Saturday, 15 March 2008

I hate snowboarders

That's a pretty harsh way to start a post, but after 20 years of uneasy coexistence with snowboarders, this week I have officially come to hate them. Today alone, I was:

• Cut off by a boarder on a green cat track. Both of us were doing a fair clip; the boarder came from behind me unannounced and missed my ski tips by less than 6". The reason he cut me off is uncertain, but I suspect it had to do with the fact that his 5 buddies were on my right, and he was on my left.
• Nearly hit by two boarders on two separate occasions blasting out of the trees onto a run without looking
• Cut off in a lift line by a pair of boarders who insisted in riding the T-Bar up behind their buddies. When they got to the lift, the two boarders added insult to injury by riding up as singles.
• Had my skis skied over and pinned down in a lift line by a boarder behind me who decided that it was important for the nose of his board to push against the back of my binding;
• Nearly got clipped by a boarder trying to do jumps over trees without first checking his landing area (which happened to be an active run with lots of people on it)

I have come to believe that no one actually teaches boarders the Alpine Responsibility Code, which, for the record, is:

In fact, I know virtually no boarders who pay attention to items 1-4. In addition, they like to sit, 5 and 6 abreast, blocking lift exits while putting their boards on. Boarders traveling in a group love to sit and block whole runs. I very, very rarely see boarders on the sides of runs; they like plopping down in the middle. If they drive the way they board, no wonder drivers don't seem to know how to merge -- or yield -- anymore.

I can put up with boarders sideslipping down runs scraping all the snow off; poor skiers do it too, though less. I have learned tolerate boarders who rocket pass you without warning; it seems as if the simple courtesy of calling "on your left" has left both boarders and skiers.

Come to think of it, more skiers (especially young ones) need to be drilled in the code, too. It's just that boarders are more arrogant at ignoring the rules.

I'll make you a deal. STOP IGNORING THE ALPINE RESPONSIBILITY CODE, and I'll stop hating you. That goes for skiers, too. I'm an equal opportunity safety guy.


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BB said...

I'm done with co-existing with snowboarders. Just got back from Winter Park. On the last run of the last day on a green run skiing with my six year old, I was hit by an out of control snowboarder from behind. Never saw him coming. His board took my legs out and his knee came in full force into my right kidney area--but luckily nothing was broken (I'm just really sore). More lucky still he didn't hit my six year old. Next year we go to Deer Valley.

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