Living: Snowboarders Invade the Slopes

Flashy adolescents zigzag through the ranks of skiers

Seconds after pushing off downhill at Breckenridge, Colo., Peter Symms, 23, was out of control. Gaining speed, he torpedoed down a crowded ski slope, squatting sideways on a single plank of laminated wood that resembled a stubby ski. His body shimmied while he extended his arms like outriggers, hands flailing. "I'm going down again!" yelled the weekend warrior. He promptly crashed face down in the white powder. Nearby, a heavyset Texan leaned on his ski poles and watched intently: "Now what in the hell is that?"

Snowboarding. To traditionalists, the breezy fad is a clumsy intrusion on the sleek precision of...