This survey landed in our inbox a couple of days ago, suggesting that 'many' slope users would like to see 'total segregation' between skiers and snowboarders on the hill. Total segregation - that sounds more Apartheid than friendly alpine fun... Alp-artheid?
The survey seems to suggest that 'boarder's attitudes' play one of the biggest roles in snowsporting accidents. Would that attitude be fun perhaps? Or maybe it's the opposite way round, self-appointed ski dads on piste patrol, shielding their offspring from legions of imaginary out-of-control snowboarders, hell bent on slaying all younglings in their path.
Now, Whitelines does typically like to play devil's advocate in these situations, but in this instance we feel it's come to far. Even the most anti-skier/snowboarder would admit that the banter that comes from spraying the odd member of 'the other camp' is part of the fun, and most of the current generation of riders would admit that the hate is in the past.
Segregation on the slopes? How about all you guys who like whinging and moaning go ride the greens; me and my friends will happily keep you off all the fun runs. Anyway, here's that report in full:
**Help me, my skier girlfriend made me write this...**
Essential Travel Survey Reveals Calls For Segregation On The Slopes
In a recent winter sports survey, online travel insurance provider Essential Travel was surprised to discover a trend amongst respondents calling for a segregation of skiers and boarders on the slopes.
It comes out of the same survey that discovered that over 70% of wintersports customers are nervous about the dangers of other people on the slopes.
Many respondents called for a total segregation of boarders and skiers. When asked what they would like to be changed or improved on the slopes, many made comments as : “Would like to see a separation of boarders and skiers", “Snowboarders should have their own runs! “, “Boarders’ attitudes. I see too many who take too challenging runs who have to throw themselves to the ground uncontrollably in order to stop".
“This is a worrying find", says Essential Travel’s travel insurance expert, Nina Montgomery, who heads up the Use Your Head Campaign from Essential Travel. “but emphasises that whatever your level of winter sports skill or ability, other people still pose a risk. You need to ensure you have a specific winter sports policy that will cover you for possibilities such as being airlifted off the slopes, should an accident happen."
Essential Travel asked winter sports athletes what they thought of the findings:
“It might make sense for beginners but once people are advanced they tend not to get out of control. I think it would be pretty hard to implement, unless a resort has a lot of extra space."
Julian Ball, Skier
“I don’t think it’s good to have a divide. We are all there for the same rush and to be part of the same community. I can see why beginners might think that: snowboarders make a horrible noise when they come up behind you and the runs can get very rutted. But boarders are not being malicious at all. I think there are some slopes in the US where they are segregated, but I don’t see this being a constructive way forward at all"
Of course it's just the snowboarders who're out of control...
“There is this odd hatred of borders amongst some skiers. Boarders just don’t tend to feel the same way. I don't know where it comes from but it’s sad and I think would cause even more problems to split them up."
Charlie Elmore, snowboarding instructor
“I can imagine that it's the 'grumpy older' folk who think that us 'snowboarders are selfish, don't look out for other slope users, think we're cool' etc. I've heard all that before!! Whereas I think it is much like road users- we're all on the same slope so no-one has more rights than any other slope user!"
P.S. The survey is was taken as part of the 'Use Your Head' pro-helmet campaign, a worthy cause we feel. Protect your noggin!