Vail Daily letter: Stop stereotyping snowboarders
February 3, 2016
This is in response to M. Kell's letter regarding those "dangerous snowboarders."
Come on. I am sorry that you were injured and don't wish that on anyone and hope you have a speedy recovery. However, it is time to give up this "us vs. them" garbage and always stereotyping snowboarders into categories such as delinquents, unsafe, rude, etc.
I've spent many days on the hill, for over 30 years, and have seen it all from both sides. I've had close calls by many a skier and snowboarder. It's not an isolated problem only brought on by sliding sideways.
Do you know how many times I have to hit the brakes when a skier has blindly made a move without looking? Or have come up on a group of people sitting on a blind spot where they shouldn't be sitting? Or having to yell at a skier to control their poles because I've almost been shanked while making a pass on a catwalk? Plenty. And while I'm guilty of having an accident on hill that was my fault, I stayed with the person and called patrol myself and stuck around to make sure they were OK even while another member (skier) of the party was threatening to beat me up. I could have easily been out and never found, yet I am one of the many responsible snowboarders out there who take ownership of their actions. I've also witnessed many collisions caused by skiers and have stopped to assist while the guilty did not. I've also picked up skis or poles that have been separated from their owner after a crash and returned them to their owner because I'm kind!
Stop generalizing us. There are a lot of us out there. You sound ridiculous. You want to fine me for going fast? Good luck. I'm sorry but I ride with many skiers and snowboarders who absolutely rip and we all know how to control ourselves. You don't know our abilities. Stop assuming speed equals danger. Much like driving a car, speed can actually be safe if you know what you are doing. If that's the case then they better fine incompetence across the board. Sitting in a blind spot? Fined. Cutting across the hill blindly? Fined. Skiing across my snowboard in line? Fined.
Your second thought as to handling things is great, too. You want to segregate us again. Great plan. Ever stop and look around at how many snowboarders are out there spending lots of money for the resorts? Try that and see your profits drop. You believe no rules have been posted? Ever glanced at your pass or lift ticket? It's laid out clearly right there what you're supposed to do. Ski in control. Ticket holder is responsible. I am. Are you?
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Wishing you well. Maybe we will meet on the hill one day.
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