Ever since snowboarding evolved from the 90’s skate scene into the Olympic sport it is today, there has been a battle going on between skiers and boarders. So – who is best? We wanted to find out! We compiled this list for you to make your own mind up:
- 1) Moguls – For those that don’t know, moguls are the bumps you find on many ski slopes. They tend to appear on steeper slopes, where the piste-basher (snow ploughs) cannot get down overnight to smooth the run out. Snowboarders generally find moguls harder than skiers, due to the boards’ large turning circle. Expert skiers can nip in and out of the bumpy runs with ease, whereas boarders tend to slip-slide down them to get to the wide open piste or freestyle park. WINNER: Skiers
- 2) Coolness – Skiers still suffer from a slightly dowdy image compared to their younger cooler boarding cousins. Snowboarding has only been around for a few decades, whereas skiing is a hundred years older. Snowboarding has its roots in the naturally cool sports of surfing and skateboarding, whereas skiing evolved from a traditional alpine heritage. The baggy fashions of snowboarders tend to naturally ooze cool, but many skiers wear similar clobber these days. Overall though, boarders have the cool edge. WINNER: Snowboarders
- 3) Freestyle – Many skiers and snowboarders love to freestyle. Freestyle is when you use jumps and objects to do jumps, spins and tricks in the air, as opposed to the regular turns and carving that goes on normally. In a way, the whole snowboard scene is centred on freestyling, and especially the half pipe. In an average resort, you’ll always see a hard-core of boarders gathering around the freestyle park, egging each other on to more 360’s (1 spin in the air) or even 720’s (2 spins in the air). WINNER: Snowboarders
- 4) Off-Piste – One of Alpine Sports’ great pleasures is the glorious large carved turns when you have gone off-piste. Off-piste is simply when you deviate from the regular, patrolled runs and go off un-combed trails. To ski or board in the powder you can find there can be so exhilarating. The main difference between skiing and boarding powder is that in order to access the off-piste areas, you sometimes need to trek to get there. This is often easier in snow board boots! WINNER: Snowboarders
- 5) Ease of Learning – A writer on the Guardian describes the process of learning to ski.. He says that “Once you've got the hang of the snowplough turn, usually on the first or second day, you're capable of skiing around the whole mountain, as long as it's not too steep.” On the other hand, he admits that “learning to snowboard is a long and bruising process”. Personally, I found boarding to be much harder on the leg muscles than skiing ever was.
- 6) Lingo – Snowboarding, being the cooler cousin of the two, has brought in Californian surfer slang into Alpine sports; words like “gnarly”, “sick” and “rad” have entered both the skiers and the snowboarders lexicon. Yet it’s still boarding that it leading the way with new slang terms; it’s only natural for the cooler younger brother of skiing. WINNER: Snowboarding
So the winner is? Well according to our very unscientific study, snowboarding wins 4:2!
Our overall verdict, if you are thinking of going to a winter resort this season, and are curious to try either skiing or boarding - is to spend a couple of days trying both, and see which one you like the best.