Big Powder: The Gay Skiing Movement Take Off

Photo Credit: Courtesy of OutRyders
Another myth busted: Gay men can jump. OutRyders member Bryan grabs some air.

Gay Boarders on the Slopes
Gay snowboarders need not feel snubbed. Most gay ski clubs, including Ski Bums, have morphed into gay ski and snowboarding clubs, with anywhere from a few to 50 percent of members choosing the board over the ski.

OutRyders, New England's only non-profit GLBT ski and snowboarding club, was founded in 2001 and actually spent its first year as a snowboarding-only club. In the 2002 to 2003 season, the group added skiers to the mix.

"The group started off with four gay guys [who] all snowboarded, and they wanted to go together," says Joe Russo, OutRyders' vice president and director of marketing. "The president of the group at the time, Jason, knew of [a ski and snowboarding club] in New York City and thought it was something that he could do up in New England where they have so many mountains."

Hence New England's first GLBT snowboarding club was born. The group, which has 131 members but expects to grow to 150 by the end of the season, has seen a growth in the number of skiers in its group, but not enough to eclipse the snowboarders.

"We're pretty much almost a fifty-fifty split [between skiers and snowboarders]," says Russo. "It's a running joke whether the skiers will overtake the snowboarders. But so far they haven't."

Gay snowboarders who want to meet others of their ilk should check out OutBoard of Colorado, which hosts a popular GLBT boarding event called OutBoard. OutBoard 2007 will take place in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, from March 28 through April 7, 2007.

Skip Ahead
Page 1: Birth of a gay ski movement
Page 2: Aspen Gay Ski Week
Page 3: Gay ski weeks spring up
Page 4: Gay ski clubs
Page 5: Running a gay ski club
Page 6: Gay snowboarding
Page 7: Having fun off the slopes
Page 8: All ages and levels welcome
Page 9: Links to gay ski weeks and ski clubs