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Switching from snowboard to skis

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I moved from Oklahoma to Alaska back in February.  I'm 31 years old, but had never done any kind of snow sports in my life.  I bought a snow board as soon as I got here, and boarded the rest of the season.  I picked it up again this season.  Let me tell you, I suck.  4 year olds blow by me like I'm standing still.  I'm not too interested in doing stunts or flying off of picnic tables or sliding on rails.  I just want to slide down big hills.  I have a family to provide for too!  I fly for a living and can't do that with broken arms or blown out knees.  Anyways, I was thinking about switching over to skis.  It seems like it would be easier.  I don't like the going down the mountain sideways thing.  I've done lots of roller blading and some water skiing in the past.  It just seems like it would be more natural to me.  What do you guys think?  I realize that you're biased towards skis.  I think I started this stuff right as I'm transitioning into an older guy.  I'll probably rent a pair to see what I think. 
post #2 of 20
Well, KC10chief, you said it all, not much room for a reply.
If you're new to the snow, then you have both options open out to you.
Many say that to pick up how to board is easier for a never-ever, but allow me one piece of advice, take lessons, in either or both.
Try both, you boarded most of last season, now try skiing, after that, you'll decide.
I use to skate in summer, in fact I skate like I ski, which, if skating would be my main activity, wouldn't do. But I'm happy like that.
Similarities are more than differencies. If you're used to skate, then you could also try cross country.
What I mean, you live in a snow country, try all options opened to you, and in the process. have fun with you family.
Cheers.
post #3 of 20
Absolutely give it a shot.

P.S. You can get hurt just as easily skiing as you can snowboarding.
post #4 of 20
I'd encourage you to try skiing, if for no other reason than to give yourself more options. I'm an instructor in both disciplines, and I enjoy being able to switch from one to another. However, I'll caution that skiing is not easier than snowboarding in any way, shape, or form. The learning curves for skiing and snowboarding are much different, though. Skiing is easier in its first learning stage, and then becomes far more difficult to improve as you continue. Snowboarding is much more difficult to initially pick up, and is much easier to improve once you have the basic skill set. So at this point, since you have picked up the basic skills in snowboarding, you have already done the hard part.

As far as probability of injury, I agree with Mdnite... you're just as likely to get hurt skiing.
post #5 of 20
I would definitely agree the other guys in saying one isn't easier than the other.  But go ahead and try out skiing and see if its easier, people are definitely more natural at one or another or sometimes both.  Hopefully you can pick up one or the other with ease, but enjoy your time on the snow either way!
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the replies!  I was a bit discouraged after my latest experience out on the hill, but it was my first time out this season.  I'm going to take a lesson from an instructor this weekend.  Maybe I can get some good tips!  
post #7 of 20
Chief,

I know the feeling. When I started to ride, I really sucked too. Eventually, I noticed that I really didn't suck any more. You're probably closer to that stage than you realize. Once you get the feel of riding on the edge and letting the board turn you, going sideways isn't so annoying any more. For me, it took a few days of riding on soft snow and a steady diet of lessons to get from sucky to ok to teaching. Like freeski, I teach skiing and riding.

Beginner riders can take some hard falls. Wrist injuries are common. Knee injuries are much less common for beginner riders than beginner skiers (the risk for both types of injuries can be greatly reduced by taking the proper precautions).

My experience is that, in general, the learning curve for skiers and riders is approximately the same since shaped skis and direct to parallel instruction were introduced to skiing. However, previous experience with "forward" sports or "sideways" sports can greatly influence the learning curve for an individual.  It sounds like you may be able to pick skiing up fairly quickly. Look for a program that teaches you to ski parallel on your first trip and take a lesson there. If regular group lessons only teach the "wedge", then upgrade to a private. This approach will easily save you at least 3 days of getting up to speed. Start out on short skis = 120cm!
post #8 of 20
+1  therusty

Learning direct to parallel is a real time saver. I had my girlfriend's daughter linking parallel turns and skiing on her own in 2 hours. She started on 130cm skis for about 30 minutes, then moved to 170cm skis.

She was also a rider to begin with and was really amazed at how easy it was to learn to ski and that it was really nice to face down the hill, not sideways.

Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
post #9 of 20
My son is a snowboarder and a fairly decent one at that, but I taught him to ski a couple of years ago. Actually, he taught himself. He didn't listen to a word I said, and did his own thing. I tried to teach him the wedge because I'm not an instructor, and I had to do what I was familiar with, teaching wise. He insisted on skiing parallel from the get-go. The only thing that I was able to drill into him was some wisdom about weight distribution, after he had overloaded the inside ski and tipped over several times. He actually caught on fairly quickly and was doing groomed blues easily by the fourth day. Mild bumps were still beyond his capacity by that time.

Familiarity with sliding on snow will be in your favor. You won't have to be scared of that when learning to ski, because you have already gotten past that learning to snowboard. That helps the transition a lot.
post #10 of 20
Skiing is safer because of the frequent trauma to hand/wrist/arm that occurs with snowboarding.
Skiing is better, simply skis work much better in most conditions than snowboards do.  Snowboarding seems to me to be something that people do because everyone else does it, that is why at major resorts with destination skiers who have been on the snow for many years, most of them are skiers.  snowboarders eventually get sick of the kid tricks and lack of versatility of being on a board. no matter what anyone tells you, that is how it is!

they are a PITA on flat or uphill terrain, and yes, you are right, it is an unnatural position and limiting.  they are good for cruising down flat intermediate slopes, that's where they hang out at the big resorts, mostly, they don't work on moguls and please stay out of my chutes!  mostly they just slide sideways down and take the snow down with them, somehow that is supposed to be cool! 
post #11 of 20
I don't know if skiing or riding is easier to learn but skiing is safer.  2 points of balance and 2 poles to help with recoveries. 
post #12 of 20
 some really not thoughtful comments about snowboarding here...

first skiing is safer? how common are knee injuries in snowboarding?

second snowboarding only good for blue cruisers? honestly respect gets respect and there are alot of boarders at your favorite resort who will simply crush anyone how has posted senseless things about boarding here.

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=97870831550

yep tell this guy he should stop his kids game and try skiing.


to the OP do what you want to do. Skiing can be sometimes easier to pick up, but its no cake walk either.
post #13 of 20
Bushwacker,
You will have to give me a password if you want me to see that video you linked to.

Do you have two feet and two legs? If so then you should use two boards to slide around on the snow.

Skiing really isn't that hard.  Instructors just make it more difficult so they can sell you more lessons.
post #14 of 20
The wedge is proof that they don't want you to learn quickly.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Do you have two feet and two legs? If so then you should use two boards to slide around on the snow.
 

What is this? An ad for a razor blade? 3 skis are better than 2. 4 skis are better than 3. Let's go the other way - no boards - just body surf down the mountain!

 

We've been through the ski vs snowboard injury thing before. If you want some facts try ski injury.com
http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/61524/snowboard-injury-studies

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/5805/latest-data-on-sports-injuries

We've been through the ski vs snowboard thing before. This will never get settled. Sigh. Can't we just get along?

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post



...Can't we just get along?


It ain't Xmas yet, c'mon.

...well, I did buy a snowman coffee mug the other day. 

Semi-seriously, there are some things in life that may be beautiful but not terribly functional.  Flyfishing is an asinine way to catch fish.  Flyfishing is cool.  I'd continue the analogy, but think the college grads on here can see where I'm going with this one.

We haven't covered the wedge before though.  That's an interesting one...
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KC10Chief View Post

Anyways, I was thinking about switching over to skis.. 
 


Why not do it?  I am older than you, surfed, windsurfed, etc for years and just figured a snowboard would be easier (I dont know if it was or not).  But, got to a point in snowboarding that I could comfortably ride the entire mountain in all snow conditions and thought i would try skiing too.  I am glad I did - for me, it is easier to get around (esp flats).  quicker around the hill, ie.no stopping to mess with rear foot binding and there are no restrictions ie. Alta.  Anyway - I think if you understand how the edges work on a snowboard and can put a little speed on the skis to let them work (obviously in a responsible way) - the snowboard experience you have should carry over.  

+1 on the parallel advice  Enjoy and dont stress over it. 
post #18 of 20


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Bushwacker,
You will have to give me a password if you want me to see that video you linked to.

Do you have two feet and two legs? If so then you should use two boards to slide around on the snow.

Skiing really isn't that hard.  Instructors just make it more difficult so they can sell you more lessons.

 
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

Chief,

I know the feeling. When I started to ride, I really sucked too. Eventually, I noticed that I really didn't suck any more. You're probably closer to that stage than you realize. Once you get the feel of riding on the edge and letting the board turn you, going sideways isn't so annoying any more. For me, it took a few days of riding on soft snow and a steady diet of lessons to get from sucky to ok to teaching. Like freeski, I teach skiing and riding.

Beginner riders can take some hard falls. Wrist injuries are common. Knee injuries are much less common for beginner riders than beginner skiers (the risk for both types of injuries can be greatly reduced by taking the proper precautions).

My experience is that, in general, the learning curve for skiers and riders is approximately the same since shaped skis and direct to parallel instruction were introduced to skiing. However, previous experience with "forward" sports or "sideways" sports can greatly influence the learning curve for an individual.  It sounds like you may be able to pick skiing up fairly quickly. Look for a program that teaches you to ski parallel on your first trip and take a lesson there. If regular group lessons only teach the "wedge", then upgrade to a private. This approach will easily save you at least 3 days of getting up to speed. Start out on short skis = 120cm!

I have totally opposite advice. Do not waste your money for private lesson - does not make sense at the beginner lesson. You will need one later when you will move to advance level. You have done skating - you will be skiing in no time!

STAY AWAY FROM DIRECT TO PARALLEL!!!! If you are interested in your safety learn wedge and steering first!  I am trained and certified to teach both methods. I never teach direct to parallel unless requested, I never teach it to my friends even if requested!  With direct to parallel you are learning how to run without learning how to walk first. Yes, with direct to parallel you can carve in 3-4 lessons, but you can not stop any second you want on the spot. In addition you spend your 3-4 lessons in misery and horror (because you can not stop!)

With traditional approach you will be learning wedge first and will be skiing that green slope on your first lesson without terror of hitting that tree or fence. In direct to parallel "you can control your speed with turn shape" in traditional approach "you can stop on the spot at any second".  Also, in traditional approach you will be learning in comfortable manner, having fun in the process. Most important, you will be learning fundamental skills that will help you avoid "intermediate plateau" in the future


Have fun, try cross country skiing as well, learn and move to ungroomed terrain. Skiing is not about turning for everybody.  It could be about nature, sight seeing, being outdoors, snow flakes, sundown..!

post #20 of 20
Oh, one drawback to crossing over and going with both sports. MORE EQUIPMENT!! Instead of having one set of everything, you need two. And one place most people don't think about being effected is how you get your stuff to the mountain. You can't buy ski specific roof racks, nor snowboard specific. You need to get flat top racks, or a roof box. I went through that ordeal this summer.
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