Melanie Brotz stands out on the bunny slope at Bolton Valley. She's older than the typical beginner.
"It's fun for me, it feels natural," Brotz said. "It's cute. I can get some tips from the people giving lessons up there."
On this day, she's also one of the few newbies trying snowboarding.
"We have seen declines in the past five years in the state and nationwide" said Sarah Neith of the Vermont Ski Areas Association.
Sarah Neith from Vermont Ski Areas Association, or Ski Vermont, says fewer people are riding. The association does not track numbers, but hears anecdotal trends.
"A few ways we know is an observation on the hill, numbers in rentals and sales, as well," Neith said.
And a new study backs that up. The National Ski Areas Association Journal, or NSAA, found snowboarding is losing some of its edge. The group surveyed 135,000 people at ski resorts in Vermont and across the country. In 1991, boarders made almost 8 percent of visits to resorts, that number soared to almost 33 percent by 2010, but it's now dropped to 30 percent.
Ski Vermont says one reason for the dip-- snowboarders are growing up and not hitting the slopes as much.
"We had a big boom in snowboarding and those people are moving into families. We see a lull when people have small children; it's harder to get out," Neith said.
"I think snowboarding is fine. I think it's just fine," Jesse Huffman said.
Huffman, a former professional snowboarder, is now a freelance writer published in major boarding magazines in addition to The New York Times and ESPN.com. He says with sports that catch fire-- like snowboarding and skateboarding-- there are upswings and downswings. But diehards remain and he does not think boarding is dying based on a slight dip in interest.
"If you look at it like a wave, the people in the middle are always still snowboarding. They're out there every day, season to season," Huffman said.
"We want to make sure that when they get to the mountain, they have every advantage to learn," said Jeff Boliba of Burton Snowboards.
Burton brought snowboarding to the masses and is working to attract and keep kids on the hill. They have learn-to-ride programs and a learn-to-ride line of gear. And beyond that, they are using new technology to transform the way kids learn to ride.
"What this does is allows me to get the kids moving and get the sensation of moving on their snowboard right away," Boliba said.
Boliba questions the survey results showing boarding on the decline. He says young skiers or riders often won't stop the fun to fill out a questionnaire. Also, kids under 7 were not part of the survey-- an age where Burton says it has recently seen major growth.
Reporter Gina Burton: Would you say snowboarding has plateaued?
Jeff Boliba: In general, skiing and snowboarding has declined. However, we see a lot of opportunity for growth in the future.
But another blow to boarding-- the study found over 14 years the average number of days riders hit the slopes in a season dropped by 1.5 to 6 days, while ski visits remained stable at 5.5 days a season.
According to other industry experts snowboarding is growing, with the sale of boards up 15 percent since 2004.
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:06 AM EDT2013-05-19 04:06:03 GMT
Vermont State Police have charged 22-year-old Adam Page of Newport for stealing the Newport City Elementary School bus, which has now been declared totaled. A stolen dog was also recovered in the busMore >>
State Police say he is also being charged with the theft of two other vehicles and a woman's dog.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:45 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:45:20 GMT
State police are looking for the person responsible for stealing a school bus and taking it for a joyride in northern Vermont. Troopers say the 2014-model bus belonging Newport City Elementary SchoolMore >>
Police say the school bus belonging to the Newport City Elementary School was taken for a joy ride Friday night.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:10 PM EDT2013-05-19 02:10:53 GMT
A fatal accident in Lyndon Saturday. It happened around 2:30 Saturday afternoon on Route 122. Police say 76-year-old Gerda Blaszczyk of St. Johnsbury swerved to avoid an animal. Her car travelled up anMore >>
Police say the driver swerved to avoid an animal.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 8:03 PM EDT2013-05-19 00:03:45 GMT
Senator Bernie Sanders is touring the state this weekend with a special guest. Sanders and the Danish Ambassabdor to the United States are hosting town hall meetings in Burlington, Brattleboro and Montpelier. TheMore >>
Sanders and the Danish Ambassabdor to the United States are hosting town hall meetings.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:56:03 GMT
Saturday marked a new beginning for Castleton State College students. "Were all gathered here, getting fired up, having a good time," explained Castleton graduate, David Carrier. The 500 graduates hadMore >>
It's graduation day for the class of 20-13 at Castleton State College. And just for the occasion, the college invited back an alumnus with a strong connection to the school.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:51 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:51:14 GMT
Young bikers were learning the rules of the road in South Burlington Saturday. Kids who brought their bikes to the Dorset St. Park received free checks for their brakes, chains, and tires. Helmets alsoMore >>
and much more... making sure kids are safe before they hit the roads this summer.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:49 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:49:26 GMT
On a sun-soaked Saturday, Karen Trayah and her dogs enjoyed the sights, sounds, and of course smells of a festival for fidos. "It's called Woofstock, however, this is our 1st year doing it here at theMore >>
Making sure our furry friends have a place to call home.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:54:10 GMT
The door to room 118 at the Liberty Inn and Suites is gone-- busted by police during an early morning drug raid. They say tenant Julie Herron, 41, was selling heroin out her room. She was living thereMore >>
A South Burlington drug bust exposed new abuses of the state's homeless voucher program. A couple was arrested for selling heroin out of their motel room, and police say the state was footing the bill for their stay.More >>