Often I get asked the question “is snowboarding hard to learn” and my answer is that it depends on the person and the attitude of the person.
I know people who have tried snowboarding and gave up after one day because they decided it was too hard.
I’ve known others who struggled as much as those same people on the first day who have gone on to love snowboarding more than anyone else I know.
And I know others still that get out there and pick it up really quick and have a blast even on the first day.
Is it harder than skiing?
A lot of people hear that snowboarding is harder than skiing, at least to start with.
This might be true and there’s the old adage that “snowboarding is harder to learn and easier to master and skiing is easier to learn and harder to master”.
Every time I’m on a lift with a skier I hear this but I’m not sure how much truth there is in this saying or the theory behind it. What I do know is, that even if it’s harder to start out with, it’s worth it in the long run.
Some people think that this saying is backwards though, and instead think in actual fact that skiing is harder in the beginning and easier to master and snowboarding is easier to start with and then harder to master.
Check out the link below that has some differing opinions and you can make up your own mind.
Who Will find it Easier?
People with the following qualities may have some advantage:
- Naturally coordinated
- Fit and strong in the core
- Have surfed or skated before
- Naturally balanced
But these definitely aren’t must have traits to be a good snowboarder.
A lot of the time it will come down to attitude and personality.
In terms of personality if you like things a little bit rough and tumble (you’ll definitely take more tumbles on a snowboard than on skis – but don’t worry you’ll look more graceful wiping out than skiers!) then you are going to love snowboarding.
You might have noticed this quote on this website.
Snowboarding is an activity that is very popular with people who do not feel that regular skiing is lethal enough – Dave Barry
What If I Prefer things more Casual?
O.k. you don’t have to be extreme to be a snowboarder.
If you prefer you can just ride mellow groomers (groomed trails) all day and I know people that like it that way.
Or you can ride steeper, more extreme terrain, ride in the park or venture into the backcountry.
To start with you are going to be eating a bit of snow so you’re going to have to take a few hits – but that’s all part of the fun!
Having the right gear
This is the big one for me and very often overlooked.
Having the right beginner gear – i.e. having a snowboard, snowboard bindings and snowboard boots that are well suited to beginners and help beginners to ride more easily – is often overlooked but this is a huge of part of whether your snowboarding experience is going to be easy or hard.
Beginner gear is designed in such a way that makes snowboarding easier.
If you start out with a stiff, directional, fast snowboard you are not going to be able to control it very well. The same goes for boots and bindings.
Just imagine trying to learn to drive in an 80,000 pound, 18 wheel truck that accelerates like a Ferrari! It is going to be very hard!
The same applies to trying to learn with the wrong snowboard gear.
- Learn more about choosing the right beginner snowboard here
- Learn more about choosing the right beginner snowboard bindings here
- Learn more about choosing the right beginner snowboard boots here
Part of the problem with hiring gear is that it usually isn’t that suited to beginners. O.k. it may not be the hardest to ride on but there is much more specific beginner gear that will get you off to the best possible start.
That’s why I always suggest buying as soon as you have figured out you want to do more snowboarding. Learn more about why buying is better than hiring at the following link:
Taking lessons will definitely help you to progress faster. An instructor can teach you good technique which is going to help you to improve faster.
On my first day I picked it up very quickly just teaching myself but my progress slowed after that until I had someone show me good technique. The problem when you teach yourself is that you use whatever crude method that will get you down the mountain – even if that method isn’t going to serve you to be a better rider in the long run.
As with most things in life, confidence is crucial to being good at anything.
And the way you gain confidence is by building up slowly, in my opinion.
If you can master some really basic things to a high level you will have great confidence to try the next thing or try that slightly steeper slope or try that jump etc.
I don’t subscribe to the method of throwing a new rider into terrain that is out of there depth – it can ruin confidence and lead to really crude technique in the long run.
So it’s going to be much harder to learn if you don’t learn in the right way.
Is snowboarding hard to learn?
If you learn it right and have the right attitude as you learn and if you slowly build up your confidence, gradually learn new things and have snowboard gear that is suitable for beginners, you are going to be riding smoothly and confidently in no time at all.
Is it harder than skiing to learn?
Well, that’s still up for debate – but if you learn snowboarding then you’ll be a snowboarder and not a skier. Enough said 🙂
If you’re still weighing up whether you want to ski or snowboard or if you still think snowboarding might not be your thing check out the link below for more.
I definitely encourage you to check out the links above relating to choosing the right beginner gear. In my opinion this is going to be one of the biggest contributing factors between finding snowboarding hard or easy.