The snow gets salty: Beef between skiers and snowboarders

Is the tension between skiers and snowboarders true information or false accusations?
Before the first ski lift in 1908, skiers would have to walk up the hill in order to ski down.
Before the first ski lift in 1908, skiers would have to walk up the hill in order to ski down.
Issy Steinberg

LOS ALAMITOS, CA – Whether you rock the skis or shred on the snowboard, you know about the ski lift smack talk. Even though they’re both just trying to get down a hill, there are still ongoing tensions on the slopes between snowboarders and skiers. 

I’m sure you’ve either heard about or participated in the feuding between skiers and snowboarders, but is it a serious debate? I haven’t personally experienced it myself, but I know that it’s out there. I’ve learned that sometimes there is a form of ‘slope rage’ as skiers cut in front of snowboarders, or the other way around. Most of the time the beef isn’t shown on the slopes, but there’s always some backtalk online. 

“I don’t like ‘em because they’re always sitting…you’ll have a wall of snowboarders taking up the entire offloading zone at the top of the lift, and a wall of snowboarders at the top of the park” commented internet user Quaggy on the website Newschoolers. 

History of the Two Sports

Alpine skiing started in the 18th century, and got its characteristics and tactics from the Norwegian Army. The activity was gaining popularity and, by the 1930s, it went global. People from all around the world began to participate in skiing, and society witnessed a “skiing boom”.

In 1979, Freestyle Skiing was recognized by the International Ski Federation as an official sport, and as it became more well known and practiced, it officially made it to the Olympics in 1988. Not too long after this, snow parks started being built for those who wanted to learn, or to practice their skiing skills. The first well-known snow park was built in 1989 in Big Bear, California. The park is called “Bear Valley” and is still popular today. 

“[We’re] all sliding on water, on a piece of wood”

— Internet user Eli.braun98 via Newschoolers

Snowboarding doesn’t have as long of a history as skiing, and that’s because skiing was a big influence on how snowboarding actually started. Snowboarding not only took ideas from skiing, it was also influenced by surfing, sledding, and skateboarding. The first snowboard prototype was made in 1965 by Sherman Poppen (a.k.a. the Grandfather of Snowboarding) who cross-braced two skis together, making the first ever snowboard.

Later, in 1972, the model of the snowboard started quickly evolving, and the Winterstick snowboard was created by Dimitrije Milovich. He took influence from surfing, as his snowboard model was similar to the classic longboard. After Milovich’s model, more major brands such as Burton, SIMS, and GNU were invented throughout the 80s and 90s. When these brands were being created, snowboarding was becoming more and more popular as the sport was being seen in popular movies, and on TV. Along with that, professional freestyling and trick events started up in the 80’s, which led to the formation of the International Snowboarding Federation in 1985. 

How did the feud begin?

For many years, skiers and snowboarders felt some sort of tension because of how similar, yet different both sports are. There would be some harsh words tossed around, but overall, nothing too serious. The skier/snowboarders feuds were similar to how many people think that there are disputes between surfers and skateboarders, but the accusations usually aren’t true. In fact, many summertime surfers and skateboarders end up skiing and snowboarding in the colder seasons. So in all, most of those sports are very similar and have some sort of influence and connections to one another.

During snowboarding’s early days, there was some backlash from skiers saying that snowboarders are annoying and that it isn’t a true sport. This was probably the opinion of skiers that have never tried snowboarding. Because if they had, it would kick their butt and they’d never say that again. But on the other hand, snowboarders threw shade at skiers by saying that skiing is for old people or people that don’t want to have fun. Again, this was most likely the opinion of snowboarders that have never tried to ski, and skiing would kick their butt too. According to a recent Griffin Gazette poll, only 8% of Los Al students participate in both of the sports. 

“Actual skiers and snowboarders don’t hate each other. Mainly a thing for 12 year olds and wannabes”

— anonymous user via Newschoolers

“As a snowboarders I have no hate for the skiers, however, the only times someone has crashed into me on the mountain, it was a skier, just saying” said Los Al junior Melina Limon.

At the end of the day, both snowboarding and skiing takes practice and dedication. Whether you strap one or two pieces of fiberglass on your feet, you’re outside in the fresh air, getting exercise, and having a good time. So, let’s squash the beef and just enjoy the sport. 

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    Melina LimonMar 27, 2024 at 11:12 am

    I loved this article and the perspective of both skiers and snowboarders being shown!