Skiing vs. Snowboarding

by Frank V. Persall

Skiing and snowboarding are fun and exciting snowsports, but it is tough for beginners to decide which sport is easy to learn, which is hard to master, and which is more fun. You must have heard this common saying about these two sports which is commonly true "that snowboarding is hard to learn but pretty easy to master, while skiing is easy to pick up but hard to master."

Some things are similar between these two sports, but some traits are pretty different that will help you choose the sport you want to go with first. Beginners should start with skiing rather than snowboarding because you don't have to follow any tricky techniques at a beginner level in skiing. If you have any prior experience of board sports like skateboarding, then snowboarding might be a bit easy for you to pick up, but it is better to go skiing first if you are a novice. With time you can start snowboarding too because it is also a fun sport to enjoy during the season.

So if you are new to these sports and are thinking of picking up one of them and are uncertain about which one to go with, this segment will clear some facts and figures about these two sports

The Beginning Stage of Learning to Snowboard and Ski

Skiing is an easy sport to take in at first, and this is because of the fact that skiing is a lot more intuitive and than snowboarding for beginners, and the two chief reasons are body position and separation of legs.

Body Position

Body Position
Body Position

In skiing, you have a straight-on and straightforward stance; because of that, a beginner can see where they are going, the objects and people in front of them as they have a clear and complete peripheral vision. While in snowboarding, there is a side-on stance that offers little peripheral vision that means seeing only 50% of everything while moving down the trail.

Leg Separation

Leg Separation
Leg Separation

In skiing, leg separation helps balance yourself when you trip at less speed. In contrast, in snowboarding, the feet are bound to the board that feels quite restrictive and confining at first, so you can't balance yourself and inevitably trip and suffer.

The Mastering of Skiing and Snowboarding

Snowboarding:

Snowboarding:
Snowboarding:

After the initial fears and psychological obstacles are overcome, snowboarding beginners' progress is quick because they get used to their feet bound on a single board. They take it as an advantage because, like in skiing, they don't have to worry about keeping the skis separated and avoiding the ski crossing. The beginners have to learn specific techniques while taking a turn like they first have to turn their shoulders that rotate their hips and ankles and then feet that turn the snowboard. So after that, they can tackle the proper slopes. The next step is to maintain speed and balance.

Skiing:

Skiing:
Skiing:

Skiing is easy to start but hard to master, and it will take a lot more time for a skier to tackle the challenging trail and learn the essential skill than a snowboarder. The first thing is that you have to keep track of two skis, which were a blessing to balance yourself, but they start to become an issue, and the reason is that moving the legs simultaneously in harmony and symmetry is hard to achieve.

The Gear of Skiing and Snowboarding

You now know the difference between the learning of these two sports, so now it's time to discuss the difference between the gear for skiing and snowboarding. Unlike snowboarding, whenever you go skiing, you have to carry many things like your ski boots, ski poles, and skis that sometimes become pretty hard. So here is much clear distinction between skiing and snowboarding gear.

Boots:

  • The snowboard boots are super comfortable and a hundred times better than the ski boots because they are similar to regular snow boots. The only difference between a regular snowboot and a snowboard boot is that snowboard boots support your lower leg and ankle, and they are a bit rigid. You can easily walk and even drive to the skiing resort in snowboard boots.
  • In contrast, the ski boots are tough shell boots that feel constricting and awkward when you first put them on. They are the least comfortable, heavy, and bulky shoes to walk in. The ski boots are so uncomfortable that you can't walk in them much longer.

The bindings:

  • With skiing, you only have to step into your bindings once, which takes like seconds, and in snowboarding, you have to strap and unstrap your boots into the binding by hand after every run. So keep in mind that you will be shuffling your snowboard bindings more than your ski bindings.
  • The ski bindings come undone if you crash, and putting them on could be difficult on the trail, but they will not fling into the tracks as they have built-in brakes.

Poles:

  • Skiiers use poles, and snowboarders do not, but it is not a big issue. In skiing, the poles help maintain balance and help on the flat ground. Mainly ski poles are used on mountain skiing.

The Entry Price of Skiing and Snowboarding

To be above-board, neither of these sports are cheap. All the gear that includes the boots, boot bindings, ski poles, snowboard bindings, snowboard, and other necessary things for these sports will cost equally depending on the brand you go with. So, the cost of skiing and snowboarding gear will be almost even no matter what.

All the outerwear that includes the things like snowboarding or skiing bib or pants, jackets, helmets, goggles, gloves will be the exact cost-wise. Even the lesson and lift tickets are equal across the board. But you can find second-hand gear online or in shops because many of the snowboarders and skiers are upgrading their equipment all the time, making it possible for you to get these things at affordable prices.

All in all, the entry prices will be identical for skiing and snowboarding.

The Toll on the Body in Skiing and Snowboarding

Both these sports are action sports, so there are many risks involved. We can't exactly say which sport is more dangerous than the other, but they are injury-prone.

Snowboarding:

During a fall, you might land on your tailbone, your wrist and might whiplash your head a lot. You have to be in physically better shape if you are snowboarding because you must sit and repeatedly stand to strap and unstrap your bindings. It is a very exhausting and tiring sport, and it could be more dangerous for a beginner.

Skiing:

In skiing, there is a risk of twisting injury of knees and ankles because your legs are not bound on the same board, so they are more likely to turn around and cause some ankle injury.

Which sport is more fun and enjoyable?

Which sport is more fun and enjoyable?
Which sport is more fun and enjoyable?

Both skiing and snowboarding are extremely enjoyable sports, but one is more fun than the other in some situations.

On a powder day:

Snowboarding is much more fun on a powder day because it offers an excellent surfing experience, and you don't have to buy a different powder snowboard. And with skiing, you have to buy a wide pair of skis to keep yourself on top of the snow.

On a backcountry trail:

Both sports are even in terms of enjoyment and ease on a groomed steep and backcountry terrain because you can tackle up your way on challenging paths, never mind which sport you go with. But there are more bumps and ridges on ungroomed terrain, so it is suggested to go skiing because it is much more effortless and manageable. Snowboarding on ungroomed ground could be pretty miserable and risky.


Conclusion on Skiing vs. Snowboarding

Both skiing and snowboarding are exhilarating and fun sports, and if you want to pursue these sports as a career, it would be best if you learn both because they have traits that are best and more exciting than the other, so in this way, you will enjoy both snowsports. Suppose you decide to learn only one sport then you will be missing such good time and extreme fun.

About Frank V. Persall

Originally from the UK, Frank has a passion for skiing and anything snow related. He is currently on a never ending mission to visit the best ski resorts across the USA and the the World. Frank is happiest when he is on ski slopes with his wife and three children.

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