To Ski Or Snowboard
Posted: Wednesday, February 01, 2012
To Ski Or Snowboard, that is the question. Everyone will tell you what they prefer, and what's "better" but for the beginner, it can be hard to come by useful and unbiased information.
As someone who is by no means an expert in either discipline, but has spent enough time on both... I hope to give those who are new to the snow some much needed information to help with your own decision when you hit the slopes.
The skiing and snowboarding scene can be elitist at the best of times. Relying on opinions and marketing hype won't necessarily lead to the best choices. The best thing you can do is arm yourself with truthful information before making a decision.
A trip to the mountains is never a cheap undertaking, and the primary focus should always be fun, so lets make sure you get on the right device to maximize your investment, and level of enjoyment!
We've all seen Sean White launch unbelievable tricks, with impeccable precision and style. He almost makes it look too easy! For most beginners, that's an inspiring image to work towards... but in reality, it takes most people at least a few days to learn how get down the gentlest slopes without falling over, lots.
Snowboarding requires fine edge control. Usually starting with the heel edge. By digging the heel edge of the board into the snow, while facing forward you control your breaking. The same applies to the toe edge. Once you've mastered both sides, you can start working on "linking turns" - going from toe to heel edge in succession.
This may sound simple enough, but it actually takes about 2 or more days of trial and error (and lots of falling) before a snowboarding newcomer starts getting proficient at this. So, if your planning a longer holiday, and hope to pack lots of time on the snow into your trip, you may be carving hard by the end...
Snowboards can also be a little tricky on flat sections of the mountian. There's no built in propulsion mechanism on a snowboard, so if you run out of hill, you need to un-clip and push, or walk the rest of the way. This happens quite often for beginners... when you don't know the mountain and your not confident at high speeds... you run out of steam.
Skis have been around a lot longer than snowboards. This is one of the reasons you see many middle-aged and older people on skis over snowboards... they learned how to do it a long time ago. Skiing has a more natural stance for most people. You're facing forward most of the time with your legs together. There's an old adage "if you can walk you can ski".
Starting out on skis can be a lot easier and less frustrating for some beginners. Balancing is easier, and it's more comfortable to go a little faster.
There's no getting stuck on flat sections, because you have poles to push along with if you run out of steam. And getting on and off lifts is a little simpler too.
But becoming very proficient at skiing is a long journey... it's more technical, and there's more to worry about in terms of technique.
Why Not Try It All
It's a great idea, if you have the time to spend at least a few days on each. This is the best way to determine what you like better yourself. And you may be pleasantly surprised with what you end up choosing! It's also a great idea to get a lesson, this will improve your learning greatly.
Whatever you choose to do, the most important thing is to have fun and be safe!
Coming To Whistler?
We have some great deals for Ski and Snowboard rentals combined with great accommodation for awesome value.
Contact our friendly concierge team to make a booking.