Snowboarding and skiing are two of the most popular winter sports. Though they might both involve zipping around in the snow at high speeds, there are some distinct differences between the two activities. To see which sport is right for them, people can benefit from exploring the differences between snowboarding and skiing. There are several things that set these two activities apart.


Of course, one of the most obvious differences is the equipment you need. Any skier will have two boards, and strap one board to each foot. Meanwhile, a snowboarder will have one board that they strap both of their feet into. Furthermore, most skiers also need ski poles to help them navigate and move around.

Ease of Learning

Despite the reduced amount of equipment, snowboarding tends to be a little more complicated. The challenge is that skiing tends to accommodate a lot of levels of coordination, while snowboarding requires people to align their whole body as they move and navigate. However, everyone is different. Some people who have participated in sports like surfing or skateboarding might find snowboarding a little easier to pick up.


Each type of equipment performs best in a certain environment. Often, skis can handle icey, bumpy ground that a snowboard would struggle to navigate. Meanwhile, snowboarders can perform well in powder and crud that skiers would find challenging.

Effects on the Body

Like any other sports, snowboarding and skiing can put strain on the body. Extensive skiing can stress the knee joints, and when people have accidents on skis, knee and leg bones are often broken. Snowboarding tends to affect the legs less, but wrist, arm, and shoulder injuries are common in snowboarders.


When it comes to speed, skiers have the advantage. On the same course, with equal training, a skier will typically outpace a snowboarder. This is partially because they can use the poles to enhance their speed and partially because the skiing stance is more aerodynamic.


Snowboarding is a more modern sport than skiing. Skis have been used for centuries as a method of travel in snow areas, and official ski competitions have been happening since the 1930s. Meanwhile, the first snowboard was developed in the 1960s, and no official races happened until the 1980s.