The Endless War of Winter Sports

For this week’s edition of Jake’s Blog, I am venturing into uncharted territory, and sharing what is perhaps the most controversial position I hold: snowboarding and skiing are equal.

Crazy, yes, but hear me out. For many members of the winter sports community, it’s a choice. It’s either skiing or snowboarding. However, throughout my decade of snowboarding, I have come to remove any prejudice I have towards skiers, and understand the other perspective. The reason I began snowboarding in the first place was thanks to my neighbor, who was older than me, and whose opinion held higher standing in my mind than others. Perhaps it was my ignorance in youth that blinded me, but I spent the first several years of my snowboarding career despising skiers. ‘They’re always in the way’ 11 year-old me screamed.  However, as I aged and developed the ability to comprehend the perspectives of others, my opinion shifted every time I hit the slopes. Skiers, just like snowboarders, are on the hill looking for a good time. While their idea of the best vehicle to reach the bottom of the hill differs from mine, their love for the snow and winter does not. This is something I have come to appreciate over time, as have many other skiers and snowboarders alike.

It is critical that this commonplace is just that, common. While technically two different sports, skiing and snowboarding are one in the same. Skis were invented long before snowboards. Yet today, in the times of Olympics and X-Games and constant competition, snowboarding usually leads the way. However, skiers follow in their path, quickly learning the latest tricks. Just a few years ago the halfpipe event was introduced to skiing, while it has been an integral part of snowboarding for several decades. However, it is this opinion, held by myself and many others, that allows for the advancement of winter sports as a whole. Skiers push snowboarders, and snowboarders help skiers. Now, I see skiers as fellow sports lovers. In life, this approach allows me to connect to and relate better with anyone, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or what their opinion is. Whether in the argument of skier versus snowboarder, Coke versus Pepsi, or left versus right, having this mindset has let me hear completely new perspectives, and appreciate people based on their character as a whole.

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