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Snowboarding or Skiing?

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by Po10472, Jan 10, 2010.

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  1. Po10472
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    by Po10472 » Jan 10, 2010
    I''ve always wanted to go skiing, for years I''ve wanted to do it and never gotten round to it. Just about everyone I know ski''s or snowboards so this Christmas I asked my DH and family to buy me snowgear so that I could take lessons in our local indoor snowzone.

    For the 8 weeks running up to the lesson I was a complete nervous wreck, really worried about how I''d do and if I''d enjoy it. We went last week for my first lesson.....I spent more time on my back than on the ski''s and found it unbelievably difficult getting up and had to rely on my DH and the instructor to get me back on my feet. I lasted 30 mins as I was just so frustrated. I''m not the most svelt of people, so trying to get into a standing position without being able to get on my knees was damn near impossible and I found it really hard as my instincts were taken away from me because of the two planks strapped to my feet. In fact, I even fell over without the ski''s on [​IMG].

    Anyhoo, I decided I''d give it another go in couple of weeks and was there this afternoon watching DH on the slopes. But whilst there I watched all the snowboarders and the way they move appeals to me more than skiing. There was an instructor working with this girl and whenever she fell, she was able to get up using her knees or pushing off from a seated position which looked way easier than when in skis. Had a chat with DH and he admitted that he was suprised I hadn''t opted for snowboarding in the first place as this seemed more ''me''.

    I''m going to give snowboarding a shot and see if it suits me better but I''d love to hear from those of you who are skiers or boarders, who''s tried both, who recommends what and any tips/advice you can give me?

    Cheers

    Po
    x
     
  2. BeachRunner
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    by BeachRunner » Jan 10, 2010
    Hello!
    I think both skiing and snowboarding are easier said than done. They are harder than people make them look, for sure!

    I am a skier and I have never snowboarded, so I''m not much help with comparing the two. But, skiing is hard and it takes more than one time on the mtn to "get it". It is a bit of a challenge to get up; the easiest way for me is to put both skis parrell to each other on either my sides, perpindicular to the mtn and get up. With skiing, you''re only going to fall to your side, hopefully. With snowboarding, you can catch an edge and fall backwards, or faceplant into the snow.

    IMHO, and remember this is just my opinion since I''ve never boarded, but skiing may be easier to get, but is harder to really get good at, but once you can grasp boarding, it''s an easier transistion to expert level.

    But, good for you to give it another go!
     
  3. April20
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    by April20 » Jan 10, 2010
    I''m a skier. I have the short skiis that you can use without poles. It is SO easy to get up when you fall. I always joke it''s like standing up in your living room it''s so easy. I was a DISASTER on regular skiis. Could barely get up when I fell. I got the short skiis after one season trying to no avail to be a decent skier on regular skiis and I''ve never gone back. I''d recommend trying the short skiis to see if that works better for you.

    I''ve never snowboarded, but my siblings do. I''m just too used to my short skiis to want to switch now.
     
  4. JulieN
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    by JulieN » Jan 10, 2010
    You are more likely to fall snowboarding, and pushing yourself back up after falling tires you out. The more tired you are, the more likely you are to fall. Vicious cycle.

    You are much, much less likely to fall skiing.

    The best thing you can do is not fall in the first place.

    Really, it takes days of practice before getting the hang of it.
     
  5. BeachRunner
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    by BeachRunner » Jan 10, 2010
    This is a good point. Once you feel comfortable on skis, the probabability of falling decreases. As a boarder, no matter what your skill level is, you will fall.

    And April420 mentions snowblades; they may be good to learn on, but depending what your ultimate goal is on the mtn, you may grow out of them. If you get a powder day on the mountain, I can''t imagine snowblades would be easy to navigate. (Am i wrong, April?)

    Are you an east coast, mountain range, or west coast skiier?
     
  6. Skippy123
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    by Skippy123 » Jan 10, 2010
    I have done both. I think Snowboarding is much much easier but I noticed that i have to stregthen my thighs if I do do the sport. Do lots of squats to help because you do fall snowboarding too. I don't like skiing much; I did find snowboarding to be lots of fun. I don't do either anymore but I did do some of it in college and I think having a good instructor makes a big difference. I had one instructor that spent the whole day with me even though I paid for a half day lesson and he even said if he was off he would help me out as needed. Some of those instructors love it and their passion shows and is contagious and they tend to really help you out with tips, etc. hehe
     
  7. NewEnglandLady
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    by NewEnglandLady » Jan 10, 2010
    I learned to ski when I was little, but DH never learned to ski or snowboard, so a few years ago I thought it would be fun for both of us to learn how to snowboard together. I didn''t love snowboarding, because as JulieN pointed out, there is a LOT of falling over in the beginning and it was just frustrating. Also, I hated "starting over" with a new snow sport. My husband tore his ACL in his first lesson on the bunny slope and won''t try snowboarding again to save his life. He doesn''t find skiing to be particularly appealing, either, but doesn''t feel it''s as unsafe as snowboarding so long as he keeps his bindings pretty loose.
     
  8. MichelleCarmen
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    by MichelleCarmen » Jan 10, 2010
    My husband has skied and snowboarded all his life. He''s started the kids on the sport, however, they are learing skiing first. That''s the way it''s done with kids. . .skiing then once they learn that, they move onto snowboarding. You may want to ask an instructor what is recommended.
     
  9. elle_chris
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    by elle_chris » Jan 10, 2010
    My husband boards, but learned to ski when i decided it was time. I tried snow boarding and while much easier to get up when you fall, i think it''s harder to learn (but skiing is harder to master) and your stomach gets quite the workout with snowboarding. Was sore for days after my first attempt. I also spent more time on my butt while trying to snowboard than when trying to ski.

    My first lesson on skiis was with an adult beginner group and it was lots of fun since we were all newbs. After that I took a few private lessons and you really, REALLY need a good and patient instuctor. I didn''t luck out my first time. Was horrible and never wanted to get back on the slopes again. Hubby convinced me and the second time around i asked for a woman who''s good with beginners. She was great. I think that''s key, getting a good instructor.
    I asked my husband what he likes better and he said snowboard- but i think that''s because he''s been doing it for much longer and thinks it looks cooler.. haha.
     
  10. meresal
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    by meresal » Jan 10, 2010
    In my opinion, the only reason snowboarding is easier to get up from, is because you fall ALOT more. Especially learning.

    Skiing allows you to balance your weight between two legs. Snowboarding does not, and IMO, is much harder to control.

    I have been skiing since I was 4. No one in my family snowboards. I tried once, and hate it. It is much like a skateboard, and I can''t do that either.
     
  11. missbennet
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    by missbennet » Jan 10, 2010
    Hellooo great question

    i grew up in sun valley, idaho. its a fairly well-known ski resort in the states, and i grew up skiing. i was fortunate enough to be on the sun valley ski team as a teenager so i got to visit lots of fantastic resorts (vail, aspen, park city)

    there are pros and cons to both sports. i can do both, but i prefer skiing.

    snowboarding is much easier to learn, and knowing how to board is really beneficial if you ever learn to surf or skateboard. however, at a lot of high class resorts snowboarding is looked down upon (ridiculous. i love the sport, and one of my best friends daughter is the top 3rd under 18 boarders in the country).

    skiing is a very different sport, and learning it is partially more difficult. you have to remember that they use completely different sets of muscles. when you learn to board, WEAR KNEE PADS!!! and when you ski, be ready to have major thigh burning. however, skiing is more dangerous, because you have less reflexive control, and skis can pop off, unlike snowboards. you can ski faster than you can board, at least in my expierence.

    have a great time, whatever you do! for gear, i reccomend smith goggles/helmets (for both sports), rossignol skis, or burton boards. be sure to invest in the best boots possible if you ski...they should fit tight! (you should only be able to wiggle your toes) burton is by far the best and highest quality snowboard gear. if you do invest in a snowboard, buy a banana board (extremely flexible) because they are much much easier to control.

    Suggestions:
    http://www.burton.com/womens-all-mountain-freestyle-snowboards-feather-snowboard/220556,default,pd.html?dwvar_220556_variationSize=149&start=12&cgid=womens-boards

    this is a great board for begginers, very lightweight and flexible.
    http://www.rossignol.com/US/harmony-system_F0460_product_ski-women-skis-all-mountain.html

    perfect for beginners. lightweight, good width.

    http://www.smithoptics.com/Fuse_12_949.html?fl=flase

    i own 6 pairs of these goggles. they are the most comfortable goggles i have ever worn, and they come in lots of great colors and patterns. worth the investement! plus, smith offers a great warranty.

    HAVE FUN!
     
  12. missbennet
    Rough_Rock

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    by missbennet » Jan 10, 2010
    p.s. if you arnt very thin or flexible, snowboarding requires a LOT more balance. standing up on skis is difficult, heres my tip:
    if you fall, your legs and skis get twisted really fast. straighten them so you are lying on your side with your head toward the top of the mountain. put your hands on either side of your body and push up. as soon as you feel yourself stick, plant those poles in the snow!!!! they will help guide you, thats what they are for :)
     
  13. dannyandterry
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    by dannyandterry » Jan 10, 2010
    I actually do both and just got back from a ski/snowboard trip. I learned how to ski when I was 18, I learned how to board at 19. I am an advance boarder (I don't do half pipes though...lol) and I am intermediate/advance downhill skier. We put our four year old in Ski school and we decided to as skiing *I think* is a little more challenging and takes more time to develope and perfect techniques which I haven't still mastered on skis (I usually do the first half of the morning snowboarding and switch off at the end of the day on skis). Snowboarding I actually got the hang of it and think I've gone as far as I can go without doing those jumps and halfpipes. Whereas skiing, I feel that over time when I'm in my late forties, I'm pretty sure skiing won't be as harsh on my body as snowboarding is. I doubt when you are fifty you want to sit down at every lift to strap your boots on and off. My opinion is that it takes longer to learn to snowboard and stay upright the first time, than it is to learn to stay upright with skis, however you can master snowboarding a lot faster than with skis (hope that makes sense)

    eta: I prefer snowboarding for the time being but in 10 years I might prefer skiing though.
     
  14. kittybean
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    by kittybean » Jan 10, 2010
    I have been skiing since I could walk and ski-raced for many years, so I can''t say enough about how awesome and fun skiing is! What I know from teaching people to ski is that it takes longer for someone to become a competent skier than it takes to become a competent snowboarder. When learning skiing, you definintely fall much, much less than you do when learning snowboarding. If you fall hard enough, your ski bindings will release you, but a snowboard is going to stay attached to you. I like skiing better than snowboarding, but I have no memory of what it was like to learn to ski. In my opinion, ski poles are helpful for balancing, and they are really nice to have whenever you have to go across a flat area, traverse a slope, or not ski into other people in the lift line.

    I learned to snowboard when I was about 12-13. It is hard. Expect to fall a ton--like everytime you try and pick yourself up on the first day. It is hard to get the hang of the stance you need, and it is super easy to catch an edge when you aren''t expecting it. For example, you''ll be sliding along on your heel edge, then you lose your balance a little, sway your hips forward to center yourself, and all of a sudden you''ll catch your toe edge and be down flat on your face. This is how people break wrists and get concussions. If it''s the other way, and you fall backward, you can get a concussion, break wrists or arms, or break your tailbone. The good news about snowboarding is that once you put in your time falling for a few days or a week, you will begin to improve rapidly. You can become a good snowboarder fairly quickly, and once you''re past the falling stage, people seem to agree that it''s somewhat easier on your body than skiing is.

    I ski a ton, and I always see new skiers/snowboarders without proper protective gear. Please, please, please wear a helmet. I have had several friends whose lives were saved because they were wearing helmets when they had a bad ski accident. You don''t have to be going fast to get a serious head injury. If you are snowboarding, please wear wrist guards/braces. One of my friends got these hilarious padded shorts (they might be for hockey?) and wore those for a few days to minimize the impact on her tailbone.

    If you have any other specific questions, feel free to ask me!
     
  15. April20
    Ideal_Rock

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    by April20 » Jan 10, 2010
    I''ve never had a problem in powder with my snowblades, but I''m really used to them.
     
  16. meresal
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    by meresal » Jan 10, 2010
    MissB- "tiny threadjack"

    Our family actually preffered when Deer Valley and the alike when they didn't allow snowboarding. It is why we chose to travel from Texas to Utah for top quality skiing, instead of stopping in Colorado. As a person that prefers skiing, there is a complete difference in the way each of them are done. Boards move much faster and in order to not fly down the slope, they have to move almost completely across the slope and back, both of which can be very annoying for skiers.

    I also think that skiers can be annoying to boarders... "slow" would be the consensus I assume. However, if more boarders could spend more time on the blacks, they would realize we aren't so bad. [​IMG] It just doesn't meld well, when boarders want to fly down the mountian on slopes that are not full of really good skiers, "Blues".

    Whenever I go to Colorado, I stick almost completely to bowls and blacks in order to stay away from as many boarders as possible.
     
  17. yssie
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    by yssie » Jan 10, 2010
    Pretty much everyone in FI''s family skis or snowboards too [​IMG] The closest anyone in my family has got to that is ice skating.


    FI''s kees are disaster areas so when we go he''ll probably snowboard, and he''ll teach me [​IMG]
     
  18. vespergirl
    Ideal_Rock

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    by vespergirl » Jan 10, 2010
    Snowboarding! I''ve done it since I was 16, but I''ve never tried skiing. Now that I have a 3 yo & a husband that''s never been on a mountain, I may try skiing though next year as a family - so we''ll all be beginners together.
     
  19. cara
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    by cara » Jan 10, 2010
    The first 1-2 times you snowboard will be brutal (lots of landing on bum) so brace yourself! but after that, the learning curve is steeper meaning you will be able to improve faster than on skis - at least this has been my average observation. There is also just less stuff with snowboarding - no poles, one board not two skis, and the board doesn''t come off your feet when you fall. So there is less of the yardsale phenomena when boarding with your poles and skis scattered across the slopes and your friends dispatched to pick them up and help you right yourself.

    Some people don''t like the idea of not being able to independently move their legs. Some people like that their knees are less likely to be injured snowboarding (but their wrists/arms are as they catch themselves on a fall.) Some places are no fun to be boarding - places with lots of flat traverses or ''east coast conditions'' with ice under a thin snow layer - the boarders often just end up scraping all the snow off the mountain making it less fun for everyone. Some heavy powder conditions are actually easier on snowboards than on (non-powder) skis. Some people like the more ''regular'' stance of a skier and like having poles for the hands to use and that kind of stuff - so at some level its all personal preference plus your background.

    Anyway, good for you to try the other sport, but you do have to try to bear through the incompetent stage for a couple days no matter which snowsport you choose to focus on. Your brain will click on at some point if you can stick it out, I promise. Make sure your boots fit well, wear lots of padding on your bum, and hopefully you''ll figure it out sooner rather than later. Also, I would try to just sign up for a beginner lesson with other beginners and get rid of your husband at first. He can give you pointers later, but at the beginning, for me, it would be better to just be with other beginners and an instructor that does this all the time and doesn''t know me from anyone else. Have fun!
     
  20. Bella_mezzo
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    by Bella_mezzo » Jan 10, 2010
    falling sucks, no two ways about it. I''m a skiier, but plan to try snowboarding next tie I go. When I was learning to ski I would unhook my skis when I fell to help me get up, it makes it a lot easier...I had one two many incidents of siding down the hill sideways while trying to stand up[​IMG] I say try each and see what you like. I is supposed to be much harder to stand back up on snowboards, but oncd you''ve got it I''ve heard it''s really fun!
     
  21. Blackpaw
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    by Blackpaw » Jan 10, 2010
    Ell_chris, D&T et al are right...snowboarding is harder to learn in the beginning, but is easier to get good at...skiing is easier to learn in the beginning, but harder to get good at.

    Lifts are definitely easier to get off in skis [​IMG]

    If you find getting up on skis difficult, a snowboard does allow you to face the hill and push up from on your knees, which is easier...but getting up repeatedly after falling does get tiring, no matter how you do it...

    i live in a ''resort'' town so at the moment im on the hill every weekend (including today!)....i snowboard and havent tried skiing but would like to.

    I would perhaps look to the mountains you intend to go to for which you try...as was mentioned the terrain can sometimes suit one or the other.

    Good luck PO [​IMG] and dont worry, you''ll get the hang of it eventually [​IMG]
     
  22. Po10472
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    by Po10472 » Jan 10, 2010
    Thanks for all your detaled responses folks. I can see that learning to do either involves lots of falling and a lot of frustration and perseverance in the outset.

    What I did find strange is that at the snowzone you need 6 hours of instructor training and your card signed off before you''re allowed on the slope and you get taught on ski''s without poles so you have to learn to get up with your skis on and without any extra help.

    I''m going to give boarding a try in the next few months and do the weekend course which is 7 hours instructor training over 2 days. If this blows, then I''ll go back to skiing again. I''m determined to do one or the other cos my wee nieces are all under 10 and fabulous skiers and they have lots of fun so I feel like I''m missing out in not going.

    Oh, and I think you are all right about the input from an instructor. The instructor at my first lesson was hopeless, he wasn''t really interested and didn''t give me tips, I had to ask him about what side of my foot I use etc., so maybe that will make a difference on my next trip.

    I live in Scotland so we''ve got lots of skiing here and if I get any better, we may next year, go across to Andorra or Austia or go visit my cousin in Switzerland.
     
  23. pennquaker09
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    by pennquaker09 » Jan 11, 2010
    I think I prefer boarding to skiing, I find that I''m better at it. Like everyone has said, you fall a lot in the beginning, but once you get through your falling stage you get much better.

    We''re going on our trip at the end of the month, I''m so excited!
     
  24. treefrog
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    by treefrog » Jan 11, 2010
    Skiing all the way for me! I''ve never tried snowboarding.

    So they want you to learn to ski without using poles??? Why not blindfold you too? That''s like telling a med student to practice surgery skills but telling them not to use a scalpel. [​IMG] Watch any ski race. They use ski poles. Everybody.

    With skis, if the skis aren''t parallel to each other when you try to get up... and you start moving, things can get complicated as the tips get further and further apart. I have no idea how to tell you to get up without poles. I suspect it will take a good amount of leg and ab strength. In addition to using those muscles to get up, at the same time, you have to manage your skis, keeping them from moving, keeping them parallel, and keeping them perpindicular to the slope (pointed across, not down). All I can suggest is that you can practice at home. Wax a hardwood floor, put on cotton socks, get your butt on the floor, legs in front of you, and upper body upright. Now practice getting upright! [​IMG] Ok, seriously don''t wax the floor, you can try just getting up from that position.

    With a snowboard, you have to get up like that everytime you get off the lift, without poles. At least your board can''t point in two different directions. But you''ll be getting up like that a lot. At least with skis, I have poles to help and when you get to the point where you seldom fall, this doesn''t even matter... unlike snowboarding.

    So... my advice is to practice on the floor at home before you go back.


    Treefrog
     
  25. zipzapgirl
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    by zipzapgirl » Jan 11, 2010
    Skiing all the way for me.

    You might want to consider what your friends and family are doing in the snowboarding vs. skiing arena too. Like someone else mentioned, it will affect what kinds of runs they want to take, how they get on the lifts, and all kinds of little things (willingness to take flatter runs, having to "skate", ie. basically pull yourself uphill, etc.) that might making mountain time with them more or less enjoyable. As someone mentioned above, sometimes snowboarders have a tendency to scrape the snow down to the ice, so there are some resorts that do not allow snowboarders.

    There''s also definitely a different culture around the two sports, so that might play into your decision as well. There''s room for everyone on the mountain though [​IMG]

    Treefrog, if I''m not mistaken, they make all kids start ski school without poles. I always understood that you don''t really need them for skiing itself in the beginning until you start turning steeper slopes. Actually, if you do snowball down the mountain, it''s easier to only need to retrieve the skis, and not the poles too! [​IMG]
     
  26. Porridge
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    by Porridge » Jan 11, 2010
    I'm a skiier! I tried snowboarding once or twice but I got frustrated being stuck on the baby-slopes getting winded every 30 seconds when I could have been flying around the top of the mountains! I fell WAY more on a snowboard, I found it harder to get up, and it HURT! It's so hard to switch!

    ETA Treefrog actually many instructors teach without poles first! That's how I learned (although I was 6). But poles require a technique all of their own, they're not just there to lean on. I think that's why many instructors don't use them straight away, so as not to let students get into the habit of using them just for support.
     
  27. treefrog
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    by treefrog » Jan 11, 2010
    I was afraid somebody was going to say that. Maybe the assumption is that the instructor will help the student up and the student can only worry about managing the skis and not have to worry about what 4 extremeties are doing. I''m self-taught so I didn''t know they teach that way. I know children ski without poles. It''s amazing to watch some of the young kids ski.

    I''ve had my share of "yard sales" while learning and I''ve hiked up many times to retrieve my hat, goggles, skis, and poles. Truly 2 less items to have to find! [​IMG]

    Po, hang in there. Learning is tough but skiing is fun.

    Treefrog
     
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