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Defining Snowboarding Etiquette

I have thinking about this for the past few weeks; is there a difference between snowboarding and skiing etiquette?  My initial reaction was yes, there are inconsiderate or dangerous bahaviours that are specific to boarders or skiers.

I hopped on google to see what I could find on snowboarding etiquette.  I clicked on a link to ehow.com and found this article here that outlines nine essential steps to not looking like a jerk on the hill.  What I found interesting is that the link on the same site which discusses skiing etiquette lists the same exact nine steps. 

Perhaps the people running the site were tired or thought it was time to cut some corners.  Perhaps they really see no difference between skiing and snowboarding etiquette.  I’ll likely never know.  But this got me to thinking.  Snowboarders tend to stop and sit in the middle of runs while skiers tend to sometimes make their big slow ‘S’ turns.  However, I have seen skiers stop and talk at places where doing so is unsafe and I have seen some boarders make slow winding turns on the hill.

I think that inconsiderate behaviour is itself the problem, not anything inherent to boarding or skiing.  We need to talk about general mountain behaviour rather than anything specific to boarders.  So here are some of my Mountain Etiquette Tips:

– Make sure you park somewhere safe and that your car is not blocking others from leaving.  Mountain parking can be a big issue, as I witnessed at Sunshine Village.

– Wear a leash when you board.  You’ll likely never need it, but it’s not like it hurts to have it. Mine is the long nylon strap type of leash that I can use to help me carry my board on my shoulder when I am walking about.

– When in lift lines avoid scraping the boards and skis of others.

– Let others get on the lift ahead of you if you’re not sure who should go first.  Waiting 5 seconds won’t kill you.

– Once you get off of the lift get the hell out of the way.  Also, just get off in any direction and then worry about heading to your run.  If you’re sitting on the left and you need to go right once off the lift, you should go straight and wait until it is clear to go where you want.

– When you need to get your bindings done up, try and do it off to the side.  Let people ready to ride access the middle area leading into the run.

– If you need or want to stop during a run, try and do so off to the side of the run. More importantly, make sure you are visible from above to riders coming down the hill.  Think of how fast someone could potentially be coming down and how much distance they would need to see you and react.

– If you board, try not to snowplow too much, erasing the moguls that skiers have made and use.  If you ski, try to either not go too slow in flat areas or just move off to one side.  Snowboarders can’t create speed on flats and they have to work hard to maintain speed.

– In agreement with Adam, don’t fly into the lift area at the end of your run.  It’s fine to ride in rather than walk, but you don’t have to rocket your way in.

– Remember that you share the hill with everyone; watch your language around kids, don’t litter, and be friendly to strangers.

Do you have any additions to the list or opinions otherwise? As always, feel free to share.


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