© Kool 107.9
In a bold move Friday, many of the major French ski resorts announced they would implement a new ban on snowboarders. The ban came about after multiple complaints by skiers of their fellow snowboarders’ “reckless behaviour” and “damage to the slopes”. Popular ski areas such as Les Portes du Soleil, Les Trois Vallées and Chamonix stated that the loss in revenue is worth preserving the integrity of the slopes and ensuring a more peaceful environment for skiers, who currently make up 77% of their clients anyways. The ban will be effective starting in the 2018/2019 ski season.
Snowboarding ban unsurprising given recent skier-snowboarder conflicts
It would seem that the age-old rivalry between skiers and snowboarders is far from gone. Indeed, the decision to ban snowboarders in French ski resorts comes on the heels of a 2016 ruling in Alta, US and several other American ski resorts that allowed the resorts to uphold a ban on snowboarders. The ban was also considered in light of the many accidents that are caused by reckless snowboarders, including a collision that killed a British skier in Canada. This is not an uncommon occurrence, since, as can be seen in the video below, snowboarders are frequently out of control and dangerous.
Snowboarders outraged at the ban
“We’ve never been as popular in France as in Switzerland or Austria, it’s true. The French like their classy skiers, they’re all about the image. But we never thought they would go this far. This is going right back to the eighties,” declared an outraged spokesperson for the European Snowboarders’ Association. Snowboarders in general are an unruly lot and it will be interesting to see what actions they take to protest the ban.