This is my first time commenting on this forum. I started skiing 12 years ago and enjoyed it a lot. I started skiing 6 days a week three years ago at a small hill in Ontario Called Brimacombe with only 300 ft vertical. I had always seen people on alpine boards, I had always really wanted to try it. It wasn’t until the winter of 2019 when I decided I wanted to try snowboarding, this decision came from starting to get bored of skiing. I felt like I couldn’t really improve any more and the hill was getting boring after skiing there so much. I was very lucky to get a great deal on a used Kessler from another member at the hill, I then went to yyz Canuck that night and got new boots and bindings. The next night I was out and riding, I was on my own for the first night never even been on a board before no clue on how to do it. I pointed it down the hill and by the end of the night I was able to make it down without falling. Now I am hooked!
Enough about how I got into snowboarding, let’s talk about the future of alpine!
At my hill there are at least 20+ alpine riders of all ages. We have older members who ride alpine and have young members who are riding alpine. I think compared to the big hills/ mountains why we have a lot of alpine riders is because of how much vertical and amount of quality runs we have at our hill. Like me a lot of us like to ride skis/soft boots as our primary and then have transitioned to alpine riding to give us a new challenge and make the hill interesting and challenging again. I agree with a lot of points this thread has brought up, but my opinion is that alpine is not for everyone. I believe this because to ride alpine you have to have a different mindset to the regular rider you see at the hill. Most of us all crave the speed and the feeling of getting as low as possible to the snow. Most riders in my opinion are just wanting to go out and have fun with friends and are not concerned about progression and they also don’t get enough days out on the snow to really progress in the sport. But all the alpine riders I know all want to go out and have fun with there friends while working on the skills to become better riders.
In my opinion to bring people into alpine is very hard because the only people that are looking to get into it are the higher skilled skiers/boarders. The riders looking for the most out of there gear to push themselves to the limit.
I agree with the point you guys have made about soft boot gear becoming so advanced that you can carve very aggressive and low on soft boots which is really the main reason to go to hard boots so why switch. Once again goes back to making the hills more exciting and challenging agains.
I could see alpine becoming more popular at the smaller hills then at the bigger hills to just make it more fun and exciting.