“Skiing is easier to learn but harder to master; snowboarding is harder to learn but easier to master.”
This is a common claim you will hear in the world of snow sports. While different people can take to different sports, this particular assertion is generally true.
Your initial encounter on a snowboard inevitably involves many painful falls, humiliating lift departures and results in crippling muscle strain the following day. The good news is if you can power through the “break-in” process, you can be reasonably proficient in snowboarding within a few days.
Skiing does takes longer to master, but you can rest assure you will stay vertical and have fun on your first day out. Skiing doesn’t have that painful initiation that goes along with snowboarding.
THIS LAND IS MY LAND
Ski resorts (as the name suggests) predate snowboarding by several decades. Winter-resort infrastructures were created explicitly with skiing in mind and have changed very little since origination.
If you take a look around any resort and you will notice flat patches either before another downhill section or proceeding to the ski-lift queue. These patches do not hinder skiers. Skiers can push through these with poles or use the free-skate technique. On the other hand, these flat patches can be a headache for snowboarders because they can actually bring snowboarders to a halt. When flat terrain presents itself, unless you have enough momentum, anyone on a snowboard will have to unclip the back foot and push off, imitating the propulsion method used in skateboarding. Alternatively, snowboarders can take off the board entirely and walk.
SPILLS + THRILLS
Snowboarders have the upper hand on the inevitable, high-velocity tumbles. When a snowboarder falls for any given reason, his frame is kept intact on a single plane since the boots are locked into place on one board. However, nasty falls are not unheard of, but they pale in comparison to skiing accidents. As a skier, all four limbs can move independently and there is more scope for the body to be put out of joint when control is lost which typically ends in a yard sale.
Yard Sale /ˈyärd ˌsāl/
A yard sale is a term for when a skier loses control and performs inadvertent cartwheels down the slope and loses everything such as their outerwear, skies, poles, goggles, hat and gloves. Everything is scattered all over the hill and typically out of sight and lodged in the snow.
Whether you are leaning towards snowboarding or skiing, the best place to launch your new interest will obviously be at a ski park or resort. Before hitting the trails with friends who assures you they are equipped to serve as your learning coach, investing in a certified instructor for lessons carries undeniable benefits. With the guidance of an instructor you can learn proper techniques, cover all the basics and avoid picking up someone else’s or developing your own incorrect habits.
Which snow sport do you prefer? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. If you can’t decide, make sure you book your weekend get-away with us soon to try both out yourself.