There has always been a debate about the easiest and most fun snow sport to learn, adapt, and master. The biggest question is, can you learn to alternate between snowboarding and skiing?
If you can snowboard, you can quickly learn to ski by transferring your basic snowboarding skills to skiing. Freedom of movement of both your feet makes skiing relatively easy to learn but gets technical as you advance. On the other hand, snowboarding is hard but gets easier as you progress.
It will be easier to learn how to ski when you have already understood edging, the fall line, turning your hips, and other basic snowboarding skills.
Skiing is relatively easy to learn and even more straightforward when you know how to snowboard.
When you already know the mountain’s slopes, it will be a piece of cake to get down the hill by skiing.
Moreover, keeping your feet separated gives you the freedom to change your pace whenever you feel like falling.
Both sports are fun ways to spend your winter and explore the mountain, each with its uniqueness.
However, mastering skiing requires being extremely technical, which differs from snowboarding, which is hard to master initially but less technical.
If you have been snowboarding and now you feel it is time to learn a new style to take you down the hill, skiing will be your best choice to alternate with and is easy to pick up for beginners compared to snowboarding.
Below are the reasons why:
1. Binding Mechanisms
Snowboarders use one solid board that they attach to both their feet via bindings, while skiers use two skis, one on each side strapped with bindings, and two handheld poles used for stability.
Skiers’ and snowboarders’ boots are attached via bindings to the skis or board.
In snowboarding, most of the bindings require you to strap the bindings to your boots, and this is often hard for newcomers as you may have to sit down on the snow to get the bindings attached to your boots.
Skiers’ boots are attached to two individual skis on each foot, and you can securely clip into them while standing up.
Your toe goes on first, and then you push down your heel to get you locked to your skies and get attached to the base of the boot.
So, if you have mastered strapping into your snowboard’s bindings, you will find locking into ski bindings extremely easy.
In snowboarding, you move perpendicularly to the slope, making it challenging to be aware of your surroundings.
The “sideways” facing movement provides a blind spot while traveling down the hill since you are turned 90 degrees in the direction of travel, which feels unnatural to many people.
Skiing will be easy to learn as you move in a front-facing position that provides a peripheral vision of the slope that shows you exactly where you are heading and every object or person in front of you.
The front stance sounds more natural to many people, and beginners can find it easier to learn and adopt.
Skis come in pairs, one for each foot, and helps to attach your boot firmly to the ski.
However, both your feet are connected to the board on a snowboard, making you feel restricted as a novice snowboarder.
Skiing permits the movement of both your legs independently, giving you much freedom in your movements.
Having your feet attached to the snowboard can be unsettling as you begin, and it takes time to get used to it.
When you feel like falling, you lack a way to stop yourself from hitting the snow when you fall, as you have no poles.
With skiing, the big difference is learning how to control four objects: two skis and two poles.
The added stability of the poles prevents a lot of falls compared to snowboarding, and poles are also helpful when trying to traverse flat terrain.
There is no given time frame for learning to ski, but with snowboarding experience, confidence, fitness, agility, and balance gained, learning to ski will be like traveling down a hill.
You can quickly transfer your skills to skiing without breaking a sweat.
Your core muscles are primarily used in snowboarding, while you use mainly your legs and thighs in skiing.
It is recommendable to keep your legs and thighs in shape through cycling. Keeping your body fit reduces the chances of injuries.
You mainly experience more injuries at the beginner’s stage, especially with snowboarding, since your feet are attached to the board.
Your wrist, shoulders, and ankles are most affected when you take a tumble snowboarding.
The wrist injuries mainly happen when you use your hands to break a fall and snap or sprain your wrist.
The shoulders are hurt when you catch the board edge at an odd angle, and you end up rolling to the snow plummeting the shoulders to the ground.
Having your feet separated while skiing makes it harder to fall, but you have high chances of injury risks from performing twist motions.
Knee injuries are also common to skiers compared to snowboarders due to rapid changes in direction and hard muscle contractions.
When a skier catches an edge, and their ski rotates or stops altogether, the rest of the body continues downhill which stretches knees muscles, causing muscle tears.
As a skier or a snowboarder, you will use ski lifts to transport you up a hill. The way chairlifts are used differs for snowboarders and skiers.
Snowboarders have to unclip their back foot from the binding to allow them to move freely along the flat snow to get on to the lift.
Once on the lift, snowboarders have to rest the board on their free foot to support its weight.
Getting off the lift for a snowboard can be tricky, as you only have one foot strapped in, which causes many people to fall.
It is easy to enter and exit lifts with skiing as your skis stay attached to your feet. Once on the lift, you can rest them on the bar to support their weight.
You can then stand up straight when getting off the lift. Unlike a snowboard, a ski doesn’t need to be unclipped on the lift, and the ski poles help you quickly move on and off the lift.
Having the lift experience as a snowboarder makes it relatively easy to use as a novice skier, with the added advantage of facing forward, making it even more comfortable.
Learning to ski when you already know how to snowboard is easier than just learning how to ski.
Having learned how to regulate your speed and safely control your snowboard down the slopes, turning, edging, and other snowboarding fundamentals, you will be skiing down the slope within your first few days.
You can easily transfer the skills you’ve learned snowboarding, such as good balance, agility, flexibility, and overall confidence, directly to skiing.
Furthermore, you can see where you are going while facing forward to avoid hitting objects or your fellow skiers or snowboarders!