Skiing and snowboarding are both very popular sports, and both are a lot of fun. If you're thinking of taking up one of these great winter sports, but can't decide which to do, we're here to help you with our skiing and snowboarding comparison...
History of Skiing
The organised sport of alpine ski racing began in Australia and America, with the first recreational ski club being started in Kiandra in Australia in 1861. This was also the location of the first documented international downhill carnival. However, the true origins of skiing can be traced much further back in time than that. In Nanortalik, Greenland, a primitive 85cm long wooden ski was found, dating back to 1010. Going back even earlier, the very first primitive ski, dating back to sometime around 2500 to 4500 BC, was found in a peat bog in Hoting, Sweden. There are, however, carvings in Norway dating back to about 5000 BC which show a skier with one pole.
History of Snowboarding
Snowboarding is much newer and started in the 1920s with men and boys tying wooden planks to their feet. However, modern snowboarding did not begin until 1965, when engineer Sherman Poppen tied two skis together for his daughter. It was originally called the “snurfer”, and became so popular that he licensed it to a manufacturer. Over the following decade, about a million of them were sold. Poppen began organising snurfing competitions in the 1970s, and popularity for the sport grew throughout the '70s, '80s and '90s. In 2004 there were 6.6 million snowboarders, and throughout the 21st century the sport is still increasing in popularity.
Which Is Quicker To Learn?
In general skiing is easier to pick up quickly for all ages and skill levels as it involves independent leg movement, like walking. In most cases, snowboarding has a steeper learning curve and people tend to spend the first several days falling over, as it isn't as natural to have both of your legs strapped in one place. But once you've got to grips with the basics, snowboarding is said to be easier to master than skiing. It also depends on whether you are already a surfer or skateboarder, if you are keen in either of these sports, you may find it very easy to pick up snowboarding, compared to someone that doesn't skateboard or surf.
Ease of Mountain Access
Skiers tend to have better access to ski runs. This is partly because some resorts were created specifically for skiers, and partly because some resorts just evolved to be better for skiers. Here are some common situations where skiers have it betters than snowboarders: • Riding the T-Bar – this can be a bit more awkward on a snowboard than on skis. • Moguls – it is much easier to weave in and out of the moguls on skis than on a snowboard. • Flat Sections – moving swiftly along flat areas is easier on skis with the use of the poles.
Which is 'Cooler'
Of course, it depends what your reasons for taking up a sport are, but there’s no denying that snowboarding has a certain coolness to it that skiing just doesn’t have. Snowboarding is the snow version of surfing, so it’s got that surfer dude attitude to it, but with more clothes on! What are your thoughts? Do you prefer skiing or snowboarding?