While it may seem as if snowboarding and surfing are two very similar activities, in truth they are not. Although both sports utilize a single board, they don’t have much in common. Aside from the obvious differences that one you do in a warm climate while the other takes place in a cold one and one takes place on water, the other on snow, there are also a number of practical differences. Here are four primary differences between surfing and snowboarding.

1. Surf moves, snow does not

In one sense, learning to snowboard is easier than learning to surf simply because the terrain you are riding on is not moving. When learning to surf, you have to constantly be adjusting based on the movement of the surf beneath you. In one sense, when surfing you are not moving, but rather the fluid beneath you is moving. It requires you to constantly adjust to its movement, which can sometimes be unpredictable. On snow, you move, the snow does not.

2. Surfing uses core muscles far more than leg muscles

Both surfing and snowboarding require you to shift your center of gravity in order to “steer,” but surfing requires a much greater sense of balance than snowboarding. On a snowboard, it is nearly impossible to tip your snowboard horizontally, while it is incredibly easy to do on a surfboard. Surfing relies predominantly on core strength, while snowboarding relies almost solely on the activation of certain leg muscles.

3. You don’t need to know how to swim to snowboard

Not everyone knows how to swim or is a good swimmer. While you don’t necessarily have to be a great swimmer to learn how to surf, it may not be the best idea. With snowboarding, however, you don’t need any additional skills.

4. The biggest challenges are different

One of the biggest challenges to surfing is simply getting up on your board on a moving surf. One of the biggest challenges for many new snowboarders is exiting a chairlift. In order to ride a chairlift, you have to remove your back foot from it’s binding in order to push yourself up the line to the lift. When you get off the lift, only your front foot is attached to the board. This presents a significant challenge for many new riders.

Regardless of the differences between the two sports, they are both fun to play and a great way to get outside and be active.