Are Snowboarders Loners?

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Are Snowboarders Loners?

Postby John » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:13 pm

I know that some of us have trouble finding older folks who are able to ride with. Some of that may be the relative scarcity of riders over, say, 40. But could it be that people who ride are ... different?

I'm keying this question after reading an observation made by the board member IdahoRider in a different thread on this site. He writes:

I have a few 55+ friends that I ride with, but, true to the snowboarding ethic, they are not really "joiners". The Prime Timers are a pretty nice bunch of people, though, and rumor has it that they throw some pretty good wine and cheese parties!

So what do you think? Are snowboarders generally less likely to be joiners than skiers? Granted, skiers tend to skew older, so that may affect the answer. So it might be helpful to compare people in the same age group (50-year old skiers, 50-year old riders, etc.)
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Postby bernwern » Fri May 01, 2009 8:53 am

Well, being the "baby" of the site at the ripe old age of 30, I can not completely relate.

I will say that I am friendly with everyone, even skiers. The only time I'm a loner is when none of my usual friends go to the slopes, and then I easily make a new friend...usually at the bar with a glass of scotch in hand :)

I also think being a "loner" versus a "joiner" depends on the person's personality and experiences. Some people are naturally social while others are not. Some people are shy about their abilities, and as such, tend to shy away from those above their skills. It could be a host of other factors, not just whether or not you have 1 or 2 planks on your feet!

-B
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Postby John » Fri May 01, 2009 9:20 am

bernwern wrote:I also think being a "loner" versus a "joiner" depends on the person's personality and experiences. Some people are naturally social while others are not. Some people are shy about their abilities, and as such, tend to shy away from those above their skills. It could be a host of other factors, not just whether or not you have 1 or 2 planks on your feet!
-B

True enough. But in other contexts it is possible to make generalizations (stereotypes, if you will) about people based on their activities. (Generalizations, of course, are "laws" that don't apply to everyone in the group.) For example, I suspect that accountants, as a group, have somewhat different personalities than car salesmen.

I don't know how what generalizations (or if you will, tendencies) hold up when it comes to recreational activities. Perhaps none. I would think that, say, "extreme skiers" are a higher risk tolerance than the rest of us. I suspect, though don't know for sure, that skiers who try snowboarding are more willing to accept risks than those who don't. Then again, maybe they are more easily distracted and always "need" to try something new.

Anyway, this can easily, in a discussion, veer off the road into grudges, grievances, and projection. On the other hand, the question of how snowboarders and skiers differ from each other (if at all) once you take age into account is question with an empirical answer. ... I just don't know if the answer is "not at all" or something else.
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Postby bernwern » Fri May 01, 2009 10:33 am

Stereotypes exist because they are mostly true, but not always 100% correct. So to some extent, they hold true on a broad basis.

I think you have a good point about age being a factor. For example, as I have gotten older I have become less tolerant of the "gangsta" snowboarder image, pop music and culture, and other things I would consider fads. I see myself slowly turning into the old man on the porch that is grumpy at everything, like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino (excellent movie, by the way). Part of this could be my political leanings having an influence as well. But as a rule, I think as people age they typically stick with what they are used to and are less likely to try new things. Again, this is my perception, not fact.

In my opinion, snowboarders are more social than skiers. Boarders like to have a good time, be it on the slopes or an apres-ride party. There are exceptions of course, but most seem very social. The "ski-bum" types also seem very social, but I do think the old-skool resort skiers tend to avoid snowboarders or even despise us; not a year goes by that you don't hear about some douche-nozzle hating on a snowboarder just because he is a snowboarder instead of a skier.

To be fair, snowboarders typically don't help the situation, and even i am guilty of this. If some asshat is being a prick to me or my friends simply because we don't ski, I will call him out on it....and if they still don't change their mind, I am like most boarders and take the attitude of "F#ck off, we don't need you and you're a dying breed" and simply go do my own thing. I know it may not be right, but I realise I can't change their attitude any more than their political beliefs.

Now I'm getting off topic...that's my 10 cents anyways :)

-B
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Postby John » Fri May 01, 2009 10:51 am

Yeah, I'd say off-topic. But I wonder whether riders are in fact more sociable. My big mountain /mountain town experiences have largely been with skiers, and they seem to be a social bunch. Then again, some of them now have certain health issues, so much so that they hardly ever get on the snow. (I've known one person who always goes on the same ski trips that I go on, but never skis or rides: the knees, arthritis, etc., are just too bad.)
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Social boarders

Postby patmoore » Fri May 01, 2009 1:51 pm

I belong to a very active ski club (I run the club's website) where the average age is "deceased" :mrgreen:. At 62 I'm one of the younger members. My child bride is only 56. Okay, we do have some members in their 30s. With 500 members we have no more than four or five boarders and I split my time 50/50 between boarding and skiing. I can't say that I could differentiate between folks following either pursuit.

You won't find a more sociable group anywhere. Clearly we have fun. Check out this LipSync act from our meeting a week ago. BTW, submit your guesses as to the age of the woman "singing" Carrie Underwood's Last Name. Winner gets a cold Long Trail Ale but must come to Vermont to collect :P . We had close to 200 in the audience. The club has been doing this for 25 years.

Normally I do an act every year but this year it involved tap dancing on stilts and the cast would have gotten in the way. Here's my act from last year My wife is playing the singer and she's a cross country skier - as sociable as they come!
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Postby daysailer1 » Tue May 05, 2009 6:27 pm

I find snowboarders to be more social and accepting of different types of people than skiers. True ski bums are as social as snowboarders.

I mainly hang out with snowboarders in their 20's. It keeps me young. They expect me to be able to do anything they can. They don't accept age as an excuse.
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Postby justdust » Sun May 10, 2009 8:54 pm

First, the lip synching blonde was a hoot...and the shadowstrippin' Patricia belongs at Hooters (as long as "she" stays behind the sheet)! Looks like you guys have a real fun club!

As far as stereotypes go, I don't know. I tend to be an introvert naturally, but snowboarding is something that makes open up to strangers more than I normally would. If I'm sharing a lift chair, I find myself striking up conversations that I would not be the least bit inclined to initiate in other situations. And it doesn't matter if the other people have boards or skis...it's just a shared passion for being on the snow that melts whatever barriers or indifference that normally impede conversation.
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