Skiers and snowboarders have been going at it for at least 30 years now. It’s time to settle this fight!
Is one really cooler than two?
Snowboarders have argued that one plank is preferred because, well, it is “cooler.” Is it? The amount of baby-boomers you now see snowboarding–in hopes, I guess, of bonding with their kids and grandkids–is shocking. Skiers, on the other hand, have long argued that snowboarding is just a fad, and that skiing is the only proper way of sliding down a mountain. Really? How can snowboarding be a fad if it has lasted 30+ years and has experienced growth that has far exceeded skiing’s growth?
Previously, this fracas could have been characterized as stodgy, old skiers versus hip, young snowboarders. But this is 2011, and those stereotypes are no longer valid. The argument now settles on the more legitimate, fundamental question: What method is the best way to have fun on the mountain?
Speed and practicality are what matters
Unfortunately for snowboarders, the argument they once had–that surfing powder on a snowboard is a superior experience to skiing powder–has mostly been rendered moot by recent geometrical and technological ski improvements (e.g., fat skis and reverse camber skis). The other problem snowboarders have, especially out in Utah for example, with its self-proclaimed “Greatest Snow on Earth,” is that snowboarding is often impractical. Access to the best terrain and the freshest snow here often requires long traverses across the fall line. Most snowboarders simply cannot access this terrain.
So, snowboarders, while your boots are decidedly less clunky (who cares?), your styles are more hip (busting a sag is hip? really?), and your powder turns are supposedly more zen-like (though most of you cannot even execute a proper heel-side turn), the best way to have fun on the mountain is by giving your feet the liberty they deserve. Skiing is the way.