For those who are just about to get up on a snowboard or…
To make it easier for you to make your choice, I will list the pros and cons of skis and snowboards, their strengths and weaknesses, and based on the above, you can decide what suits you best. It is perhaps best to start with the most important thing for a beginner: what is the hardest thing to learn?
Learning to ride a board is much more difficult than skiing - before snowboarding, I used skis for several years, and I can compare from my own experience. When I “got up” on skis, a year later I was already quite confidently sliding down a decent hill, although I chose to ski just a few times during the season. After 2 years I was already “chasing” with might and main, and after 3 years I started trying to jump on small jumps. At the moment, I have been skiing for several years, but only recently have I crossed the level of confidence in controlling sports equipment that I had when I was skiing.
Driving a snowboard is not only more difficult, but more muscles are involved in this - control occurs not only with the position of the whole body and the efforts of the muscles of the hips, but also the calves and even the feet are very tense (pressing force of the toe / heel). There is nothing like this for skiers.
And in general, if the first few slopes for skiers are difficult, and it’s funny to watch how they, without the ability to “turn over”, ride from the edge of the track to the edge, they fall there and, in this way, “turn over” (to turn over - to change direction), then novice snowboarders look even funnier: since learning to “turn” on the board is not only difficult, but also painful (see next paragraph), snowboarders get stuck for a long time in the “safe” version of the descent on the “rear edge”, uselessly and sadly scraping snow from the slope , for which skiers send them eternal curses on their heads (about the legendary hostility of skiers and snowboarders will be below).
Getting on the snowboard, for starters, I immediately hit my ass very hard a couple of times. On skis, I have never experienced such pain during any falls (it burns inside in the ass as if you are about to crap yourself, I apologize for the natural details). After all, it’s like skiing - everything is simple: you fell, the skis unfastened themselves and you roll “calmly” along the slope. If you fall on the board, then, most often, and especially at the beginning, until you know how to set the desired angle of cutting the edge of the board into the snow - this means “catching” the front or rear “edge”: you crash sharply flat with your whole body or forward with your nose, or back ass. In both cases, it hurts a lot. And only after a year or two, having learned to feel the snow, the board and his body, the average snowboarder begins to ride confidently.
But in any case and with any experience, on the board, injuries are very dangerous, because if you “catch an edge” at speed, it will be tin and fractures. On the other hand, after a year or two, snowboarders involuntarily develop a special skill of safe falls, when, having slightly lost their balance, they can fall, roll over once or even several times, and then, quite calmly, without any consequences, again stand on the board. and without any pauses go further down the slope. When I saw this for the first time, sitting on the edge of the track and rubbing once again a badly bruised ass, my jaw just dropped from amazement: “How so ?! The dude tumbled over his head 2 times and immediately drove on. Wasn't he in pain?!" A year later, I myself was already riding and falling in the same way - controlled and without consequences.
P.S. Here, by the way, I’ll specifically note that due to regular falls on a snowboard, especially at first, it’s a must to buy “priest protection”. The doctor strongly recommends to everyone - must have. You can also “protect your wrists” at the same time - it can also come in handy, although all this is not a panacea, of course, but still.
Skiers, despite the safer type of sports equipment, eventually begin to abuse speed that does not correspond to their skills, and in case of mistakes at high speed, their injuries are no less dangerous than those of snowboarders.
Summarising the above first two points: skis get a point for simplicity and speed of learning; in terms of injury risk - at the beginning of injuries, snowboarders have more injuries, but then skiers break ahead, abusing speed that does not correspond to experience, therefore - evenly.
Firstly, how uncomfortable ski "space" boots are, both during their long putting on / tightening, and in subsequent "wooden" movements to the lift and back or, for example, in a cafe on the mountain, snowboarding is so convenient, simple and incredibly comfortable shoes. In that sense, all skiers look at snowboarders with ill-concealed envy.
Secondly, the board, in comparison with skis, is simply ideally suited for transportation -: a snowboard can be carried on the side, easily holding with one hand, or, holding the bindings with both hands, you can throw the board over your head or behind your back; fasten to a backpack or tiredly drag / drag behind you, with one hand grabbing the rear contour / fastening bracket, finally. For skiers, skis and poles always tend to get lost or fall out, they are inconvenient to hold and carry. And in general, 4 items against one - what other questions can there be?
Snowboarders can easily and naturally sit down on any part of the slope and relax at any time - it is easy for them to do this, while the posture is natural and comfortable. Skiers on the slope can only fall on their side - here they have a minus. On the other hand, near the turnstile at the ski lift, it is convenient for skiers to stand in line, leaning on sticks, and snowboarders jump funny if they do not unfasten one leg. And even having “knocked out” one leg, all the same, all the lifts (except for the booths, of course) for beginner snowboarders are just a hell of a test.
On the yoke, snowboarders have to ride on one “edge” for a very long time and their legs get pretty numb, especially if the climb is long, while skiers simply and naturally roll, putting the yoke between their legs (a beginner snowboarder will not learn to turn over on the yoke soon). On the other hand, if the snowboarder has already fallen off the yoke, then it will be quite easy for him to go down the narrow “technical” track along the lift using a primitive “rear edge”. A skier can also manage to fall off the yoke, of course, but only if he is completely inexperienced, and then he, the poor fellow, will most likely have to walk on foot either uphill or down, because a novice skier will certainly not be able to successfully slide down under any circumstances. to the lower lift station, because in the "plow" he will not be able to control the speed on steep sections of the descent, and there is no place to turn over, most often, on narrow "technical" routes.
On the chair lift, snowboarders also face a difficult test, unlike skiers. If skiers simply, without unfastening anything, sit on a chair and get off it at the upper station, then snowboarders need to unfasten one leg at the beginning, and then in the final, getting up from the chair, with only one leg fastened, try to drive off to a safe distance from the zone congress of arrivals. As a rule, in the first year, very few people succeed in this maneuver normally.
And, finally, if there is a long “roll-out” somewhere on the mountain, then any skier is able to overcome it without any tension by “skating” or pushing off with sticks, and snowboarders will have to “quilt” and drape on foot.
Also extremely inconvenient for snowboarders are long narrow gentle slopes, on which skiers calmly glide, melancholy looking at the surrounding landscape, and snowboarders puff intently on “one edge”, praying to God not to stop, as it will be difficult for them to pick up speed in a new way. If, on such a track, a snowboarder stumbles or stops for another reason, then he will have no choice but, as I already mentioned, to walk to the next normal slope - this is extremely inconvenient.
On the other hand, in difficult cases, when the terrain is too steep and narrow for “edging”, or, for example, too “mogul” (bumpy), skiers with little experience in skiing will find it extremely inconvenient to descend in such cases, while any snowboarder here but he will descend easily and naturally, using again the simplest and most primitive method of “back edge”.
And since we are talking about difficult reliefs, we need to clarify one more question. Most snowboarders ride on classic all-purpose boards, which are about equally comfortable on the track, on the “powder” outside the “velveteen” (freeride), and on the jumps. There are specialized boards with different profiles, shapes and stiffness for downhill (carving), freeride, freestyle and jibbing, but these are perversions of experienced athletes with a level clearly above average. But skiers, even beginners, have 2 main types of skis - regular skis for knurled tracks and wider ones for freeride, and how good each of them is in their element, they are just as uncomfortable in another.
The conclusion here is not obvious. On the one hand, in difficult conditions it is more convenient on the board, the board is more versatile and it is more convenient for snowboarders to relax on the slope. On the other hand, long roll-outs and gentle slopes are quite common cases, and this is where skis confidently win. The final advantage in this part of the comparison brings the convenience and ease of use of drag and chair lifts to skis, therefore, after some thought, I still give the score at this point to skis.
The cost of equipment is about the same, although for skiers the price tag may end up a little higher simply because they need to buy more items in the aggregate. Thus, with a slight margin, in general, skis still win.
Snowboarders dislike skiers because they run at high speeds, often inconsistent with their experience. In addition, skiers, turning over, as a rule, in the same place, by the end of the day, especially after a snowfall, roll up huge mogul snowdrifts on the track.
On the other hand, skiers don't like novice snowboarders who stupidly scrape the snow off the slope with their meaningless "back edge" (really, use at least a "herringbone"). Besides, skiers don't like snowboarders always sitting on the slope...
And there is a clear logical explanation for the last fact: snowboarders, while descending, get tired, near the lift they jump uncomfortable on the board - get tired, climb - get tired, while skiers strain only directly during the descent itself, and at all other stages are almost resting. In any case, it is inconvenient for a skier to wallow on a slope, since they can only do it sideways, so skiers rest standing either at the bottom, near the lift, or at the top - and rightly so. It is most convenient for snowboarders to rest while sitting on a slope. Another thing is that it is recommended to do this even then at the very top near the top or at the very edge of the track, so as not to disturb anyone, but many teapots cannot learn this simple rule for a long time.