Originally Posted by telerod15
If you collide with a boarder while he is doing a heel side turn, you must be attempting to pass...
Not necessarily: the boarder might have been moving faster and passing him. The guy getting hit could, theoretically, even be standing still.
Everyone (skier, snowboarder, bike-rider, dancer) has a blindspot: it's in back of whichever way your head is facing. The difference between skiing and snoboarding is that the skier's head is naturally oriented almost straight down the hill, turned somewhat the way he's going. Thus, he is directly facing the people that the "code" tells him he's supposed to yield to. His blindspot is full of people who are supposed to yield to him. Tidy. The snowboarder tends to be oriented somewhat across the hill (how much varies, depending on the snowboarder and his technique), and there's at least a tendency for his blindspot to include people who the code says aren't
supposed to be yielding to him.
On the other hand, I've never been run into by a snowboarder or a skier. But I'm pretty alert and quick on my feet when I'm on the runs where that's more likely.
The complaints sort of fall into two categories: technical problems and attitude problems.
The technical problems
include things inherent to the use of a board, rather than two skis. The most obvious ones are problems unloading chairlifts and things like that. I'd throw sitting on the trail in here too, I guess. Many or most skiers and snowboarders both rest in mid-run: skiers do it standing up. These are either minor inconveniences, or at least surmountable problems.
The heelside blindness is also a technical problem. I don't see it as insurmountable either. Just be aware of it, and look for problems developing well in front of you. This goes for both skiers and snowboarders.
The "I'll spend twenty minutes sideslipping down the middle of a run" problem really arises out of the technical difference between skis and snowboards. A novice skiers would find it difficult and tedious, at best, to side-slip or snowplow down a steep run. I think this is one skiers will just have to live with. You can't keep someone off a run he can get down, and you're not going to convince him it's stupid, or "not fun" to sideslip a run top-to-bottom.
The attitude problems
have more to do with demographics (teenagers) than the size and number of planks on the feet. On the other hand, I suppose it is the case that wearing different equipment helps create an "us-them" subculture, where bad attitude is tolerated or even encouraged. For example, when I was 15, if a "cool" (i.e.
really good) 30-year-old skier looked askance at some antic, it would put a damper on it. If a 30-year-old skier (no matter how good) comes down on a snowboarder, he'd probably take it as a badge of honor.
Also, I think since snowboarding is relatively new, there isn't a clear sense of expertise. Obviously, some snowboarders are amazingly good (whether carving or in the park or whatever), but they're really few and far between. The result is that your run-of-the-mill not-that-capable snowboarder has an exalted sense of how "cool" it is to do a silly little trick, like taking 2 feet of air off some tiny bump and grabbing his board (is that a "mute grab"? Whatever it's called, it's really stupid. I mean, you have
to grab a skateboard like that, but a snowboard's attached to your feet).
My guess is the attitude problems will eventually
go away, as snowboarders get more mature and more capable, though it may take another decade.