Beware the Snowboarders

Here’s what just happened in the last five days: I was skiing with my family this week at Mt. Bachelor in Oregon. On Wednesday, my father-in-law got hit by one snowboarder (who apologized), and then in the same group, grazed by another. When he said something to the second one, the second one flipped him off.  Nice.

When he told us this we shook our heads.

When we were leaving the lodge after lunch, I overheard two young kids trading stories about running into people. I felt a little bit better when the girl talking to the boy described apologizing because she felt so bad.

One run later — I kid you not — I was skiing with my nine-year-old son on a run that was at least 40 yards wide. We were the only ones on the run. I stopped and turned around, just in time to see a snowboarder hit him. He hit him so hard, he knocked him out of his skis. Knocked him on his face. Bruised his back.

I’m not saying all snowboarders are assholes. You can’t say “all x’s are anything.” It’s what drivers sometimes say about cyclists, and of course it isn’t true.

But three hits in five days — what the hell? Why is it always teenage to early 20s guys who do this?

I gave the snowboarder a fifth-degree tongue lashing, and the idiot’s partner said to me, “Good temper control.” I made some crack about “I’m not the one who needs control.” Seriously — he could have killed my son.

Unfortunately, five minutes later, I realized I should have ripped the kid’s lift pass off of him.  And I probably should have reported it. I might have, if we weren’t on such a remote lift.

I also realized that the reason I put on a helmet a couple of years ago (to set a good example for my kids) had just changed. Now I needed one because some 20-year-old jerk-off on a snowboard is apt to come flying out of the trees and cream me.

It’s seven hour after it happened, and I still want to punch that snowboarder’s face in. Honestly. Being so out of control, he flattened a nine-year-old boy.

Next time, I might.

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