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Skiing vs Snowboarding for Beginners

You’re headed for the slopes for your first time!? Oh, man, are we excited for you! Skiing and snowboarding can be one of the most fun things you do – like, ever. But we know you are new to this so it can seem a little daunting. Who’s to choose in skiing vs snowboarding for beginners? But don’t worry – we’re here to help.

Probably the first question on your mind is: “Should I try to ski first or snowboard first?” This is something that we all have to think about the first time we approach the snow and there are certain things to consider with both options. So, let’s take a look at skiing vs snowboarding for beginners here and see if we can’t come up with the better option for you.

Skiing vs Snowboarding for Beginners

Skiing vs Snowboarding for Beginners


Skiing is the act of gliding on snow on a pair of long narrow piece of wood, metal, or plastic that curve upward slightly in front (Dictionaries aren’t rad). Skiing is often taught to children and newbies as an introductory course to moving downhill on the snow. But there are certain aspects of skiing that make it easy and some that make it more difficult, as with learning nearly anything. So, let’s explore some characteristics of skiing that you might like and not like to decide some skiing vs snowboarding for beginners ideas.

What Makes Skiing Easy

A few of the facets of skiing that make it an easy way to learn to get down the mountain are:

  • Freedom to Move Your Feet: With skiing, your feet are separated so that you don’t feel restricted. If you are feeling like you are starting to fall, you can pick one foot up independently of the other to try to get your balance back. It simply feels more natural to have your two feet separated onto two skis instead of one because you like your life being able to move both your feet.
  • Standing Facing Forward: When you ski, you face forward and travel in the same direction (hopefully). Obviously, you spend a lot of time moving forward while facing forward during other activities so this feels natural. You are looking straight ahead, travelling straight ahead, and feel balanced moving this way. Additionally, you should feel like you have a full range of view of what is directly in front of you and in your peripherals as you head down the mountain.

What Makes Skiing Hard

Even though there are a lot of things that make skiing simple to learn, there are still some difficulties that you must overcome to earn your learner’s permit. Some of these things are:

  • Coordinating Two Feet at Once: “With great power comes great responsibility,” right? Well, having the option to move both your feet independent of each other can be seen as both a blessing and a curse. It does make it easier to regain your balance after losing it but it also makes you more susceptible to losing your balance in the first place. It can be quite difficult to figure out how to coordinate both legs at once for smooth riding whereas snowboarding does not have this problem.

  • Requires Leg Strength: Compared to snowboarding, skiing takes more leg strength. Riding straight, turning, and stopping all primarily require you use your legs to create the necessary forces for performing your maneuvers. This can be a problem for some people if they feel like they are tiring out quickly and having to rest frequently. Not only does that take you off the mountain while you are resting but the fatigue itself will affect your ability to enjoy your skiing even while you are trying to learn by making you weaker as you work.

Check out our Best Exercises for Skiing article!

Skiing vs Snowboarding for Beginners


Snowboarding is the act of gliding on snow on a board resembling one wide ski to which both feet are secured with the rider travelling in a sidelong fashion (Dictionaries still aren’t rad). With snowboarding, there is a lot of potential for growth once you get the basics down. As with the process for learning anything, you’ll see some difficulties along the way but we would encourage you not to give up. Let’s see why snowboarding is easy in some ways but more difficult in others and how it stacks up in our skiing vs snowboarding for beginners debate.

What Makes Snowboarding Easy

Snowboarding is easy in a lot of ways that make it a friendlier feel for those new to the slopes. Some characteristics of snowboarding that make it easy are:

  • One Board, One Problem: A big problem with learning to ski is the fact that you have to figure out how to maintain control of two skis at the same time. Snowboarding doesn’t have this issue since it uses a monoski. When you snowboard, you only have one board to worry about. This helps your brain figure out what it needs to do to keep you from falling since there is really only one item beneath you to keep track of.
  • A Smoother Feeling: A snowboard has two edges. A pair of skis has four. The debate on two versus four edges rages on but one thing is clear: Two edges has a smoother feel. Not only do you have to manage half as many edges as you ride along but you also run into less disturbance with the snow on two edges. Additionally, those who skateboard or surfboard will tell you about the similar feeling that riding sidelong gives to them. It simply feels smooth and graceful and can be one of the better feelings you’ll ever experience in your life. Getting this smooth feeling can become encouraging and more fun as you learn, getting you up onto your board more often and getting you more practice naturally.

What Makes Snowboarding Hard

However, there are still pitfalls that you have to watch out for if you go snowboarding. Some of these difficulties include:

  • Two Different Turning Techniques: Turning on a snowboard isn’t entirely straightforward (no pun intended). In fact, turning to your backside and turning to your frontside are completely different feelings. Both turns require you to tip up onto the edge of the board so that the board can cut into the snow. However, turning backside requires you to sort of sit down into the turn whereas turning frontside gives you the sensation of falling flat on your face the first time you do it. Both turns take some getting used to since they make you feel like you are going to fall down but are obviously necessary to get down the mountain.

  • Restricted Feet: For some, the feeling of having both feet bound into one board feels extremely alien. It’s possible that some people have literally never had both their feet attached to the same item at the same time and this is a sort of mental hurdle for these people. You’ll find that the first time you start to fall, you will naturally try to step off your board to catch yourself – but you can’t. Timber! Accordingly, some people hate this feeling because it takes some getting used to.

So Which is Right for You?

Ultimately, we recommend that you try out whichever option appeals to you more in the “skiing vs snowboarding for beginners” battle. Both styles are very rewarding once you get the basics down and will get you really excited to return to the mountain the next day for your next adventure. There are things about both sports that you’ll see as simple or difficult depending on your preferences and abilities with the two options. But, nevertheless, the right choice will provide you with a snowload of fun. Skiing vs snowboarding for beginners boils down to you as an individual and your own choices but we guarantee you either choice will entertain you mightily.


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