Thursday, February 26, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

On skiing: Skiing gets edgier and rivals snowboarding in the ‘cool’ factor

Columnists2.fhx

By
From page B3 | March 06, 2013 |

That edgy, bad-boy image that accompanied the arrival of snowboarding more than three decades ago has faded.

These days, the opinions are varied among young people regarding who owns the edgier image and is pushing the envelope in terms of new skills and owning the desired “cool” factor.

“If you’re not on one board, you’re not cool,” said Rick Andersen, a Bay Area teenager who was snowboarding recently at Heavenly ski resort in Lake Tahoe.

Some bias remains among avid snowboarders like Andersen, but skiers are definitely gaining ground. For many years, the majority of kids enjoyed straying from their parents, choosing snowboarding over skiing. It was partly due to the “rebel” factor that emerges in most teens. And let’s face it, riding on one board simply looked cooler.

Not so any longer, and statistics back up the viewpoint. According to the National Ski Association, more than 42 percent of all beginners age 14 and under started on a snowboard in 2003-04. Last year, that number had dwindled to 34 percent.

A Snowsports Industries of America survey reveals that 11 percent of all skiers fall in the 6-12 age group, while that group makes up 10 percent of snowboarders.

“Skiing has shaken the stigma of only being for old people,” said Jon Slaughter, spokesman for Boreal Mountain Resort. “It has moved beyond just racers in tights and mogul skiing. Now it has the ‘cool’ core factor that snowboarding grew up with.”

Technology has helped skiers develop and nudge their way into the spotlight with riders, who for many years were doing tricks and stunts in terrain parks that could only be admired by gawking skiers. But today skiers are taking on the halfpipes and enjoying boxes, rails, jumps and jibs on slopestyle courses.

“The advancement of ski equipment and the acceptance of skiing in terrain parks is really what we are seeing,” Slaughter said. “Ten to 15 years ago and beyond, terrain parks were looked at as just for snowboarders. Now with twin-tip skis, the sport has progressed to the point where now even X Games and the Olympics have embraced freestyle skiing.”

Although in hindsight it might be hard to fathom, snowboarding was reluctantly being given the hall pass back in the mid-1980s when the snow sport was starting its breakthrough. Yet the acceptance was gradual. In 1985, only 39 of the approximately 600 ski resorts allowed snowboarders.

However, progress already was taking place in the Lake Tahoe region before the mid-1980s. In 1983, Tom Sims, founder of Sims Snowboards, and Mike Chantry started the first world championship halfpipe competition at Soda Springs ski resort where Chantry was a snowboard instructor.

Fast-forward 15 years later and snowboarding was making its Olympic debut at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. And the arrival of the Shaun White phenomenon lifted the sport to a higher level with much more general acceptance.

Kevin Cooper, director of retail and rental operations at Kirkwood Mountain Resort, was a skier in 1989 when a friend visited him at Squaw Valley. His friend brought along one of the “first generation” snowboards from a South Lake Tahoe shop where he worked.

After learning some basics on the snowboard, it wasn’t long before “Coop” was tossing the skis aside. “I took a look at the first generation ‘kick’ series (snowboards) and was hooked. I pretty much bailed on skiing from that point on,” he said.

But the advent of new ski equipment and some chiding from his wife brought Cooper back to his original love — skiing.

“We were at a demo day in Mammoth so I charged over to the Lange/Dynastar booth to don a pair of boots, grabbed some skis and I was once again hooked on skiing,” Cooper recalls. “Now add rocker, side cut and waist-width skies and I’m back to skiing 145-plus days a year.”

Despite a trend among young people that’s shifting back to skiing, note that plenty of kids are getting their indoctrination on one board, not two.

Just like the technology has helped increase the number of youthful skiers, snowboarding has come up with some new alluring wrinkles as well. Snowboards are no longer one size fits all. Newer ones are smaller and geared for young children. And some resorts are building terrain parks with kids in mind.

That’s definitely the case at Sierra-at-Tahoe, where the “Star Wars”-themed park has combined with the Burton Learn to Ride Program to attract plenty of youngsters.

“Snowboarding continues to steadily grow at Sierra resort thanks to these programs,” said Sierra spokesman Steven Hemphill. “These learning experiences make it fun and easy to learn how to snowboard. While we are still seeing higher ski numbers, our snowboard numbers are growing. We have not seen a decrease in the amount of snowboard lessons.”

Since both skiing and riding share a “cool” factor, heading downhill on one board or two planks may now just be decided by personal preference.

“I do both. However, I prefer snowboarding mainly because I am much better at snowboarding and just love the feeling of it,” Slaughter said.

— Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at [email protected]. Visit his winter website at http://www.examiner.com/skiing-in-san-francisco/jeffrey-weidel

Comments

comments

Jeffrey Weidel

.

News

Dodd pushes for help on water rates

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
Ag secretary: Smartphones could tell what’s in food

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Child support is key to fighting poverty

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Hope succumbs to despair as missing baby’s body found

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Gas drags consumer prices down 0.7%

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Ukraine will start pulling back heavy weapons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Davis Baha’is celebrate Festival of Ayyam-i-Ha

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
USDA grants will combat citrus greening disease

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Breakfast with the Bunny tickets go on sale soon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Suit Up for Success program needs clothing donations

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3Comments are off for this post

Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Purim Carnival celebrates freedom with fun

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

We All Have a Heritage program kicks off

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Fourth of July concessionaires solicited

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Dillard, McNamara appointed to state ag board

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
NAMI meets for potluck, discussion on March 4

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Davis Media Access: Updates from D.C. and closer to home

By Autumn Labbe-Renault | From Page: A5

 
UC Davis students join international campaign

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

UCD Center for Pain Medicine receives highest recognition

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Wolk to chair Senate wine committee

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

.

Forum

The Keystone veto: You want jobs? Try this

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
A single vote really does count

By Tom Elias | From Page: B4

Anything goes? Not really

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Headlights on, please!

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Lady Devils are truly a team

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

New couple needs boundaries

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

Familiar face leads Davis badminton into new era

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD basketball teams enter pressure-packed final 2 weeks

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS golfers seek to repeat past success in new Delta League

By Kellen Browning | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS girls host another playoff matchup Thursday night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Tired Aggies drop homestand finale, 4-2

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Youth roundup: Davis rugby girls play Clayton Valley tough

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Kings grind it out against Grizzlies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Features

What’s happening

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B3

 
College Corner: Is there such a thing as BOGO?

By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: B3

Eastham takes top spot in photo contest

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B3

 
Da Vinci students bring on the Roaring ’20s

By Kellen Browning | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Name Droppers: Sperling gets leadership position

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
Citrus in your garden and in the news

By Don Shor | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

 
‘Dia de los Cuentos’ a delight for young viewers, and old

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A8 | Gallery

DMTC announces ‘Wizard of Oz’ auditions

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
LaBute discusses his adaptation of Buchner’s ‘Woyzeck’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

Free Range singers open season

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
Gallery hosts fundraiser Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

The Blue Mango show reception set for Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Sundays at I-House season kicks off with two popular bands

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

American Bach Soloists revisit monumental St. Matthew Passion

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Camp Shakespeare 2015 planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Vernon E. Burton

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Robert Hugh McWherter

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, February 26, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8