Snowboarding, one of the most popular winter action sports, came about in the 1960s. Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, in many places, snowboarders were banned from enjoying ski resorts. The high-class skiers generally looked down upon those who snowboarded, seeing them as dangerous punks. Gradually, snowboarding began to gain acceptance across America’s mountain towns, eventually becoming an official Olympic sport in 1998.
Snowboarding, much like skateboarding, is accompanied by a rich culture. Like many other action sports, snowboarding elevates a wide variety of different subcultures. Historically, snowboarders have been viewed as trendsetters who disrupt the status quo. After all, they pioneered a new sport that went from being looked down upon to a multi-billion dollar industry in a matter of years.
Unfortunately, despite snowboarding’s popularity, the sport is inaccessible to many due to a combination of economic, geographic and social factors.
Mountain sports are notoriously expensive. One-day lift passes can cost upwards of $200 and renting equipment costs anywhere from $50-100 per day. If you’re looking to buy your equipment, it will likely cost near $1,200. Not to mention, travelling to mountain resorts can require additional money for gas, airfare, car rentals and lodging. The combination of high costs and travel requirements keeps snowboarding inaccessible to many. As a result, the slopes are often dominated by upper middle-class individuals.
In addition to these logistical barriers, snowboarding can feel unwelcoming for many beginners. On the slopes, experienced snowboarders adhere to an unspoken code of etiquette. Many newcomers are largely unaware of these rules when they arrive at the mountain. As a result, they may be met with hostility. In reality, these experienced snowboarders are trying to maintain safety and respect on the mountain but to beginners, it can feel like a personal attack.
Despite the factors that keep many individuals from snowboarding, at its core, action sports are centered around principles of inclusion. This is reflected in the countless social groups who work to give underprivileged youth the opportunity to try mountain sports.
As questions about diversity, equity and inclusion in snowboarding are being explored, brands are stepping up to promote inclusivity and make the sport more accessible. Historically, snowboarding companies have not prioritized marketing to minority populations. Snow sports are stereotyped as only being for rich, white dudes. Now, companies are finally beginning to level the playing field and discover ways that all communities can be exposed to the snowboarding world.
Among other action sports brands and non-profits, DIVERT is committed to advancing social equity initiatives in the snowboarding industry. In order to make snowboarding more accessible to at-risk and underserved populations, we are reinventing the way people get introduced and learn to snowboard. With our DIVERTsessions parks, we create artificial ski hills conveniently located in urban settings. This allows us to dramatically reduce the costs associated with snowboarding and create opportunities for people to try out snowboarding without having to travel to mountains and buy overpriced lift tickets.
SNOWBOARDING FOR BEGINNERS
Snowboarding for beginners can be an intimidating and frustrating experience. At mountain resorts, beginner runs are often crowded and chaotic. This free-for-all environment is not ideal for snowboarders who have no experience as they may feel overwhelmed.
In terms of coaching, many parents are unable to teach their kids how to snowboard due to a lack of knowledge about the sport. This leaves them no choice but to either send their kids to the mountain with no preparation or to purchase expensive lessons from snowboarding instructors. Both of these scenarios have become undesirable because you either face the risk of injury or a significant financial investment.
At DIVERTsessions, we recognize that snowboarding for beginners can be a complicated endeavor. Learning the sport requires time, travel and money. Many families don't have the luxury of unlimited funds and excess time off of work. Because of this, we are committed to developing ways to make snowboarding more accessible for all people, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
We understand that learning to snowboard can be incredibly difficult without proper instruction, resources and equipment. That’s why we provide the mountain, gear and guidance all in one accessible and affordable facility.
At DIVERT, kids can try out snowboarding in a safe, affordable environment. Instead of spending a fortune on traveling to the mountains, families can try snowboarding in a way that doesn’t require significant time, travel or financial commitments. If the kids enjoy their time with us, families can invest in snowboarding passes and equipment knowing that it will pay off in the end. At DIVERT, creating a comfortable environment is a priority. We want every person to experience the empowering, inclusive community that is snowboarding.
Once DIVERT attendees finally get to the mountains, they are equipped with the fundamental skills they need to succeed. Parents can skip pricey snowboarding lessons at mountain resorts and have confidence that their kids will be able to snowboard confidently and safely.