Ever since snowboarding emerged in the 1970s, recreational skiers and mountain resorts have faced safety concerns for young skiers and in the face of an increase in injury risk due to reckless riders.
I, as an avid skier, have had a handful of smashes and crashes with snowboarders on multiple mountains. Every accident has involved a snowboarder who has had neither the agility nor the skill to make a sudden stop or turn. Each incident has involved a high speed collision in an area where caution should be taken. From what I can gather, a combination of overconfidence, equipment limitations and a lack of consideration is the reason snowboarders cause accidents.
The culture and style surrounding snowboarding encompasses a wild, radical image of shredding down the mountain. This image does not include the important message that it is important for snowsports participants to develop the necessary skills before taking risks on the mountain. It is also necessary for boarders to recognize that soft, comfortable boots may not be as responsive as hard boots like ski boots.
I have tried both sports and found snowboarding takes much less time to get to feel comfortable with the equipment. When I was learning to ski, having two long planks on either foot felt awkward, and it took me a
while to feel comfortable enough to take risks. With snowboarding, I felt that I was able to get the basics quickly—within one afternoon as a matter of fact—and I was eager to try more difficult terrain. Trying jumps on the board, I greatly overestimated my skill level in the sport. It takes a little more time and practice to really get good at snowboarding, but it takes almost no time to feel comfortable.
At Alta Ski Resort in Utah, snowboarders are not allowed. This creates a safer environment for skiers to enjoy the mountain. Younger skiers have a lower risk of injury on the main mountain at Alta without the presence of snowboarders
The reality is that mountains are safer without reckless recreational snowboarders. Younger skiers and their parents do not have to worry about injury or a bad experience at places like Alta. Recognition of reckless snowboarding and skiing as a safer sport would lead to the creation of a safer snowsports world as a whole.by