Hello. Editor of www.graysontrays.com here, the site mentioned early on in this thread. The answer to the original question is "it depends," but here are some general thoughts gleaned from 14 years of being a skier/snowboarder:
Take some lessons from a professional, especially if you are trying snowboarding. It's one thing to know how to ski or ride; it's another entirely to know how to teach someone in a safe, competent fashion. I say this as someone who taught for two seasons and decided that he wasn't that great of a teacher.
Wear protective gear, starting with a helmet. If you're going with snowboarding, impact shorts can help some, as can wrist guards.
Be patient. It took me quite a while to learn both sports.
Skiing has its advantages. So does snowboarding. I won't rehash them here. Both are good, though it's hard to excel at both, as that requires a lot of time. Depending on your situation, Nordic skiing is a great supplement or alternative to either. The equipment is cheaper and tickets, should you need them, are generally much cheaper. But it's an alternate universe from the downhill world.
Some people who learn snowboarding were skiers first. Some were surfers first. Some were neither.
Learning any (snow) sport requires perseverance. That's obvious. What's less obvious is that it requires humility: the ability to live with "looking stupid," being ignorant (of what to do next), being vulnerable (to getting hurt), and being a child once again. Just as a child learning to walk needs to get back up after falling, someone learning how to ski or snowboard needs to get back up from falls or wipeouts and start again. Be patient; you'll probably make it.
While I spend more time on a snowboard than on skis, the rewards for both are similar: increased mental health, physical health, camaraderie with family and friends, and the pleasure of being in motion on snowy (or icy!) slopes.