What is better: Skiing vs Snowboarding? 101 Guide for beginners

two people on the mountain going skiing and snowboarding

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There’s no doubt skiing and snowboarding are the most loved winter sports. 

No wonder they both give an incredible adrenaline rush and an immense sense of freedom! 

But there are some significant differences between the two.  

So, if you want to learn one of them, but still haven’t decided, you came to the right place.  

At BUFF®, we are true outdoor adventurers all year round, so in this blog post we’ll explore how difficult it is to learn to ski or to snowboard and many more aspects to take into consideration when starting one or the other winter sport.  

Is it easier to learn to ski or snowboard?

It can be especially difficult to choose which activity is right for you for the newbies in winter sports. 

However, a common understanding is that skiing is often considered easier to learn for beginners. 


As we just said, skiing is easier to start with for beginners.  

It offers better stability due to the use of two separate skis, making it easier to balance. You will find itij simpler as a first-time skier to control your speed and navigate the slopes, especially when it comes to straightforward movements like going downhill.  

However, mastering parallel skiing and more advanced techniques can take more time and practice than mastering snowboarding.  


Snowboarding, on the other hand, is more difficult at the beginning 

You will need to develop a different set of skills, such as balance and coordination on a single board. Falling is common during the learning process and this can lead to some frustration, but with determination, most people can become proficient snowboarders in a relatively short time.  

Once you get the hang of it, snowboarding can provide an exhilarating and unique experience on the slopes. 

Do I need lessons? How many?

It’s vital to have some degree of guidance before letting yourself free on the slopes; you don’t want to risk a bad injury. And even though we can make a rough estimate of how many hours you would need, remember that the learning curve is different for each one of us.  

Above all, we recommend you listen to your coach’s opinion on your progress and remember that you can always do some return sessions to feel more confident on the slopes.  


You should take at least 2 hours of training sessions for 5 days 

These initial lessons will cover the basics of putting on your equipment, balancing, stopping, turning, and navigating easy slopes.  


For snowboarding, if you’re under 30 and reasonably fit, you should have at least 2 hours of training sessions for 3 days. Then at least some additional days during the following 2 weeks.  

For the adventurers above 35 or more, the training sessions at the beginning should be at least 2 hours for 6 days.  

Similarly, you will learn how to control your snowboard, balance, and turning need guidance. 

Do I need to be fit?

In both cases, you should have some endurance and muscle preparation, as being physically fit can help reduce the risk of fatigue and injury. 

Let’s dive into specific exercises that can help you in one case or the other.  


Strong leg muscles are crucial for maintaining balance and control while navigating downhill. These exercises are very useful for beginners: 

  • Running 
  • Cycling
  • All type of leg-toning exercises such as squats  


Prepare the abs: the more toned they are, the less you’re likely to fall.  

That’s because, if you have both your lower back and core strengthened, you will have more balance.  

Based on this, the exercises that will help you start snowboarding on the right feet, are: 

  • Planks 
  • All types of crunches 
  • Core-focused activities like vinyasa yoga and Pilates 

Moreover, snowboarders need stamina, as getting up from frequent falls can be physically demanding. 

people in the snow ready to ski and snowboarding

What's more dangerous?

Both skiing and snowboarding have their risks. While falls, or collisions are very common for both of them, let’s see what injuries can be more frequent in either one or the other.  


  • Knee and ligament injuries, especially medial or anterior cruciate ligament. 
  • Head injuries or concussions 
  • Shoulder fractures or dislocations 


Besides knee and shoulder dislocations, the most common injuries from snowboarding are: 

  • Wrist or hand injuries 
  • Ankle sprains  

What is better for children?

The kids’ personal preference might indeed be the main factor when deciding if they should start by skiing or snowboarding, but it’s worth considering their age, and physical abilities.  


Toddlers till 4 years old have way less stability than a kid or an adult.  

That’s why if you have a little kid around this age, it is better to get them started on the slopes with skiing.  


Kids above 4 have more balance and coordination.  

So, snowboarding can be quite a nice way to start going on the slopes.  

Key items for skiing and snowboarding

In addition to choosing between skiing and snowboarding, it’s essential to be prepared for the cold winter weather with the right accessories. Some key items to consider include: 

  • Balaclavas: A balaclava can help keep your face and neck warm and protect you from frostbite on particularly chilly days. 
  • Beanies: A beanie or liner that fits comfortably under your helmet is essential for maintaining warmth and comfort while on the mountain. 
  • Gloves or mittens: Invest in quality gloves or mittens to keep your hands warm and dry. 
  • Goggles: High-quality goggles provide essential protection for your eyes against the wind and snow, while also enhancing visibility in various weather conditions. 
  • Layered clothing: Dressing in layers allows you to regulate your body temperature as needed, and moisture-wicking fabrics can help keep you dry. 

Choosing between skiing and snowboarding ultimately comes down to personal preference, physical abilities, and the experiences you seek on the slopes.  

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced winter sports enthusiast, both skiing and snowboarding offer unique and exciting ways to enjoy the winter wonderland.  

Regardless of your choice, proper training and the best BUFF® accessories will help you make the most of your winter adventures. 

Ski and snowboarding's BUFF® selection

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