Why Snowboarding Is Better Than Skiing

Each to their own. There’s no right or wrong. I get that. This is my opinion.

It used to be the case that snowboarders on the mountain were the minority. That’s not the case anymore. I don’t have the stats, but I think it’s fair to say that both disciplines are big. And these days skiers and snowboarders alike ride the same terrain: piste, parks, pipe, powder, street rails…

…and I find myself asking the question: why do people bother skiing, when snowboarding is simply better?

Freestyle and powder

Let me qualify that statement above. I know that both skiing and snowboarding are fun. I’m not taking that away from either, nor am I trying to invalidate skiing as being fun, exciting, challenging, etc.

What I am talking about is freestyle and powder.

To be honest, it’s freestyle that I’m really getting at here, but even with powder I think snowboarding is the better choice. I mean, snowboards were invented to ride powder, to float in the fresh stuff, to give that surf-like feeling… Let me demonstrate both points, freestyle and powder, with the following video:

You can’t get that flex and pop on skis

Snowboarders take a lot of their tricks from skateboarding. The design of a snowboard, combined with your body position when riding one, allows you to ollie. You can load up the nose or tail and pop out of it. This flex mechanism is at the core of so many snowboarding tricks. It’s what makes the freestyle opportunities almost endless.

You just can’t get that on skis.

Rails, grabs and switch…

Think about 50-50’ing a rail, nose-pressing a box, tail-slides, change-ups… Skis on rails and boxes don’t make sense to me.

And then there are butters, nollies, boned out grabs. Tweak it. You might convince me that one or two ski-grabs look ok, but come on, compare that with a slow backside 180 tail grab, or a boned out stale-fish shifty.

And there’s switch, too. In my mind, riding switch on a snowboard opens up tricks. It adds to the freedom of snowboarding. When you land switch, you’re still snowboarding, just in the other direction. It’s the same principal. That’s why I ride with +15 / -15 binding angles. I like the symmetry of switch.

With skiing, it just doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve seen really talented people skiing backwards towards huge jumps, looking awkwardly over their shoulder, then they pull an insane trick. It’s really impressive-

-But skis weren’t designed to be ridden that way. I know you can get twin-tipped skis and all that, but it seems like a fudge to me. A hack. It’s difficult for sure, but your body is working in the opposite way, like driving a car in reverse.

Snowboarding is better suited to freestyle (and powder)

If you like freestyle and jibbing, I can’t see any reason to choose skiing over snowboarding. The snowboard is simply a better tool for the job. I understand that if you can already ski, you might feel inclined to stick with it, to not throw away your investment, to learn freestyle on skis. And that’s fair enough. But let’s be honest, snowboarding is better suited to this stuff.

I’m not saying freestyle skiers don’t have fun, don’t do gnarly and technical stuff. They do. I just think snowboarding is better in this arena. It looks smoother, there are more options, it’s more styled. Just look at the video above. It’s better.

When it comes to fun, there’s no right or wrong

I don’t want to tell anyone how to have fun. Nobody can do that. I said at the start that this is my opinion – please feel free to contribute your own with a comment…

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66 Responses to “Why Snowboarding Is Better Than Skiing”
  1. levi clothier says:

    hae man great stuff im all with you on this one im doing a speech on this topic at school so thanks for the ideas but dont worry im gonna re write it in pretty much my own word


  2. Johno says:

    Skiers love to be techo about skiing. Well, to the skier who believe that skiing is faster than boarding. The world fastest recorded man down a slope is a One Legged Aussie who used a 100mm wide snowboard. Skier and resort seem to be selfish and place boarder second when it come to accommodating snow-sports. Why have the chair lifts never been atone or adjusted for safe pick up and delivery to the slopes for boarder. Why have a section for skiers only ( moguls) which stuff up a area,s on the mountain for all snow-sports. Where Boarding as added new dimension to the mountain for all snow sports.

  3. David K says:

    First time at a park i put on skis, went striaght to the top, got some quick tips from a friend on how to stop and with a quick look around i noticed everybody was using skis just about, went down the hill and went kept going all the way to rental shack and got a board, never touched skis since and love snowboarding with a passion, been 4 years now, practicing for compeition.

  4. Gavin says:

    @David K – that made me laugh ;)

  5. James Carter says:

    You dont know what your talking about skis are better for powder and back country switch is funnier because its actually hard. We cant go 5050 on a rail but why would we want to just go straight on something boring. Who ever published this is very uneducated.

  6. James Carter says:

    I mean look at the facts a skier holds the biggest cliff jump (Jamie Pierre) no snowboarder has hit chads gap thats a huge jump that tanner hall broke his ankles. A skier was first to throw a triple flip. Snowboarding has another 20 years before they catch up to us skiers.

  7. James Carter says:

    And then david says how everyones skiing around him but everyone is really boarding they all talk shit because im the only skier im sorry that im not a follower i would rather have fun then do what makes me look cool. Its funny how snowboarders think there badass at powder or trees i have never found a boarder that could keep up with me threw a tree trail or powder.

  8. Tom Lawson says:

    Jame Carter – you seem to imply you’re so wonderfully educated.

    Would you care to explain how this footage of Travis Rice hitting chads gap exists please?


    Best of luck chap….

  9. ZeeJay says:

    Although I do agree that snowboarding is better, I also have to agree with the commenters that most of your points are kind of biased and just plain wrong. I respect your opinion but you tried too hard to “prove” that snowboarding is better. Personally, I just like that fact that snowboarding is like skateboarding. I think skis look kind of ridiculous in the terrain park, and while I’m certain that it takes just as much skill and finesse to ski as to board, and there’s a huge variety of tricks you can do with two planks instead of one, it just seems to me (it always has, even back when I used to ski) that crossing your skis or lifting up one leg on a box or any of those other little twists skiers put on their tricks just makes them look silly. I guess it reminds me of rollerblading (remember when it used to be in the x-games before the sport just kinda died?) I’m sure skiers think I look like a fool on the mountain sometimes too, though.

  10. Matt says:

    You are wrong about the skiers not being able to ollie. Both ollieing and nollieing is possible on skis, and some skiers can actually get pretty high.

  11. Lisa says:

    Dear Skiiers,

    Your welcome.


  12. Sabrina says:

    This is the stupidest article I have ever read.

  13. nate says:

    i skate. So if i’m in the park i’d rather snowboard i’d much rather snowboard. Tricks feel more natural, and something about the balance makes it look good. However if i’m just doing downhill, i choose skis, simply because i don’t have to jump up and down, put in my back foot every time i get off the lift, and my ass is usually a lot less sore at the end of the day.

  14. Doug says:

    Snowboarding may be fun for kids but I’ve seen few adults doing Ollie’s. Similar to rarely seeing anyone over 20 on a skateboard. All things considered skiing is more enjoyable for the masses as it requires less energy especially when getting off and on the lift. I would think the scenery and being thousands of feet above sea level on a mountain winding through Gods magnificent creation would be the focus…not doing “tricks” on a snowboard.

  15. Mike says:

    You missed a very important thing.

    In snowboarding you have backside and frontside! In skiing both spinning directions are exactly the same!

    This is a huge deal to me. Doing spins (or flips, or pipe airs or rails etc.) frontside and backside is completely different (when you spot the landing, how you take of, what edge you carve on, how the trick looks etc.)!

  16. That guy says:

    You contradicted yourself through the entire article. You are dumb. I don’t like you at all. Not even a bit.

    You are all clueless, neither is better for either they are equal in all ways including spinning left or right, no idea what this fellow mike is talking about above me.

    I hate everything about this post an the comments on it, have a good night.