Skiing or Snowboarding. Do you really have to pick?!

Skiing or Snowboarding. Do you really have to pick?!


Do you really have to choose?! There are many similarities and differences between the two. We've broken down the pros and cons of skiing and snowboarding so you can decide which one to try!

Learning to Ski

Some people find skiing easier to pick up than snowboarding. Skiing will feel more natural, since you will use movements you are already used to. For starters, when you go down the mountain you will be facing forward and looking straight in front of you. Your legs are able to move independently because they are on separate skis and you can use your ski poles to help you. If you come to a flat section of a trail or are in the lift line, you can use your poles or skate to move along. Skiers can pick up the basics rather quickly and will most likely be able to maneuver around the green trails after a day or two. However, your legs may be sore after a long day of skiing!

For a beginner's guide on how to ski, click here.

Ready to learn? Check out the types of lessons we offer here.

Learning to Snowboard

The main difference here is that your feet are on the same board. You are also facing sideways, which may be a bit uncomfortable at first. If you want to learn how to snowboard, you will have to know the basics. This includes balancing, controlling your edges, knowing how to stop, and how to make turns. Snowboarding also engages your core, rather than your leg muscles, so you'll definitely get a good workout in! A lot of people say that snowboarding is harder to pick up and is easier to progress in, but that all depends on the person!

Check out some tips for beginner snowboarders here.

Ready to learn? Check out the types of lessons we offer here.


The most obvious difference in equipment for skiing and snowboarding is having two separate skis or one board. When skiing, you will also be carrying two poles to help you maneuver around the mountain. When snowboarding, however, you will be empty handed.

Skis and snowboards both have bindings. On snowboards, you will have to strap your feet in. Where as with skis, your boots will automatically lock to the skis once clicking into them.

Another difference is footwear. Snowboard boots are comparable to normal winter boots you might wear and are relatively easy to walk in. Ski boots, on the other hand, are much more bulky and you may have difficulty walking in them.


Riding the chair lift to get back to the top of the mountain is very different for skiers and snowboarders. Skiers can get on and off the lifts with ease, while snowboarders will have to unstrap one binding before getting on and strap back in once they are off the lift. Skiers definitely have the advantage here!

Need advice on how to get on and off the lift with a snowboard? Read more here.


Whether you're on skis or a snowboard, there is common ground to be found. Both skiers and snowboarders will need to know basic mountain etiquette before hitting the slopes. This includes trail signage, safety measures, and basic techniques. 

Basic techniques used for skiing and snowboarding are found to be quite similar. You use the edges of your board or skis to turn or slow down, you bend your knees to slow down, and you stand up straight to get more speed.

You can learn about trail signage here.

Do you know the code? All skiers and riders should know the responsibility code before going down the slopes. 

Here's the Scoop:

You don’t have to feel obligated to pick one or the other – you can always try both! And to prove it, we had a SKIER take a SNOWBOARDING lesson with us this week.

Our Insider's Experience:

When she first tried skiing she didn't take a lesson, but picked it up rather quickly and was skiing down the green slopes on the first day. She was nervous to try snowboarding for the first time but also excited to learn something new! So, she headed down to the Valley Rental Shop to grab a board and met her instructor out on the slopes.

The instructor started out by going over the basics and making her feel comfortable with the board. This included:

  • Properly putting on the boots
  • Strapping in and out
  • Carrying the board

They went over the basic movements next:

  • Balancing
  • Skating and gliding
  • Getting up after a fall
  • Moving uphill
  • Stopping
  • Turning
  • Controlling speed

By the end of the lesson, she mastered the basics of snowboarding and had FUN!

Whether you're a beginner or looking to progress your current skill set, we offer a variety of lessons to choose from. Taking a professional lesson at Blue Mountain is the best, safest and easiest way for you to learn how to ski or ride! 

Have you taken a lesson at Blue Mountain yet? Share your story at #BlueMyMind

Final Thoughts From Blue Mountain:

Being able to do both skiing and snowboarding is a great advantage when it comes to conditions. Whether you end up preferring to ski or snowboard we can all agree on one thing - you'll always have fun on the mountain! 

Published January 31st, 2020