Trashy snowboarders vs preppy skiers


How do students at Ventura High School feel about snowboarding and skiing, do they prefer one over the other? Graphic by: Annika Lange

Annika Lange and Hugh Murphy

Two sports very similar on the surface; yet their supporters would argue otherwise

Winter to early spring is the prime time to hit the slopes. California has many ski resorts, some of which are only a couple of hours away from Ventura. Big Bear is located in the San Bernardino Mountain Range and offers different terrain levels to accommodate beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of skiers and snowboarders, the two sports are similar yet very different in feeling and style. 

During the many three-day weekends during winter and especially during the two-week long winter break, many families head to the mountains. Winter sports are very popular in Ventura, despite the moderate weather. Stores like Patagonia, REI, Real Cheap Sports and Play It Again Sports sell everything one could need for these winter sports.

Reid Kemble ‘23 said, “I prefer snowboarding because I’ve been doing it for almost 10 years and haven’t really tried skiing. I feel that the motions of snowboarding are more familiar to surfing and skating. Being a beach town kid, [surfing] comes pretty naturally.”

Jake Eulenhoefer ’23 skiing at Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort in 2021. Eulenhoefer said, “The worst part about both of them is that you have to traverse across flat ground sometimes, which is only manageable if you are on skis. You can skate across and use your poles to push you, but on a snowboard you basically have to walk.” Photo by: Reid Kemble

Jake Eulenhoeffer ‘23 said, “I enjoy skiing rather than snowboarding for a couple [of] reasons. First, you get to go faster down the mountain because you are more stable on skis than you are on a snowboard. Second, it is easier to land big jumps because you do not have to worry about your center of gravity in the air tilting as much, which is the cause of a lot of falls when snowboarding. Third, you have more control over skis, as you can turn each ski a different way and that allows you to take on the ski runs that are classified as ‘double-black-diamonds.’” 

Due to the popularity of both skiing and snowboarding, those involved in each sport tend to have strong opinions about the other. This has its roots in the relative newness of snowboarding, first becoming popular in the U.S. during the 1980s, while skiing has been around since the mid-1800s. Skiing was viewed as a more classy endeavor, while snowboarding fell into the “extreme sports” craze that swept across America. Stereotypes associated with skiing include “old money” families heading to the resort in the winter while snowboarding stereotypes lean towards teenagers and young adults seeking a thrill. Skiers viewed snowboarders as rambunctious and irritating, while snowboarders saw skiers as pretentious and stuck-up. This debate still persists today, though much less fiery. 

Reid Kemble ’23 snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort in 2021. Photo by: Jake Eulenhoefer

Kemble said, “Skiers are fine. I’ve never really witnessed the stereotype that skiers are preppy and snowboarders are trashy. [Skiers] do turn the mountain into moguls though which are annoying.”

Euloenhoffer said, “I think snowboarders are chill, but I get really annoyed when they sit in the middle of runs as they always block everyone.”


Despite the moderate climate of Ventura, skiing and snowboarding persist as popular sports for Ventura High students. The two sports are very different yet similar leading to a continuous debate over which is superior. It is clear that skiing and snowboarding each have their own advantages and disadvantages and people should be free to enjoy whichever they prefer.  

Jake Eulenhoefer ’23 skiing at Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort in 2021. Eulenhoefer said, “I like snowboarding but you fall on your tailbone and wrists too often. Since I play sports I cannot risk the injury involved with it.” Photo by: Reid Kemble