2-plankers beware
December 19, 2007 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Enjoy snowboarding but upset over restrictions at certain premier ski areas? Burton Snowboards [embedded sound warning] has a favor to ask...
posted by docpops (32 comments total)
I don't get it. How is this any more discriminatory than enforcing a dress-code in an upmarket restaurant or bar?
posted by patricio at 11:44 AM on December 19, 2007

Anyone who doubts that there is a sound reason for banning snowboarders from ski areas should spend a day skiing moguls at Stowe and a day skiing moguls at Mad River. You'll notice the huge ice / dirt patches between the bumps at Stowe - this is caused by snowboarders sideslipping. At Mad River (the greatest ski area in the world), you'll just see a uniform field of pleasingly shaped mounds such as existed in the 1980s before "shredding" became mainstream.

Mad River Glen wan sui wan wan sui! As their slogan says, ski it if you can.
posted by alexwoods at 11:51 AM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]

From the AP ariticle: "...some of the resorts are on public land, such as national forest, funded by taxpayers..."

I say "let 'em ride."
posted by ericb at 11:59 AM on December 19, 2007

This is just making the non-snowboard resorts more staunch in their anti-snowboard stance. Especially when there are "poachers" who act like the assholes in the deer valley video, no wonder they ban snowboarders.
posted by ElmerFishpaw at 12:17 PM on December 19, 2007

Its all about the moguls. Snowboarders are fuckers who have destroyed one of the things I love about skiing. I hope they all die in a fire so I can ski real bumps again.
posted by OldReliable at 12:27 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

Get off my powder, brats! We evolved two legs for a reason. I rode a snowboard before I ever skied, and will never go back to the single plant.
posted by exogenous at 12:28 PM on December 19, 2007

Yet another reason I love snowshoeing.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 12:29 PM on December 19, 2007

Ok, that was a little harsh, but Alexwoods is spot on. Mad River, Alta, Deer Valley, and Taos are the only four places in the world with real moguls anymore, and its because they don't allow snowboarders. I love all of these mountains dearly. I learned to ski on some of them. Why did I love them? Moguls.

Do you snowboarders hear that? Let this poor skiier have his moguls. You have stolen them from me at all but a handful of mountains. For the love of god, have you no decency?
posted by OldReliable at 12:30 PM on December 19, 2007

Started skiing at the age of 4 or so in Big Sky, MT. Last time I was there (admittedly quite some time ago - talking 15 years ago or more here) snowboarding was just beginning to get big. I was frustrated by the myraid new boarders who were doing a slow slide-fall-slide-splat-slide down the hill, nearly always in the way, slowing me down. However, there were one or two guys who were really good. Seeing them move I understood the attraction (but still prefer having two boards under my feet!).

Haven't been skiing for real in a long time. Planning on going this winter now that I'm back near some decent slopes again. Had no idea that boarding was causing problems. I was never that good at moguls to begin with; I tended to stick with the powder or groomed trails rather than the lumps and bumps.

Poaching isn't the answer, really. If they want boarders at a cooperatively-owned resort, how about Jake B. finds some friends, ponies up some cash and starts an exclusive boarding-only resort? No elitist asshole skiers complaining about the youth these days. Snowboarders free to trade pot references and slam Mountain Dew while bouncing around in their own exclusive half pipe.

I mean, hell - you go to a golf course these days with metal spikes, you're more often than not asked to replace them with plastic to protect the greens. I don't see any problem asking people to refrain from activity X if it detracts from the usability of the area for the majority.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:53 PM on December 19, 2007

What I always find interesting about returning to Alta every year is how many people under 25 seem devoted to skiing. I suppose it's a natural outgrowth of snowboarding being co-opted by the older set. At Bachelor in Bend the two groups co-exist just fine. Better yet, Bachelor has created some gorgeous terrain parks for the boarders that skiers use just as much.
posted by docpops at 1:12 PM on December 19, 2007

I started skiing at age 6. Skied every weekend of every winter until age 18. I never really liked moguls - especially after a particularly nasty one shredded my ACL during an evening of night skiing with my high school ski club. Ouch. (One of the problems with skiing moguls is you have to tighten the tension on your bindings so your skis don't randomly come flying off, which may mean that when you fall and your ski starts twisting around as you tumble, your binding won't release and eventually your ACL will.)

Even on skis, I prefer nice, graceful carving, not the bump-and-grind that you get on mogul runs. So I guess it's not all that surprising that the minute I picked up a board, I never turned back to skiing. The grace that I feel when carving down a quiet run on my snowboard is pretty amazing.

I don't really care if some resorts ban boarders, mostly because I can never afford those places anyway. I grew up skiing in Western New York - not exactly known for its feet of blissful powder - and a beginning boarder can quickly push aside the few inches of snow and expose the underlayer of ice. Then again, so can a snowplowing beginner on skis, so that problem isn't exactly new.
posted by misskaz at 1:32 PM on December 19, 2007

"pot references"? "Mountain Dew"?
I love my pot references and mountain dew as much as the next guy, but come on.
We're not out to ruin your moguls, and it's ironic that that seems to be the big issue, as moguls are the last thing any boarder is interested in.
That said, I have always despised the privilege that oozes from north american ski culture and which is peeking out from some of the comments in this thread. when (a vocal minority of) skiers behave like elitist snobs who think they have a right to a nice conservative experience on the slopes, it riles a few of us up. As an extension of their privileged backgrounds, this class of skiers mistakenly view these as "their" mountains. If it wasn't snowboarders causing the ruckus, it'd be "those damn kids" that ruin everyone's wholesome good time with their loud music and crazy hairdos.

If you ride a lift that you don't own, it's not your mountain. If you want a private experience, get some snowshoes and a beacon and hit the backcountry.
I agree that poaching isn't the answer. Most resorts have fences around race courses and terrain parks. Couldn't they do this for all the mogul lovers out there and save a boarder some grief and stereotyping?
posted by whahappen?! at 1:42 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]

Having a few resorts that act as magnets to the kind of rich, snobby jerks who think moguls are fun and that children and families are bad is not necessarily a bad thing. And they can have Deer Valley. That place sucks anyway.
posted by The World Famous at 1:46 PM on December 19, 2007

Oh come on, don't put on your victim hats. Snowboarding is here and isn't going anywhere. I'm not some rich prick or old fogie, I'm 24. You may not be interested in moguls, but I sure am, and snowboarders have almost eliminated them at most mountains.

I don't mind snowboarders in general, I'm almost as comfortable on a board as on my planks, but the fact is, to actually make moguls you need a steep run and a day's worth of skiiers to cut it into bumps. That's where they come from. Those kind of bumps have tracks and a rhythm and a motion that you can feel and ride. Having snowboarders on the steeps means that just doesn't happen. Mountains now have to make moguls with their snowcats, and they're not the same.

I don't mind this, I mean the more people getting outdoors and enjoying winter sports the better, but I would appreciate it if there could be at least be some respect for how boarders have changed the terrain, and even a token acknowlegement of the fact that some people might enjoy that experience and go looking for it for legitimate reasons. Is the presence of THREE (3) mountains on the entire planet Earth that cater to that experience an affront that cannot be tolerated?

Am I a fascist? Am I an elitist snob? No. I like moguls, and I don't think you should be able to deny me this pleasure, espescially when I have already conceded to drive an extra two hours to have it.

And I am saving up to buy a coop share in Mad River, its a long way off, but I hope to be able to say "my mountain" in the future. Where will your snark be then?

I actually like the golf shoes analogy. Maybe have one slope on a mountain without boarders to build it into bumps.
posted by OldReliable at 2:06 PM on December 19, 2007

I was all ready to sympathize until I saw how these poachers behaved on the slopes. They lost me with the first fly-by spanking. I ski Snowbird with boarders, and never heard them whine about Alta's restrictions. If we go over to Alta, they strap on skis and have a blast in the chutes off the Supreme lift just like the rest of us. And anybody who thinks Alta is snooty has clearly never been there. Old school.
posted by skippyhacker at 2:16 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh, I agree that snowboarders ruin moguls or prevent them from being correctly formed, and that artificial moguls aren't the same. And I can appreciate that some skiers like moguls. In fact, I could support the idea that there should be certain runs designated as mogul runs that don't allow snowboarders. I don't see the reason to disallow boarders altogether, though, unless it's something bigger than just a mogul issue.

Most snowboarders suck, and most of them ruin the mountain. Before snowboarding existed, most skiers sucked, and most skiers ruined the mountain. Snowboarding allowed people to suck to be capable of handling tougher terrain than before, which led to more terrain being ruined. Not because snowboards ruin terrain, but because idiots ruin terrain, no matter what they're riding. As a backcountry/big mountain guy, I have always had a hard time caring what happens to moguls. And if someone wants a mogul mountain to be "their mountain," that's fine with me. Anything that gets everyone but me out of the trees and powder is great.

Alta has fantastic terrain, which I have snowboarded many, many times in the preseason. I appreciate that, by banning snowboards, Alta has effectively kept overall traffic down, and that's fine with me. But the whole "you're riding the wrong thing" debate is just so 1987, and far too often it becomes a clash of personalities, rather than actually being about, you know, logical arguments.

If it's about moguls, then rope off some runs as skier-only mogul runs. At the end of the day, the entire ski industry is about one group of people having fun and another group of people becoming fabulously wealthy. Why mess up that symbiotic relationship?
posted by The World Famous at 2:36 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]

At Mad River (the greatest ski area in the world), you'll just see a uniform field of pleasingly shaped mounds

When I was there last year, they were made of solid ice and there was bare rock behind every third one (on Antelope). Fortunately, this was mostly in the steep sections, making it easy to jump over the rock face and then crash spectacularly on the other side. Ski it if you can, indeed. Even if they did allow snowboards, I'm not sure they'd get all that many. I'll have to go back now that they have some snow.

Snowboarding allowed people to suck to be capable of handling tougher terrain than before, which led to more terrain being ruined.

If that's actually true, then the snowboard ban at Mad River actually makes some sense. It's pretty much all tough terrain and moguls. If there's anything else there it must be hidden somewhere off the marked trails. It does seem unfair to those few boarders who can actually handle that, but I'm still glad that their crazy elitist philosophy is never going to be overcome by some marketing campaign from Burton.
posted by sfenders at 3:12 PM on December 19, 2007

Burton's just trying to restore some of snowboarding's old anarchic glamour; as docpops noticed it's harder to get kids to commit to boarding when the slopes are full of 42-year-old riders like me. But I have to say that even in the knowledge that it's a marketing ploy, and even though I don't think there's anything wrong with skiiers having a few resorts to call their own - and even though I don't endorse happy-slapping skiiers' asses - I enjoyed the hell out of the poachers video!
posted by nicwolff at 3:40 PM on December 19, 2007

Thanks to this thread I just got treated to a five minute rant from my former skier and Coloradoan husband who expressed his opinion of boarders in colorful and derogatory terms.

And all I did was ask him what a mogul was.
posted by konolia at 4:08 PM on December 19, 2007

Here in Japan, the mix is about 50-50 boarders and skiers, and no one seems harbor bad feelings. This a much better place for it than the states, for a lot of reasons. Japan is 85% mountainous, so there are ski resorts everywhere. With all that competition, the price is quite a bit lower than in the states (something that's actually cheaper in Japan). From most places, including Tokyo, you can jump on a train or bus and hit the slopes for a few hours and head back the same day. And again, skiers and snowboarders live in peace and harmony AFAIK.

I didn't know about the mogul thing, but moguls aren't something boarders would be interested in, anyway. Some people are just dicks.
posted by zardoz at 4:30 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

The whole thing reeks less of skiers vs boarders than it does of Burton trying to buy back some street (or is that slope?) cred, in the face of a declining coolness factor.
posted by Kadin2048 at 4:32 PM on December 19, 2007

And all I did was ask him what a mogul was.

Easy-peasey: Branson, Bloomberg, Murdoch, Soros, Trump, Turner et al.
posted by ericb at 4:42 PM on December 19, 2007

I like boarders in general. All the things that annoy me about them, annoy me about skiers, too, or rather, about 15-22 y.o. males.

If nothing else, snowboarding seems to have made the clientele less unrelentingly Anglo- there are lots of Asians, Pacific Islanders, and the group I call Bay Area Mix. Also, music has been heading more towards reggae, which is fine by me.

My only complaint is when they plop down on their butts right in front of the lift to buckle their free foot in, or plop down on their butts at a trail intersection to have a chat.

Also, their outfits are the equivalent of my grandpa's cheesy golf outfit. You can already pick out the crowd that got into it circa 1997.
posted by small_ruminant at 6:21 PM on December 19, 2007

As a snowboarder I'm unhappy to say that there's nothing worse than some 15-year-old asshole with pink hair out with his douche bag buddies getting in everyone's way on boards. Half of the little idiots can't even stay up and dodging them on your way down a black diamond run is enough to make you want to eat a tree.

I never understood the frustration of skiers with snowboarders until I actually became a pretty good snowboarder and I came to hate most snowboarders as well. It got to the point where I would only go on weekdays to go snowboarding due to the frustration level of dealing with idiot snowboarders. I never had issues that I can remember with skiers. Matter of fact, some of the best back country snowboarding I ever did was with friends who ski.

The punk rock poseur bullshit that goes with snowboarding culture can't die fast enough IMO.
posted by photoslob at 8:24 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

All the snowboarders I know avoid moguls like the plague, so I wonder if they are really the culprits "destroying" them. I am an avid snowboarder (taught for years, lived as a snow bum for years) but grew up skiing, and I can appreciate some resorts refusal to allow snowboarders. I have skied Mad River Glen, and I must say I hope they never change a thing.
posted by sophist at 12:56 AM on December 20, 2007

One point no one's made here: for mad river glen, there are genuine technical reasons that precipitated the ban, as explained in the links. Most of their mountain is serviced by a one-person lift, which is too narrow to accommodate boarders easily. So they banned boarders from that section, and let them go to the other, smaller and easier sections. Boarders were unhappy about this, and after an unpleasant confrontation between somebody important at mad glen and a bunch of boarders, they basically said fuck it and banned them from the whole place.

And the moguls bit, as I understand it, isn't that boarders run over existing moguls and break them, although this happens, but more strongly that they prevent them from forming in the first place. Their lack of interest in the existing ones is irrelevant to this.

I'm a skier myself, but a sort of sucky one because I rarely get out. I'm better at cross-country anyway, and it's a lot cheaper. No snowboarders there either!
posted by Arturus at 6:05 AM on December 20, 2007

whahappen?! writes "'pot references'? 'Mountain Dew'?
"I love my pot references and mountain dew as much as the next guy, but come on."

Sarcasm. Perhaps you've heard of it? Making fun of stereotypes? Lighten up, dude. Go hit some powder on the stick(s) of your choice. You'll feel better.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:21 AM on December 20, 2007

Taos will begin allowing snowboarders in March 2008.
posted by allelopath at 1:14 PM on December 20, 2007


I'm going to have to track down whoever bought my friend's old Volvo in 1996 and make sure they remove the "Free Taos" sticker.
posted by The World Famous at 1:21 PM on December 20, 2007

this is fine with me... but they can keep their commandment IV... enemy or not, i prefer to not be bro'd down with, thank you very much.
posted by RockyChrysler at 2:27 PM on December 20, 2007

You are all idiots cruising for a compound tib-fib.

Hope this helps.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:26 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

ikkyu2, every year I've expected one but so far so good. Peculiar.
posted by small_ruminant at 6:14 PM on December 24, 2007

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