No matter where on earth you go, if there is snow then there is a skiing vs snowboarding debate and it rages on incessantly. Of course, there’s two sides to every story, and each discipline thinks that they are god’s gift to winter sports – but which one is actually best?
Here we will look at all the cases for both and try to come up with a definitive answer for which is best:
Arguably the most important thing here, who has the most fun? Talk to any winter sports enthusiast who has racked up time doing both, and they will undoubtedly tell you that snowboarding is way more fun. While the learning curve is much sharper, in that it takes a while to master, once you have the basics down advancing is relatively easy – opening up a wide range of new possibilities. That means that you won’t be far off being able to jump, tackle snow parks and even go off-piste.
Easy to Learn
Most beginners opt for skiing, as it is much easier to get started on and you can normally get into a flow much sooner. This means that if you’ve never skied before then you could end up tackling a blue run by the end of your first day on the slopes, with the proper coaching. That said the learning curve with snowboarding is much sharper, so while it may take longer to learn, when you have it you really have it.
Bring the Pain
Nobody wants to be spending their ski holiday hobbling around and nursing their bruises, so that brings up the question – which one is going to cause the least amount of pain? You will be interested to find then, that snowboarders are 50-70% more likely to pick up injuries than skiers, however these injuries are likely to be a lot less severe.
Snowboarding injuries are much more likely to be dislocated shoulders or damaged wrists, while skiers are significantly more likely to receive knee injuries and broken legs.
Cost of the Sport
If you’re factoring in the cost of snowboarding and skiing to your decision on what’s best, then I’m sorry to disappoint but the differences are marginal. Theoretically speaking, if you’re buying decent equality entry level equipment then skiing will impact the wallet probably less than £100 more than snowboarding. However, if you hit the sales or go second hand and this costing is thrown on its head.
When your idea of fun is going for an off-piste adventure then you want to be on the best mode of transport for handling fresh, loose powder. Unless you have specific backcountry skis then a snowboard if your best bet for handling the untouched snow that you find off the beaten track. Obviously, you will still need to master the skills of handing this unpredictable terrain, but it will be much easier on a board than on skis.
You can’t really choose an overall winner as everyone will be different, but for me the winner has to be snowboarding. Once you’ve got it down it is incredibly easy to continue to progress to a high level, opening up a huge range of possibilities. This means that you could go from never snowboarded before to taking on reds and blacks in just two weeks, however skiing is much faster to pick up but is then more difficult to progress.
If you’re looking for fun, adrenaline and adventure then snowboarding is the sport for you. However, if you want something that’s enjoyable and easy to pick up then skiing may be more your style.
About the Author – Snow Chateaux has a great selection of catered and self-catered ski accommodation across the French Alps. Whether you’re a snowboarder or a skier, there is plenty of marked runs and off-pistes for everyone to enjoy.