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Ski industry looking for new cultures/ethnicities to get on slopes?

SkiFanE

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Self serving question. The sport is lily-white, at least here in NE, essentially we're all pretty much the same :)

My HS senior is graduating from a HS in So America this year, fluent in Spanish and hispanic culture (living with family). She's applying to colleges in CO and Utah (among other states). We were talking about the lack of diversity on the ski slopes, and was wondering what use the Ski Industry could have for a life-long skier with her fluency and experience. She'd love to promote it...we were having fun thinking of ways to get hispanics to the slopes...to them skiing is just a cold frigid expensive sport lol. But I did once work with a Dominican college intern that came to the US about 10yo, and discovered skiing and loved it...so I know there is hope lol.

I've always thought the industry has to reach out to new cultures to keep strong, so I do see an opportunity for her after college...but only if the industry decides to reach out.
 

4aprice

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All I can say is good luck. The stat I heard is 85% that try it, never return. See a good deal of Asians and Russians (not really an ethnicity) but not others.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 

SkiFanE

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Ahh....so they weren't doing it right lol. They need someone that understands the culture!

All I can say is good luck. The stat I heard is 85% that try it, never return. See a good deal of Asians and Russians (not really an ethnicity) but not others.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 

Rowsdower

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It's big in Japan and Korea. You're really limited to other developed countries where people have the income and accessibility to ski. The majority of the population that lives around ski country is white anyway, so what you see on the slopes is probably about what you'd expect given local demographics.
 

abc

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we were having fun thinking of ways to get hispanics to the slopes...to them skiing is just a cold frigid expensive sport lol. But I did once work with a Dominican college intern that came to the US about 10yo, and discovered skiing and loved it...so I know there is hope lol.

I've always thought the industry has to reach out to new cultures to keep strong, so I do see an opportunity for her after college...but only if the industry decides to reach out.
What sports do hispanics play in their spare time? I think it's cultural. Until there's a hispanic skier making it to the top, it's not going to appeal "culturally".

At my local hill where I teach beginner occasionally, kids (and adults) of all color are represented. Heck, even the instructor pool is well represented. But somehow, that didn't translate into wide participation of ethnic minority families.

I'm not white. And I still have plenty of connection to my minority communities. I see plenty of parents sending their kids to learn-to-ski programs but they themselves sit in the lodge. So if a kid looks at his/her parents, it's not a great motivator. Some kids do "take" to the activity and will insist on continuing. But that's a much smaller percentage than a white kid whose parents are going to arrange skiing vacation for the family because the father/mother wants to ski and the kids got taken along for the same.
 

SkiFanE

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I know...but wondering if they made a real effort? Skiing is also a social sport, so have to find ways to get groups up to ski and then make it so darn fun they can't wait to return. lol.
The 85% was all ethnicities.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 

SkiFanE

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My parents didn't start skiing til I was a teen, yet all 6 of their kids were on skis young, I was 5yo. So we started at a small feeder hill - after school, my older sibs and school bus could transport me...my parents didn't even bother sitting in lodge lol. 4/6 of us were heavily involved in skiing for years. Going after school with my sibs and school buddies made it a total blast, never missed my parents at all (lol). That's why I'm thinking it has to be more of a group dynamic type thing...easy and accessible. Start smaller mountain if needed, we all don't need to start a K sized places.

(oh I mentioned my work intern, he grew up in Lawrence MA and somehow got the ski bug, he'd go up a few times a winter with his hometown friends...he was still a poor college student when I worked with him, but it was def. something he hoped to continue for life). So there is hope, and more than soccer to hispanics, maybe just the younger generation that grew up here (their parents just hate hate hate cold!).



What sports do hispanics play in their spare time? I think it's cultural. Until there's a hispanic skier making it to the top, it's not going to appeal "culturally".

At my local hill where I teach beginner occasionally, kids (and adults) of all color are represented. Heck, even the instructor pool is well represented. But somehow, that didn't translate into wide participation of ethnic minority families.

I'm not white. And I still have plenty of connection to my minority communities. I see plenty of parents sending their kids to learn-to-ski programs but they themselves sit in the lodge. So if a kid looks at his/her parents, it's not a great motivator. Some kids do "take" to the activity and will insist on continuing. But that's a much smaller percentage than a white kid whose parents are going to arrange skiing vacation for the family because the father/mother wants to ski and the kids got taken along for the same.
 

abc

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My parents didn't start skiing til I was a teen, yet all 6 of their kids were on skis young, I was 5yo. So we started at a small feeder hill - after school, my older sibs and school bus could transport me...my parents didn't even bother sitting in lodge lol. 4/6 of us were heavily involved in skiing for years. Going after school with my sibs and school buddies made it a total blast, never missed my parents at all (lol). That's why I'm thinking it has to be more of a group dynamic type thing...easy and accessible. Start smaller mountain if needed, we all don't need to start a K sized places.
So you're one of those kids who TAKE to skiing regardless of the parents hobby.

But many kids don't initially. So if their parents aren't skiers, the end of the learn-to-ski program is the end of their skiing experience. While kids of skiing parents got dragged along skiing for many years, and have a chance to take to it at a later time.
 

bdfreetuna

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I'm doing my part.. my girlfriend is from Puerto Rico I took her skiing on the 3rd date :thumbup:

That said my observation has been that hispanics have plenty of interest in skiing/snowboarding. The majority I know are Puerto Ricans but I know a few out in Boston who ski, and plenty of the PR folks who haven't skied express sincere interest in the sport when the topic comes up.

A lot of hispanics are not going to ski because a lot of hispanics live in certain cities where there is already a large population of hispanics and it may take them a generation or two to break out of their "comfort zone" and start mixing it up with other cultures more. Skiing may also be unaffordable for them or perceived as such.

But the groups of Puerto Ricans I mostly know are college educated / grad students / doctors and such. Among these folks there is actually a pretty good adoption rate of skiing and trying out other winter sports.. especially considering most of my Latin friends have only been in the States for a few years at best.

As has been mentioned, their parents don't ski. It's up to them to figure out there's something better to do in the winter up here besides bundle up by the heater.

I am actually more concerned about the continued lack of presence of black people in skiing. Here we are not talking about recent arrivals to the area, we are probably talking about people whom many of which I would imagine would consider skiing a sport that might even be somewhat hostile to their culture.

The hispanics will figure it out though. Give it 10 years you'll be wondering where all the white people went ;)

..

Side note, I work in advertising and a lot of my work is for family campgrounds. Camping is another seasonal activity which has been a primarily white past time. Our agency is recommending more of our clients reach out to hispanic people. You would think hispanic people don't like to camp or something but that's not the case.. but some of them would like to feel like they know they are welcome at a destination before planning a vacation.

Easy way to show them they are welcome is try not to show pictures of only white people..
 

SkiFanE

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I think "back in the day" when there were big families, and I was at the end of the pack...didn't matter what your parents did, but what the older sibs did. But also my town made skiing/bussing a cheap rec activity - and entry costs were cheaper - wore snowpants, knit mittens and hand-me-down gear...when I got older it was blue jeans :) lol. One of my older sis' worked at that feeder hill in HS, later at NH ski mt thru Northeastern Univ Coop job - and thats when my parents got into it (free ski passes). Those lil cheap mountains are very important, IMO.

Maybe now with 2 kid families and the way things are with modern day life...just harder to jump-start into sport w/o parents involvement (?). Back in my day - drop a kid off (no cell phone, no helmets, just PB&J sandwich and ticket $) and pick them up at 4pm...easy. Also...I don't remember having to do sports on weekends...it was a weekday thing, nowadays kids are schedule all weekend it seems (basketball is tough to get around in winter).




So you're one of those kids who TAKE to skiing regardless of the parents hobby.

But many kids don't initially. So if their parents aren't skiers, the end of the learn-to-ski program is the end of their skiing experience. While kids of skiing parents got dragged along skiing for many years, and have a chance to take to it at a later time.
 

BenedictGomez

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I've always found it odd that whenever white folk generally do something that other races generally don't do, it's a HUGE problem that must be immediately addressed and then solved.

But whenever Asians or Blacks or Hispanics or (insert race or culture here) generally do something that white folk generally dont do, nobody notices, much less gives a rat's ass.
 

dlague

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I think that it has to be driven at the teen level! That is around the time I started because other friends did. My parents did not ski! However, all my kids started at 3 and a couple are adults and they continue. The same model needs to be considered. If you want to see other cultures - go to Killington! I feel like I am in the foreign country when there!
 

abc

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I've always found it odd that whenever white folk generally do something that other races generally don't do, it's a HUGE problem that must be immediately addressed and then solved.

But whenever Asians or Blacks or Hispanics or (insert race or culture here) generally do something that white folk generally dont do, nobody notices, much less gives a rat's ass.
Because the population make up is changing. So things "only white folks" do will one day become things few people do!

Is that a problem? Not really, except if your livelihood happen to depend on it.

So if "only white folks" ski, in a few decades there will be fewer white folks and quite a bit fewer people skiing! Shorter lift lines, more open space on slopes and more powder stashes. Great! And if you're a ski instructor, fewer paying customers. Probably not that great.
 
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deadheadskier

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I've always found it odd that whenever white folk generally do something that other races generally don't do, it's a HUGE problem that must be immediately addressed and then solved.

But whenever Asians or Blacks or Hispanics or (insert race or culture here) generally do something that white folk generally dont do, nobody notices, much less gives a rat's ass.

Examples for the latter part of your point?
 

steamboat1

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I've always found it odd that whenever white folk generally do something that other races generally don't do, it's a HUGE problem that must be immediately addressed and then solved.

But whenever Asians or Blacks or Hispanics or (insert race or culture here) generally do something that white folk generally dont do, nobody notices, much less gives a rat's ass.

You mean like sacrificing goats or eating monkey brains?
 
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