Skier vs. rider rivalry alive |

Skier vs. rider rivalry alive

Daily Staff Report
Chad Owsley/Vail Daily A snowboarder carves frontside and kicks up a little new snow doing so on Saturday afternoon at Copper Mountain Ski Resort. At 5 a.m., Copper reported 9 fresh inches and counting.

Outdoor enjoyers of both vocations explained the strife or lack thereof Saturday at Copper MountainBy J.K. Perry Daily Staff Writer

COPPER MOUNTAIN – The old snowboarder versus skier rivalry is alive today on Copper, albeit subdued compared to the past and with a few detractors.The Vail Daily hit the powdery slopes of Copper on Saturday to find out if the old adage held true.”It takes years for skiers to learn. They’re resentful because of the fact snowboarders progress faster than they did,” Laura Fedie of Denver said.Fedie switched to snowboarding 10 years ago because she had trouble skiing in powder.”Powder – that’s why everybody likes the snowboard,” she said. Her two daughters, who began skiing and didn’t like it, later took up the single fat stick.

Do snowboarders ruin the snow? Fedie said skiers, in the age of short skis, have transformed bumps from Volkswagen Bugs to small pointy moguls that are unenjoyable to ride.David Harris, a high school dean in Cleveland, traveled to Denver for a teachers’ conference. He made the hop over to Copper to telemark with his snowboarding cousin. He said a rivalry doesn’t exist.”There’s probably a lack of understanding of the younger generation” who typically snowboard, Harris said. “I don’t think it’s a problem anymore if there ever was one.Harris’ cousin, Jeff Harris, said a rivalry exists insofar as prowess and ability are concerned. “I think both have their own flair and that’s what brings the rivalry,” Jeff Harris said. “I used to ski, so I can respect it.”

But he said there is some animosity.”It’s kinda like people being from Texas and California,” he said.Skier Jeff Hawks sat enjoying a beer at the bar with his son, who wore boots of a different color.”Snowboarders have a little bit of attitude and don’t have etiquette,” Hawks said. “It feels a little like ‘I’m too cool to have etiquette.’ It’s maybe a generational thing.”Across the table, son Aryn Hawks was a bit indifferent.

“I just go down the mountain and carve,” son Aaron Hawks said. “I don’t really see anything. There is a little something between skiers and snowboarders. It’s weird. I can’t explain it; it’s like a friendly tiff.”Jerry Smith skied at Copper Saturday wearing a bear hat that combined with a full beard, made him look like an Ewok from Return of the Jedi. Smith doesn’t mind the opposite of skiing, but he recognizes some antipathy.”Skiers don’t like boarders because they say boarders mess up the snow. I don’t think that’s true,” he said.Younger snowboarders lie at the root of the so-called rivalry, he said.”It’s just the age of the kids. They’re gonna be out doing crazier stuff than us old guys,” Smith said.

BerkeleyAlmand of Denver instructed and rode snowboards but switched back to skiing this season for the challenge. Coming from both sides, she spotlighted the reason snowboarders catch some guff.”Snowboarders get a bad rap because of the young high-school guys,” she said. “A lot of times you see a bad snowboarder who can’t ride.”As time has passed and snowboarding has lost it’s “new” appeal, Almand said the rivalry is “dying now.”Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14622, or

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