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Snowboarding as ski training?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Would it be beneficial to your skiing to learn how to snowboard, or would the movement differences cause conflicts?

post #2 of 14

I don't think it could hurt.  It's interesting to learn how the board turns. I've only done it a few times, but it is pretty easy.


Therusty snowboards a lot, maybe he'll have a better answer for you.

post #3 of 14

My ears were burning ....


Regular snowboarding won't teach you movements that transfer over to skiing. There are some similar movements (lateral tipping, fore/aft [heel/toe] pressure management, rotary movements, etc.). But because everything is basically rotated 90 degress, the results/feedback does not transfer to skiing very well. What does transfer is the feel of carving. Once skiers feel a snowboard carve, the "oh, now I get it" light bulb goes on. After that, snowboarding becomes just sliding differently on snow.


Alpine riding (typically with hard boots, plate bindings and aggressive forward stance angles) is done a little different than regular snowboarding. The movements are closer to skiing, but still done differently.


For most people, snowboarding movements won't mess up your skiing, say like tennis and racquetball conflict for most people. But many skiers do have to fight through skiing muscle memory when learning to ride (because movements that make you go forward in skiing make you fight the edge while riding). I struggled horribly when I started riding. It was not until I got my own gear, rode in soft snow out West and then got decent coaching that I got over the hump. Now, most of my days on snow include a seamless switch from one set of gear to the other.


Your background in other sports can also have an effect on this. The more experience you have in sideways sliding sports (surfing, skateboarding, etc.) versus forward sliding sports (skating, blading, etc.) the more you're likely to favor riding versus skiing. The less relative experience you have in other "opposite movement" sports, the more likely you're first experience will be difficult. To some extent your question is like "Will roller blading mess up my surfing?". For most people, the answer is "not really".

post #4 of 14
Good explanation therusty!  I see so many parents that insist that their kids learn how to ski before they can try snowboarding.  I try to explain to them that the skills don't really transfer and they're basically two different sports.  The only similarities in the early stages are that they both ride up the hill on the chairlift and they both slide down the hill on snow.
post #5 of 14
It's a lot easier to learn how to use a tow rope on skis than on a board.  Likewise with the chairlift.  Also, the concept of using the edges, turning to control speed and direction, and turning sideways to stop are the same.  I find it much easier to teach someone how to snowboard if they've skied at least once.  On the other hand,  higher level skiers are difficult to teach snowboarding because of the tendency to square up the hips with the hill, especially on the heel side turns.

I don't think snowboarding helps skiing at all, and in fact, I think it may actually cause bad habits.  You guide the board with your hips hence there's a lot of hip rotation involved in boarding.  Edge enagement is done by "gas-pedaling" which is a deliberate sequential movement during turn inititation.  There's also inclination involved when edging.  In fact, every snowboard instructor that I have taught skiing (alpine & tele) start out by banking their turns.

If you want to try something different and fun, free the heels.

BTW, I teach alpine (L3), tele (L1), and snowboard (not certified...yet).
post #6 of 14
I think its easier to learn the various balances in snowboard because you can control your fore/aft balance easily(very difficult in skiing). After you r comfortable with your all other balances you can even play with your fore/aft balance to see its effect in turning control with your snowboard and then bring what you learn to your skiing. That would probably help you to learn skiing somewhat easier. I did it sometimes and find it helpful. :)
carver learning skiing with sb
post #7 of 14
higher level skiers are difficult to teach snowboarding because of the tendency to square up the hips with the hill, especially on the heel side turns.

QFT. It took a couple of days to beat this out of me. There's a lot of rotation movements in boarding at the low end--leading with the upper body to pivot the hips. Advanced+ skiers need to just let go of what they think they know. (Interestingly, I wonder why rotation doesn't destabilize you on a board like it does on skis...) 

There's also inclination involved when edging.  

This happens in intermediate skiers and boarders. That said, in the CASI level 3 demo videos I've seen, they do expect boarders to angulate to increase edge angles. 

From my experience as an advanced skier and low intermediate boarder, these elements remain the same between the sports: 

flexion and extension technique and application (caveat: pushing outward on the knees on a board brings you lower. I kept getting stuck on a toe-side traverse not being able to flex until this bit clicked.) 
turn shape and line theory (maintaining symmetry in linked turns) 
short radius progression (performing movements more quickly)

BTW, I teach alpine (L3), tele (L1), and snowboard (not certified...yet).

Good luck on your cert! I take mine May 7. (I just finished day 8 on a board. Supposedly I only need another 10 days. I can't believe how quick the progression is!)

Originally Posted by carver_hk View Post

I think its easier to learn the various balances in snowboard because you can control your fore/aft balance easily(very difficult in skiing). 

I find fore-aft balance easier to maintain and play with on skis, possibly owing to experience, but possibly owing to the direction of your body on a board. 

Here's something that might help on skis: 
On a green run, try leaning right over the tips of your skis for some turns and see what happens. Then try leaning way on the back of your skis for some turns. Then center yourself... you should be able to feel the differences when turning. You'll feel three different sensations: 
- Tails washing out
- Inability to turn / skis running away
- Ability to turn and maintain edge

Repeat the exercise. Be aware of where your weight is when you're forward, back, and centered. Once you lock in the centered feeling in your foot, you'll always be able to do a quick mental fore/aft balance check. 
post #8 of 14

I do feel that there are several skills that cross over from snowboarding to skiing and back.  Balance is balance and edges are edges no matter what equipment you are on.  The more you can dynamically balance on different equipment it can only help in you main sport on the hill.  Balance is the one skill that we all work on all the time every turn every day and being able to balance on a board and balance on the edges of a board can only help your understanding of yourself on your skis and with that your skiing will change in some way.

post #9 of 14
For those who know both sports here is a demo showing same intended manipulation of skis/board. I was taught this skiing is trampoline turns so I name the boarding trampoline boarding. Besides sorting out the similarity and differences in the resulting board/skis manipulation, any comments welcome.


(forget the second turn, its a failure for lack of practice)
post #10 of 14
Carver: Interesting! I've been meaning to ask - Where do you take these videos?

Another skill that I'm now finding transfers over (depending on what ski technique you follow) is rotation in the knees and ankles.
post #11 of 14
MetaPhor_ - The vids were taken inside a big fridge near Hong Kong. I noticed you have another thread on the knee rotation in snowboarding technique. I wonder if u meant to say ''roll knee in transition as Bode calling it' when you said rotation in knees?
post #12 of 14
IMO beneficial.


Plus fun.
post #13 of 14
carver: cool! do they have good ski terrain outdoors in Hong Kong or China? You're boarding better than me. Re Bode... I don't pay much attention to him, but the pivoting most skiers use from the ankle up through the hip socket can be used to turn the board. (Most skiers, with the exception of the HH camp.) theRusty had a great reply on it. Maybe Bode was talking about edging though... rolling the knee to tip the ski... no idea.

boostertwo: looks cool. How are you not falling over with your center of mass so far inside the turn and your base of support so far out? Are you going incredibly fast? 
post #14 of 14
MetaPhor_ - there are no snow in Hong Kong, but there are some new ski resort in northern China. I heard most are pretty small yet. I checked theRusty's posting. Yeah! great account of how to turn a board. What you see is the only method of turning I usually do. I play boarding as part of checking out how a board behave reletive to skis. Actually I don't know anything else about snowboarding. So I guess you must be far better then I do. :)
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