Level of Skill and its Relationship to Recreation Conflict and Tolerance Among Adult Skiers and Snowboarders

Brijesh Thapa, Alan R. Graefe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Since the introduction of snowboarders on the slopes, skiers have noted them to be reckless and unsafe, largely due to unacceptable behaviors, such as speeding, unsafe jumping practices, riding out of control, and noise level. Such behaviors usually reflect one's level of experience and subsequent lack of skill, which have been identified as factors that contribute to conflict. With the increase in the number of snowboarders, the degree of conflict situations with skiers seems likely to increase at winter resorts. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship of skill level and perception of conflict and tolerance among adult skiers and snowboarders based on Jacob and Schreyer's (1980) conflict model. Two hypotheses was formulated and empirically tested. Conflict was operationalized through two measures, a single item focusing on how the presence or behavior of skiers/snowboarders affected subjects' enjoyment of the trails, and a multi-item index measuring the extent to which certain events were perceived as problems on the slopes. Tolerance was operationalized using multiple items to create three tolerance indices. Data (N = 186) were collected in northcentral Colorado, U.S. employing on-site surveys. Contrary to previous research, findings in this study showed the opposite pattern; less skilled skiers and snowboarders experienced more conflict, and were less tolerant, than more skilled skiers and snowboarders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-25
Number of pages13
JournalWorld Leisure Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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