Are you an expert skier thinking about boarding? Or maybe an excellent snowboarder considering skis? Perhaps you’ve never tried either and are trying to decide which one is best for you? Skiing and snowboarding each offer their own unique set of benefits and challenges, and the choice between the two really boils down to personal preference. Take a look at the differences, the advantages of each, and what you can expect from each experience. While from the outside they may not look much different, the experiences provided by skis and boards are totally diverse.
The Major Differences
There are a few obvious similarities between skiing and boarding, like the fact that both require snow and both are performed on downhill slopes. Both options also guarantee unforgettable chilly fun and an adrenaline rush to boot.
Those who are novices may want to try out skiing first, just to see how you handle the slippery conditions. Snowboarders have to be a little bit more coordinated in order to steer themselves, while skiers have the added benefit of poles to help maintain balance and control. Skiing is pretty rough on your knees since high speeds are most easily attained by maintaining a sort of squatting position. Boarding allows you to adjust your position for comfort, so those with joint issues may want to try boarding first.
Snowboards allow you the convenience of being able to enjoy the extreme sport even on the softest powder. Skiing requires a pretty specific terrain while boards are not quite so picky. The argument over which one makes it easier to get up after a fall is an ongoing one. Many think that the ski poles make it easy to simply pull yourself up, while some boarders are able to simply flip themselves back up again.
Rest assured that whether you choose skis or a board, you will spend much of your first run on your rump; you can then decide for yourself how easy it is to get back up.
A Need for Speed
Contrary to what the majority of people believe, skiing actually beats snowboarding in terms of velocity every single time. There is a great deal of physics involved as to the reasons why, but no matter how many records you compare with the speeds of both skiers and boarders, the skiers win every time. There is also the adrenaline rush involved; the speed gets your heart pounding, and the air that you are able to get at high speeds will absolutely leave you breathless. An added benefit for skiers is that they are able to be bigger and still attain impressive speeds. Boarders tend to need to be on the smaller side, so those who are bigger will definitely want to turn to skis.
If convenience is important to you and you don’t want to spend the day waiting for lifts, skiing may be more your thing. You obviously cannot even walk to the top of a bunny hill with a snowboard attached to both of your feet. Skis allow you to walk around (even though it’s a bit awkward) without having to lug around a heavy board. You can also easily walk to the top of slopes without having to wait around for lifts, and you even have the added convenience of being able to ski anywhere; even if there are no lifts nearby.
Our suggestion; why choose just one? Give them both a go!
Photo by Ian Brown