Learn to Ski… or Snowboard. Which one is for me?

A common question for those who are considering learning to ski or snowboard… which should I try first? The answer is as unique as snowflakes… or personalities. Here are few things to consider before you decide to learn to ski or ride. Skiing…
  • Need for speed: For those inclined to forego the breaks down the slopes, physics point to a skier of the same ability as a boarder, nosing-out the boarder nearly every time.
  • Yard sale blues: Taking a bad spill on skis can be a lot messier and more difficult to clean up when each of your skis and poles fly about in different directions.
  • Fancy free feet: For those unaccustomed to having their feet planted and locked into one position, side-by-side, skiing might be more comfortable.
  • Up and at 'em: Skiers are able to get right off the lift and go, with no need to reattach bindings to boots.
Boarding…
  • Sitting pretty: Snowboarders end up sitting down a lot on the slopes - after getting off the lift, to prep their bindings, or to take a break from trying to remain on edge while not riding. Without poles, it's tougher to stand still upright for long.
  • Powder perfect: Leaving the ice and bumps to skiers, a snowboard is a heavenly man-made carpet ride over deep powder, although more and more skis are made to fly over powder as well.
  • Ouch!: Wrist injuries are more common while riding (falling) than while skiing, so be sure to wear wrist guards. However, boarding can be a bit kinder on the knees.
  • No fun on the flats: With no ski poles to help push you along, a boarder must resort to a lot of hopping and dragging to get beyond stretches of flat terrain.
In either case, you might want to rent before you buy and when you are ready to buy, try out some demos in different brands to find your most comfortable ski or ride.