Do Skiers Find Snowboarders Annoying? (Honest Truth)

by Alaina Johnson | Posted On: August 10th, 2022
Snowboarder

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Whether you’re a skier or a snowboarder, you may have heard the common refrain that skiers just plain dislike snowboarders and find them immensely annoying.

This isn’t necessarily true, though, in some instances, it’s likely to be accurate if you have a bunch of young snowboarders who get louder and aren’t completely respectful of those around them. For the most part, everyone stays considerate of each other and just wants to have a good time.

What Do Skiers Actually Think About Snowboarders?

Skier and Snowboarder

These days, you’re just as likely to find groups of snowboards and skiers enjoying the slopes together as you are to find groups of just one or the other. As time progresses, the lines become blurred.

In fact, many people switch from one to the other. An individual who grew up skiing may try snowboarding one season and take to it immediately.

They’re bringing two perspectives together and may see that any preconceived notions they held before are just plain wrong.

Skiing Snowboarding

Not all snowboarders are young, obnoxious, and disrespectful. Though, some very well may be. The same goes for skiers, which can sometimes be lost on those who favor skiing over snowboarding.

There are bad eggs in every bunch but it’s important to never judge an entire group based on the actions of a few.

If you find yourself getting frustrated with someone on the mountain and you want to throw your hands up and blame all snowboarders, take a step back to really consider the situation and where your irritation is arising from.

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It’s likely that you’ll find a great deal of intermixing at ski resorts, with skiers and snowboarders spending time together on and off the mountain. Society as a whole has become more accepting of others and this spreads to the slopes as well.

Everyone can come together to enjoy the snow and beautiful scenery and perhaps enjoy a drink or two at the lodge afterward.

Do Skiers Dislike Sharing The Slopes With Snowboarders?

As any avid ski resort visitor is aware, there has historically been a sense of friction between skiers and snowboarders. Some resorts like Alta in Utah and Mad River Glenn in Vermont even go so far as to ban snowboarders. Though it may be unclear as to why this is, there are a few reasons that have caused this stereotype to become widely accepted and even encouraged.

Skier and Snowboarder
Photo by Ruth Hartnup Professional Photographer licensed under CC BY 2.0

In general, it can be chalked up to a lack of communication and a level of ignorance about each other’s sport. If skiers and snowboarders took a moment to learn about the other sport, the slopes might feel like a more welcoming space for everyone with less frustration.

While not always possible, it may be a good idea to take a lesson or two in the other sport if you’re unfamiliar with it. Even though you’ve been skiing for decades, you may try your abilities at snowboarding to see what it’s like on the other side.

As long as everyone is following the rules of the ski resort, there should be no issue with sharing the slopes with each other. If someone is becoming a danger to those around them, the issue should be brought up to people in a position of handling it with tact and efficiency.

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Is It a Generational Or a Class Divide?

Though it’s becoming less of a defining issue, in the past skiing was seen as much more of a rich person’s sport than snowboarding. These days, both sports are considered expensive and out of reach for many households, as they require pricey equipment and usually steep travel expenses.

Snowboarding Skiing man

If you have an older generation that is much more inclined to go skiing, they may bring some judgment to the table towards the generally younger crowd of snowboarders. Whether they consider them unruly or just plain disrespectful, skiers may throw nasty looks toward snowboarders.

As it goes, young and “unruly” snowboarders grow up and become older, and possibly less unruly, snowboarders. The demographic lines are becoming blurred every year.

These days, you’ll find middle-aged boarders and young skiers. The lines are becoming faded and the two sports often intermix with each other.

You’re just as likely to find a young group of skiers who can be obnoxious at times and possibly even whose inexperience is the frustration of those around them.

Many people view skiing and snowboarding as a social activity and a group of casual participants hogging a section of the slopes just chatting can be an incredibly frustrating universal experience.

These days, it’s not uncommon to see snowboarders in their 40s and 50s. This is a far cry from years ago when snowboarders were routinely escorted off the slopes and asked not to return. Many resorts welcome both skiers and snowboarders now.

What Do Snowboarders Do That’s So Annoying?

snowboarding in park

There’s no one specific answer that encompasses why skiers sometimes find snowboarders annoying. A common complaint is that the more inexperienced boarders often “scrape” snow from the mountain by going down the slopes incorrectly.

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If there was recently a fresh layer of powder and a new snowboarder goes down the hill first, they may be unable to control their board and body movements and the snow ends up pillowing out and down the mountain. This leaves a poorer snow quality for those coming behind them.

Other frustrations come down to the lack of etiquette that younger participants have in general. The older generations have specific “rules” of the slopes that they like to see continued and sometimes this hasn’t been communicated or respected by the younger crowd.

Snowboarders have an image of being more laid back and casual, which can be taken as disrespect at times. Sometimes, boarding doesn’t fit into the idea of what ski culture is and this creates a bit of a rift.

The prevalence of tricks and terrain parks is much more popular within snowboarding culture than it is in ski culture. Many older skiers from generations past may be aghast to see young kids flipping around and doing their best Shaun White impressions. This may seem to them dangerous and reckless..

Skiing and Snowboarding

Conclusion

Though it’s a popular stereotype that snowboarders are young and unruly on the mountain, this isn’t necessarily true or even based on facts. Many skiers don’t have a particular dislike for snowboarders and the real tension comes out between the generational divide.

Older participants are more apt to look at the younger crowd, who often stay up later and party harder and cast a bit of judgment their way. However, the mountain was intended to be shared by all and common ground can be found if it’s searched for.

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