Originally Posted by CSOcean10
It is the cancerous snowboard culture making its way in...:-o
Actually, it is the "cancerous" skateboard culture which is at the root here.
I'm a skier first, but I have also been a skateboarder for almost 30 years. In the summer when I wasn't dryland training for ski racing, I spent all my spare time on a skateboard. Back in the early 1980's, before snowboarding caught on, skateboarding was an underground sport, practiced by a few rebels scattered around the globe who hung on after the boom in the 70's collapsed. Our bible was Thrasher magazine, our churches were the local pools, halpipes and streets, and our prayer hymns were loud punk rock songs. Skateboarding culture at the time was everything skiing culture was not: new, exciting, cheap, accessible, independent, underground, innovative, and yes, sometimes abrasive. That abrasiveness was in response to the harsh treatment we received from just about everybody, from jocks to cops and everyone in between including most skiers who should have known better to criticize fellow riders out for fun. If you were a skater, there was always someone who wanted to kick your ass for it.
But that suited the few of us just fine. We used to laugh at the tight, colorful "spacesuits" that skiers squeezed themselves into...Though I was a serious skier too, most skiers still looked a lot like dayglo clowns. We prefered to wear our own clothing which was usually picked out of 2nd hand stores or was usually inspired by them. It was usually oversized or baggy for a reason: mobility.The art and graphics on the skateboards and in the magazines reflected this new aggressive attitude, and eventually began to influence graphic artists from outside our little scene.
Of course, snowboarding was the first to follow suit and bring this culture to the masses, and quickly began to take over the hills because many young riders rightly saw skiing as being a stuffy old sport for the snobby rich who loved rules and tradition more than having fun, and who tried for years to keep the hills to themselves. But the skiing industry soon found itself in the position of playing catch-up to snowboarding, and so began to adopt snow/skateboarding style, like grabs, rails, and halfpipes, and of course the look as well. Shaped skis that were inspired by snowboarding, the freeskiing revolution and the X-Games all came along, and the rest is history...it is all part of mainstream skiing now.
So call it grunge or a cancer, call it snowboarding or skateboarding, call it what you want. But it really isn't that new, having roots that go back to the 80's skate scene. Like it or not, it saved skiing's ass.