Harder Than Skiing, Snowboarding gets a Bad Rep. But is it Harder?

Last Updated on December 20th, 2022

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Skiing has been around for Millenia, even so long ago in Scandinavia that cave paintings some 5000 years ago depict hunters using large animal bones to slide about snow fields. These drawings are of a primitive form of Nordic skiing.

Alpine skiing, in the modern plastic, metal, and wax form, came about in the early 1950s. Snowboarding followed along there soon after with the snuffer in the 1960s. The name snowboard came about when Burton Snowboard Company opened shop in 1977.


Is it harder to learn to ski or snowboard?

Snowboarding, is harder for most people. However, there is a difficult period of transition when your feet are strapped to a board, and you begin to slide downhill, picking up speed. 

There is no stepping off to catch your balance, like with a skateboard, or the ability to widen your base-stance like skiing.

When riding on a pair of skis, there are more ways to prevent a fall than on a snowboard, having both feet available to move independently. Most first-time snowboarders end up on their butts more often than when learning to ride.

Man on blue jacket snowboarding - is it harder than skiing

How long does it take to learn skiing?

Generally, an average rider will need one to three weeks to become independent on blue diamond or green runs, which are intermediate and beginner levels.

Expect to struggle to stand for a few hours in the first lessons. Intermediate lessons teach balancing skills, downhill techniques, and pizza wedge braking or turning lessons for the first two hours.


How long does it take to learn Snowboarding?

When it comes to snowboarding, lessons only take a few minutes for your butt to become acquainted with the snow. These skills take individuals differing times to gain, then master. 

Olympians start in their youth and take decades until eighteen or thirty-plus years of age to compete professionally.

The average person should expect their first year of riding to be choppy and have plenty of mistakes, falls, and triumphs.

That scary jump becomes a staple tail grab spot. Those blue intermediate runs become as easy as the green novice runs.


Can you learn how to ski and snowboard at the same time?

There are instructors out there who are duly certified. Being dual certified means they are qualified to teach students how to snowboard and ski, whichever is preferable.

At the same time, it may be too much for an individual. However, if you have a family or couple’s trip planned, some want to learn to ski while others choose to learn how to board, and an instructor like this can be perfect for the situation.


Which one is a better choice for amateurs?

The better choice comes down to rider preference. Learning how to slide down a snowy slope takes time, and mastering the skills needed for snowboarding or skiing takes even longer.

Earlier in life, the toddler stage is the best time to introduce sledding, skiing, or Snowboarding. Early-stage learning will ensure the skills will form early, making it easier for individuals to learn and grow as they age.

If this was not you, skiing might be a better starting place. 

This way, you can learn the basics of the mountains, the unwritten rules the riders know, and how to navigate a run facing forward like when walking. Nordic skiing is a blast for those who like backpacking, hiking, or snowshoeing.

Final Thoughts on Whether it is Harder to Learn Skiing or Snowboarding

Give yourself a good year to master the skills needed for snowboarding or skiing. That second year will arrive with a whole new set of confidence. 

Snowboarding is more arduous, and both take time, but extreme athletes will concur that it is worth falling on your buttocks over a hundred times.