Skiing versus snowboarding. It’s a decades-old debate that echoes in almost every après-ski bar, cozy alpine chalet, and multiple person chairlifts every winter season. Most of these debates tender to center around ‘which is better’, and skiers and snowboarders everywhere will likely divulge in some harmless mockery of their skiing or snowboarding counterparts.
Skiers vs snowboarders: which is better?
There’s no clear-cut answer to which of the two is better, of course. In the skiers vs snowboarders debate, most skiers will undoubtedly have a long list of faux pas that novice and expert snowboarders are continually adding to. This list can include complaints of a lack of awareness of fellow skiers, the tendency to go super fast down busy pistes and weave in and out of people, and – as most snowboarders will agree – the hassle of snowboarders getting on and off of the chair lift.
One of the arguments of the snowboarding vs ski debate is that, well, skiing is a little bit on the regular, or even dull, side. It’s true in some regards that snowboarding tends to attract an adrenaline junkie image, an image well and truly solidified in the big skate parks located in most ski resorts. It can be easy to forget that skiing also attracts plenty of extreme sports enthusiasts, too. The famous French Alpine resorts of Tignes and Val d’Isere are excellent examples of this. Home to the renowned Espace Killy ski area and host to the world-renowned Winter X-Games, visitors are treated to a dazzling display of death-defying stunts from experienced snowboarders and skiers alike.
What kind of snow adventure do you want?
So if one cannot be defined as necessarily better than the other, should you choose to be part of the skiers of snowboarders? If you’re a complete first-timer to the slopes, a piece of guiding advice is that when it comes to skiers vs snowboarders, skiers find it generally easy to get a basic grip of the sport. It is, however, harder to become a master of. Snowboarding is harder to get up and running (expect a lot of falls and thuds on the slopes), but once you’re there with the basics, you can make progress in leaps and bounds.
When it comes to making the most of the special activities on your winter holiday, most of the time, it doesn’t matter if you ski or snowboard – as long as you can get down the mountain one way or another! The French Alps are one of the best places to ski in the world, and unique excursions such as ski or snowboard launched paragliding, or heliskiing, is usually not determined by ski or snowboard.
Ski or snowboard from the sky
These cool ski and snowboard excursions and activities usually require a moderate level of skiing or snowboarding to utilize the help of a helicopter, but the skiers vs snowboarders issue don’t matter here. If your skills (or your nerves!) aren’t entirely up to scratch, then a ride in a helicopter in the French Alps, which doesn’t involve jumping out onto untouched mountainside, can provide a convenient and breath-taking perspective of some of the best ski slopes in the world – regardless of whether you are a skier or a snowboarder.
Other considerations to make when deciding on skiing vs snowboarding include looking at if you are after speed on the slopes. Do you want to head out on long, technical backcountry trips? Are you hunting for the freshest powder to bounce on the top of? All of these are things to consider when thinking about skiing vs snowboarding.
When considering whether you should switch from skiing to snowboarding – or the other way around – it’s also useful to consider where in the world you want to be skiing, and who with. If you’re with a bunch of skiers who like long lazy lunches on the slopes and memorable apres sessions while cruising along finely groomed pistes, stick with skis. If you’re looking for an adrenaline-junky adventure, catching the most incredible powder and fantastic scenery in a winter hotspot like Japan, snowboarding might be the one for you. Skier or snowboarder, the most important thing is getting out on the slopes and experiencing the joy of winter sports for yourself.