Before you read this I am not trying to discourage kids from skiing, I am merely trying to make the sport more accessible and less dangerous for young kids.
I was at a competition a while back, wasnít really on it and decided to chill and watch the comp. I saw a lot of young kids there and I thought that was so sick and great for the sport. These kids were loving it, doing backflip trains and other fun tricks but there was a few that seemed like they thought it was just average. The average age of these kids was probably somewhere between 8-11. All of them of course were with their parents. These parents were super encouraging but also pushy and demanding in some cases, telling them to do tricks that are pro level almost. For some kids these tricks werenít ridiculous tasks, but for the odd one it probably was. I canít say Iím not in a position to know what level they were at. But obviously, looking at how young these kids were, it was their parents who got them involved at a young age. No doubt though these kids, pulling cork 7s and backflips at 10 were definitely learning since an age where they did not make an informed, proper decision about the risks of learning those tricks. I understand most of them really love skiing, and not all of them are going to get hurt and I understand if they do theyíll bounce back stronger, and probably pretty quickly. I also concede that unfortunately this is how sports grow and records get broken. However I just donít feel that itís fair on any kid if they are being told to do stuff, canít just enjoy the sport, let alone make an informed decision whether they want to take the risks that our sport has.
Parents are not wrong for getting their kids involved in the best sport, granted some will probably get carried away, and tell their kid to do something that they just canít or tell them to carry on when they shouldnít and are in pain. But the issue that has come about in skiing, in my opinion, lies with the fact that skiers are held to the same level to be a pro, no matter how old you are. With skiing, the general benchmark, and sort of tricks these kids and parents feel they have to do to be pro, or get sponsored, is the sort of stuff you see on Newschoolers on the front page. This sort of stuff is pretty tough and high impact, and some of those guys aren't even sponsored, so the level kids believe they have to be at is just utterly ridiculous for their age, size, and physical capabilities. Unlike other sports such as american football where you play with your age range, so the level you hold yourself to and impact on your body is significantly lowered.
Kids and parents alike in the sport now grow up with a completely skewed idea of what level they and their kid has to be at, which puts a 4ft and scrawny kid in pretty big danger when heís hitting a 70ft kicker, in my not so professional opinion.
Now with quads becoming a thing in snowboarding, our sport has become even more daunting, and the consequences are so much higher now too.Before I get shit that Iíve written this because I suck, youíre right in a certain sense, but I donít feel like any sport is worth putting anyoneís life at risk, let alone kids safety and Iím hope most people on Newschoolers feel the same.