Skiing vs Snowboarding – How to Decide

For regulars this question doesn’t pose much of a problem. However for beginners there is a constant fear of unstrapping of legs and avoiding the lifts that carry us to those edges. Winter has already begun and it gives us a chance to acquaint ourselves with two of the best pastimes during this season, skiing and snowboarding. The two are a lot similar since both involve downhill movement and are equally in fun and full of excitement.  On most of the slopes, you will find more of skiers than boarders but on lower slopes some people like to take it easy (may be on the initial days!) and start with boarding and subsequently, when their legs are ready, opt for skiing. The difference in snow conditions also act as deciding factors in choosing between skiing and boarding. If your mind is still juggling with the question on what to go for during this winter, especially in resorts where the quality of snow is good for both skiing as well as boarding, we have listed some useful information on this page. Starting with the basics, skiing and snowboarding are ways of movement over snow and with boards attached to the feet; practiced mostly as recreation or sport. Skiing is a kind of sport that uses a pair of skis to travel over snow. The skis are bound to boots, and the progress in movement is achieved by moving one foot at a time. On the other hand, snowboarding involves traveling on snow on a single snowboard attached to boots. Not convinced yet? Let’s have a bullet point comparison between the two sports:


  • Boarding involves riders to constantly sit and remain on edge while they are stationary. In contrast to skiing, you will not have poles to help you during motion and also while you are standing upright.
  • For skiing, the thumb is used to gain movement from the poles. The knees and the muscles around them should be healthy since 45% of skiers complain of knee injuries if adequate precautions are not taken. Snowboarding is however comparatively easier on the knees than skiing. Knee injuries are a rare occurrence during snowboarding which can be a bit cruel on your wrists though with 40% of all boarders complaining of wrist pain and injuries again if they don’t act cautious. This asks for extra wrist protection during boarding.
  • The quality of snow, as mentioned above, can also determine what to go for on a particular slope. Boards work nicely in powder snow and crud while skis are better enjoyed on bumps and on hard ice packed slopes.
  • Since there are no poles to provide extra support, getting up after a fall on a snowboard is a skill in itself but with practice it gets easier and faster than having to put your stuff together again after falling on skis.


If you’re just looking for more speed to get that extra rush of adrenaline, you may be surprised to know that given a skier and boarder of equal ability, skiing beats snowboarding virtually each time in terms of velocity of movement. The explanation for this can be found in elementary physics books but we’ll avoid to bore you with academic notions and, instead, focus on helping you to make the right choice in winter sports! For the rest of you who might be interested, however, we will briefly mention here the various styles used during skiing and boarding. Skiing primarily consists is of two main types, Telemark Alpine or Downhill skiing  and in snowboarding a person faces sideways, perpendicular to the direction of movement and is done in many styles such as Jibbing, Free riding and dry slope boarding which are used for recreational as well as in professional snowboarding.

Watch this video which demonstrates some of the extreme skiing and snowboarding techniques and then…choose!