Sunday, July 27, 2014
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 skiweidel@yahoo.com. Visit his winter website at http://www.examiner.com/skiing-in-san-francisco/jeffrey-weidel

Comments

comments

Jeffrey Weidel

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Zombies by rail: It’s not just a show, it’s a trip

    By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Fatal Covell Boulevard crash recalled in court

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

    Humphrey Fellows will host Global Forum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Community gardens stretch food dollars, study finds

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Wildfire spurs evacuation of 700 homes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    State can’t say if it’s meeting drought goal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Rairdan joins race for Davis school board

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Ukraine launches offensive to retake Donetsk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Israel extends Gaza truce through Sunday

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    New ordinance aims to prevent nut thefts from orchards

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Biggest book sale to date opens Friday at Davis library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Luna family matriarch turns 100

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
     
    Discussion of oil by rail EIR planned Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Mace Innovation Center is focus of meeting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Freeway crash injures two drivers

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    Museum wants your old Davis High School yearbooks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Affordable housing forum planned in Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Protesters gather at Primate Center

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A8

     
    State awards $40,000 for historic property survey

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A8

    Free blood pressure screenings offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Vanguard hosts economic development director

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Get a sneak peek at documentary trailer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Davis Chamber Choir sings short summer program

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9

    Tasting event benefits Yolo Land Trust

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A9

     
    At the Pond: From Davis, it’s easy to get back to nature

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Tickets on sale now for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Forum

    Feels like a million miles away

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

     
    Here’s what you need for a perfect wedding

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

     
    Check doctors’ vitals before they check yours

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Husband’s let himself go

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A14

     
    Questions on water rights

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16, 1 Comment

    Campus turns on the tap

    By Our View | From Page: A16

     
    So, what’s in a week’s worth of waste?

    By Michelle Millet | From Page: A16

    Pat Oliphant cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A16

     
    Golf tourney was a big success

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16

    We can do more to help

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A17

     
    New playground is wonderful

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A17

    Just Us in Davis: Little Rock Nine hero to celebrate with Davis youths

    By Jann L. Murray-Garcia | From Page: A17 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    Sutherland presents 1st clinic; golf column on its way

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    New Korematsu teacher is an American Ninja Warrior

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Furyk opens 3-shot lead in Canadian Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Gray wins 6th straight, A’s 4 HRs beat Texas 5-1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Kershaw throws 2-hitter as Dodgers beat Giants 5-0

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Nibali set to cruise to Tour victory

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Area sports briefs: River Cats take Game 1 of doubleheader

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Companies will collaborate on crop insect control

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A13

     
    Developer’s commitments: affordable and green

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13 | Gallery

    Lagerstrom represents Davis at Mary Kay seminar

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

     
    UC Davis Health System earns ‘Most Wired’ award

    By Charles Casey | From Page: A15

    Bartholomew hires new associate

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A15

    Go back to school with Great Clips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Carlton Hope Meister

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Jonathan Eric Hollander

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, July 27, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A6