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The battle of the slopes: snowboarding vs. skiing

By Max Essig

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By Max Essig | Staff Writer

May 21, 2013

The age of novice skiers casing and ruining every single jump for the boarders is over. Well, for the most part.

There was a time when I thought that snowboarding was in fact “cooler” than skiing, even being a skier myself. But now, I’d have to disagree.

(Photo Art/ Max Essig)

(Photo Art/ Max Essig)

And why have I come to that conclusion? Because snowboarding seems to have lost its edge.

When snowboarding was introduced to the mountain sports world in the 1960’s and 70’s, it attracted all kinds of followers. Because of its similarity to skateboarding and the new option of another snow sport besides skiing, the snowboarding community quickly gained momentum as the newest addition to the snowy mountain.

Boarding soon became more well-known as it gathered more and more followers drawn to its revolutionary ideas such as being on one plank instead of two, wearing trendier clothes, hitting bigger jumps, rails and boxes.

Those ideas aren’t so revolutionary anymore and people are starting to notice the deficiencies and inconveniences in snowboarding.

And those deficiencies and inconveniences being broken wrists, sore rear ends, eating more snow than you shred and falling, instead of riding, down the slope.

Some people just don’t want to deal with that, or expensive hospital bills, so they toss their snowboard off the chairlift and grab a pair of skis.

The basics of skiing are just easier to learn. Improvement is almost always a given when you go out on the mountain with a couple of good planks and the right attitude instead of all your weight on one plank and the fear of breaking multiple bones.

And more and more people are starting to recognize their “need for speed”. If you are one of these people who wants to be flying down the mountain, you should probably take pick up some skis instead of a snowboard. Although some experienced boarders who have mastered their turns do have the ability to bomb down the steepest runs on the mountain, less experience is needed to get going fast on skis without losing control.

Plus, snowboarding doesn’t carry the same connotations as it used to. It’s simply not as “cool” as everyone thought it was.

Snowboarding has matured and there are just as many old folks hitting the slopes on a board as there are youngsters, so it’s not as attractive as when you could do something different from what your parents are doing.

Almost all of boarding’s seemingly rebellious swag that made it the hip new snow sport has spread to the older generations, making it seemingly less attractive.

And, on top of that, skiing has started making a comeback.

Skiing has adapted everything from snowboarding’s swag to technology like wider, thicker, twin-tipped skis. Skiers are hitting just as many huge jumps, looking just as fresh, and doing just as many sick tricks as boarders nowadays.

I mean no disrespect to boarders, because you guys still have to watch out for the occasional careless novice skier, true.

However, an abundance of broken wrists on the mountain will always be thanks to the snowboarding community. 

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Dos Pueblos High School's Student Newspaper
The battle of the slopes: snowboarding vs. skiing