Whether you’re a newcomer to winter-sports or are a confident skier who is considering trying snowboarding for the first time, you might want to know which of the two sports has more to offer. For many years, since the 1960s, in fact, when American Sherman Poppen first thought of the idea of snowboarding after watching his little girl balancing on a ski, winter-sports fanatics have been fiercely divided into the ski vs snowboard camps. You will find very few people equally loyal to both.
Snowboarding increased in popularity in the late ’seventies, when it was finally covered under ski liability insurance policies and more ski resorts accepted it. Initially, at least, the skiers tended to be elite, wealthy people of a certain age, whereas snowboarders were normally in their teens from very different backgrounds.
Skiing and snowboarding both offer hours of fun, adrenaline-filled exercise and entertainment and will take you to some of the world’s most beautiful resorts and locations. So what are the differences?
This video shows some of the differences between Skiing and Snowboarding.
Snowboarders find that their knees ache less after a long day on the slopes and fewer receive knee injuries, though it’s often a physically more exerting sport, since the absence of ski poles means a lot more energy is needed to work your way across the flats and to stay balanced. Skis are better on ice and hard-packed snow, whereas snowboarders love deep, fluffy snow, atop which the snowboards ‘float’. Often, skiers find that they are unable to properly use the slopes after significant snowfall, whereas snowboarders are not so constrained. Skiing is a bit easier, on a practical basis, since snowboarders have to unstrap one of their legs to get on ski-lifts, and they have to walk up inclines that skiers could use their poles to push up. Skis are faster, but it’s easier to get up after falling off a snowboard…
If you’ve skied before, then the skills you already have will make it easier to learn how to snowboard, since you’ll already know how to edge and carve. However, lessons would not go amiss just to build your confidence. For speed, you can’t beat skiing; for fun and manoeuvrability on a variety of surfaces, snowboarding rules. Most packages and all-inclusive ski holidays will cater for both boards and skis, though check with the resort as to whether they have any restrictions in that regard: there are still some luxury ski resorts that only permit skis, catering for the die-hard band of skiers who think that snowboards are for hooligans!
This article was written by Sarah who loves winter-sports and enjoys going both skiing and snowboarding as often as she can.