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Transition - Snowboarding to Learning to Ski

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I apologize if this topic has already been discussed or even beaten to death...


Has anyone made the transition from snowboarding to skiing?  I've been boarding for years, but I've never touched a pair of skis.  After a recent trip to Jackson Hole, it kind of left me wanting to learn the 2-plank life as well.  (did I just say that out loud?)  Haha...  :)


I'd label myself an upper intermediate rider.  How is the transition to skis from this point?  Anyone have experience with this?


Wish it wasn't so late in the season for me to try!  The mountains are starting to close here!



post #2 of 5

Hey Cheryl,


At my ski school, I've watched a number of board instructors give skiing a try and had a few riders in my ski lessons. The first factor is if you've had any experience with other "straight on" sports like water skiing or rollerblading. If you haven't, you'll get a "weird" balance sensation was you try to get used to balancing while moving in a direction sideways to what you are used to. The next factor is if you are taught the direct to parallel method of skiing (vs learning a wedge first). If you are taught this way, you will most likely pick up skiing much faster because once you get the feedback from the ski edges engaging in the snow your brain will say "Oh - I get it" and the rest is pretty easy after that. Many riders who learn to ski making wedge turns get frustrated from the "long feet" sensation that they feel when they try to rotate the skis into and out of wedge position. This method of skiing is pretty "klunky" when compared to riding. When I learned to ride, I tended to try to move the board sideways (ski direction) when I wasn't thinking exactly about how to ride. This caused my muscles to tense up fighting the board and I got tired quickly. I see the same thing happen to riders learning to ski. Learning to carve solves this problem.


Most of the riders I've seen do well enough learning to ski that they are at an intermediate level within a couple days. A lot get the "where's the beef" look after that and go back to riding. Some lose interest from the sheer logistical hassle of a second set of gear. Many of the "park rats" convert over very quickly because they've seen how skiers can go bigger and do more tricks with their feet not locked together.


It's a rare breed that prefers both sports to one or the other. Good luck no matter which side of "the force" you end up on!

post #3 of 5

As someone who has recently (as in the past 2-3 seasons) learned both skiing and boarding I can tell you that for me skiing had a bit steeper of a learning curve than boarding.  Easy to start sliding around on them, but much more difficult to 'master' per-say.  Having said that, the advantage you have over a complete novice is that you are more or less familiar with the sensation of engaging edges and sliding around on snow.  If you can afford to buy a nice ski set-up it really opens the doors to enjoying the mountains in different ways.  For my part I've discovered that I prefer powder days on the board, just because of the extra large surface you have, but making powder turns on skis is no less enjoyable.  I prefer my skis on steeper terrain, the groomers, or ice conditions for the extra control 4 edges provides and the enjoyment from cruising groomers at high speeds or making quick/sharp turns.


To get back to your original question, give it a shot!  Find a decent instructor and let them know you have been snowboarding for a while and would like to try skiing.  My advice is to rent equipment until you are at least making parellel turns, and then decide if it's something you want to invest in.  Ski boots are so important in terms of your performance, and are very much a get what you pay for kind of purchase, so the initial buy-in can be particularly expensive.  Better to make that investment after you've decided whether or not you want to become a proficient skier.  

post #4 of 5

Take some lessons. You'll love it and probably pick it up faster than most.


After all, now that skis have sidecut, the physics of the turn are essentially identical - just turned 90 degrees. Where you used to pressure your front foot and roll onto an edge to initiate a turn, now you pressure the fronts of your boots/toes/skis and roll onto two edges to initiate.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Great stuff everyone, thank you for your replies!  I think I will probably take a lesson when the time comes - which unfortunately will have to wait until next season.  Almost all the resorts around here are closing down this weekend.


I can't wait to try out skis just to see the difference, and see what I prefer.  I promise to give skiing a fair chance, and I'm not going to give up and run back to my board the first time I fall!  Haha.


Like TheRusty mentioned - since I at least have a feel for sliding on snow, I think I'd like to avoid the whole 'pizza/french fry' stuff and just go ahead and try to make parallel turns.  Definitely going to get a lot of time in on rentals or borrowed equipment before I make any investments.  Ski equipment seems to be a bit more pricey than snowboard!


Thanks all - I'll try this next season!  icon14.gif

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