Opinion » Editorial

Warren Miller

Statistically speaking, why don’t you go skiing?



The world is full of billions of people and fortunately, for those of us that ski, most of them couldn’t care less about going skiing. Apparently, three-fourths of the people in the world haven’t even used a telephone, much less gone skiing. If they did ski, the traffic jams and lift lines would be worse than they already are. Statistically speaking, most people don’t ski.

Despite the statistics, almost everyone I know is somehow involved in skiing. They either do it for fun, for a living, or for the frustration of searching for a place to park their car within a half-hour of the chairlift. They come in all sizes, tall, short, thin, fat, old, young, tough, and weak. I guess my friends and I defy the statistics.

Webster defines statistics as numerical data assembled and classified so as to present significant information. That’s funny because most statistics seem insignificant to me. For example, statistics say that most men between the ages of 25 and 35 who have facial hair are covering up for a subliminal lack of male security. As soon as such a man is secure in his job and gets a few bills paid, he will shave off the moustache and/or beard, unless his wife plunges him back into debt because she wants a second home at a ski resort.

The ski industry is big on statistics, especially since the statistics don’t seem to be in their favour. They actually perform studies to find out why people don’t ski. I can think of plenty of reasons, but I can’t perform a statistical analysis for any of them. I won’t list the reasons because I’ve done enough grumbling about cost, lift lines, etc.

Apparently, statistics indicate that most families have 1.3 kids and very seldom take them skiing. (Especially the .3 kid, who is having a hard time of it in his remedial reading class at the local Montessori school.) If all of them did take their kids, it would be that many more people in the lift line in front of you.

Chances are 78.9 per cent of those kids would be riding snowboards so they wouldn’t have to put up with following mom or dad down the hill. They could go off to the snowboard parks and bounce off of park benches, buried cars, rails and if they are half as good as three of my grandchildren that would mean that they only broke one arm instead of two.

That’s right, three of my grandchildren got very tired of their dad telling them what to do on the side of a ski hill, so they went out and rented snowboards. Two out of the three broke an arm their second day in snowboard school. Their father, my son, didn’t mind too much because he got a refund on their lift tickets and it almost paid the deductible on his accident insurance policy.