Urban Skiing: Is it a crime?
First of all, let me start by introducing the concept of urban skiing for those that have never heard of such a thing before. Urban skiing is when skiers take their skis off the mountain or resort in order to test their skills on rails, ledges, drops, and other unique urban features. One of the greatest parts about urban skiing is hitting features that have never been done before and using your creativity in an urban setting to use a man made feature in a way that it wasn’t intended for. Urban is usually more risky than skiing at a resort because of the extreme terrain such as concrete stairs and pavement as opposed to normal snow landings that can be found at resorts. As a result, urban gives skiers a chance to really test their ability in an environment that they are not normally used to.
Now that you have a general idea of what urban skiing is, this brings me to my question of should this be illegal? Skiers have been given tickets and been kicked out of urban areas because of liability factors and accusations of vandalism. Urban skiing is seen as a reckless and juvenile act, but in reality what are they really hurting? The most damage that has probably ever done by a skier trying to hit a urban rail is to themselves. I know this brings up the issue of liability but I feel that this is something that is a problem with our court system. If someone gets hurt on your property and they were doing it without your consent, then I do not feel that you should be held liable. It is like the case of the robber that broke into a house and got cut by a knife during entry then ended up suing and won. Clearly, there is something flawed with this justice. Furthermore, I feel that the skiing community understands this risk is inherent with the sport and would not attempt to file a lawsuit. I realize that trust in the skiing communities ethics is not enough to justify urban skiing when a property owner could be facing a liability, but I do not feel that urban skiing should be considered a crime.
Skiers attempting to hit urban features are simply trying to get outside and have a good time. I feel that it is better that they are out in the city trying to ski as opposed to some other type of real crime like doing drugs or actual vandalism such as graffiti. Some urban skiers such as myself, even do others a good service by shoveling off public stairs and walk-ways. Therefore, I feel that people need to change their outlook of urban skiing and stop viewing it as a crime. If a property owner has a problem with someone hitting their rails, then they can simply ask that skier to leave instead of calling the cops. After all, their are a lot worse things that kids could be doing than skiing in a unique environment.
How do you guys feel about urban skiing? Please feel free to share your comments about this issue.