Snow's Up! Skiers Take the Plunge as Surfing on Slopes Becomes the Hottest Fad of the Winter
Some resort managers call such thrills unsafe and have banned snowboards from their trails. "It's a fad," sniffs Sam Douglass of Vermont's Sugar bush Ski Resort. "After awhile you grow out of it." That remains to be seen. The sport became popular about five years ago and already means big bucks to manufacturers like Burton Snowboards in Manchester Center, Vt. President Jake Carpenter estimates he has sold 20,000 so far this year with sales still climbing. The cost per board: $150-$400.
Once a snowboarder takes off, it's flash or crash, with both legs strapped down and no poles for balance. "We call snowboarders 'Death From Above,' " says a director of one California ski resort, "because they fly all over the place at breakneck speed." Yup. That's the idea.