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Snowboarded all my life, wanting to try out skiing. Is it too late to be great at skiing?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone,

 

I recently turned 18 and for 10 years now i have been snowboarding. I'm not sponsored or anything but i can shred on every hill. The thing is, my whole family skiis and the more i watch dudes shredding through powder on skiis my jaw literally drops. This makes me want to try skiing. However, i don't want to be total garbage when i start. I mean, i'll sacrifice a season or two learning, but after that, i want to tackle powder and black diamonds. I do not want look stupid. Is it too late become good? And by good i mean going down moguls, double blacks and powder. 

 

Thanks,

post #2 of 31

You are young.  Many very good skiers started older than you.  No worries.

post #3 of 31

It's never too late to look stupid and I should know. Yes you can learn skiing but bear in mind a couple of things

- Aside from being used to chairlifts there are no crossover skills of any consequences so don't be surprised or frustrated.

- Skiing is fundamentally more difficult than snowboarding but IMHO more rewarding. Snowboarding is relatively large body movements while skiing is very subtle and the skills are not particularly obvious. After the first three days of punshment snowboarding you are a low intermediate while that is not the case skiing.

It takes both more time and more persistance to become a decent skier but you can definitely learn the skills. If millions of others can do it you can too. The only barrier will be if you let your ego get in the way because you aren't super skilled after one season.

The best way to start is get a lesson package and go for it. As well intentioned as they may be, don't copy your friends or your family as it is highly likely you will learn bad habits that will be much more difficult to unlearn later. (unless of course you friends and family are qualified instructors)

BTW I ski and board.

post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post

art is get a lesson package and go for it. As well intentioned as they may be, don't copy your friends or your family as it is highly likely you will learn bad habits that will be much more difficult to unlearn later. (unless of course you friends and family are qualified instructors)

BTW I ski and board.

Which do you prefer?

 

 

Thanks for the comments

post #5 of 31

Just saw this thread. When i clicked on it, I assumed you would at least be in your 40's since you were asking if it was too late. 18- I don't think so. FWIW, my 20 year old son goes to the Univ. of Utah. The vast majority of people he knows ski as opposed to Board. It seems to me the reason is that the "newest" thing is Big Mountain sking as opposed to park. Big mountain sking requires more traversing to get to the good stuff and it appears that sking is better for that. But I don't board, so what do I know?   

post #6 of 31
I started skiing in 1959 when I was 9 years old and I am not the best skier in the world now. WTF?
You have no chance, so take up golf while you still have a chance to salvage your life...

Do you understand how I am joking? Start skiing for the joy of it and elevate your wardrobe from the hucksters! Life goes on...

Sent from my BlackBerry 9330 using Tapatalk
post #7 of 31

my friend switched over from snowboard to skiing at late 20s.

 

It is not true that nothing carries over.  If you are a good snowboarder, you will have an understanding edge control as well as less fear of speed, so that will carry over to skiing and make it easier then someone with no snow experience.

 

You should set your expectations to be total garbage when you start, but then again that makes the mountain big and interesting again.  When my friend switched he took the green run 10 times in a row, taking him 10+ minutes to go down, yet he was having a blast doing it. So be prepared to swallow your pride and snowplow your way down the hill along with the 10year olds.

 

If you put the effort into it, and do your homework reading over ski theory, and internet ski video lesson; or if you have the cash take actual lessons; I think you'll be able to do blues confidently within 5-10 days, and then blacks within about 20days or so (depending on your dedication and how much you put in a day).  Powder is a different story depending on how many lucky days you get when you can get to try the powder.

 

 

As far a "sacrifice", this is your own perspective, but ski on average days when you would otherwise be bored riding.  If it's a good powder day, where you think you'll have more fun on the board go for that..  

post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheIlluminati View Post

Which do you prefer?

 

 

Thanks for the comments

I prefer skiing for a couple of reasons. Mostly it's because I can get places on the mountain much easier on skis both off piste and long traverses (Fernie is notorious for that and can be tough for boarders) plus I find bumps are easier on skis.

BTW I think Raystang is right and I was wrong in that there is some sport carryover. I don't know about edging but being comfortable with speed and snow will help you focus on learning the skills.

post #9 of 31

Welcome to Epic, Thellumanati.

 

I think you're at the perfect age.  I agree with raytseng.  Your understanding of how snow works will help you learn skiing, although it's very true that many of the motions will be much different and skiing is going to feel very strange to you at first.

 

If you keep at it, though, you'll definitely learn to ski.  Once you do learn to ski well, you're in the golden spot of being able to choose which one you want to do on which days.  Once you get over the initial learning curve for skiing, your skills at one side will help you improve on the other side.

 

Then, in a few years when you're a killer boarder and a hotshot alpine skier, you can take up telemark skiing. wink.gif

 

It's all good.

post #10 of 31

Yes, if you're committed and put in the time you can easily do it.  But you'll "look stupid" for a while - meaning that if you saw a vid of yourself you'd say "that guy looks like a wanker."  No doubt about it.  So what?  It's a necessary phase you just need to get through.  Just put your ego aside and have fun with it.
 

post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post

I prefer skiing for a couple of reasons. Mostly it's because I can get places on the mountain much easier on skis both off piste and long traverses (Fernie is notorious for that and can be tough for boarders) plus I find bumps are easier on skis.

BTW I think Raystang is right and I was wrong in that there is some sport carryover. I don't know about edging but being comfortable with speed and snow will help you focus on learning the skills.


I wanted to say the same things about the carryover. Obviously the biomechanics of making turns on a snowboard and on ski's is different. But the feeling of what a properly carved turn is there. Not to mention the invaluable ability to read snow, and terrain better than the average noob. I switched to skiing at the age of 34.

 

My advice is to take a lesson, I did not, but I felt that my experience on skates would help me....it did. Though after 3 season skiing, I am finally taking my first lesson tomorrow.

post #12 of 31

Also disagree that there is no crossover. I never learned to ski as a kid but did waterski and wakeboard a ton. Took up boarding in college and taught myself at Suicide Six over two days. Boarded for 10 years before taking to skiing. Boarded a ton, including trips out West to Heavenly and Kirkwood. The first day I got on skis I felt there was a ton in common between the two with regard to edging and using the same concepts of rolling from edge to edge, and would say having two edges was way better. I don't blame you for wanting to ski..I think you will be pleasantly surprised with how it feels...my first year the most difficult part of the day was when I WASN'T in motion! Lift lines and having to "skate" places was a nightmare! Good luck!

post #13 of 31

If you are a smart boarder you are way ahead of a never-ever. Ten days will get you far. Boots boots boots. Bet yer boots dialed. 

Skiing is smarter. period.

Better bio-mechanics, not to mention no more post-holing across deep flats. Learn the technical terms for ski physics: Stance and Balance, Edging, Pressure Control etc. First you skid then you carve.  You could even spend a couple o' hours on sno-blades and then short, sharp, shaped skis on easy terrain finding lines that don't slow down unless you arc back up-hill. Apply these arcs on increasing steepness. Think shifter-cart not demo-derby.  

post #14 of 31

I've skateboarded and surfed for many years.  On snow I've always preferred skis, but I believe that is because I learned to ice skate and snow ski before snowboarding took off.  I've tried it some but just don't like the feeling that my ankles are tied together.  As for shredding, I suspect that four 190 cm long edges are going to give you more options than two 160 cm edges.

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheIlluminati View Post

Is it too late become good? 

 

Hell No!  You're 18, not 80!

Some people here didn't learn until their 30's, 40's, and even later.

If you board as well as you say, you're likely pretty athletic,  you're young, apparently athletic, and evidently motivated.

I would think you would pick it up pretty quickly....with a few lessons anyway.

post #16 of 31

As somebody who switched it up going the other way (I was a skier starting from a young age, then began snowboarding in my 20's), I have some experience in the area. I still do both consistently, on Sunday I spent as much time on my board as on my skis, but I spend more time on skis usually. I also instruct both skiing and snowboarding at this point, so I'm fairly knowledgeable on both topics. I'd definitely encourage you to learn to ski, having more than one thing to do out there on the snow is always a plus. I like it best when it's early season, and I'm limited to a few trails. It effectively doubles the amount of enjoyment I get out of those few trails. Even aside from that, you get to know the mountain much better when you explore it with one plank and two.

 

There are some similarities which have been noted above. Another crucially important skill you will already have is the most foundational skill of any, and that's stance. The balanced athletic stance in snowboarding is essentially the same as it is in skiing. Knees over toes, butt over heels, feet shoulder width apart, shoulders square over your feet... that's the same stance you'll operate from on skis. All you'll be doing is taking your head and pointing swiveling it 90 degrees.

 

The last note i'll make is on your concern about getting better. Skiing's learning curve is almost exactly opposite from snowboarding's. When first learning how to snowboard, the first few days or week is extremely difficult, and you make very little progress skill wise. Then after that, it becomes much easier to get better, without as much difficulty. Skiing is much easier to start. You'll progress through the first few days fairly quickly, and with minimal pain and suffering (probably no bruised butt or elbows). then it will become progressively more difficult to get better as you improve. For the visual learners, a graph:

 

1000

post #17 of 31

1- Tele

2- Alpine Skiing

3- Snowboard

 

 

In order of preference................ Unless you're talking DEEEP Pow............. then it's the exact opposite ................ Nothing like that long grinning surf turn in the wide open deep on a snowboard................ and nothing like the elegance of a Tele turn in anything else.................. except maybe moguls where Alpine Rules............... in other words take your pick............ they are all fun in the snow!

 

Gave away my snowboard when I moved back east............... not enough Pow!

post #18 of 31

Hi

I'm 20, just converted from snowboarding to skiing.
I am currently in Utah @ Park City (Reside in New Zealand) ... I learnt to ski in the past 3 months purely so that I could go to Deer Valley with my girlfriend (A ski only resort).

 

Well, I brought my board over, we're on the snow for 10 days. I've spent 3 on the board, 2 on skis (today was my second) - And I've just told the rental place I'll ski for the rest of my time here.

I find skiing MUCH more enjoyable, I skied one day, snowboarded the next.. I was almost disappointed with snowboarding, so here I was on skis again today.

 

I'm no park-rat on the board, but I am confident doing black diamonds on it. It was a bit've a shock being a freshie for a few days but it's a real nice learning curve, and I think that the edge knowledge does move over to the skis.


I had ONE ski lesson back home, and have pretty much self-taught myself up to the level I am now, confidently skiing blues. I should probably get another lesson at some stage but I'll save that for when I'm back and just enjoy myself for the rest of my time in Utah!

And I think skiing has taken over snowboarding for enjoyment :)


Give it a season or two!

post #19 of 31
I was 18 when I started skiing almost 30 years ago. I've done both and in my opinion skiing is way more fun. Skiing is actually quicker to learn as far as beginner runs and getting on and off lifts, but after that there is a much slower learning curve. I now have a really bad back(one surgery and permanent nerve damage) and laugh at all the boarders either bending over or sitting in the snow trying to get their bindings on. I will see boarders having a hard time keeping up speed on gentle slopes. And if you have never skied at all, when you get that first chance to safely straight line a nice steep hill, and experience some real speed you will have a huge smile on your face.
post #20 of 31

Unless you go freeheel, you're taking a step backwards. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

Unless you go freeheel, you're taking a step backwards. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

 

Step backwards?  I thought freeheel was the original way to ski.

post #22 of 31

exactly what instructors have told me too....

 

with boarding you pay your dues in the beginning by being on your butt alot, but if you hang in there with lessons and practice

you overcome that initially difficult wall...but skiing, while easier initially, in order to become advanced or more so 'expert', takes more practice and lessons

...many skiers seem to stay in the land of the intermediate blues, as Lito phrased.

 

the twin tips have been huge for bringing over boarders back to skiing...so get out there and enjoy..

 

lastly on your being worried to switch over...lmao!    you're only 18...not  81.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post

 

Skiing's learning curve is almost exactly opposite from snowboarding's. When first learning how to snowboard, the first few days or week is extremely difficult, and you make very little progress skill wise. Then after that, it becomes much easier to get better, without as much difficulty. Skiing is much easier to start. You'll progress through the first few days fairly quickly, and with minimal pain and suffering (probably no bruised butt or elbows). then it will become progressively more difficult to get better as you improve. For the visual learners, a graph:

 

1000


Edited by canali - 12/8/12 at 7:07am
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheIlluminati View Post

Hey everyone,

 

I recently turned 18 and for 10 years now i have been snowboarding. I'm not sponsored or anything but i can shred on every hill. The thing is, my whole family skiis and the more i watch dudes shredding through powder on skiis my jaw literally drops. This makes me want to try skiing. However, i don't want to be total garbage when i start. I mean, i'll sacrifice a season or two learning, but after that, i want to tackle powder and black diamonds. I do not want look stupid. Is it too late become good? And by good i mean going down moguls, double blacks and powder. 

 

Thanks,

Opposite situation, but I know a woman who skied until she was 15, then took up snowboarding and finished 5th at the Olympics in SB GS...your cross-over age is a bit older, but if you are athletic, get some good coaching and put in the vert, I don`t see why you couldn`t be taking on powder and black diamonds within two year.  I skied with a very athletic 24 yo who had 5 days on snow a few years back and he was doing pretty well on some red runs (between blue and black) that we took. 

post #24 of 31
All I ever did was snowboard and just started skiing 2 years ago at age 37 and have not gone back to boarding. Skis are so much more fun and was pretty easy for me since I play lots of ice hockey. It took me about 2 hours to learn to ski and the first day I went to a real mountain my buddy was taking me down blues and blacks.
post #25 of 31

I started out Alpine. I was a supervisor for the school when the area (new Vail property Afton Alps) first allowed snowboards.  Since I had a snurfer as a kid, and needed an instructor I knew would show up (me), I started snowboarding. Since skis and snowboards are the same tool you just stand on differently, you have more crossover skills then you know.

 

I feel it's easier to get from nube to linking turns on green slopes as a skier. Its easier to get from nube to linking turns on blue slopes as a snowboarder. Its about the same to get truly expert at either.  

 

As to which I prefer.. Unfortunately I started boarding as a business decision as much as a life decision, probably half the hours I've spent on a board I've been teaching, which colors my feeling about the sport. If I was told that the only way I could stay on the snow was to board I would happily go to it. As it is skis are more versatile and for the for the last 10 years much of my on snow learning has been directed towards tele so at this point I only board a couple days a season.

 

While there a fewer complications to alpine you might consider telemark. I've had fun and success  teaching several boarders with no ski experience to tele. The boots can be a bit closer in comfort to a boarding boot, a tele turn can be thought of as starting a heel side turn, lead change, finish in a toe side turn, and you can always monomark to get a feel a lot like snowboarding.        

post #26 of 31

Great thread.  18, go for it! Athleticism will take you far.  I say take lessons immediately from someone who is also a good boarder.

I started skiing in the mid 70's at your age with some instruction and always had fun, although no one would mistake me for being a very good skier.

In the mid 90's I started boarding and have done it since then. I love it.

As stated above, I too feel many aspects carry over. Carving, reading terrain, speed and just the love of winter.

 

Skis are definitely faster, I love my board for the turns.  Skis are much better for sidehill. Moguls are really fun now on my new reverse camber Never Summer.

 

We have come back to the future with skis, they seem to have incredible performance.

The advent of two footed, equal weight turns seems very interesting.

I may have to try it again.

I have a friend who is excellent on skis and boards and he loves both.  

 

Any other boarders recently skied again with the new gear?

post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave W View Post

I started out Alpine. I was a supervisor for the school when the area (new Vail property Afton Alps) first allowed snowboards.  Since I had a snurfer as a kid, and needed an instructor I knew would show up (me), I started snowboarding. Since skis and snowboards are the same tool you just stand on differently, you have more crossover skills then you know.

 

I feel it's easier to get from nube to linking turns on green slopes as a skier. Its easier to get from nube to linking turns on blue slopes as a snowboarder. Its about the same to get truly expert at either.  

 

As to which I prefer.. Unfortunately I started boarding as a business decision as much as a life decision, probably half the hours I've spent on a board I've been teaching, which colors my feeling about the sport. If I was told that the only way I could stay on the snow was to board I would happily go to it. As it is skis are more versatile and for the for the last 10 years much of my on snow learning has been directed towards tele so at this point I only board a couple days a season.

 

While there a fewer complications to alpine you might consider telemark. I've had fun and success  teaching several boarders with no ski experience to tele. The boots can be a bit closer in comfort to a boarding boot, a tele turn can be thought of as starting a heel side turn, lead change, finish in a toe side turn, and you can always monomark to get a feel a lot like snowboarding.        

 

There you go! icon14.gif

post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheIlluminati View Post

Hey everyone,

 

I recently turned 18 and for 10 years now i have been snowboarding. I'm not sponsored or anything but i can shred on every hill. The thing is, my whole family skiis and the more i watch dudes shredding through powder on skiis my jaw literally drops. This makes me want to try skiing. However, i don't want to be total garbage when i start. I mean, i'll sacrifice a season or two learning, but after that, i want to tackle powder and black diamonds. I do not want look stupid. Is it too late become good? And by good i mean going down moguls, double blacks and powder. 

 

Thanks,

 

You are definitely not too young.  At 18, there are very few things that you are too young to achieve.  Being charged as a juvenile defendant is the only one that comes to mind.

 

I was a beginner/intermediate snowboarder but had probably been out less than a dozen times.   At age 28, I decided to take up skiing.  I had the luxury of doing night-skiing at a local hill on a regular basis and also receiving many lessons.   By the end of my first year I did some double black diamond runs.  I didn't do them very well... but I made it down.  I was quite comfortable on all blue runs and was also tackling blacks.  On the down side, pushing so hard in my first year caused a muscle or tendon to act up in my ankle and I had to sit out a lot of the end of the season.

I'm in my second season now and I'm feeling pretty good.  Greens are boring.  I can have a lot of fun on blue runs.  Blacks challenge me to improve.  I still have to be careful about my ankle but I'm trying out a few exercises to help with that.   The nice thing about skiing is that every time I go out I feel like I have a good time and also that I improve and learn.

 

For me, the primary motivation to switch to skiing was to be able to get into the backcountry.  You can use splitboards in the backcountry but I chose skis for a few reasons.  I love exploring and I love exercise.  Starting at the resort was important but I am now also doing some touring (I have taken avalanche training and have all that equipment.)  It's rare to find deep powder at the resort I was skiing at but I have experienced some in the backcountry and I managed fairly well.

 

Re: "I do not want look stupid."

No offense but the only thing that looks stupid is an 18 year old "boy" who is afraid how he looks to other people on a ski hill.  A man who has self confidence won't cringe about sharing the bunny hill with the kids to pick up a new sport.  Does this mean that you will never pick up any other sport for the rest of your life?  You realize that you will always have bad form when you try to push yourself to learn something new, right?  What if you turn 40 and your kid wants to learn hockey.  Will you be willing to look like a goof at first so that you can learn the skills required to play hockey with him or will you sit on the sidelines?

 

Will stuff transition over?

I'm sure some of it will but you will also need to be very careful to not carry over some of your snowboarding practices to skiing.  I strongly encourage you to get lessons from someone who is both a qualified snowboard instructor AND and a qualified skiing instructor.  They will be able to tell you about the key differences and will be able to notice when you are using form/habits that you picked up while snowboarding that should not be applied to skiing.

 

 

 

My advice:

0) Do it.  If only to help you get over your fear of looking stupid in front of other people.

1) Learn about ACL injuries and how to fall safely to avoid them.

2) Budget some money for lessons and find an instructor with snowboard and ski qualifications.

3) Set reasonable expectations.   There are probably some skiing-specific muscles that will just take time to develop.

4) Have fun.

post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheIlluminati View Post

Hey everyone,

 

I recently turned 18............. Is it too late become good? And by good i mean going down moguls, double blacks and powder. 

 

Thanks,

 

Hello Sir,

 

I think it is most definitely too late.  At 18, you should be focused on your 401k, and picking out the right retirement village.  Besides, what will your grand kids think when they hear "gramps" is going to try and take up skiing now?  Seriously, skiing is for the young, and 18 is not exactly young.  I remember helping this elderly lady across the street the other day, she was about your age, and she had this crazy idea of trying something new also......

 

take some advice from the great "Al Bundy"......

 

 

1000

 

"You too can peak at 17."

 

Above is Al relieving his glory days as a High School football star doing his classic "Football Pose" - once he made 4 touchdowns in a single game!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheIlluminati View Post

 

I do not want look stupid.

 

But you are so good at it!!!!!!!!!!!!!  biggrin.gif

 

Seriously take some advice from Mark "Chopper" Read (or at least Ronnie Johns, imitating Eric Bana, imitating Mark Chopper Read):

 

post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmb46 View Post

All I ever did was snowboard and just started skiing 2 years ago at age 37 and have not gone back to boarding. Skis are so much more fun and was pretty easy for me since I play lots of ice hockey. It took me about 2 hours to learn to ski and the first day I went to a real mountain my buddy was taking me down blues and blacks.

Hockey helped a ton for me too, even though I started at an early age the cross over took maybe one or two days.

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