A chill runs down your spine. You are standing at the top of a mountain and are looking down a double-black diamond slope with two thoughts in mind:
- “Am I going to make it to the bottom alive?” and,
- “I will totally regret it if I don’t at least try.”
With the loving support of a friend, you decide to go down, “Don’t be a wuss! Let’s do this!” Okay. Maybe it isn’t loving, but the adrenaline released from the medulla portion of your adrenal glands urges you so strongly that you will surely make it to the bottom, that you leap down the slope before you even have time to say, “Shut up!” to your friend.
So, while you imagined that scenario, were you standing on a snowboard or skis?
Maybe you prefer one over the other, but what this really boils down to is this: Skiing and snowboarding are both euphoric yet treacherous sports, only for the brave of heart. I personally am bias to snowboarding, because I love it. But, how will the pros and cons of each sport impact your own personal decision between the two?
Let’s find out.
Skiing Allows for Dual Mobility: The great thing about skiing is that you have access to controlling each individual leg as you ski, which we are used to, while walking. Once you learn the following two things, learning to ski can be quite easy to pick up:
- Lean your body forward, pressing your shins tightly up against the inside of the front of the boots even while going downhill, and
- Face the top half of your body downhill at all times, even while turning.
Even beginners can learn to do the “Pizza” with their skis to make it down a bunny slope. The rate and ease at which many learn snowboarding can be wildly different.
Snowboarding Allows for One Solid Movement: When you snowboard, your stance and posture are not even close to the feeling you have when you surf or skateboard. At least when you do the latter two things, you have the mobility to move your legs as you see fit. When snowboarding, you lose your depth of range, because your lower legs are both trapped into bindings on one solid plank.
Ski Boots: The Awkward Pony? When you ski, the only real ability you need to have when moving your legs is keeping them slightly bent and leaning forward. There should definitely not be any side to side movement, where your ankles could stay out of that acute angle, leaning forward. So, the boots are stiff. All skiers know the walk ahead is awkward and bumpy when you dismount your skis. It almost feels like a robotic gallop.
Boarding Boots: Comfort City! Boarders have a relaxed feel in their boots, allowing for a snug fit, but also a more forgiving stride and turning capability. They are comfortable and make you feel like you have the coolest boots in the world on that could clobber anything.
Single Focus: Skiers need only face downhill. That is their primary focus. Turns may come, but they only have one goal in mind, with respect to posture.
Multi-Angular Focus: Snowboarders not only have to learn how to turn, but they need to know how to keep their balance at a variety of different angles. They need to know how to ride edge-side and front-side. The constant shifting of their center of gravity can be difficult to maintain when boarding unaware.
The Human Jigsaw Puzzle: Skiers, when they fall, have the opportunity to not only flip around and have the skis hit them from two different angles, there also is the possibility of twisting your legs and breaking them in two different ways. The ability to intertangle your limbs and skis skyrockets.
One Twist: Snowboarders need only focus on moving their bodies in one direction to keep the board from hitting them or keep them from twisting your upper and lower halves. Snowboarding and skiing can certainly both be dangerous, but boarding can make things a little less complicated.
There are plenty of factors to consider when deciding whether to ski or snowboard. The answer to whether skiing or snowboarding is better is still, to this day, undecided. What would seem more fun for you? Do you like to stereotype of being chill and cool as a snowboarder or sleek and mobile as a skier? Tweet me @JasonDrewelow with why you prefer one over the other!