing forward. Since the beginning of the marvelous sport, every single resort and mountain in the United States has granted the acceptance of snowboarding, except for three. Alta and Deer Valley in Utah and Mad River Glen in Vermont (Del Sol) still to this day push their ignorant, elite views of a ski only mindset on the world of snow sports. It is sad that the idea of segregation amongst snowboarders and skiers is still thought to be necessary in this day and age. Therefore, it is extremely important that the last remaining mountains in the nation that do not allow snowboarding lift their ban and welcome with open arms not only snowboarders, but the betterment of snow sports all around. One’s counterargument, most likely an old-fashioned ignorant skier, could be that snowboarding is dangerous to everyone on the mountain, and that the sport is carried out by rebellious, ne'er-do-well delinquents who love nothing more than to terrorize skiers on the slopes and ruin the wholesomeness of the mountain. This statement is seriously outdated. One, the majority of snowboarders no longer have a better than thou attitude and ride with respect towards one another. “At most ski areas, the renegade-dirtbag image snowboarders were tagged with in the early 1990s faded long ago as riders of all ages and attitudes mixed peacefully with skiers.” (Phillips) Having ridden for nearly thirteen years, I have engaged in several discussions with skiers while riding the thirty minute long ski lift to the top, and found myself riding down with said skiers afterwards. Granted, there are inconsiderate and unsophisticated people who happen to strap on a board, however, there are an equal amount who strap on skis. "Just as many skiers as snowboarders are punks," said Jeff Boyd, a skier who frequently visits Taos, New Mexico, a recently converted resort that lifted its band (Phillips). This alone makes it no longer a matter of what is under one’s feet, but instead who has a respectful/disrespectful demeanor about them in the first place. Secondly, the danger of snowboarding is equivalent to the danger of skiing. A tree is a tree, and whether you are a snowboard or skier, the injuries are just the same. The false idea that some mountains are too hard for the use of snowboards or that snowboarders cannot handle some of the terrain can also easily be made void. ''Ridiculous, snowboarders can go anywhere skiers can,'' says Jack Mitrani, a nomadic pro rider (Olsson). It is not about what one rides, but instead about the level of skill and the knowledge of how to maneuver oneself that determines whether or not a rider can handle the double black of any mountain. Although snowboarding is only banned in three ski resorts in the United States, it still can complicate a family’s vacation plans. If there is a split family of skiers and snowboarders, they may not be able to go to the closest resort to them because it doesn’t allow snowboarding. They may need to travel farther away just to have a fully inclusive and enjoyable family vacation. If not that, snowboarding members in a family may have to watch the others or stay home. “Another reason to drop the ban is the number of younger individuals who prefer snowboarding.