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row4food's avatar

How hard is it for a snowboarder to switch to downhill skiing?

Asked by row4food (3039 points ) January 25th, 2010

I’ve been snowboarding for over 10 years now. I would consider myself Intermediate (I can handle black diamonds and minimal glades, but I’d rather stay on blue squares). I really like carving down the mountain, but I have no interest in all the tricks and showing off in the terrain park. As I get older, I’ve been considering switching to skiing for something new to try. (Also, I’m the only boarder out of all of my cousins/family that I’ve been going to the mountain with recently….noticing fewer boarders this year, too.)

In high school, I was on the Nordic Ski team. I know that downhill and cross-country are totally different, but perhaps it is similar enough to give me an idea?

How hard is it to make the switch over from snowboarding to skiing?

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6 Answers

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

It shouldn’t be hard at all. I gave up downhill for cross-country many years ago, too damned crowded. I take great pride in being able to do perfect telemark turns downhill though.

andrew's avatar

It’s definitely a switch—four edges instead of two. The “feel” of it is much different, too. Skiing feels to me much more technical.

After skiing for 10 years, I switched to snowboarding and I love it—but it could just be that I have a natural proclivity for it (blues on day one, thank you very much!)—though I still do terrain parks on skis.

Snowboarding gives me much more of a sense of ‘flow’—carving on a long run to me is much more enjoyable than the technical challenge of bumps on skis.

I’d say try it for the novelty—you may fall in love with it—but for my money, if you enjoy cruising, I’d stick with snowboarding. (The one exception being that it’s much better in the lift line with skiis!)

Ruallreb8ters's avatar

My sister was never that great of a snowboarder and she switched to skiing without a problem, and ended up being much better at it. I dont think you will have any difficulties either. If you live anywhere around the northwest I would recomend going as soon a possible. 10 feet of freshees at Kirkwood… doesn’t get any better than that. ever.

lloydbird's avatar

About 3 or 4ish.
With determination and effort.
Without that, you might be looking at 4 and then some.
Or maybe a bit less.

nope's avatar

I’m a long time skier, and was a ski instructor for many years. I took up snowboarding, sort of, out of curiosity & to hang out with my kids. Although this wasn’t the case in the early days of boarding, nowadays there are many similarities. Sure, as @andrew points out, there are 4 edges on skis, but you basically use 2 at a time, so it’s more about the switch from edge to edge on your skis, just as you switch from edge to edge on your board. There are also similarities in your body movements designed to produce angulation (that’s how you control your edges).

So, I guess my point is, you should definitely try it out, you might find it easier than you think. I like skiing better, mostly because I’m really good at it. But I have friends who feel differently, because they are expert snowboarders. We enjoy the hill together in perfect harmony. Who knows which you’ll like better? I like that I have independent leg control, and I also feel safer with my bindings that release…having suffered some head banging falls on a snowboard. And, no offense meant by this, but I don’t agree with @andrew that snowboards are better for cruising (sorry!)...you can cruise very nicely on either. There’s no law that says if you wear skis, you must ski moguls. :)

wilhel1812's avatar

I have been snowboarding for 12 years now and I started Telemark skiing this year. I had no problem with switching. It took me some time to get control over the Telemark turns, but the skiing was no problem from day one. It should be said that i did Slalom skiing when i was a kid and that I’ve been cross country skiing all my life, but you say you have done that too, so i think you’ll do fine.

Personally i love both! This year I’ve lived at a ski resort in Voss, Norway and I’ve been Snowboarding twice a week and Telemarking 3 times a week. Next year I’m moving to Canada to ski, and i will most certainly bring my snowboards and my skis, and maybe some new RandonnĂ©e equipped planks! :D.

Well, my point is, I don’t think it will be hard for you. Switching from snowboard to skis is, I would say, much easier than doing the opposite.

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