December 09, 2005

Snowboarding on the rise? Not here.

There's a piece over on "Highly Obsessed: The Snowboarding Blog" about "older people" snowboarding which contains the following: "The more I ride the more I become aware of the fact that it's not just for kids... and that snowboarders seem to be outnumbering skiiers now wherever I go."

That was certainly not my experience last season in Megève, Les Contamines, Praz sur Arly, Flumet, Notre Dame de Bellecombe, Les Saisies, La Clusaz, Avoriaz, and Les Gets. I'm sure the number of boarders depends a great deal on the terrain and the perceived hip-ness of the resort and perhaps these resorts aren't big with boarders. If anything, I thought there were less snowboarders around last season and it seemed that the baggy pant brigade were moving on to jibbing on twin tip skis and doing all the things that they would have done on snowboards and more... The latest twin tips seem to have made skiing cool again for the teenagers who, in the past, would have been on a board. So, is snowboarding on the decline?

Still, what do I know, I'm just one of those "older" skiers who boards once in a while...

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Posted by Len at December 9, 2005 12:55 PM | Categories: General

i noticed the same thing. a lot more baggie pant free skiers out on the mountain. i haven't noticed less kids snowboarding, but i have noticed a large increase in older people getting into snowboarding for the first time. a few people at the office here from the older crowd are always talking about going snowboarding and how hard it is. either way, i'd rather see less people getting into boarding/skiing cause the crowds at the resorts suck. backcountry is where it is at!

Posted by: JP at December 9, 2005 05:37 PM

It may just be that Megève and the surrounding area never had that many boarders...

I agree with you re the crowds, though Megève is pretty good for that, except in Feb when the whole of France has their half-term school holidays... We did a little ski touring last season and it's definitely something I'd like to do more of. Getting away from the lifts is just amazing.

As for snowboarding being hard, pah! tell them to try Telemark, that's hard ;)

Posted by: Len at December 9, 2005 06:11 PM

I don't know how old, older is but I still think snowboarding is pretty fun at 31. That's ancient compared to the kids out there I guess.

Although I've pretty much switched over to tele these days.

Posted by: christopher baus at December 9, 2005 07:15 PM

Not as ancient as 37 ;)

Posted by: Len at December 9, 2005 08:21 PM

Hi folks,

Interestingly, I just returned from Whistler, where the split seemed at least 50-50, though I think skiers, by my guesstimation, outnumbered boarders. Lots of twin-tips kids too, though, as you mentioned above.

It makes me think that perhaps it's an issue of geography. I ski mostly in Ontario, where the terrain is a joke compared to "real" mountains (highest vertical in Ontario: around 700 feet). These local hills are dominated by the baggy pants kids you mention. I wonder if that's because they can't get out to the big hills (Tremblant, Vermont) because of the cost/distance or maybe som e other factors, I don't know. But I'm now very curious though, and am going to see if I can check into what the uptake numbers are. That is, after I get unpacked. :)

Interestingly, re: the age comment I made.. there were lots of the baggy pants kids snowboarding in Whistler, but holy cow was the age spectrum wide. Lots of spiked hair, no hair, grey hair.. it was really cool to see.

Thanks for reading!


Posted by: Adam at December 12, 2005 03:56 PM

i've been thinking about trying telemarking. i have a few friends that tele in the backcountry with us and it is a beautiful thing. those tight turns are sweet!

btw, i'm 26.. and my best 2 backcountry partners are 30 and 35.. age means nothing.

its all about having fun in the mountains, on the snow and with your friends.

Posted by: JP at December 13, 2005 02:42 AM

Watching a good Telemark skier is a wonderful thing. We saw a young (13 or so) skier ski down a mogul field on telemark and he was awesome - we then found out that he was the son of one of the telemark instructors.

When the turns come together they feel as good as they look. I really enjoyed the telemark that I did last season and I'm definitely on for more this season. I've been doing lots of training in the gym and hopefully that will help...

I agree with you re the age thing!

Posted by: Len at December 18, 2005 03:18 PM
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