Shit Skiers Say: Snowboarding is Dead

Some say “It was better when skiers hated us”, well, some of ’em still do, so we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.

Roger Marolt of the Aspen Times takes a complex problem (the fate of the ski industry) and bends it to fit his own snobbish narrative, blaming snowboarders for all of the ski (resort) industry’s problems.

I think snowboarding set the evolution of winter sports back about three decades, and now I don’t think I will live to see simple adventurers snatch skiing back from wine sippers

What Roger’s argument boils down to, when you get past the clickbait-y nonsense (“I hate snowboarding”), is this:

Snowboarders as a class are at fault because the SKI INDUSTRY failed to identify the root cause of its flat sales figures, and the influx of a new customer base allowed this oversight to go unnoticed for the better part of a generation, and now the industry back at square one with declining or stagnant sales and an industry that is bent on ever-rising costs (I spent about $400 for one day of riding with my family last week, and that was with discounted lift tickets, but that’s a story for another day…).

But Roger: snowboarding did revolutionize the snow-sport industry. Snowboarding is widely credited with popularizing new shapes, twin-tips, reverse camber and other camber-hybrids, etc. The rise of terrain parks, halfpipes and freestyle events everywhere is due almost entirely to the influence snowboarding’s skate heritage. Not saying that skiers wouldn’t have eventually made a trick tube of their own, but it was definitely snowboarders who started that, and back in the day terrain parks at many resorts were even off-limits to skiers!

Yes, I may be old, but snowboarding is dead.

Ughhhh not this again. Snowboarding is as alive and well as it’s ever been, and we don’t need validation from old elitist skiers, especially old elitist skiers who want to blame the dirtbag knuckledraggers for an industry that’s become increasingly focused on the luxury real-estate market (for more on this, and other things affecting the ski industry, read Downhill Slide: Why the Corporate Ski Industry is Bad for Skiing, Ski Towns, and the Environment).

To Roger’s credit, he walks back his early derision: “I am happy to share the slopes and consider us cousins on the quest for wintertime thrills. If my angst seems to be aimed at you, be sure that I had the industry experts in my sights.”

Good for you, Roger, and you know what I’m sure I’d enjoy sitting over a beer with you, but next time you want to take aim at the ski (resort) industry, maybe you oughtta be more direct about it and place the blame where its due.

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