It’s the age-old question: which is more difficult, snowboarding or skiing? The common saying is that skiing is easier to learn but harder to master, while snowboarding is harder to learn but easier to master. This generally tends to be the case, but here is a deeper examination into the factors that contribute to this saying.
It is much harder to learn how to coordinate two extensions of your legs rather than one, which means a snowboard is easier to learn how to use than skis. Controlling your movements down a snowy mountain is easier on a monoski when everything works in unison. Having to coordinate your movements on two separate skis can lead to a lot of issues of balance, and a lot more falling.
Once past the initial learning phase, however, skiing becomes easier. Snowboarders fall on their butts a lot more as they try to master turning and carving. Skiiers have the advantage of pointing the tips of their skis together in a pizza wedge, easily controlling their speed and direction.
Snowboard gear is much easier to carry and walk in than ski gear. Snowboard boots are just heftier versions of shoes, and a single snowboard is light and easy to carry. Skis are heavy and awkward to carry, and walking around the lodge in ski boots is sometimes more challenging than skiing.
However, when it comes to using chairlifts, skiers have the advantage. Snowboarders have to unbuckle their boots and coordinate pushing their board at awkward angles while skiers can push themselves with their poles.
On the Slopes
Skiing is the more natural option for going downhill because you’re facing forward. Snowboarding requires more skill because you’re changing the way you face every turn. It’s also easier to see with both eyes pointed downhill.
Skiers also have the advantage on flat surfaces, leveraging ski poles to propel themselves forward. Snowboarders have the struggle of jumping forward to gain momentum.
In terms of ski injuries, skiers tend to have more wear and tear on their knees, while snowboarders see lots of injuries in their wrists, shoulders, and ankles due to falling.