Before I hit the slopes, I didn’t think there was a big difference between skiing and snowboarding. Of course, I know there are physical differences, but they both seem like ways to get down a snowy mountain, right?
No, that’s wrong.
Skiing and snowboarding are both exhilarating winter sports, but the mindsets and personalities involved are very different. Skiers and snowboarders form different tribes, which you’ll notice as soon as you arrive at the airport. You can honestly tell who’s riding and who’s skating just by looking.
I had only ever snowboarded before. All my friends ride skis, so I didn’t think to try skiing. A few years ago, I went on a snowboarding trip to Andorra with 20 friends. It was great and I loved snowboarding, but I’m not a natural. I’m the one who falls out of the elevator and leaves behind a dead body. I’m the one who falls while the kids are standing still or crashes into my little toddler’s ski school. I’m one of those who takes courage from the Dutch at lunch and descends the mountain as if I’m immortal.
This usually ends in tears because I’m not immortal.
So, I’m thinking of quitting snowboarding and trying skiing next year. “If you don’t succeed at first, try another sport, because you’re obviously trash.” Have you ever heard that?
But after sitting in a snowboard camp for so long, can you join the other side? Will you be able to blend in with the skiers? But most importantly, will skiers accept my baggy pink snowboard pants and the music blaring from my headphones?
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, keep reading…
Let’s start with the snowboarders
Snowboarders are cool. Probably not as cool as they think, but they’re cool nonetheless. To get good at snowboarding, you need to keep your body relaxed, your knees bent, and usually in an extremely cold state.
You need to wear baggy and flashy clothes. The brighter the better. Remember, there’s no such thing as “too flashy” in the world of snowboarding. You’ll need giant headphones to play “sick songs” while “chopping through the powder” on your way down the slopes. Everyone should be addressed as “male” or “male,” regardless of their gender.
Even snowboard boots look cool. Comfortable and easy to walk. Sling your board over your shoulder and walk around like you own the mountain.
You may need to sit down to secure the board to your boot. Most dorm residents do this in large groups next to the elevators, disturbing everyone. But don’t worry. You’re so cool you don’t even care.
The only thing about snowboarding is that it’s really insanely difficult. It’s scary and you’ll end up spending most of your time on your butt on your first few tries. You’ll be seeing a lot of snow up close, so get used to the cold, hard snow.
But what about the skiers?
Skiing is an elegant sport. Stand up straight, hold your head high and glide down the mountain with grace. There is less chance of tipping over, and you don’t have to worry about rolling around in the snow. There are poles to help with balance, and even bad skiers can use the slow snowplow to get down the mountain.
Skier clothing is more form-fitting, and women may want a form-fitting jacket with a cute little waist belt. If you’re really fancy, get a designer snowsuit and wear it with big designer sunglasses. Don’t forget to pout. Pouting is important.
Skiers may be able to get down the mountain without flapping their butts, but once they get off the slope, they’re like a fish out of water. Ski boots are hard to wear and difficult to walk in, so you end up hunching over and wincing with every step. Skis and poles are tucked awkwardly under your arms and falling all over the place. It’s about this time that I feel like I’m starting to look at the boarders with envy as they strut around with ease.
As you probably know, skiing and snowboarding each have their own pros and cons. They’re both a lot of fun, so even if he’s flopping around in the snow all week, he’ll still have a good time.
I’m planning to go skiing for the first time next March. I wish you good luck!
If you’re still wondering whether you should go skiing or snowboarding, check out this video from Nielson. However, I still don’t think they have settled the debate. Neilson recently introduced a mountain expert service. It’s completely free and provides guides around the area, inside knowledge for the best runs, and free coaching. Whether you’re skiing or boarding, it’s a great way to get your winter legs back. Or, like me, you just flop around.
Read more: My top tips for learning to snowboard
Staying stylish on the slopes: What to pack on a ski trip