Vail Daily letter: The blind side
February 12, 2016
In response to the most recent Vail Daily letters to the editor, there seems to be an unfortunate disconnect between some of our snow boarders and skiers .
Our family are skiers and have had a home in Vail for 18 years . As boarding increased in popularity, we skiers had to share more of the slopes with them and it has taken some time to get used to our fellow downhill enthusiasts .
In attempting to try to accommodate and understand this alternative to skiing, I have been questioning snow boarders on the lifts about their sport , the challenges and what they are taught to handle their "blind side". I've learned a lot from them and have made some accommodations to my skiing to help me enjoy the same slopes as they .
Skiers are expected to be responsible for checking over both shoulders before turning . A question I've asked boarders is "what do you do about your blind side when needing to turn?" Answers I've received are "well , you kind of sense where the people behind you are", "can't see much , especially with goggles" , and " I guess it's hard to see".
Another question I have asked is, what are you taught to do in covering your blind side when turning ? The answer has been, "I wasn't " or " never had a lesson from a teacher." Not one had been taught to take the responsibility of covering it.
To make it safer I try to ski to the side the boarder is facing and not on their "blind side " , especially when passing them , but what can be done by them to make things safer for all? I presume ALL using the slopes are expected to follow the Skiers Code , which makes us each responsible for checking uphill before turning . Perhaps we need to rename it the skiers / boarders code????
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There is no doubt boarders have a blind side. How about requiring using one's arm to signal when turning to the blind side, so those behind can be prepared ?
We all love Vail, the snow covered mountains , and the life it offers us. We all certainly can live together congenially with awareness, respect , and concern for one another's safety.
Both need to try harder and eliminate our "blind sides".
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