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Is It Easier To Ski or Snowboard?

Skier and snowboarder together

So which is easier, skiing or snowboarding?

The saying has always gone that skiing is easier to learn but harder to master. Which tends to hold true for most people.

Skiing tends to make more sense to beginners because the forward facing positioning and separation of your feet feels a lot more natural than being strapped into a snowboard. Because of the awkward positioning you’re in while snowboarding, it can be more difficult to pick up in the beginning but once you get the hang of it you’re pretty much good to go. 

friends with ski and snowboard

So which one should you do?

Deciding whether to ski or snowboard can be a tough decision, but we’re here to make it easier for you! Keep reading to learn whether it is easier to ski or snowboard, and how to decide which sport you should try first. 

Skiing vs Snowboarding: Which Is Easier?

Skier and snowboarder trying

Skiing vs Snowboarding: Which is easier on the lift? 


It’s much easier and less intimidating to get on the lift in a pair of skis than with a snowboard. All of have to do is ski up to the line, wait for the chair to come up behind you, focus on keeping your tips up when you’re close to the ground, and ski off the lift as soon as your feet touch the ground.

Ski lift

To get on the lift with a snowboard, you need to get used to riding with one foot unclipped from the board, which can be really awkward at first. Lifts seem intimidating at first but I promise no matter which sport you choose you’ll get the hang of it quickly!

You can always tell the attendant it’s your first time and see if they can slow or stop the lift when it comes time for you to get on. 

Skiing vs Snowboarding: Which is easier to learn? 

Learning to snowboard


Skiing tends to feel more natural and safe to beginners for a couple of reasons.

  1. Your feet can move independently of one another, which feels a lot more comforting to most people.
  2. You face forward down the mountain and your body moves in the same direction in which your skis point.

Unless you have previous experience skateboarding, snowboarding can tend to feel pretty awkward at first since you face sideways while traveling down the mountain. The other thing that makes it more difficult to pick up is the fact you don’t exactly travel in the direction of which your board is facing. Instead, you travel at a 90 degree angle from the direction in which your feet point. 

Skiing vs Snowboarding: Which is easier to master? 

Snowboarder in the alps


It takes a minute to pick up snowboarding, but once you get over that initial hump of it feeling awkward, you’ll find that you can get good pretty quickly.

Skiing on the other hand can be a little tougher to get good at because it requires tighter, more precise movements which comes with learning to control your skis and move both feet simultaneously as you’re turning, which just comes from practicing and building confidence over time. 

Skiing vs Snowboarding: Which is easier off the slopes? 

Friends with hands up on skiing


It’s tough to pick a winner here, but if I absolutely have to choose one I’ll have to go with snowboarding.

Walking around in ski boots can be difficult and painful, even for experienced skiers.

Snowboarding boots are a lot more similar to regular boots, making it much more comfortable to hop off the lift and into town. It’s a lot easier to carry a pair of skis and ski poles though than it is to carry a snowboard. But as long as you can find somewhere trustworthy to set it (which you will in pretty much any ski town), you can apres-ski freely and easily without having to head to your locker or car to make a shoe change.

Should You Learn To Ski or Snowboard? How To Decide

Skier on a slope

Which have you always wanted to do?

If you’re thinking about getting into skiing or snowboarding, it’s likely because you’ve had dreams and visions of you flying down a mountain in white fluffy snow on either a snowboard or pair of skis. Which one comes to mind?

Whichever it is, that’s the decision you should probably go with. 

Group of friends

Which sport do your friends and family participate in?

The first few times I went to the ski slopes in my life I went with people who skied, so hopping on a pair of skis was a no brainer to me even though I had been skateboarding my whole life.

It was important to me to be able to get feedback as I was just getting started and keep up with my friends as quickly as possible. I made plenty of friends with people who snowboarded on the slopes while I was skiing, so by the time I was ready to start snowboarding I had plenty of people to go with!

Which feels more natural to you?

If you’re looking to spend a day out on the slopes with your friends as quickly as possible, I’d go with the sport that feels more natural to you.

Skiing tends to feel more natural for most beginners but if you are comfortable on a skateboard you’ll likely find that snowboarding is fairly easy to pick up!

Read moreShould I ski or snowboard?

Do Both

Family on lift

I know it can feel daunting to have to choose between learning to ski or learning to snowboard, so don’t forget you could always learn both in time! I started skiing and once I got to a level I was happy with, I learned how to snowboard.

It’s fun to be able to pick and choose which you feel like doing! But it’s easier to master one skill at a time, so pick which one you’d rather start with for now, and learn the other one later down the road.

But First, Take A Lesson

Ski lessons

No matter which sport you choose to do, we cannot stress enough to take a lesson before you go down the mountain for the first time!

Lessons can be much cheaper than you’re probably envisioning that they are, and they make a world of difference both in keeping you both safe and confident when hitting the slopes for the first time.