The Beef Is Real: Action Sports Rivalries Ranked

For every popular action sport, there is a weird step-brother that seems to have come around for no better reason than simply because it can. Some have been hugely successful, others a complete flop, some have surpassed the sport that allowed them to come along in popularity, and for others, the jury is still out. Scroll down as we count down the top rivalries, highlight some of their best moments, and give a glimpse into the future of what could be.

Skateboarding Vs. Rollerblading

If you are under the age of 15 you may be reading this in shock, but believe it or not, rollerblading packed a punch when it was introduced to the world in 1983.  After bursting onto the scene as a new exercise fad, it quickly grew in popularity. As rollerblade design progressed, the punk rockers on blades eventually started doing tricks,  a spot to slide rails was added onto the skates, and they were re-designed to look cooler (some would say).

Eventually the sport made it’s way into the skateparks of the world, which is where our beef starts. While generally seen as the “easier” of the two, rollerbladers have generally been pushed out of parks and not taken as seriously as the core skateboarders, earning them the nickname “fruitbooters”, which may have pushed this beef to the next level. While we are all aware of the level of technicality and difficulty of skateboarding, turn on a rollerblade edit: unless you’re a jaded skater, you WILL be impressed. While this beef seems to have cooled down as rollerblading has fallen out of mainstream popularity, it will always simmer beneath the surface , because we all know skateboarding isn’t going anywhere, and rollerblading certainly isn’t either. Want proof? Just watch the edit below and tell us you’re not amazed.

article continues below

Beef Forecast: Moderate. This beef isn’t going to escalate, nor will it ever die.

Mountain Biking Vs. E-Biking

While the beef may be strong with this one, it’s tough to tell what the future holds. The battery powered two-wheelers are new to the scene,  but their presence is certainly causing a stir. Of the main concern to mountain bike purists and trail builders alike is the impact on trails, and perceived ease of getting out deep into the mountains with an e-bike. This beef raises existential questions regarding who is supposed to be out in the mountains, and why they deserve to be there. While some trail networks have yet to see the throttle junkies arrive on the scene, the concern is real, as the technology is only getting better every year. While many purists will contend they will never ride an e-bike, what happens when these bikes are less than 30 pounds? We’re excited to see where this one goes— stay tuned folks.

Beef Forecast: Sizzling Hot. We can’t wait to see how this one pans out.

Surfing Vs. Bodyboarding

Simple enough, right? What’s cooler: standing up, or lying down? Who deserves the waves? Well, there is no clear answer to that. While most surfers will proclaim their rights to any wave over a bodyboarder, the masses tend to disagree, as bodyboarding is a far more accessible and practiced sport across the world (hard to believe, we know). Due to the intense nature of surf localism, this rivalry has resulted in some amazing confrontations, especially because most of them start with a surfer zipping down the line and getting taken out by the body boarder who is in perfect tripping position as they cruise down the line. See below:

Beef Forecast: Moderately strong.

Snowboard Vs. Skiing

We saved the best for last, the ever-classic skiing vs snowboarding. We rate this one at the top for its longevity and exciting power shifts among many other factors. While skiing has a rich history, snowboarding burst onto the scene in the late 80’s, inspired by skateboarding and surfing, and was immediately “cooler”, which was the thing that seemed to piss skiers off the most. They responded with claims the sport was too dangerous to be on the same resort, and most resorts resisted the heathens that were one-plankers, before eventually caving. Today, there are only four resorts remain in the United States that do not allow snowboarders. But don’t be fooled, the beef is still very real. In most situations, it has cooled down to a more playful banter on the slopes, but there are some very real confrontations that stem from a deep-seeded disapproval of the other’s sport. Here’s one of our favourite videos that perfectly illustrates the origins of this beef.


Beef Forecast: Never-ending boiling pot of love-hate. 

So, there you have it. A good beef is always worth keeping an eye on. As sports continue to evolve and new sports come on to the scene, the beef will always be there, and it will change over time. In the end—these are petty thing. Here at Mountain Life, the love will always overshadow the hate. -ML