The market for winter sports equipment is worth over $32 billion. Skiing accounts for 2/5 of the market, but snowboarding is growing at the highest rate of 9.1%.
There are several reasons an athlete may prefer one or the other, including cost, equipment, and safety. Choosing the right one before you go up the mountain will help you have the best experience going down.
Read our ski vs. snowboard comparison guide to learn the differences between these two sports.
If you’re a first-time skier, you’ll need to rent or buy a full set of gear. This includes:
- A pair of skis
Your skis may come with the bindings already connected and fitted. This is the same for snowboards.
Beginner skiers should choose shorter, thinner skis. They’ll be easier to navigate on your first try.
If you’re snowboarding for the first time, try to choose a solid board that matches your body weight. You should also look for an all-mountain board that can handle any mountain slope you may want to try.
Always dress in layers before you go on the slopes. There’s not much difference between ski vs. snowboard clothes, but it’s important to make sure you layer up to keep yourself safe and warm.
Make sure you have clothes such as:
- Long underwear
- Silk, wool, or polyester clothes
- Wool sweaters
- Snow or snowboarding jacket
- Special snowboarding socks
A helmet can reduce your risk of head injuries by 44%, and it should have liners and ear pads to keep you warm. Wear ski goggles on days when there are intense winds or snowfall and sunglasses on all your other treks.
Learning to Ski vs. Snowboard
Practice is the key to going from falling in the snow to conquering a steep slope, and it requires a great deal of dedication and energy. If you have an idea of how to start and how you can develop from there, you can decide which one is worth your effort.
One of the most important parts of skiing or snowboarding down a mountain slope is shifting your weight. It’s what helps you get around turns and control your speed.
Skiiers need to start by learning about what’s called the snowplow, pizza, or wedge, depending on who you ask. It involves making a wedge shape with your skis by pushing the tips together in a triangle.
The most basic snowboarding movement is known as skating. Use your back foot to push on the fat ground while your front foot is strapped to the front binding, then glide along a gentle slope. Keep your back foot free while resting it on the board.
The initial learning curve for skiing isn’t difficult because it resembles walking. Put on a pair of skis with your legs apart in a straight-on stance.
You’ll soon be able to balance and go down small slopes, but you’ll fall plenty of times in your first weeks. You’ll need to get used to:
- Wedged turning
- Using ski lifts
- How your weight affects your skis
Snowboarding is more difficult to pick up in the beginning. You’ll need to spend more time learning to stay on your feet, stopping, and turning. There are more advanced skills you can add once you’re comfortable.
The gear for both of the most popular winter sports is relatively similar in price, but you’ll need a bit more money for skiing.
Ski clothes are tighter while snowboarding is baggier. You can wear them almost interchangeably to save money.
Snowboarding and skiing are relatively safe. The chance of getting a catastrophic industry is less than one in a million.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t risks. Snowboarders are 50-70% more likely to sustain injuries than skiers, but skiers are more likely to sustain fatal injuries.
Deciding which one is safer for you depends on your current health. Snowboarding requires a better range of motion and level of fitness than skiing. It may be the better choice for those who aren’t as fit yet.
The health benefits of using a ski vs. snowboard are similar because they both provide an outdoor workout in the snow. They differ in other ways such as what parts of the body they use, and choosing one depends on what type of benefits you’re looking for.
Benefits of Snowboarding
There are many health-based reasons to snowboard. It can boost your mental health by releasing endorphins. Exercising in the outdoors increases the effect.
Snowboarding is also a way to improve the health of your entire body. It works the muscles in your calves, quads, and core while giving you a cardio workout that improves the health of your heart. It also increases your flexibility and balance.
Learning to snowboard can boost your confidence as you improve. You can also develop bonds with others who enjoy the sport.
Benefits of Skiing
The health benefits of skiing are massive. The workout is a wonderful mood boost and an even better boost for your cardiovascular health because of the calories it burns.
Skiing strengthens the body, but especially the lower body. It activates the:
- Gluteus maximus
- Ankles and feet
Balancing on your skis will also improve your flexibility and range of motion. It reduces the risk of strains and sprains by strengthening your bones and joints while improving your core strength.
How to Choose to Ski vs. Snowboard
Choosing the right winter sport for you involves comparing what it takes to ski vs. snowboard. They both require similar gear and clothing. What sets them apart is what happens once you get it all up to the mountain.
Mastering the basics of skiing is easier, but it’s harder to develop after that. Snowboarding takes longer to get into but offers more tricks and techniques to learn. They’re worth the effort because they both offer a mood-boosting workout that strengthens your body.
Norski Sports Rental has the gear you need for your favorite winter sports. Contact us today.