Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Snowboarding column was misguided

    What a wonderfully quaint little world Robin Sias portrays in her Jan. 18 “Why We Ski” column, in which the limited territory of one’s pasture affords the division of humans along the lines of winter sport activity, and the existential pondering of width of downhill sliding device allows for mind-expanding activity simply by a change of gear.
    Yes, the “radically different” sports of skiing and snowboarding show two extremes of the human experience in this Mayberry-in-the-Rockies alter-universe. One wonders if the writer has recently looked up from the groomers and out into the world around us. Culture, especially that of winter sports, long ago decided that both forms of rapid downhill snow travel were acceptable means of human expression. In fact, it should be noted in that in some places snowboarders with their saggy pants are loved and adored (see screaming fans at X-Games), and their fashion sense is imitated.
    While Sun Valley has stagnated, other resorts have soaked up the tourism dollars by promoting youth freestyle ski and snowboard culture. Yet for too long, the resident skiers of Sun Valley have allowed this minor change in fashion and sporting goods to appear as a looming territorial threat. This type of first-world problem perpetuates the absurd idea of elitism in winter sport choice, and is nothing more than self-congratulatory back-patting over a few millimeters of fiberglass.
    Kudos should be given to the Sun Valley Co. for its efforts in creating the Dollar terrain parks. This strategy is immensely appreciated by the youth of this valley, and no doubt to visiting youth and parents as well. And kudos should be given to Robin Sias, for having the guts to strap on a snowboard in this town. Who knows, we may be seeing her with her pants sagging in the near future.

Mark Spencer

    Editor’s note: The Jan. 18 column by Robin Sias was written to be a skier’s perspective on what it’s like to try snowboarding, not a criticism of snowboarding or snowboarding culture.
No offense was intended.

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