Are you wondering if you should try snowboarding or if skiing might be a better option? A lot of people prefer snowboarding to skiing and feel that this is the right choice to make when going on holiday or if they want to become a pro athlete.
In this guide, we are going to take a quick look at the main reasons why snowboarding is better than skiing and why this is a good starting hobby to consider for your first trip to the snowy mountains.
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The Main Differences Between Skiing and Snowboarding
Skiing and snowboarding are both winter activities that involve sliding down snowy slopes, mountains, or man-made courses while doing exhilarating tricks or stunts.
Despite their similarities, these sports are very different from one another. Here is a quick look at the main differences between them.
For skiing, you need a pair of skis that are appended to the boots with bindings and a pair of ski poles to help keep you upright or navigate your way down sloppy hills.
For snowboarding, a single board is attached to both feet via a special boot and some bindings.
With skiing, your body is faced ahead and leans slightly forward with your feet positioned towards the front.
With snowboarding, you face sideways with your feet in line with the body and perpendicular to the direction in which you are moving.
Learning The Differences
Skiing is easier to learn in the beginning since both legs can be moved independently and you get two ski poles to navigate with and keep you upright. But it is also a lot harder to learn tricks and stunts with this sport.
Snowboarding can be hard to learn in the beginning since you need your full body to navigate and you mostly rely on balance to keep upright. But once you mastered basic control, it is a lot easier to learn stunts and tricks via snowboarding.
Likelihood of Injury
With skiing, you are very likely to injure your knees and hips when you fall.
With snowboarding, muscle strains are the most likely injury you may face.
Skiing was first invented to hunt, for military purposes and as a means of transportation.
Snowboarding, on the other hand, was originally invented for fun for the daughter of inventorSherman Poppen.
Official Race Difference
The first official ski race was a 34-mile cross-country race that was held in Norway in 1932.
The first national snowboarding race occurred more than a century later in Woodstock, Vermont, in 1982.
Snowboarding has a much wider range of riding styles compared to skiing.
With snowboarding, there is rail riding, jibbing, freeriding, freestyling, dry slope, free cave, big air, and pipping, among many. The stunts are also significantly more since the shorter board isn’t nearly as restrictive.
The most common riding styles for skiing are alpine, freestyle, nordic, and military. These courses can also include obstacles and you can perform jumps, rotations, spins, and quite a few other stunts but not nearly as many as snowboarding.
Why Snowboarding Is Better Than Skiing
Both snowboarding and skiing can be a lot of fun and mastering these skills can be incredibly rewarding. It is also true that most people in these modern times prefer snowboarding to skiing because snowboarding offers a wider range of benefits and advantages.
Here is a quick look at some of the top reasons people feel that snowboarding is a much better winter activity to start enjoying this year.
It is Easier to Get Good at Snowboarding
Snowboarding is a bit tougher than skiing if you are just starting. But most find that it is much easier to become an advanced snowboarder than it is to become an experienced skier.
Your first few days on a snowboard are going to be tough and might involve a lot of falls, while the first daylearning to ski is going to be relatively smooth.
But with skiing, you can easily end up stuck on practice runs for over two years while mastering basic carving skills while you could already be working your way up to stunts within two years of snowboarding.
Once you have the basics of handling a snowboard down, the rest of the stunts are pretty easy to learn and accomplish whereas skiers have quite a tough time learning new tricks.
Carving is Easier on a Snowboard
It is a lot easier to stay upright on skis than on a snowboard. Butlearning how to do carving takes a lot more practice on skis than on a snowboard.
If you are only heading towards snowy slopes for a short holiday, you are much more likely to have impressive skills by the end of your four-day trip on a snowboard, while carving on skis often takes up to two years to master completely.
Snowboarding Is More Suited for Short Holidays
The average ski vacation or snowboarding vacation is about four to seven days.
This short period isn’t really practical for becoming good at skiing and most people will have to wait a whole year before they can take up this type of holiday or sport again.
On a positive note, you can become quite good at snowboarding within just 3 days. After then, you should be able to explore a little bit more mountain slopes and you can even start practicing rotations.
With snowboarding, you will get much more out of your holiday and these types of short trips will feel more rewarding.
There Is Less Gear to Handle
With snowboarding, you only need two boots and your snowboard and you are all set to go.
With skis, you need to keep track of two boots, two poles and you are not too likely to enjoy the day without a pair of ski goggles. This can be a lot of gear to keep track of when you can’t wait to get outdoor.
It is much easier to keep track of three simple snowsports accessories than it is to ponder around the snow in search of that ski pole you just dropped.
Easier Gear Maintenance
When you hire ski or snowboarding equipment, all of the maintenance is usually taken care of for you. But with your own snowsport gear, it is up to you to keep these accessories in good shape.
Snowboard maintenance tends to be quicker and easier than ski maintenance. Snowboards have a greatersurface area to wax but you only need to sharpen the edges of one board, while both skis need regular sharpening. You also don’t have to maintain and care for the poles.
A lot of people also find it much easier to set up their own bindings on a snowboard because it only takes a screwdriver to accomplish this task. For skis, on the other hand, you might need quite a few tools and some time toset up the bindings.
You Can Walk in Snowboarding Boots
Ski boots are not designed for walking at all, and they can cause a lot of pain. Many people find them painful to just put on or remove.
Snowboarding boots, on the other hand, can be used for walking or even driving. You can put your boots on before driving to the ski resort and still stay relatively comfortable.
Skiing Is Tougher on Your Knees
Skiing has quite an impact on your knees in general, but a bad fall with those tall skis can result in serious injuries or even permanent damage.
With snowboarding, your glute muscles are likely to become very sore but they heal faster and the overall impact is much lower on your knees and hips.
The Crashes Are Much Simpler
Crashing down a hill with skis can be quite dramatic. Not only do these crashes have a bad impact on your knees and hips, but your skis usually pop out and bindings are often sent flying.
When you finally stop tumbling and skidding after a fall on skis, you will have to go on a scavenger hunt to retrieve all of your gear, put everything together, and get your bindings cleaned off so you can fit them into your boots again. You also have to accomplish all this while wearing boots that you can’t walk in.
A snowboarding crash doesn’t have quite as much impact on your body, as your gear stays put and it is much easier to brush yourself off and get going again.
Snowboarding Gear Tends to Be More Affordable
Hiring rental equipment costs just about the same for skis and snowboards, but it is a lot more affordable to get yourself a snowboard than a pair of skis. You can easily end up paying as much for just a ski alone as you would for a full set of boots, bindings, and a board.
If you are planning on investing in a permanent set for yourself, then snowboarding accessories are a more affordable start.
Snowboarding Gear Is Easier to Carry and Transport
Ski accessories are a lot tougher to carry up and down a hill. This type of adventure gear also won’t fit in your car or even in your truck and usually need to be placed on the roof for transportation.
A snowboard leaves at least one hand open at all times and can easily fit in the back of your vehicle.
Snowboards Are More Versatile
Normal skis are designed for speed and twin tips are used for tricks like riding switch position. You can’t do tricks on normal skis and twin tips are not practical for speed.
Some snowboard designs like all-mountain boards or freestyle boards are much more flexible. They can be used for speed, tricks, powder, or compacted snow. While you won’t get pro results from an all-terrain board, you can still give many different styles and techniques a try without having to buy new gear.
Snowboarders Get To Take a Break
It feels great to blast down the hill at incredible speeds. Even though skiers get the thrill of ascending downhill at high speeds, they miss a lot of opportunities to marvel at nature, to take a break and catch their breath or to simply stop and have a chat with friends.
When you go snowboarding, you typically travel at lower speeds and these trips usually involve plenty of stops so you can regain your posture or simply marvel at the gorgeous scenery of the snowy wonderlands.
A Lot More Activities Resemble Snowboarding
Water skiing is the only activity that comes close to the feel and experience of skiing, but you will need a boat, a driver, a calm day on the lake or sea, a truck to get the boat in and out of the water, and all of your ski gear.
A wider range of activities can give you the same feeling of snowboarding. Ripstick on dry land, longboarding, surfing, and skateboarding all feel a lot like snowboarding. By doing these sports during summer, you can keep your skills sharp and build stronger muscles and good core strength so you can perform even better when the next winter arrives.
Snowboarding Tricks Are a Lot More Fun
It is easier to learn to do tricks on a snowboard. Tricks like rails, carving, rotations and jumps are all much quicker to snap and easier to perfect when you have a snowboard.
Snowboarders can perform a wider range of tricks on their boards, including straight airs, grabs, spins, flips, inverted rotations, hand plants, slides, stalls, and tweaks, which can’t be done on skis.
Snowboarding Can Feel Warmer
It can be difficult to keep warm when you are out on a frozen mountain of ice and powder. Those who travel from tropical climates and regions are especially likely to have a tough time with chilly temperatures since they are not used to the extreme cold at all.
A lot of people feel that snowboarding is a better activity for staying warm because the movements are a lot more exaggerated. You will struggle a lot more during the first few days of learning to ride, making your blood pumping. Once you have balance and handling, you will also get quite a rush or feel warm from doing many different tricks.
On the other hand, skiers need to deal with incredible speeds of icy winds when rushing downhill, and they sit tight with teeth jittering all the way up the ski lift.
Public Perception Is More Popular
Snowboarding has a cooler vibe than skiing. This discipline is maturing now that it’s been around for some time, becoming popular amongst youths. Plus, those who snowboard tend to be socially much more popular and get a lot more attention, views and follows on social media sites like Facebook and TikTok compared to those who stick to skiing.
It Is Easier to Go Off-Piste
With snowboarding, it is much easier to take on backcountry routes or all-mountain terrains since you can stop and easily get off your board and walk-in areas that are unsuitable for boarding.
With skiing, you need to stick to dedicated routes or a large plummet when you go off course or when you are traveling at those high speeds. Only experienced skiers are advised to go off track or to take on all-mountain routes while the rest are restricted to beginner slopes for quite some time.
Can Snowboarders Keep Up With Skiers?
One of the major differences between skiing and snowboarding is speed. Most people prefer to ski because it’s faster than snowboarding. Generally, when at the same skill level, a skier will be faster than a snowboarder. This is because they have more independent suspension and an effective edge that allows them to maintain control and go faster on the slope.
Snowboarders require a lot more skill to travel as fast as skiers, but it can be done. With practice, you can attain the same speed and exhilaration that skiing provides on your snowboard. Here are some factors that can help a snowboarder go as fast as a skier:
1. Using a high-quality snowboard
The quality of your board depends on several factors. These can include the materials used to make it, the board’s shape, the way the fiberglass layering affects the board’s flex, and the way the sidecut affects turning.
These factors can either make your board rigid or flexible. They also affect how much control you have over your board. Beginners can draw more speed from lighter, more flexible boards. More advanced riders need a stronger board to perform more technical abilities.
2. Snowboard tuning
Freshly waxed snowboards with sharp edges are important to get the maximum speed and glide from your board. Depending on your riding style or the terrain, a fresh wax should last you for 15-20 days.
Sharp edges allow you to perform more crisp and concise turns.
3. The speed of your binding setup
Skiers have the advantage of being able to hop from the chairlift into motion without stopping. For snowboarders to keep up, they need to learn how to strap on their bindings fast and move immediately when they hit the hill.
4. Edge pressure
How you distribute your weight over the edge of your board determines how fast you can ride down the hill. Placing your weight on the board edge applies more pressure and momentum.
The faster you can apply pressure to your board edge, the more speed you generate. However, if you delay and apply pressure later in the turn, the reverse happens, and you slow down.
One of the worst things that can happen to you as a snowboarder is losing momentum on the flat ground. You can maintain your speed by pumping your board — bending and straightening your knees like an accordion.
Lengthy flats will cause you to lose momentum. To gain speed and build momentum again, unstrap your rear foot and use it to push your board. However, take note of the slope and when it steepens again so you can strap your foot back in on time.
To carve a turn without slowing down, you need to master how to link your turns by switching between the edge of your heel and the edge of your toe on the snowboard. The more turn links you make without pointing your snowboard uphill, the faster you can go.
A snowboarder will not be able to do everything a skier can (and vice versa), but with these tips, you should be able to catch up to those skiers and keep up.
There are many reasons why snowboarding is better than skiing but in the end, both of these winter sports can be a lot of fun and extremely rewarding.
While snowboarding may offer more benefits, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t learn to ski and no one will judge if you happen to prefer skiing to snowboarding. With these activities, your main priority is to have fun and technical specs or the opinion of others shouldn’t be standing in your way.
We hope that our guide inspired you to start shopping for your own set of snowboarding gear. If you’re looking for the best board for beginners or a good board for a specific snowboarding style, then have a look at some of the guides we have onSnow Authorities.
With our handy site, you can find the best snowboarding and skiing gear so you can have a blast when you visit a resort or enjoy a snowboarding holiday.