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Skiing and Snowboarding — Worlds Apartheid

30s Thursdays

By Preston G. Strout

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Because I run a summer snowboard camp that chooses to remain 100% Snowboarding in this age of action sports homogony, a few people out there have accused me of being a snow bigot.  In light of these heinous allegations, I’d like to set the record straight.

Just because you prefer a leisurely carve down the mountain, without being whipped past by a ski racer shot out of a spandex cannon doesn’t make you a ski-race-ist.  And even if you think freeskiing’s a bit queer*, that doesn’t make you a sno-mophobe.
*(defined – adj. queer:  odd or unconventional, as in behavior)

Sure, I realize that without skiing, snowboarding probably would not even exist.  Skiing literally blazed the trails for snowboarding’s eventual birth and I give respect where respect is due. I also realize that it literally DOES NOT MATTER what you do… If it doesn’t harm other people — and you enjoy doing it: then by all means, do what makes you happy.

Now… before I go from being accused a snow-bigot to a ski-lover, allow me to strike a middle ground by poking fun at the goofiest sub culture of skiing: Free-skiing.

Here are 10 reasons I find freeskiing wacky:

1.) The fact that freeskiiers copy nearly every single thing that we (snowboarders) do. Ahem… 2 years later.
2.) Is it really necessary for the equipment to fly off when they fall?  I’ve fallen thousands of times on my snowboard and never once have I wished that my snowboard flew off.
3.) Doing tricks while holding poles… Ya know, if I wanted to see someone spinning around holding onto poles: I’d go to a strip club.
4.) Skiers on rails look like rollerbladers with size 47 feet.
5.) Tanner Hall. Is that guy serious?
6.) Those grabs.  It’d seriously look less awkward if they were all grabbing each other.
7.) Hitting jumps switch… it just looks ass backwards.
8.) Those giant sweatshirts.  It’s like they have midget envy.
9.) Let’s face it, no matter which way you’re spinning — it looks a bit “unnatural.”
10.) Those skis may be faster down the mountain… but my god it takes them forever to walk down the lodge stairs in those boots.

My 30-year-old advice:

It’s my general feeling that we stand to learn the most, from those who stand differently than we do.  As such, perhaps the sport of snowboarding could learn a bit from our pole-wielding brethren. It’s easy (and cowardly) to make fun of something that you don’t understand.  With this in mind, today I plan to ski how the other half lives.  Plus, a wise man once told me that you should “never talk crap about someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.  Because then you’re a mile a way, and you have their shoes.”

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And so, behold: the new me.  As you read this, I’m most likely swooshing down Mt. Hood’s Palmer Glacier, sweat flying, gates abashing and poles a-planting.

I plan to learn from our sister sport, with an open mind and a pointy helmet.

I plan to report back fully next week on my experience into this alpine world. Hopefully better equipped to share my elderly advice.

The State of Snowboarding (According to Reddit)

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Now that Chas has headed back to Vermont, I’ve been trying to catch up with the snowboarding Internet, which admitedly, I have been half-ignoring since he left. I always like to check out what’s happening on the r/snowboarding page, and would ya beleive I stumbled upon this nifty infographic (that is a year old but I’ve never seen before!) Anyway, I stared at it for awhile so thought you might enjoy it too.

If you want to check out more from DarthFuzzy, they make some pretty nifty ski resort art, just in time for Christmas.  http://www.circlesquarediamond.com/

 

Shaun White Declares Ski and Snowboard Feud Over

ESPN, the world wide leader in snowboarding sports coverage just made a big announcement. Shaun White is bringing the Air & Style to LA Feb. 21-22, 2015! (Where no one really gives a shit about action sports anymore.) That way he can party at his beach house and do blow all night!

Now, the “sport” side of snowboarding is certainly not our cup of tea, but we’ve been around long enough to remember when this event was a big deal. All the best riders in the world were there (because everyone did everything back in the day) and with a huge cash purse, people gave a shit who won. But obviously, times have changed, arena events in snowboarding are getting fewer and far between, purses are getting smaller and desperate times call for desperate mesaures. So Shaun is adding skiing to his exciting arena world tour, starting with the Pasedena stop. Why? Because he’s trying to make it a viable business (where others have tried and failed before) and arena events like this are expensive to put on. If you’re trying to attract a mass audience, why not throw a little two-planking into the mix? It all looks like twirly spins to the average person anyway.

In other words, instead of wasting his time and Olympian energy solving real world issues, Shaun has focused his efforts on the greater good of rich white people with passion feuds. And since snowboarding has long been at odds with our skiing breathren, Shaun is preempting the inevitable hate:

“I was sitting down with a lot of the founding members of Air & Style and they were like, ‘We’ve got a strict rule that there’s no skiing in the event,” White said. “It just seemed so funny to me because when snowboarding got started it was the other way around and we had to fight our way in. Now that we own events, I’m proud to be bridging the gap and bringing skiers in. I have friends who do both, and it’s clearly bigger than this sport versus that sport. That was definitely a big step in the right direction in my eyes, but it’s something I’m sure we’ll be taking heat for. I think it’s an older generation thing that is fizzling out.”

And perhaps Shaun is right, old people are too old to give a shit and young kids don’t actually remember the feud enough to care. So, what else you guys wanna talk about?

Skiing is Officially More Fun that Snowboarding

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The Sydney Herald is reporting that in a study recently published in the Applied Research in Quality of Life, social psychologists trekked to the bustling ski-utopia that is South Korea and polled 279 people at three different ski resorts about how their sport made them feel. Around 45 per cent of those taking part were skiers while 40 per cent snowboarders and the remaining 15 per cent enjoyed both sports. The results?

…The researchers found both skiers and snowboarders benefited from a day in the mountains. Even those who only headed to the slopes occasionally seemed to receive an emotional boost. However, on average the skiers rated their own level of pleasure and involvement in their sport around five times higher than those who snowboarded or did both sports.

Apparently it’s either because skiers are “more engaged” (read: skiing is harder and takes full concentration), so their “flow” is better or because snowboarders are just so chyll that they won’t even admit to having fun. Either way, we’re not switching.

Link: smh.com

Saga Stokes the Ski vs Snowboard Flames

If you were wondering what the Saga crew was doing all summer at Hood, they were apparently embedded in the scene, investigating the war that looms large in the industry. Of course we’re talking about skiing vs snowboarding here. It’s a feud as old as the activity of snowboarding itself, so I suppose it’s no surprise that it took them 13 minutes to dissect it all. Watch it, maybe you’ll learn something.

Thanksgiving: A Shred Story

The true Thanksgiving story is one that is not told by many. According to research conducted within my head, new “facts” would allow us at Yobeat to believe the Native Americans were snowboarders, and the Pilgrims, actually the first versions of what we now know as “skiers.” What follows is the true (made up) story of Thanksgiving:

The Native Americans were a humble people who lived off the land. At one with nature, they understood the most efficient way to travel downhill during winter.


When the Pilgrims arrived in America they were vastly unprepared to withstand the harsh Northeast Winter and many people died. One day, on the bottom of “ANGWUSNASOMTAQA cliff drop,” Squanto and his homie shredded straight into the camp. The Native Americans took pity on the white man, and helped them get back to their camp for supplies.

In many Native American dialects, “skis” translated roughly to “Rectal rim-licker.” Squanto and his homie laughed all the way back to camp about how ridiculous the two-plankers looked, for It was tradition to haze the two-plankers. When they got back to camp, the pilgrims took note of the way the Native Americans lived off the land. For a while, the two groups were friends. The Native American’s trusted the pilgrims enough to invite them to their giving thanks feast. A celebration of God’s gift of snow to this earth.

And so the first feast went, a celebration in hopes of bountiful powder . Then one greedy pilgrim thought differently.


And that’s how it went. After four hundred years, the Native American’s original love has come back to light with the exception of three Pilgrim-owned resorts. This Thanksgiving give thanks that snowboarding is back, and hopefully here to stay.

Should We All Just Get Along?

Oh look it’s another snowboard video with skiers in it. It’s not the only one either. In fact, it’s happening so often these days, even the ski community is noticing. We’ve been known to poke fun at skiers. Why? Well, mostly cause we make fun of everyone, plus it’s entertaining when the 15-year-old New Schoolers don’t get the joke. But all this apparent ski/snowboard camaraderie has gotten us thinking: is it time to put past differences aside, forget about a time we had to take tests to ride the lift and were referred to as knuckle draggers, and just accept our two-planked snow sliding brethren? We present the pros and cons of being friends with skiers.

Pro: If you get in a fight, they can eject more quickly, and their boots can do way more damage than yours

Con: They will make you listen to hippy music or really bad hip hop

Pro: Someone to sell your old clothes too (let’s face it, no snowboarder wants your pants from two years ago)

Con: Seeing your old clothes worn will remind you of what you looked like two years ago

Pro: They can pull you across flat sections

Con: This whole no-poles trend negates that last pro

Pro: Skiers are great wingmen because they make you look that much cooler by comparison.

Con: They walk really slow in their boots

Pro: Not being picky increases your friendship pool and thus makes you seem like less of a loser

Con: Sometimes they grab while holding poles

Pro: How ridiculous they look while grabbing the holding poles can be entertaining. Same with when they fall and their equipment does all over the trail.

Con: They probably rollerblade in the summer

Pro: Skiers are more likely to know how to talk to ski patrol, like why black people should have a white friend.

Con: They can go faster than you, it will potentially make you feel inadequate

Comparative Analysis with A. Hart

With the lack of snow in the Pacific Northwest, there has been plenty of free time to Internet snowboard. Whilst bouncing among the plethora of shred blogs, social networks and shred news I came across a poignant article by John Symms on the coolness of skiing versus snowboarding. Symms outlines 10 reasons on why skiing is in fact cooler than snowboarding. With evidence from originality to film quality, Symms builds a case for the superiority of two planks to one. Does Symms claim have substance? Read on for a take on snowboarding, skiing, and coolness.

  1. Skiing is Original: Symms claims that people were skiing as early as 5000 B.C. Right off the bat, Symms argument fails. 5000 B.C.? Are we supposed to buy that? Humans didn’t even exist then and we have a hard time believing that a triceratops could fit into a pair of ski boots.
  2. Skiers go faster: Yeah, but we have Shaun Palmer. Oh yeah, he skis too.
  3. Skiers fly higher: But snowboarders are much more consistently “high.” Hahaha!
  4. Skiing moguls is fun: No it is not.
  5. Skiing is efficient: Symms states that “Snowboarding is a constant struggle of strapping, unstrapping, sitting, standing, and checking to see that your pants are properly sagged.” This is true. And that makes snowboarding cool.
  6. Skiing is elite: Citing skiers such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Prince Charles and Paris Hilton, Symms claims that societies elite prefer skiing over snowboarding. Assuming this is a good thing, consider the elite personality that prefers snowboarding: John Kerry. You can’t get much cooler than that guy.
  7. Skiing is exclusive: Currently, there are three resorts that do not permit snowboarders to use their slopes. Symms points out there are no resorts that bar skiers but allow snowboarders. Technically, this is true. But in reality, if a skier were to attempt some goofy slide on a rail at a SoCal resort, it is likely they would get shanked by a member of the Midget Mafia.
  8. Skiing has better movies: Due to the amount of neon one-pieces, I must agree that skiing movies are more entertaining.
  9. Skiing is in the name: Symms notes snow related terminology prefers ski over snowboard (e.g. ski resort, ski town, ski shot). We will give you that one John, but we have more comfortable boots. HAHAHA!
  10. Skiing isn’t as cool…and is therefore cooler: Symms concludes his argument noting that snowboarding is considered cooler as it is more similar to skateboarding. In turn, this makes skiing cooler. This doesn’t make any sense, but I am fairly certain that skateboarders consider skiing even lamer than snowboarding.
    What’s the verdict? Who racked up more cool points, skiers or snowboarders?

    [poll id=”32″]

If It Were Easy, It Would Be Called Snowboarding…

Don’t hate The Man, hate the man that tele’s.

Would Chevy ever say “if you were pussy whipped you’d be driving a Lumina?” Not likely. Then why is this giant who’s made boards since the onset, putting us down with this irrevocable comment, posing quite the conundrum, as well as humiliating and degrading themselves? An obvious response is, “K2 Telemarking has nothing to do with K2 Snowboarding and its only a sticker.” Perhaps, but anyone who has been around pre-ghetto fabulous era or grew up riding Fat Bobs, Eldorados, and Ju-Ju’s should deem it unacceptable.

In this day, it’s a somewhat accepted reality that ski companies produce boards, skis, and tele skis. Business is business, but do not take us for morons. Did ya think we’d forgotten there’s a K2 ad on every third page of every snowboard mag? Are we being over run by companies who in one hand take our money and with the other declass us? What’s happening to our sport (sport, not a sport, call it what you will, no one gives a shit)?

I’ll tell you, ski/snowboard conglomerates are taking over. They’re a shit sandwich, and as riding continues to grow, K2 and the like are stacking them full, if not careful we eventually take a bite. K2, you sell out, or is the word sell out too cliché? Nowadays companies don’t sell out, they just become lame.

The Animal Chin of snowboarding has been found some time ago when riding was still real and fun, but we are now killing him slowly, with “shey-whitey” claiming “thug life,” K2 denouncing their stepchild, ESPN poisoning the minds of our youth with false images of what we are about, and to top it off we have “pinners” claiming mountains as their own, refusing to share. This is a fucking outrage, lets take ‘em back and then lets bring it back to ‘92.

Since the topic of “pinners” is already in the air I’m taking this opportunity to criticize them as they do us with their cowardly sticker.

“Mad River Glen is the “Mecca” for Telemark skiing in New England. Visitors to Vermont’s skier owned mountain will notice a greater concentration of “free-heelers” than almost any other ski area in North America. Mad River Glen’s uncrowded, natural snow trails, and award winning terrain offer some of the finest lift serviced Telemark skiing available anywhere. “It’s a market segment we target aggressively, especially in light of our ban on snowboarding” explains Marketing director, Eric Friedmanin in a MRG brochure a.k.a. “commi pinko rag.”

“If it were pointless it’d be called telemarking,” a God-awful pastime, whose participants find it so necessary to demean our sport by calling it simple. Crouching hippie, hidden agenda is more like it. These “pinners” are the same incumbents maintaining a prominent effort to keep riders out of their sanctuaries such that “Mad River Glen the only eastern area, is joined by Alta, Deer Valley, and Taos. Not too bad a company to keep,” says one shit head. Unless we are comfortable accepting the fascist four Teli/Ski Nazi Regime and it was circa 1938, lets do nothing at all.

The “skier vs. snowboarder war,” an antiquated notion maybe, but “pinners” vs. riders is clearer than ever. Never have I witnessed such animosity towards riders from those whose pastime is easily comparable to weeding the garden, or running a marathon in flip flops. We have no unnecessary reasons to bend over, as do you in a pointless activity, which I liked better when it was called cross-country skiing. The way I see it “pinners” fall into one of the following categories:

1. The “shit wigged” wearing “trustafarian pinner” who denounces capitalism, but fails to recognize it’s a necessary evil, which builds his skis and ski lifts. Look at his K2 “Work Stinx,” skis. Yeah work stinks, for them not you. Does his wannabe humanitarian ass know they are from a sweatshop in China, put together by children with little fingers? Then he preaches I don’t eat animal hospitalities, while buckling his leather Berks. Talk about being a monkey to the man and not even knowing it. “Free your heel” I say “free this.” Rather then mocking us put more effort towards getting a job so you can feed your malnourished hippie mutts and then maybe you can afford a more advanced body fragrance then petruli. If you fit the above description and just read this, I hope you have an anxiety attack followed by a mental break down just because you’ve finally figured out that being a hippie is being a hypocrite. You are part of a trend rebelling adamantly against nothing, while living a life of lies, and you have to face the fact that you cross country ski down hill.

2. The “techi gear head pinner” who sports the Face or Patagonia, drives an Xterra, and talks about how super breathable their gear is, followed by what skis should be taken out tomorrow. The steak heads of the snow world. They almost always link their turns and love slapping on skins to go for an uphill death march after a red bull. These type make constant claims that riders scrape snow off the trail, we are deemed reckless and seen as some sort of lesser being engaging in a simple minded sport. It’s as if every morning they walk out their door, step in dog shit and blame us. Get over yourselves. Yeah, telemarking may be difficult, but so is knitting a sweater and Dungeons and Dragons, but you don’t see me participating in these pastimes either.

3. The “pinner” who considers themselves in with everyone. “I telemark as well as alpine ski, and on powder days I take out my snowboard,” says jack-of-all-trades, master of none. But if ever confronted with the issue of riding being banned from certain mountains they say “I hear what you are saying, and believe me from a riders point of view there are some mountains whose trails are too steep and narrow for us to manipulate, they just shouldn’t be allowed in some resorts. But in actuality I don’t have anything against riders, don’t forget I also ride.” Fucking hypocrite.

4. “I ski but telemarking looks fun, I’d like to learn,” says the would-be “pinner” yearning to free his heel. No, No, No, don’t ever, ever say those words. Every time a skier makes that statement, God kills a kitten. If you take pleasure in killing kittens while being associated with a bunch of fascist, no good, snowboard hating free-heeled Nazis, who have fruit flaring out of their pockets, go ahead. I guess stupidity is contagious, so fuck you too.

Is all this animosity really necessary, or did I just wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Probably, but the sad reality is we’re all free heelers until we strap in. Maybe we should be a little more considerate to each other’s feelings and listen to the words of a man, who took a few too many blows from, uhm… “The Man” but once said “Can’t we all just get along” followed by “Take out your aggressions on a common enemy, like the police, uh, I mean snowlerbladers.” ‘Nuff said.

So if you are reading this and saying to yourself, man this guy has his shit dialed, he’s right, we are being oppressed. Tell your friends, start a hate group, and put a flag up in your sheltered mountain community, where there is nothing to do but ski, ride and bitch about pointless crap that no one in the “Real World” gives a shit about because they actually have real problems to deal with. Sorry pal, these are just words and stereotypes. African Americans, Jews, Native Americans, Mexicans, etc… were (are) oppressed, not upper middle class white boys, a category which most of us fall into. Let’s face it our lifestyles are selfish and no one cares. There are more important things going on today which we seem to constantly ignore because we have to ride, slide, or squat, but that’s okay, because everything in our backyard is all white, I mean right. We should look upon our lives and recognize how lucky we are to be living the way we do. Hey does any one remember those two buildings that were knocked down in September, and does any one care that the world is going to shit. Oh I’m sorry I didn’t mean to interrupt your perfect world, and what a world of bullshit it can be.

-Greg Saladino

Chairlift Games: Reverse the Question

Ideas stolen from Ben Fee*.

How many times have you ridden up the chairlift with a friendly, but ultimately annoying skier? Probably hundreds, and most times you’ve probably been bombarded by the same stupid questions, such as, “Is that fun?” For a change of pace, why not be the one to initiate conversation, by reversing the questions? Here are a few you might try:

1. How long have you been skiing?
2. Did you use to snowboard?
3. How do you stop on those things?
4. Is that harder than snowboarding?
5. Do you still snowboard? (The comedic value of this question is doubled, if they’ve never snowboarded before.)
6. Is it fun?

Of course, there are many more, but you’ll have to come up with a few on your own.

*All original ideas portrayed in this piece are stolen directly from the mouth of PSC student Ben Fee. Used without permission.