Last week I published a post stating the reasons why snowboarding is better than skiing – a little bit in jest.
So this week I thought I would do a more objective post to weigh up the pros and cons of each so that you can answer the question ‘should I ski or snowboard’.
As much as it pains me to say it, some people might actually prefer skiing! But I’m unsure about their sanity 🙂
Check out the pros and cons below to see which is best suited to you.
Snowboarding vs Skiing Pros and Cons
You may agree or disagree with some of these. And you may have some others you can think of. Feel free to leave a comment below if you do.
- You can walk! Walking in snowboarding boots is about 10 times easier and 100 times more elegant. This isn’t just more comfortable and more pleasant it also saves a good bit of time getting around.
- You don’t have the possibility of accidentally doing the splits.
- Snowboards, snowboard boots and snowboard bindings are usually a fair bit cheaper than their skiing equivalents
- Getting stuck on flat sections or uphills: Splitboards help in the backcountry but take a while to set up. If you ride with skiers sometimes they’ll give you a tow (if they’re feeling friendly that day!)
- Getting off lifts: Lifts are designed for skiers – and are much trickier for snowboarders especially beginners. This goes for chair lifts, rope tows, poma lifts and t-bars.
O.k. so when doing pros and cons it’s typically the case that things are repeated, but the opposite, but I’ll go over these anyway.
- You can seamlessly exit the lifts and be on your way down the slopes without fuss and without stopping to do up your bindings.
- When finding your self stuck on flat sections or where there is a bit of an uphill to traverse you can do so in skis without un-binding and walking/skating
- You have poles that can help you get up from a fall – although I think it’s debatable whether this is actually easier or not
- Walking in ski boots is tricky – or at least it certainly looks that way – particularly up and down stairs. And they’re typically slower so what time you make up getting off lifts you lose walking around.
- Ski gear (skis, ski bindings and ski boots) are a fair bit more costly than snowboard gear
What Else to Consider?
Another thing to consider is the old saying of:
“Skiing is easier to learn but harder to master and snowboarding is harder to learn and easier to master”
I’m not sure if this is true or not – please chime in with your opinion as to why or why not. I have heard some people with the opinion that this is the opposite!
But it does certainly seem to be true that snowboarders take more tumbles, particularly early on. And perhaps it’s true that, given you have learned the proper technique, that transitioning to steeper, trickier slopes and the backcountry is an easier step once you have mastered the basics.
If you are robust and don’t mind wiping out (sometimes epically) then snowboarding might be on your radar.
If you prefer a more sedate entry into your snow-sport and don’t like the idea of crashing through the snow then maybe you should ski – although you will still fall learning to ski and those falls are often a lot more awkward looking and less graceful.
Check out this article in the guardian for more on skiing vs snowboarding.
Whilst you would suspect that with all those falls that snowboarding is more dangerous than skiing then you might want to reconsider.
In fact, whilst snowboarders do get more injuries more often, they tend to be less serious injuries.
Why I Chose to Snowboard
When I was a kid I skied a couple of times and though snowboarding was only a relatively new sport back then I definitely envied those on snowboards.
I remember one particular school trip a year or so after the last time I had skied and was really looking forward to getting on a snowboard – only to be thwarted by our school only allowing skiing.
Perhaps it was that I skated and much preferred that over roller blades? Perhaps it was that the snowboarders always looked much cooler? Whatever it was I just always just pictured myself going down the slopes on a board and the image of that seemed more natural, more comfortable and more exciting.
The image of me skiing seemed awkward, unnatural and somehow less of an adventure. I can’t explain why – maybe just having my feet separated just felt wrong.
What were your reasons for choosing snowboarding or skiing? Or do you do both? It’d be awesome to hear other people’s stories. Feel free to leave your story in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading
Thanks for reading and I hope this has helped you decide whether to snowboard or ski. It’s different for everyone and hopefully the decision is more obvious now. If all else fails try both and see which you prefer – if you still can’t decide you can always just keep doing both!
If you are leaning towards snowboarding check out some of the links below to learn some more.
- Snowboard Equipment List
- Rent or Buy
- Stance Setup
- How to choose beginner snowboard boots
- How to choose a beginner snowboard
- How to choose beginner bindings