It’s a question that many have argued over for decades. Which is easier: skiing or snowboarding? They’re so different and each has their own reasoning. However, it’s generally known that skiing may be easy to learn, but more difficult to master.
Snowboarding is known to be the exact opposite; it’s harder to get started but much easier to reach advanced levels in. Let’s take a look at the finer points to help you decide which sport is right for you.
Pros and Cons
Let’s explore the general pros and cons of each sport before we really dive in deeper.
- Walking in snowboarding boots is significantly simpler and more natural than ski boots. They’re still relatively bulky and heavy, but it’s still worth noting.
- You don’t have to worry about doing the splits while snowboarding all over the mountain, which can create some serious injuries.
- Boots, a board, and bindings are generally more affordable than skiing gear.
- You can get stuck on flat sections or if you have to go uphill as you can’t move your feet unless you unfasted a binding and push with your free foot.
- Lifts are much more difficult to land after getting off with a snowboard. This will obviously get easier as you practice but in the beginning it’s quite the challenge.
- Lifts are much easier for skiiers.
- Flat and uphill sections are much easier to take on and use your ski poles to push without needing to remove boots from bindings.
- Walking in ski boots is awkward and can be very difficult to keep your balance – particularly when ice has formed on the bottoms of them.
- Ski gear is generally pricier.
Your First Week
During your first few times out on the mountain, you’ll probably feel much more confident and natural on skis than on a board. It makes sense too, as you’re facing forward and operating each leg independently as we do when we walk and run.
The great part about taking up skiing is that you can have fun right away and be able to actually go down runs without crashing every few minutes. While you’ll still want to stick to bunny hills during this time, you may even progress to intermediate runs after your third or fourth time!
Keeping your balance isn’t too difficult as you can see where you’re going and take full advantage of your peripherals just like you do in everyday life.
The first couple of times out on the mountain, you’re going to fall – a lot. In fact, this period of time you may spend more time sitting down than on your feet. It isn’t usually a natural feeling for people, even if you’ve participated in board sports before. You’re moving at high speeds with only 50% of the vision you typically have.
Level of Fitness Required
Let’s talk about the level of conditioning and specific parts of fitness you should focus on in each sport.
With skiing, we recommend you focus on developing leg strength. One of the most efficient and best ways to do this is by cycling with resistance, performing explosive exercises like jump squats, as well as resistance training like weighted leg presses and extensions. All of these exercises will have you in prime ski shape!
As you’re going to be turned to the side, you need to have an extremely strong, resilient, and mobile core. This includes not only your spinal erector muscles, but your obliques and abdominals. We highly recommend paddle boarding, as well as lower back exercises like back extensions.
Not only that, but you’re definitely going to need leg strength as well. Snowboarding requires you to be in a squatting position quite a bit of the time, as well as balancing, so weighed squats, jump squats, Romanian deadlifts, hamstring curls, etc. will help you greatly.
If you value comfort most, then hands-down you need to pick up a snowboard. Anyone who’s worn ski boots all day knows that they’re frankly pretty awkward to walk around in. Snowboard boots are heavily padded so you get quite a bit of cushion, albeit they are kind of heavy compared to regular shoes. On top of that, you only have to worry about carrying your snowboard with you when it’s not on your feet, as opposed to 2 skis and a pair of poles!
There’s other reasons why people choose skiing over snowboarding, and snowboarding over skiing. It isn’t just about what’s “easier” or what’s more convenient. It also greatly depends on the individual’s personality and preferences.
First, you may take into consideration what your friends or family members use – skis or snowboards. While we of course recommend you take your own desires and put them before what others do, also consider that certain runs are better for skiing, while others are better for boarding. If all your friends are snowboarding and you’re the only one with skis, you may not be able to keep up as well.
Are you someone who really enjoys exploring the wilderness and actually taking in the scenery instead of just the adrenaline side of things? If so, the good news is you can do this one both snowboards and skis. However, you’re going to be able to explore more area on skis when you’re just starting out.
One more thing to consider is what you value more: tricks or speed? While you can definitely do tricks on skis, it’s more convenient and somewhat easier to ride like this on a board. If you see a bump on the way down, for example, you’ll be able to do some small jumps, hops, and flatland tricks with a snowboard. In contrast, if you have the need for speed, skiing is probably more your style as they run over little bumps easier.
Now that you know all about the pros and cons, ins and outs of skiing versus snowboarding, have you decided which sport to take up? The great news is you’re never locked down into one. You may try boarding and find skiing just feels more natural, or vice versa! No matter which one you choose, though, you can rest assured that you’re going to have a great time and be happy you got out there and tried. We hope our guide has helped you make that decision. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you again soon!