Skis or snowboards - which should I choose?

Ski eller snowboard - hvad skal jeg vælge? - ApS

You've booked transport and a hotel, you've bought goggles, a helmet and warm clothes, and you're looking forward to a week in the high, snowy mountains - maybe in Norway or Sweden, maybe in the Southern European Alps. But what should you really have under your feet when you speed down the well-groomed slopes - skis or snowboards?

To answer that question, we've put together a number of important things to consider before investing your hard-earned money in equipment, so you're sure to have the right gear when you hit the slopes!

It's my first time on a skiing holiday - what should I choose?

If it is the first time you are going on a skiing holiday and you are in doubt whether you want to snowboard or ski, the short (and correct! ) answer for most people is: Choose skiing over snowboarding. You may have heard it from friends or family who have been on a skiing holiday before: “Skiing is easy to learn, but difficult to master. Snowboarding is hard to learn but easy to master”. If so, your friends and family are right. It is significantly easier for the inexperienced to learn to ski than it is to learn to snowboard.

As a completely green snowboarder, you will spend a lot more time on the back end than if you choose to start out on skis. This is primarily a consequence of the limited freedom of having both feet strapped to one board instead of two. On skiing, you have a better opportunity to take off with one of your legs if you are about to fall and thus re-establish your balance, while on snowboarding you sometimes have to realize that you are going to fall without the possibility of taking off with the other than arms, upper body and yes - the rear.

While skiing is easier to learn as a beginner, this is largely due to the fact that it requires a much lower speed to turn and get around turns than on a snowboard. This is especially important when you take into account that turning is the easiest way to slow down when speeding down the piste, which is why for many beginners learning to ski will be a more pleasant experience.

Plus, skiing is pretty straightforward. Literally. When you ski, you have your head and eyes directed in the same direction as you are moving, whereas on a snowboard you usually have your head turned 90 degrees to the right or left - something that for some can become tiring over time.

What is best in the long run?

Although learning to snowboard can be very difficult at first, it does have its advantages. Once you have mastered the elementary techniques associated with snowboarding - where turning is the most important (and most difficult!), there is not much more to follow. On snowboarding, you will therefore experience that it is mostly your personal courage in relation to speed and balance that sets the limits, if you have learned to stand on a snowboard at a level that allows you to safely descend the slopes.

On skis, as described, it is easier to get started, but on the other hand, there will be room for improvements to one's technique for a longer period of time than is the case on a snowboard. However, this is not necessarily a disadvantage. There is a special joy associated with gradually achieving a better, more elegant technique on skis, so that you can overtake your family and your friends with ever smaller distance between the skis, better sway in the turns and a more confident position during the descents, when really speeding up. Who knows - maybe you will also get the courage to do an overtaking backwards, on one leg or with a small jump over a pile of snow in the off-piste?

As a skier, in other words, you can look forward to a relatively easier start than on a snowboard, where, on the other hand, it will feel more difficult to develop your skiing over time compared to snowboarding, which does not require much development once you have the basic elements of the technique in place. In the end, however, there is also a better opportunity for development on skis, which generally have the potential for higher speed, tricks and fine-tuning of technique.

The practical differences

One often forgets the completely impractical differences between skis and snowboards when their differences are discussed, but for some this can be a decisive factor. When you're not just flying down the piste like another native Alpine boy or girl, snowboarding has a practical advantage in that snowboard boots are very similar to regular winter boots that you know from here at home, and these are somewhat less clumsy to walk in compared to ski boots , which for most people can seem heavy, stiff and yes - clumsy. At the same time, it's a bit easier to keep track of one snowboard when walking around with it, as opposed to two skis and associated poles.

But there may be good reason for the trouble! Skiers can effortlessly push their ski poles forward and past snowboarders on the flatter sections of the piste, where snowboarders look like fish on land, to say the least. Try to imagine standing on a skateboard without wheels. So imagine standing on a snowboard without a downward slope. Unfortunately, the two things are not that different.

Furthermore, most skiers find it considerably easier to jump off the ski lift compared to snowboarders, who have sometimes been seen doing the very special "face-in-the-snow-snowboard-trick"... (NOTE: There is a similar "butt-in- snow-ski trick". However, this is significantly less widespread)

What is the right choice for me?

In the end, it depends on you, your preferences and your hopes for your ski holiday.

On the mountain, some parts of the terrain may be better suited for skiers, while other places are particularly suitable for snowboards. Skis are most people's first choice, and therefore these are clearly also more widespread on the slopes worldwide compared to snowboards. If you are going on a skiing holiday with a group of skiers, it may therefore be a good idea to join the community and invest in a pair of skis, so that you can plan the same routes down the mountain together, so that the trip is as good as possible for everyone.

You obviously have plenty of opportunity to explore mountain peaks, valleys and all kinds of pistes in between on both skis and snowboards, but you probably have the opportunity to reach a level where this is possible on your own, somewhat faster, if you choose to ski rather than snowboarding. In the same way, the skis are the safe choice if you are into relaxed trips down not too technical slopes, where you can enjoy the skiing and the beautiful nature at your own pace.

Snowboarders are perhaps best known for taking advantage of every little opportunity for a small jump (even on flat stretches) and for tearing through thick layers of powder snow as well as well-groomed slopes. This is also easier with a snowboard under your feet, but if you as a skier would still like to try your hand at either the off-piste or the terrain in the ski park, it is worth checking out our ultimate ski guide , where you can learn more about the difference between piste-off-piste and park skiing, so you are sure that you have the right equipment with you when you go on a skiing holiday.

Have you decided to go skiing? So why not make it as cheap as possible?

You have to face the fact that skiing is an equipment sport - for better or for worse. Of course, there is nothing that beats the feeling of being equipped with the best gear from head to toe at high speed down a technically demanding slope, so that all eyes on the mountain are directed at you with an intensity as if you were Hansi Hinterseer in motion giving an intimate concert at Nykøbing Nursing Home.

However, this feeling can quickly turn bittersweet when you realize what you have to pay in most stores to be the best equipped man or woman on the slopes. Were you e.g. awarethat in some ways it is cheaper to wear a Rolex watch than it is to buy new ski equipment ?

In other words, you have to be careful when dressing for the ski season, because luckily it doesn't have to cost half a farm to get hold of ski equipment that, in addition to fantastic skiing experiences, can earn you respect and envy among the mountain's other skiers. Thus, if you invest in a pair of used skis, you can save a lot of money. Both in relation to new skis, but also compared to the rental price. Not sure where to start? Read our good advice for buying used skis .

Or check out our large selection of skis right here!

Reading next

Hvor kommer jeg billigst på skiferie? - ApS