If I learned anything of value from Disney’s Johnny Tsunami — and we’re talking the original, not the inferior and inexplicably Schnee-free sequel — it’s that snowboarders and skiers are bitter rivals incapable of reconciling their differences unless a winner-takes-all (but-really-everybody-wins-thanks-to-friendship) race, in only the most Richter of conditions, is conducted. The divide between the two camps is powerful: it tears friendships apart, it turns mountain slopes into battlegrounds for personal identity, and it likely won’t be breached for hundreds of years.
It is also an unnecessary rivalry because sledding is superior to both.
Now you may think that supporting sledding is a cop-out answer, something akin to voting for a third-party candidate instead of one of the two actual candidates (and thus refusing to dutifully drive your country into the maws of the corporate string-pullers just because you want to seem “edgy”). Sledding, however, is not just a convenient pseudochoice for people who loathe making real choices. It is simply a better sport than either snowboarding or skiing, and its superiority can be proven by science.*
*(However, since we had to cut the science department due to budget constraints, we’re gonna use a top-five listicle instead. Feel free to bump the Billy Nye theme in the background if that’ll help set the science mood for you.)
This one is a no-brainer. People die skiing and snowboarding every year, and not just because they get stuck on a malfunctioning chairlift with the dude from X2. Skiing and snowboarding attract only the dumbest of adrenaline junkies who don’t realize it’s hella easier to score some cheap adrenaline down by the boat docks if you just ask for Lil’ Mikey — no need to go hurtling down a mountainside at all! Some people may think that sledding is for sissies, but that’s only because they’ve been paralyzed in snowboarding accidents and are thus incapable of vocalizing their feelings.
4) Long Lines at Chairlifts
Have you even been stuck waiting in line for like an hour at a chairlift, your only “entertainment” being the ubiquitous whiteness of your surroundings (both with regards to the physical environment and your fellow skiing enthusiasts)? It’s mind-numbing. Sure, hitting the slopes sounds like a day full of nothing but fun, but it’s damn easy to get snow-bored.
3) The SkiFree Monster Traumatized My Childhood
To be fair, this is kind of a personal and non-scientific reason. But still. That thing was wicked and not in the sense of a Bostonian snowboarder describing the type of air he totally got out on the slopes today, brah.
2) “Skiing” Remains Difficult to Spell
Oh sure, you young people have it easy with your fancy spell checkers and that iPhone autocorrect thingamajig y’all are always damning. Nobody knew how to spell skiing back in my day. With one i? Two? Three? A diaeresis? We didn’t know, and life was hard.
It’s a bit unfair to decry both skiing and snowboarding based on the affluence required to pursue them as hobbies. Just because something is associated with “rich people” doesn’t mean it is evil. Look at happiness: money buys it, sure, but poor people aren’t going to denounce or avoid it simply out of the fear of appearing as part of the Cultural Elite.
The great thing about sledding is that owning an actual sled isn’t even necessary to participate. You can use a cardboard box. You can use the lid of a trash can. You can use discarded pieces of the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division’s helicopter. Opportunities are endless, yo! The only thing required is a bit of imagination! (A basic understanding of how friction and gravity work may be helpful, too, but you can probably figure that out through kinesthetic learning, your actual VARK score be damned.)