Powder days or bluebird days. Spa time or bar time. Fondue or fon-don’t. Everyone’s got their own idea of what makes the perfect winter holiday. But there’s one big question that’s guaranteed to get people talking – what’s actually better, skiing or snowboarding? So click in and buckle up as we put our keenest skiers and snowboarders head to head.
Why did you pick skiing or snowboarding in the first place?
David: ‘I watched the freestyle skiing in the X Games. The tricks they could do just looked way cooler than the snowboarders – I just had to try it.’
Katie: ‘My parents chose skiing for me. They were right though because I love it.’
Haydn: ‘It was similar for me. Mum and dad skied, so it just seemed natural for me to follow in their tracks.’
Hugh: ‘When I started skiing, back in the 80s, snowboarding just wasn’t that common. I never saw them on the slopes, so I didn’t consider it as an option.’
Ollie: ‘I find boarding much more laid back – you can fall over and it doesn’t really matter. For me, it’s just cooler, from the chilled-out attitude to the comfy, baggy clothes.’
James: ‘As for me, it was dumb luck. I injured my ankle a couple of months before my first ski holiday, so I couldn’t wear ski boots. But snowboard boots fitted just fine.’
Callum: ‘Parents definitely play a big role in what you choose. My step-dad was a snowboarder, so I followed suit.’
Which one do you think is easier to learn?
Alice: ‘I picked up the basics really quickly and remember feeling pretty fearless. By the end of the week, I was going down blue runs.’
Katie: ‘I was seven when I first tried skiing and it didn’t take long before I was making some turns. On my first day, I loved it so much I didn’t want to stop.’
Haydn: ‘I tried snowboarding around the same time as skiing, but having both my feet strapped to the board just felt weird. I like the feeling of being able to move both feet separately.’
Hugh: ‘It’s definitely easier learning nowadays, the gear is so much better. When I started, the skis were much longer and harder to turn, but that didn’t stop me.’
James: ‘I found my first week quite tricky, spending most of my time falling over and sitting on the snow. But once you’ve got the basics mastered you can improve really quickly. So stick with it, and you’ll be exploring the whole mountain while beginner skiers are still stuck on the baby slopes.’
Ollie: ‘When you’re learning in the nursery area you’ll have to use a button lift, which is really tricky on a snowboard. It’s all about being confident and moving with the board’.
So who’s got the best gear?
David: ‘Skiers are definitely better at looking after their gear on the slopes. I’ve often seen snowboards whizzing down the hill, followed by the owner running after it. I like that my skis won’t slide anywhere when I take them off.’
Alice: ‘The gear can be a bit of a handful. You’ve got your skis in one hand and poles in another, so it’s quite tricky if you have to catch a bus or tackle stairs. It’s all good once you’re on the slopes though.’
Haydn: ‘Ski boots are the one downside of skiing. They’re made of stiff plastic and are generally quite tight. I think taking off your ski boots is one of the nicest feelings going.’
James: ‘I love my boots, they’re so comfy. I wear them from first lift to last lift, then all the way through après and they still feel great.’
Ollie: ‘For me, it’s great only having one bit of gear to carry – I just pick up my board and off I go. It’s always funny watching the skiers clomping around dropping skis and poles.’
What are your pet peeves about skiers or boarders?
Alice: ‘I always find it annoying when you’re skiing down a narrow slope and a snowboarder is all over the shop. Why can’t they just go straight?’
Helen: ‘I feel like I’m always waiting for my snowboarder friends. When we get off the lift they always need to stop and strap back into their bindings. And when we get to a flat part I have to go back and pull them along with my pole.’
Ollie: ‘Snowboarders can’t see as much because they’re standing sideways on their board. I hate it when skiers whizz behind me just before I make a turn – I can’t see them coming.’
James: ‘People carrying their skis on their shoulders can be a pain, especially in queues. I don’t want to be hit on the head.’
Callum: ‘Skiers love to do lots of little turns, which naturally make the slopes bumpy. Riding through the moguls really isn’t fun on a snowboard.’
What’s your favourite thing about the mountain?
Katie: ‘I like to head out early to avoid the rush. I think cruising down an empty piste is the best.’
Alice: ‘For me, it’s all about heading to the highest point in the resort to take in those mountaintop views.’
Helen: ‘Normally I go on holiday with a mix of skiers and snowboarders, so it’s great to meet up at a bar after a day on the mountain.’
James: ‘When I hit the slopes, I’m always looking for stuff to play on, like little jumps, powder stashes and lips to shred. Skiers are so boring, all they want to do is carve down the piste.’
Ollie: ‘Snowboarders may be a laid-back bunch, but I never like to lie in on a powder day. If it’s snowed overnight, I try and catch the first lifts and bag fresh tracks in the new snow.’
Callum: ‘I love the views and the fresh air. At the top of a mountain, you feel like you’re on top of the world. Then you ride down and can look back up and think, “wow. I came down that”.’
So would you ever be tempted to switch?
Katie: ‘I tried snowboarding, but it wasn’t for me. I got too cold sitting on the snow all the time.’
Haydn: ‘Sorry, I just don’t like having my legs strapped to the same board. I like being able to move them independently.’
Callum: ‘Definitely not. I love my comfy snowboard boots too much to swap.’
James: ‘I prefer snowboarding, it’s just way cooler. But sometimes I ski with my kids, as it’s easy to be with them on the slopes using a pair of skis.’
We might not be able to agree which is better, but whether you’re in Team Ski or Team Snowboard, one thing’s for certain – nothing beats that feeling of zooming down the slopes.
To find a winter holiday that’s right for you, check out our latest deals. See you on the slopes.