LETTER: Urban skiers should use more discretion

If I didn’t notice a snowboarder about to do a railslide, there’s a good chance I would have run over his head.

On Tuesday afternoon, around 2:30, I was driving down Stanley St. toward Baker. As I approached the Hall Mines intersection, movement to my right side and up the bank caught my eye. It was a snowboarder coming down the slope who was about to do a railslide down the set of stairs that end on the Stanley St. sidewalk.

Someone was filming him at the top of the steps, someone else was at the bottom (I’m guessing a spotter). The timing of this would have put him onto the street right when I arrived if the snowboarder didn’t stop himself. I slowed down and sure enough when he landed on the sidewalk he fell backwards and slid out into the street on his back. If I didn’t notice what was going on there’s a good chance I would have run over his head.

I stopped adjacent to them (three teenaged boys), and all I could think to say at the time was, “That’s really f— dangerous.” I got a “yeah!”, a stupid grin, and some laughs back. I continued on but I was rattled. I ran in my mind what would have happened if I’d hit him. Not only what would have happened to him, but how it would affect my life, what I would have to live with. If I’d swerved to avoid hitting him and ran into oncoming traffic, maybe I’d injure someone else and myself.

I remember skateboarding in the 1980s and ‘90s when I was young, getting chased by security guards in downtown Vancouver. Kids will do what kids do. I wouldn’t expect urban skiing, even though it’s illegal, to stop. We live in an extreme environment and we breed these kinds of athletes. My one plea though, if you’re going to do it, is to exercise some discretion. Stay away from heavy traffic areas, especially in the middle of the day. You may be willing to accept the risks to yourself that come with this activity, but when it can impact other people think twice. Stop being selfish.

Carlo Alcos, Nelson

 

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