“It’s like snow-surfing!” exclaims a reporter in this retro news clip. The segment, filmed in 1985, was introducing an exciting and controversial new sport: snowboarding.
Apparently, traditional skiers had a hard time accepting the newfangled trend of snowboarding when it first hit ski slopes. “They cause nothing but problems, those things do,” says one skier, referring to the snowboards as “missiles.” He goes on to argue that snowboards create a risk of people hitting one another and breaking their legs, noting, “Most of them have no brakes on them!”
Of course, we now consider “skate-boards, or ski-boards, or whatever they’re called” as much a staple of the ski hills as skis themselves, but when they first appeared in Canada, snowboards weren’t even allowed on the hills. People riding boards weren’t admitted onto the chairlifts and had to hike up the hills in order to ride back down.
Many people were suspicious of snowboards—and their young, rebellious riders. As a member of the ski patrol notes, they were often “uncooperative,” and could be “smart alecks.”
A young snowboarder in the video says that snowboards are just as safe as skis, and says the people who are against the snowboards “just don’t like how it looks.” Another snowboarder argues that skiers are just as likely to hurt people as snowboarders.
Finally, the reporter asks the ski patrolman, “Do you see any compromise in the future at all?”
The answer: “No…We don’t want them at all.”
Ah, the way we were.
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