Ski or Snowboard: Why choose?

Should I ski or should I board?

As I'm a ski instructor and working on getting my snowboard instructor license I am exploring the differences and similarities between skiing and snowboarding. This is both for my own interest and to be able to offer proper advice.

The goal for this post and several to come is to look at snowboarding vs. skiing from multiple angles. Hopefully this will give you enough information to make a decission you're comfortable with. (Or at least you learn something.)

Why Choose?

If you live near a ski area and/ or you spend more than a couple of weeks in the snow each year this may not be a big deal, you can just try out something else on the side. Choosing one sport is more important for people just starting out or for those who go to the snow only 1 or 2 weeks per year.

Here are some choice drivers:

- Learning curve: how quickly will I learn? (And how painful will it be?)

- Cost of equipment: switching means spending more money for new gear, lessons, etc.

- Comfort: how important is it to be comfortable on the slopes, off the slopes, in lifts and at aprés-ski?

- Snow conditions: what snow conditions can you expect and which sport is best suited for the circumstances.

- Peer pressure: be cool!

- Boredom: you've done it, been there, got the T-shirt and want to try something new.

- Physical/ medical situation: your body may be more suitable for either skiing or boarding. (For example: for which joints is boarding or skiing more strenuous and which kinds of injuries are more likely for either sport.)

- Feeling: you feel more drawn to either skiing or boarding.

- Feeling: doing it just feels better for either skiing or boarding. (Of course this requires trying both.)

- Fashion: look cool!

These points will be covered in detail in following posts.

I will try to sollicit input from my instructor colleagues and trainers and incorporate them in this series of posts. Next to that, if you're reading this and want to add something - especially if you disagree - or if you have a question please leave a comment. It would be especially nice to hear from people from various countries because there are many differences in ski technique and teaching methods between countries. (I got my training in Austria.)