From Skiing to Snowboarding

Valentine McNeilly, Staff Writer

I have never been a big fan of skiing. My family didn’t start going on ski trips until a few years ago when I was about 13. I’m still not good at it, and I only started learning, so it was a skill I had in my back pocket in case I was invited to go with someone. Last year, I made the switch from skiing to snowboarding, and it completely changed the game. 

I was invited to go snowboarding last winter to Bretton Woods in New Hampshire, and the whole family I went with was amazingly talented. They have been skiing and snowboarding since they were little and said I could pick it easily, so I thought I’d give it a try. To be honest, the main reason I wanted to stop skiing was that I absolutely hated the ski boots. They were so painful it almost brought me to tears. It could’ve helped if I had boots that were my size and not my sister’s hand-me-downs; nonetheless, I couldn’t stand them. Snowboard boots are so much more comfortable to walk in, and they feel just like regular snow boots. 

The biggest difference between skiing and snowboarding is that with snowboarding, both feet are attached to one board. When I went to rent a board, the first thing we had to do was figure out if I ride goofy or regular. Regular is when you stand with your left foot leading you downhill and goofy is when you stand with your right. I ride goofy, which made it harder for my friend to teach me how to snowboard. When you fall, you can either fall on your stomach or your butt, whereas when skiing, you can fall down on anything and get twisted up in the skis. I also think it’s more difficult to get up when you fall from skiing than snowboarding, and it’s a hassle to unclip the ski and get in situated. 

Even though snowboarding has a comfort factor, it is far more difficult to get the hang of. When skiing, it’s simple. You learn how to do “pizza “and “french fry” and if you want to learn other tricks, you can. With snowboarding, it is difficult to learn how to correctly distribute weight between legs to turn whichever way desired. Too much weight on the front toe, fall on your face. Too much weight on the heels, fall on your butt. It takes practice. The ski lift was also hard to navigate as a beginner snowboarder. It took me about 5 times getting off the ski lift to be able to stay on my board and not fall underneath the seat. I was lucky to be there with a friend so we could just laugh it off each time. 

Of course, there are pros and cons to both skiing and snowboarding, but I think it’s about which one you’re most happy with doing. I think snowboarding is much harder to learn than skiing, but I genuinely enjoyed it more. I fall more often than I do when I’m skiing, but I’d rather fall down the mountain having fun than be wishing I was doing something else while skiing.