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Extreme Snowboard Carving Serious Safety and Skiing Community issue

bumpybrandy

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FORGIVE me if this has been covered before but I am a new member and only had my first experience with this problem yesterday. I'm 52yo, skiing since the 70's, aging expert bumps, trees, steeps fanatic, etc. Yesterday in VT on a wide groomer heading to meet up with my son in a park I was cruising at a safe distance behind and to the left of a snowboarder. He was heading basically straight down, goofy foot, at average-to-slow speed, on the center-left of the run. Suddenly, without even the most minute head turn or glance back over his shoulder he crouched, dragged his hand and whipped into a full 90 degree +/- carve crossing directly in front of me and before I could blink I had slammed right into him. Because of his carving stance his body was thankfully at the height of my midsection and his helmet was already past me, so the contact was simply me slamming chest first into the side of his body and basically lifting him up and carrying him down the hill until we came to a stop. His board was intertwined with my skis and I ended up falling backwards as we came to a stop while he slid away and did the same. That is when he screamed and put out his hands out as if to ask what was I thinking? Having grown up in the 70's/80's in Manhattan I was pretty clear and responsive in letting him know what I was thinking. His retort: "You were behind me!", as if a driver who suddenly jams his wheel hard left across a three-lane highway and gets T-boned by the driver in the left lane is the victim because he was in front.
I bring this up not because this was such a big deal (although if I had been a 4 foot tall kid and his helmet and head hit me in the face it would have been a very big deal), but rather because as I started to pay more attention to what boarders were doing as I rode lifts throughout that day I observed that a large percentage of them were deep-deep carving back and forth, taking up to 40 or 50% of entire runs. When the runs were relatively empty, I guess fun is fun, but in general this seems like a real messed up trend. If they were doing 45 or 55 degree turns fine, but this is 90 degrees and sometimes more, even headed back uphill! I guess I've grown numb to the kicking my skis on the lift and the pushing any snow off the steeps. This however seems as dangerous as it is inconsiderate, and generally inconsistent with the spirit of the skiers' code being that everyone traveling down a run should be moving in the same general direction.
Has anyone heard of any efforts, or does anyone have any suggestions to get mountains or patrollers to educate or guide boarders so as to prevent these first shots from being fired in Board War II? "This time, it's perpendicular!"
 

deadheadskier

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According to the skier Responsibility code, he was in the right and you the wrong. Downhill participant has the right of way, even if they cut across the hill sharply. They might be doing it for fun or perhaps they see a rock or ice patch they're trying to avoid.

It's not just snowboarders who do hard sweeping carves. I do it all the time as a skier. If someone hit me from behind while making one of these carves, my reaction to that person would be the same as you experienced.

Having had a bad collision in highschool that resulted in a dislocated shoulder and fractured c7, I'm very sensitive to others around me and make sure I have plenty of time to react to skiers and riders in front of me that make sudden unexpected turns. Little kids are frequent offenders particularly.
 

MidnightJester

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While not definitely you might be talking about this newish "Euro style" Snowboard carving as they are calling it I believe. Was he turing hard enough to almost laydown and drag a hand/arm across the snow? While it is not as pronounced with the left to right do to higher Skiing speeds I have seen many a Skiers doing hard carving/turning.
 
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Edd

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Hard carving on snowboards looks so cool to me. I only see a rider doing turns like that every couple of years or so.

If I change my turn radius dramatically I always check behind me before getting too far into it. Self-preservation demands it.
 

bumpybrandy

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I appreciate your statement, Edd. Unfortunately, this trend has caught on very fast and I think the FIS rules will need to consider an amendment in consideration of "euro carving", which makes downhill slalom carving look like straight lining, otherwise what this means effectively is that no person on a ski mountain can ever come anywhere near, nor pass a snowboarder because the entire width of any typical run now belongs to the unreadable intent of that boarder. I'll say this: If I were ever skiing down a run and decided to simply turn over my ankles like Pirmin Zurbriggen and cross perpendicular to the slope, never even motioning as if I ever intended to travel downhill again, and someone minding their own business behind me were unable to react in time to something so incomprehensibly unpredictable, I would be shocked if they didn't take me out and send me down the hill like a deer crossing a highway.
 

cdskier

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Interesting choice of a first post topic...

Sorry to say you were in the wrong. I don't condone anyone (either a boarder or skier) to suddenly cut across a trail without warning, but if you are behind anyone you essentially need to assume they could do so at any point. If you hit them when they did this, then you were too close and didn't leave yourself enough room to react to the possibility that something like this could happen. Keep in mind that it doesn't need to be intentional. They could easily fall or need to make a quick turn to avoid something too.
 

BodeMiller1

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At Killington a snowboarder sprayed a good part of a lift line and got me good. At that point, i started to consider them all too dangerous.
 

Bumpsis

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Looks like the skier/rider code with its provision that whoever is downhill of skiers/rides uphill has the priority to do whatever they want obviously doesn't cover the situation that bumpybrandy found himself in. So, technically (according to the code) he's in the wrong (??) but realistically, a person making a fast, wide, across the slope turn without any consideration of the traffic coming from above is an idiot.

If I'm noodling turns in a narrow path down on a side of a trail and then decide to make a wide cross, OF COURSE, I'll look what's uphill from me, just for my own safety. That' being responsible to yourself and others.

Why wouldn't you do a quick look over your shoulder before laying down a wide carve across the slope?? Just because you feel that everyone uphill has to look out what you do? Something is really wrong with this code. Safety is everyone's responsibility on the slopes.
 

bumpybrandy

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so, having participated in and witnessed diverse and typical resort skiing environments throughout my five decades in the us and canada including having viewed ad nauseam the average crowded weekend day on a popular mountain where people of varying ages and ability levels are all basically cooperating with each other and using common sense and average levels of spatial awareness and courtesy to make sure that nobody's crashing into anyone (except teenagers bombing through crowds) I find myself asking, if all the FIS officials and 'assumed risk' sports attorney safety experts truly understand what "euro-carving" is and have seen it in person, and nonetheless maintain that what you say is a just determination because of your solely literal review of the skiers code of responsibility then you must also be willing to play this out to its logical conclusion and state that no skier in motion on any named run on the mountain may ever occupy any location that can be reached by another rider who is in front them by any distance no matter how slight at which the skier would be unable to prevent a collision, regardless of whether the downhill rider has determined to intentionally redirect their travel and momentum in whatever direction and at whatever speed is necessary to smash right into the uphill skier causing grave bodily harm. That is literally what you are saying the net effect of the rules is and intends to always be. If a rider in front of you intends to kamikaze right into you and you are not able to have pre-assumed this possibility and avoided it with your olympian level physical prowess (Grandma) then you are the culpable party. Well this is news that will make many disgruntled parties happy to hear. You can apparently just pick off any uphill parties like a linebacker. Then afterward you can even sue them.
 

bumpybrandy

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Looks like the skier/rider code with its provision that whoever is downhill of skiers/rides uphill has the priority to do whatever they want obviously doesn't cover the situation that bumpybrandy found himself in. So, technically (according to the code) he's in the wrong (??) but realistically, a person making a fast, wide, across the slope turn without any consideration of the traffic coming from above is an idiot.

If I'm noodling turns in a narrow path down on a side of a trail and then decide to make a wide cross, OF COURSE, I'll look what's uphill from me, just for my own safety. That' being responsible to yourself and others.

Why wouldn't you do a quick look over your shoulder before laying down a wide carve across the slope?? Just because you feel that everyone uphill has to look out what you do? Something is really wrong with this code. Safety is everyone's responsibility on the slopes.
Thank you SOOO much Bumpsis, truly! I am starting to feel like i'm in some sort of re-education camp. is anyone else listening to themselves? Where do they ski, down waterslides?
 

Former Sunday Rivah Rat

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It's pretty hard for a snowboarder to see where they are going when they have their back to half the trail. It's an inferior method of getting down the mountain. I snowboarded for 2 seasons and switched back to ski's.
 

MidnightJester

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Well this is news that will make many disgruntled parties happy to hear. You can apparently just pick off any uphill parties like a linebacker. Then afterward you can even sue them.
You hit the nail on the head with that comment. The way the rules are written that is exactly what you can do. Now on purpose would be assault if you can prove the intent was to wipe you out on purpose but to prove that without a recording of him telling it that way is nearly impossible.

A interesting angle on this would be to approach at a speed till you are both side by then you get ahead without contact then he is at fault if he hits you. You are allowed to pass ahead riders and skiers without contact.
 
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thetrailboss

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You were NOT cruising at a safe distance behind. If you were, you would have been able to stop or change directions when the snowboarder cut in front of you.
Yeah, agreed. Also, remember that snowboarders have different blind spots than skiers. In fact, snowboarders have one HELL of a blind spot. I give them a lot of room when on trail.
 

bumpybrandy

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Yeah, agreed. Also, remember that snowboarders have different blind spots than skiers. In fact, snowboarders have one HELL of a blind spot. I give them a lot of room when on trail.
he was facing me, riding goofy and I was "back and to the left. I can stop as fast as any of you at any speed let alone cruising mildly, but what difference does your physical reaction make when your mind cant even process what this nut case is doing?
 

kingslug

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Wonder how many people know how fast ...fast...fast really is.
60mph= 88 ft per second
30= 44
15= 22
Ide say 15 to 20 might be an avg speed.
Then just figure out how fast you can react and stop..or at least avoid.
That's my distance from other I try to keep.
Whe I see a pack of children all over the slope..I just stop and wait a bit
 
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