Marolt’s obscene bias |

Marolt’s obscene bias

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:

Wow, either the censors are on vacation or Roger Marolt proclaimed his First Amendment right to free speech when the Times published the column titled “Boreding the Why Zone.”

His position against snowboarders is beyond cynical and shallow-minded. Especially coming from a man whose family name is on a plaque at AVSC. I must throw in hypocritical as well, in response to his claim that he is not anti-snowboarding, just prior to his attempt to deface the sport from a multitude of angles, most of which are totally biased and lacking credibility.

I’ll be specific. His most obscene comment is made while talking about the side-cut revolution that occurred entirely because of snowboarding. Incidentally, this is only one of many positive things snowboarding introduced to the ski industry. (I’ll send you a list, Roger.)

You claim, “There is absolutely nothing you can do on a snowboard that you can’t do on skis. The only difference is that on a snowboard you do it slower and with less grace.” Aside from the fact that there is completely different physical mechanics involved, this obviously comes down to individual talent, not what is on your feet.

Roger is just letting us know that his snowboard skills are as intermediate as his awareness of snowboarding and the incredible precision and training necessary to become a world-class snowboarder.

In deep powder, again, individual skill determines who rips, not what you ride. I’ve ridden with extreme-skiing champions on huge powder days in Verbier, Las Lenas, Squaw Valley and beyond, and there is a mutual respect between skiers and boarders abroad when it comes to freeriding – from athletes who know the truth.

On the issue of speed, of course skiing is more stable at high speed; it is called independent suspension. However, I can say I was only passed twice this year on a cat-road. Once by Casey Puckett and another time by two guys who obviously spent a bunch of time and money waxing up so they could be fast.

In 1986, I was in the same shallow-minded dispute over speed with a number of ski-racer individuals who could not take their tough-guy blinders off, just like you, Roger. The challenge I presented to them, which I now present to you, is … Can you ski as fast as I can board in the trees? On every attempt, I waited at the bottom. Now this definitely comes down to individual talent as well, so I doubt if I have all you die-hard skiers convinced that snowboards are good for anything.

I really could care less what your skewed opinion of snowboarding is. I am only writing because this ignorance, fueled by envy, if left unchecked can snowball into major antipathy! My question to you, Roger, is “Why?” Why promote such a biased hatred on our slopes. Every once in a while (when I’m passing skiers like you) I hear comments of unbridled venom towards snowboarding.

How does it feel to know that you are one of the few small-minded people on the slopes that fail to embrace the concept that snowboarding is here to stay? Perhaps you should take your little posse down to Taos, where you can build fires and chant anti-snowboard slogans, leaving the rest us to enjoy the pleasures of Aspen. By the way, Roger, millions of people snowboard because it is fun!

Jason Troth