Skiers Versus Snowboarders

Me and Karl at IndianheadOk, there’s this ongoing battle, it seems, for control of the snow from both sides. Although riding is newer than skiing, it has matured into a great sport and has propelled snowsport recreation. There are some mountain resorts that ban snowboarding and that’s ok. It is nice to have them out of the way…

This brings up a good point, though. Safety. As a skier who also snowboards, I can see things from both sides. Safety on the hill or mountain is the most important thing and both skiers and riders have to meet on this issue. It seems to me that the skiers need a little more understanding and need to give a little more though.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Skis: Turning on skis is just a matter of usually doing a somewhat slight movement with your feet or legs. Although your skis are long, they very rarely turn perpendicular to the slope unless you’re stopping or doing sideslips or something.
  • Boards: With snowboarding, the board much more often becomes turned perpendicular to the slope. You do this to turn or stop or ride switch (backwards) or ride a rail or box or something.
  • Result: Snowboarders need more room around them because what they’re doing will take up more width of the run. So skiers, please do not ski so close to snowboarders. Give them room and lots of it.

I was riding for about 3 hours this weekend and was just getting fed up with skiers coming within 2 feet of me when there was all kinds or room. They were coming down like missles, too. That is just stupidly unsafe. What if I had to turn or stop or something?

I plan to now incorporate some notes to skiers about how to safely share the hill with snowboarders whenever I teach a lesson. This just cannot go on. I encourage other ski instructors to do the same.

On the same note, riders have to also learn how to share the snow as well. How often do you see snowboarders all sitting across the hill, shortening the width of the run? That happens way too much. Snowboarders, if you need to sit down, then you need to keep a small profile and not take up so much width. It’ll keep you safer as well as everyone else.

I think if both sides can think about safety first and be a little more considerate, we’d have more harmony out on the snow. If snowsports in general gets to be too dangerous, then everybody loses.


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