Originally Posted by Tarzanman
To answer the OP's question.... the whole sordid mess started when resorts started banning snowboarders from riding the lifts. By and large, the people responsible for these policies were skiers.
There's been animosity ever since. I only started snowboarding 2 years ago...being a complete neophyte to snow/ski culture.
The average skier I meet just goes about their business, but there is certainly still a prejudice within the overall mindset of skiers as a group.... usually regarding the mind set or skill set of the average snowboarder on the hill. For example, I have a skier friend who won't load a lift chair next to any snowboarder (no matter who it is or how good they are) because she once got knocked over by a snowboarder exiting a lift chair which resulted in a bad knee injury. I have also heard many-a-skier warn new folks to "watch out for snowboarders" because they are out of control on the hill when learning..... which is a crock as you can make it a hell of a lot farther (distance-wise) on skis than on a snowboard.
There are snowboarders who have chips on their shoulders as well, but the bad attitude is more often just that.. a bad attitude. Snowboarders don't question a skier's/rider's right to be on the hill based on what is strapped to their feet. (However, they might tell you that you are too old for the terrain park if you look older than 25 :-) )
The rift will never go away. Even today there are resorts that ban snowboarders, and the rivalry is too good excuse for douche-bags on both sides to act like jerks.
Couldn't disagree with you more, and I find it interesting that a 2-year "neophyte to snow/ski" culture would have a solid enough grasp of snow/ski culture history to make these comments (not to mention that you presume to know the overall mindset of skiers as a group, which is impossible).
First, the mess did not start with resorts banning boarders from lifts. It started with insurance companies unwilling to cover ski resorts for snowboard liability insurance. Why on earth would any ski resort allow a few young aggressive snowboarders threaten their financial solvency with liability issues and the potential alienation of the wealthy skiers who were the resorts' core customers at the time?
As soon as liability insurance was extended to snowboards in the late 70s, resorts began actually catering to snowboarders, correctly seeing them as a large untapped resource for financial solvency in the future, and the sport exploded in the 80s.
This introduced a cultural clash to the slopes -- professional upper middle class and wealthy skiers and their vacationing families versus aggressive, brash teens and college student snowboarders pioneering a new sport. Just like the cultural clash of the 60s between the established, conservative World War II generation and the idealistic hippie youth culture, each side blamed the other as the source of the conflict ... the old guard was stuffy, elitist and intransigent and couldn't change with the times, while the new movement consisted of clueless punks who lacked knowledge of, and respect for, the roots and traditions of the society. Both sides were wrong. And both sides were right.
As time went on, of course, those idealistic hippies became young professionals and established families and discovered and even embraced many of the traditions and lifestyles of their society's predecessors, while the older generation gradually opened its collective mind to many of the new ideas and cultural innovations introduced by the younger generation, and eventually it became a positive feedback loop of cross-generational acceptance and interaction ... the warring sides blended together in the middle, and the conflict was replaced by a barely audible screaming match between tiny vocal minorities on the outer extremes of the spectrum.
So too with snowboarders and skiers. Many skiers have adopted twin tips, baggy clothes and park tricks, while most snowboarders have learned to respect the intrinsic beauty and value of an untouched fall line in fresh powder, minimizing their footprint for the skiers that may follow.
If you see a rift, it is only because your perspective exists at one or the other extreme, and you are thus blinded to the happy middle the vast majority have already been enjoying together on the slopes for years.
Edited by LaneMeyerK12 - 12/1/10 at 8:25am