It’s a question as old as time (at least modern time), and one that many people struggle with. The worlds of skiing and snowboarding have merged closer together over the years and opened doors for participants to easily switch from one to the other. But if you’re just starting to learn how to test the water- or in this case, the snow- finding a starting point can be difficult.
Asking a skier will probably end in them saying skiing is the way to go! If you ask a snowboarder, you’ll likely get the same answer. So where does that leave you? It might be beneficial to ask those around you who are experienced in both what their opinions are. However, we feel like we’ve got pretty good insight and can provide a few unbiased answers.
At the end of the day, it’ll still be up to you to choose which sport is best. In the meantime, take your time as you weigh your options before heading to the resort. The best part about it is if you choose one and think you’d prefer to do the other, then go ahead! Gear and equipment like helmets, coats, snow pants and other accessories can easily be used for either. Just be sure to rent your snowboard or skis at the beginning if you’re still on the fence. There’s nothing worse than jumping into a purchase only to realize you’re interested in something else. And with that, it’s time to take a step back and determine if you’ll start skiing or snowboarding first!
When you break it down to the nuts and bolts, skiing is overall easier to learn. The thing to keep in mind though is that out of the two, it’s harder to master. Snowboarding is the opposite where it can take longer to learn, but once you do you’ll be gliding down the mountain faster.
Skiing can be easily taken down to the basics so you can pick it up right away. But once you do, you have to be fairly technical with your technique. The hardest part of learning to snowboard is getting on your edges (both heel and toe). Once you do, you can accelerate your skill level much faster whereas with skiing it won’t be as simple.
Over the first week of both it tends to look a little like this:
Give yourself plenty of room for growth. If you’re short on how much time you have on the mountain, try skiing first to get comfortable on the snow. It might not be the sport you want to keep practicing, but at least you’ll still have a lot of fun.
To make your experience more enjoyable, there is a level of fit you should be at prior to your winter adventures. There’s no need to be an Olympian before you hit the slopes, but you should feel prepared for a lot of movement and muscle soreness. Just be sure you can handle the demand your legs, core, and back will go through!
If you’re trying out skiing, be sure you’ve done plenty of leg work to minimize injuries and stress of the muscles. If you’re starting with snowboarding, then do more core and back strengthening.
This is a bit of a subjective question, especially because it’s truly based on your preference. Either option offers challenging & thrilling moments as you learn to get better at them. Both are also frustrating and can leave you feeling tired, but are rewarding all the same.
It depends on what your end goal is as well. If you want to learn how to race down the mountain on groomed pistes, skiing can be the ultimate answer. But when you’re looking to “feel” out more of the terrain, snowboarding is great so you can ride out bumps, jumps and the like.
There’s no wrong or right way to enjoy these winter sports. Think about the way you approach other sports and how you learned to get better at them. If you want a little more of a challenge then snowboarding makes sense because while it’s harder at the beginning it tends to become more intuitive over time.
On the other hand, those who want to ease into learning the ropes could potentially find skiing to be more beneficial. You’ll pick it up right away, but will have to put in more effort to continue enjoying it past the beginner area. If you’re more technical in how you think, skiing could be the way to go and give you the chance to conquer a different kind of challenge.
Whatever you decide to do will be a great opportunity to try something new. You’ll get to experience the outdoors in a new way and join thousands of others out on the mountain, creating memories that will last a lifetime!