Competitive Snowboarder Voices Opinion on Snowboard Culture at CC

Letter to the Editor:

In response to “Snowboarding Culture in Decline: Is Stigmatism Among CC Skier Population to Blame?” by Griffin Mansi

While I respect Mansi’s opinion, I have to disagree with some of his main points. As a competitive snowboarder and someone who has been snowboarding for the past 11 years, I felt that it was necessary to show the other side of snowboarding that perhaps the author was not privy to. Although it is true that many of the snowboarders who “were the driving force” behind snowboarding’s popularization have begun to settle down and have families, many of these parents are teaching their children how to snowboard, rather than switching back to skiing.

Snowboarders are also completely capable of navigating lift lines and tree lines, if not with greater ease than skiers. After switching to snowboarding as a child and growing up with a family of three extremely experienced skiers, I am confident in saying that snowboarders have an easier time of riding through tight tree trails. I also believe that a person’s speed on the mountain is defined by ability, not whether you are on a snowboard or pair of skis.

It is also somewhat insulting to have snowboarding called the counterculture of skiing. While snowboarding is considered the alternate winter sport to skiing, counterculture is defined as “a way of life and set of attitudes opposed to or at variance with the prevailing social norm.” If we are going to consider Colorado College’s social norm to be skiing, then I don’t think you can go as far as calling snowboarding a way of life opposed to the social norm. I have had no issues riding with my friends that ski nor have I felt left out even though almost all of my friends ski; instead, I think that snowboarding compliments skiing. Both sports take place on the mountain and—in my opinion—bring people together regardless of what is strapped on their feet.

The important thing to consider here is that snowboarding is not being stigmatized by the skier population. Perhaps some students feel more comfortable switching to skiing to be more like their friends. That is obviously more than all right. It is not fair, however, to label snowboarding as a declining culture. What the author might not know is that competitive snowboarding is actually on the rise. While it could be labeled as a niche sport, there is a growing community of competitive snowboarders that are training everyday—on snow and off—to make a name for themselves.

Of course, this article is somewhat specific to CC, but it is important to realize what else is happening in regards to snowboarding outside of our small campus.



Noelle Edwards ’19

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