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Is skiing giving snowboarding the boot?

By Kandra Kent
Published On: Jan 14 2013 09:28:42 PM CST

NewsChannel 21's Kandra Kent talks to Bend experts about the growing popularity of skiing.

BEND, Ore. -

"It was cool at the time, it was just what all my friends did, they were all snowboarders so I was like I'll hop on the bandwagon," said new skier Erik Michaelson.

Michaelson started snowboarding when he was 13--now at 22-- he prefers two sticks instead of one.

"I started skiing and fell in love with it instantly. I like the control -- there's different skis, you can go different routes, the wider skis, you can go powder skis, you can get the thinner skis, you can just do alpine," Michaelson said Monday.

He appears to be part of a growing movement: Skiing is cool again.

SnowSports Industries America, an industry trade group, recently released a report saying that sales of snowboards have fallen 21 percent  in the last four years-- while sales of skis have climbed 3 percent.

Bob Davis operates lifts at Mt. Bachelor.  He said skiing is definitely on the rise, especially among youth.

"They're diversifying, they're finding out skiing is as fun as snowboarding," Davis said.

And Skjersaa's owner Jeremy Nelson agrees.

"Kid are coming into skis because frankly they can go bigger off jumps they can go a little bit faster," Nelson said.

It's not just kids who like these new shapes.

Michael Stodd's first pair of skis were made of wood. He said better ski  designs allow him to keep skiing after 50.

"They grip the snow better -- they're much easier to carve with and much safer and require a lot less energy," Stodd said.

Nelson says ski manufacturers have taken a page from the snowboard's book. He says the industries are merging, more people are picking up both sports, and it's making the slopes friendlier.

"There's not like, 'Oh, you're a skier', 'Oh, you're a snowboarder.' 'It's like, 'Oh, cool --  whatever you want to do.' Were all doing this together -- it's a lot more unified."

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