When snowboarding became popular years ago a debate raged, and continues to do so, as to which is better – snowboarding or skiing? Many avid winter sports fans would say both are excellent and provide different elements of fun. But if you’re planning a Perisher snow holiday this year and can only tackle one sport, here are some tips to help you decide which is best for you.

1. Learning curve

Since skiing involves moving your feet independently, just like walking, it feels more natural than having both feet attached to the one piece of equipment as they are on a snowboard. And certainly, once you learn a couple of manoeuvres, such as the snowplough and skating, then you’re off and running. Plus, unlike skiing, snowboarding can be a little painful for the first couple of days due to the many falls you’re likely to experience as a beginner.

On the flip side, once you get over the initial hump in snowboarding, it becomes easier to perfect your style while skiers can develop bad habits quickly that are hard to shake and make moving to more challenging terrain difficult.

2. Gear


Snowboarding boots are made for comfort.

Hands down, snowboarding boots are much more comfortable than ski boots. In fact, some shoe manufacturers, like Nike and Vans, even make snowboarding boots.

In addition, snowboards can be carried under one arm, making it easier for riders (snowboarders) to get from the carpark out onto the slopes. You’re not struggling with two long skis plus a set of poles, as well as trying to master just walking in those heavy rigid ski boots.

TIP:  If you don’t own skis or a snowboard, or don’t want the hassle of bringing yours with you, Ski Rider Hotel offers ski equipment hire conveniently onsite.

3. Ease of using the chairlift

This is where skiing takes the cake. Chairlifts are made for skiers. Snowboarders must go through the hassle of undoing the buckles on one binding so their back foot is unattached from the board in order to ride the chairlift. This can be time consuming especially in the beginning. Then at the top of the lift, snowboarders have to take the time to refasten their back foot into the binding before heading off again while skiers can just hop off the chairlift and get going.

TIP: Save money by pre-booking your Perisher lift tickets and lessons at least 14 days before you arrive at Ski Rider . Our friendly staff can advise which lift ticket or lesson is best for you, so give us a call.

4. Balance

Both sports require a great deal of balance. At first glance, skiing might seem easier to balance, especially since you have poles helping to steady you. However, as you progress and your speed picks up, then you have to worry about the skis crossing or spreading out too far, which can cause crashes.

Snowboarders initially have it tough as they only rely on their arms and hands for balance. But once you get the hang of it, balancing on a snowboard stays the same as you progress; you don’t have to adjust your weight distribution for two skis, just one snowboard all the time. Also, if you have ever surfed or skateboarded, that muscle memory certainly lends itself to snowboarding.

5. Crashes

Skier down! Image by: Joe Shlabotnik

Skier down! Image by: Joe Shlabotnik

If you crash while snowboarding, you won’t be leaving behind a ski or two or poles when you fall, and then spend time hiking back up the mountain to unearth them from the snow. And it’s not just about losing gear, when a skier falls, each limb could be moving independently causing some dramatic crashes.

In saying that, it’s never pleasant having a stack on your skis or snowboard. Skiers at least have the advantage of potentially saving themselves from a fall by redistributing their balance from one ski to the other. Snowboarders on the other hand have a fair chance of going down as soon as they start to lose balance and it’s guaranteed you’re either going to land on your behind or wrists. In the beginning it will be well worth the investment of making sure you’re fitted out with proper protective gear.

Helmets are compulsory for any child participating in lessons at Perisher Ski Resort and highly recommended for everyone using the mountain regardless. For beginner snowboarders it would also be very worthwhile investing in a set of wrist guards and possibly even a pair of impact shorts to provide hip and tailbone protection.

6. Ease of accessing the resort

Like many resorts worldwide, while skiing or snowboarding at Perisher Ski Resort you’re bound to encounter a few areas where you’ll need to traverse across the mountain before heading downhill. For skiers this is pretty easy. By using the skis in a skating motion and giving yourself a good push forward with your poles you’ll find yourself crossing those flat spots in no time.

Snowboarders are going to find traversing much more time consuming and physically tiring. Just like using the chairlift you’re going to need to remove your back foot from it’s binding and use this to push yourself along similar to how skateboarders get around. When crossing undulating terrain you’ll find yourself unstrapping, skating for a bit, possibly trying to negotiate small downhill sections with only one foot strapped in, or worse yet having to unstrap completely and walk.

Whichever way you decide to go you’ll still be able to become a part of the mountain culture and pick up some of the lingo like “pow” or “freshies” since that means freshly fallen snow. And fresh snow means we’re ready to get out and learn how to do either or both of these excellent winter sports!

Book your Perisher snow holiday 2014 at Ski Rider now!

Book your stay at Ski Rider where our affordable Perisher accommodation will allow you to spend more of your travel budget on lessons and Perisher lift tickets, so you can make the most of your learning experience on the mountain.