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Skiing: Why is it more popular outside the U.S.? - Page 4

post #91 of 93
Originally Posted by SkiSchoolPros View Post


In terms of cost/equipment required, I'd say that soccer takes the least (just a ball and some grass or dirt are needed) followed by basketball (ball and hoop), followed by baseball (ball, bat & mitt) followed by skiing.


While skiing is intrinsically more costly than soccer and basketball, I think the high cost we're seeing here in the US may actually be more the result of low participation, rather than the cause of it.


Few eggs, hard to get a lot of chickens.  


If a sport is ingrained in the culture, people would justify the cost a lot more willingly. I used to play competitive badminton. It's a sport that's beyond fringe here. But it's the national sport of Indonesia. Here, we had to pay for the court time, the shuttle cost, re-stringing of the racket. They all add up. So how do people in a poor country like Indonesia afford to play such an expensive sport? They make do. Court fee? Just play outside, learn to compensate for the wind. Shuttlecork cost? You can "re-condition" those birdies by replacing the feathers one by one. Re-stringing rackets? You don't need no machines if you learn to do that by hand at age 5 and practice frequently... I don't know what the equivalent of skiing is. But I bet there're a lot of ways to manage the cost if all your classmates are skiing. Maybe they forgo their Playstation to afford new boots? 

post #92 of 93
Tennis should be cheaper than Baseball, though you can play baseball without a field. Playing tennis without walls doesn't work so well but it's kind if doable.
Soccer and baseball have adapted to urban environments.

Liability costs in the US are probably pretty high for ski resorts thanks to Sunday vs Stratton.
post #93 of 93

In the European Alps, culture is older and pretty stratified.   Families have almost hereditary rolls as Alpine guides, in both summer and winter.  The summer hiking tours and winter skiing tours go from hotel to hotel, grand hut to grand hut, and along the way, families make good livings running these accommodations, restaurants and guided touring for enthusiasts.   Many of these local families produce great skiers.  This tradition is a fun and rich experience for visitors from near and far.   


Also, the Alps are lusher than our mountains, and nurture more prosperity and more people's livelihoods up high.  Hay is raised pretty high up.  Specially adapted breeds of cattle, sheep and goat have been raised there successfully for hundreds of years too; and, again, these nurture families in Alpine conditions, in a rich Alpine lifestyle, wonderfully.  Local accents, dress, customs, abound.   And skiing is an ingrained part of it.   So people are more prosperously and stably adapted to living in Alpine conditions there, unlike in the US.  That promotes skiing, directly and indirectly.  


Here in the US, there is a hard, almost survival of the fittest culture in the ski mountain towns.   Relatively low wages and more expensive, often limited housing, prevail unless you can afford a much higher cost of living from some outside source.  The locals were driven off or killed off long ago, and their replacements are still transplants, however friendly.   Mining tailings, not quaint animal husbandry, has been the heritage of economic efforts in the area.  The human turnover is high.  All these factors harm US skiing, and give it a reputation as something for the rich or privileged.  

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