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I'm in a quandary

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I have spent the past year getting into skiing. I have been reading a lot, taking some lessons and then spending a week in Wengen where I feel I acquitted myself well by starting to carve and by negotiating most of the runs on the mountain.

Now, the thing is I’m not sure I am on the right path and that maybe my time would be better spent on one of those new-fangled snowboard things.

I say this as although I enjoy skiing I’m not sure I find it fun, it was more a sense of satisfaction at achieving technical goals, whereas it looks like boarding was created to be fun. Given enough time and opportunity skiing is probably more fulfilling and flexible than boarding but as I’m getting on for 40, not highly fit and unlikely to spend more than a week or 2 on the snow a year I’m not sure I have the time or opportunity to get enough out of skiing.

So I am not asking for your personal preference I am asking what would you recommend to someone like me. What do you think I would I get the most out of?


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 12-03-10 13:46; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
tiffin, you won't know until you try it.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Bit of both.

How's your tolerance for physical pain?

I wrote a story about learning to snowboard, you can read it here: http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=1016965
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Lizzard, Your right of course.

paulio, Nice report Smile I'm ok with pain except of the testicular kind you mentioned.

Spose some lessons are in order. Obviously I'm speaking without experience and therefore probably out of my back bottom but it just seems that boarding is more suited to those who just want a little fun for a couple of weeks a year. Whereas skiing seem more a pursuit of technical ability.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
tiffin, 40 is ok to learn, but be prepared for a few aches etc because learning is like doing 100 press-ups and 100 sit-ups in day and then getting beaten with a baseball bat on the way home by a mugger. Skiing would be the easier option because for boarding, at two weeks a year, it might take you a few years to 'enjoy' boarding in the way that you perceive it being fun, rather than constantly being a beginner or early intermediate. Ah sod it, just go for the boarding and you will probably want to do more han two weeks and head to the UK fridges to do some tricks etc Very Happy
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tiffin, it depends really. i've been told that "snowboarding is harder to learn, easier to master; but skiing is easier to learn, harder to master". not having learnt to ski myself, i can't offer a personal experience comparison, but which one is it you feel you want to "master" so to speak?

if you're only planning on being out in the snow for a couple of weeks a year, i would personally choose to have as much fun as i can whilst out there. maybe you don't feel the same?

ps. i dont' buy into that "easier to master" line about snowboarding. if that were true, we'd all be popping double corks after three weeks Laughing .
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I think it's true that the learning curves are very different shapes, and that "easier/harder to learn/master" thing is a good enough approximation of it.

tiffin - you sound like a casual punter who just wants a good snowy giggle on your hols, rather than the sort of perfectionist who wants to pore over videos and get furious with himself over his slight A-framing. So if the skiing isn't "doing it for you" for whatever reason, or you've hit an annoying plateau (as most casual intermediate skiers seem to, from which they never progress), then just give the boarding a go.

However, from reading between the lines of your first post, you've only done a single actual week in a ski resort? You've not quite given it a fair crack of the whip if so, and if you'd started by snowboarding you would now probably be saying "thinking of changing to skiing because snowboarding isn't quite doing it for me yet".
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I'm defiantly after fun for now rather than technical proficiency, I would love to master either but would settle for okish at either one

If I do come over to this side I may need a new dictionary as I had to look up double cork Laughing

paulio, Yes only a week of proper skiing, which I did enjoy. I was just wondering where to apply my efforts over the next year.

Its more than likely I'm just fickle, I am always getting into things then moving on.

I must learn to finish thi....
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I'll tell another amusing anecdote while I'm here. Two years ago I introduced my family to skiing, well sort of bullied them into it. Dad + 3 siblings who had all never done it before. They loved it obviously. However, the siblings were constantly moaning "we wish we were snowboarding instead, it looks so graceful and cool and fun, skiing is really awkward and daft, whinge whinge".

So the next year my brother decided he was going to be a snowboarder instead. "I'm a good skateboarder", he reassured himself...

Total time spent on a snowboard: 10 minutes. Took it back to the shop. Got some skis.

Smile
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tiffin wrote:
I'm defiantly after fun for now rather than technical proficiency,

Those things are not mutually exclusive. The more technically proficient I have become the more fun I have. But that doesn't mean you have to be a top skier to have fun; I see beginners (on skis and boards) having a wonderful time.

My advice would be to stick with one discipline for six weeks and take plenty of lessons. If you're still not having fun you can at least say you've given it a good go and see if switching to the other discipline is more rewarding.
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Yep, I agree with Rob, the fun comes once you have a certain amount of skill in either skiing or boarding.

I rarely ski now but that's because I can do anything on a board that my mates can do on skis... then if we find a good stash of powder, I would rather be on my board. Given an icy resort with no worthwhile off piste, I wouldn't get the board out of its bag though.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Thanks for the advice all.

One further aspect, it is a bit over an hour to my nearest fridge so most of my UK sliding will be on the crappy carpet at bracknell. Which discipline is better suited for that.

I can see the answer "they both suck on carpet" coming Smile
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I was skiing for 2 weeks then changed to boarding.
I liked skiing but I love boarding now.
Some snow condition might be better for one and worst for another but I am happy I started with boarding.

I just love the "act of boarding" so I have lots of fun from just doing a few turns.
That's why I can go to the Fridge to do a couple of hours on the snowboard there.
But I don't think I will go there to ski.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
tiffin, if I had a choice of an hour's drive to ski on snow, or a dryslope in my garden I'd drive to indoor slope. I think you're right that they both suck on plastic.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
rob@rar wrote:
tiffin, if I had a choice of an hour's drive to ski on snow, or a dryslope in my garden I'd drive to indoor slope.


Amen!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My advice (from someone who was originally skier but now a confirmed darksider) is that your options are the same as for a beginner who hasn't done any at all.
Questions to ask yourself...
Naturally do you like being side on (can skateboard, surf or windsurf) or do you prefer being balanced straight on with visibility forward (cyclist, horserider)
What are your plans for the future - snow holidays with existing friends or make new friends.
If its the first scenario - then what do your friends do - as it is easier when all do the same discipline, whats their level - can they help you improve or will you all be learning together?
Agewise I don't think it makes a big difference - whats important in both scenarios is to have a certain level of fitness otherwise your precious week or 2 each year can be wasted with achey muscles, tiredness (Although even if you are fit you will still feel that but you will have achieved more!)
Main thing I say is to do what you think you will enjoy the most - rather than what's 'cool' or 'easier'.
e.g. horseriding friend last year came snowboarding with us as thats what we did and she wanted to do the same, but hated all the falling over and didn't have the mental strength to deal with it. We encouraged her to try skiing - she loved it and had a much better time - it felt more natural and even though she still fell over she had a better attitude and started to enjoy the holiday...
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I can't skateboard or surf or windsurf or ride a horse and I haven't got a bicycle.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Two other thing that started me thinking about this:

1. I was looking to buy some boots this year as I found to my cost that my fleabay cheapees are way too large and I didn't want to commit unless I was sure. But I can rent again if required.

2. My wife, who is not a skiing fan, may be more keen on boarding and I would like to keep her company. This is more important than you might realise, as she has been mentioning blades Shocked
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tiffin wrote:
2. My wife, who is not a skiing fan, may be more keen on boarding and I would like to keep her company.
Unless you plan on taking lessons together there's no reason why skiers and boarders can't slide down mountains keeping each other company.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
rob@rar wrote:
Unless you plan on taking lessons together there's no reason why skiers and boarders can't slide down mountains keeping each other company.


Yeah I know, it was just if I was learning at the same time she might feel better. Although it would probably end in tears Smile
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actually i ended up boarding because I met someone who didn't do either. Rather than him being in ski lessons on his own while I was off doing my intermediate/advanced thing - we decided to learn to snowboard together...
haven't been back on skis since!!!!
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Quote:

My wife, who is not a skiing fan, may be more keen on boarding

it's theoretically possible, but depends on the reasons why she's not a skiing fan. Is it because she's bored with not stacking it every time she gets off a chairlift, or because she wants to prove she's harder than you, or because most of the really fit guys seem to be on boards? In which case, she'll probably love it. But if it's because getting cold/wet/scared/sore is not her idea of a good time then she probably won't.

I DO buy into the "easier to master" claim, but with the caveat that although beginner snowboarders can be getting down red runs with some style far faster than beginner skiers, they need a degree of fitness and athleticism and a high pain threshold to be able to do so. So a tough and athletic 20 year old can be throwing himself down a mountain on a board pretty quickly, and even venturing into the powder by the end of week 1. But he will still probably be in more pain than many people are prepared to tolerate (especially if piste conditions are a little hard and icy) when it's all supposed to be fun. Motivation is the key.

Learning together might indeed end in tears but if she proves to be better than you, they could be your tears. wink
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
sherlock235 wrote:
tiffin,. i've been told that "snowboarding is harder to learn, easier to master; but skiing is easier to learn, harder to master".

.


i have heard that and i'm not buying into it !!!, i think its been born out of over rated skiers having there back bottom kicked off piste buy proper boarders, and theres no excuse for skiers now with the size of these new ski's !!!
you can reach a certain standard in both discipline's after which it takes probably the same determination , effert and balls to reach those levels you see on tv, i personally have never had a single lesson, who taught the first person??? every discipline has a "perfect style" but that is only perfect until someone else comes along with different style and beats everyone, the easiest example i think is golf,(i was taught by a pro golfer) how many different styles on the world tour!!
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Quote:

i think its been born out of over rated skiers having there back bottom kicked off piste buy proper boarders


Laughing Go watch the freeride world tour videos, see who goes bigger faster and harder... (or the ski/board cross in the olympics) Not that it matters though.

It is fairly easy to get to a standard of skiing where you can ski most pistes and enjoy the majority of most resort's offerings, it is difficult to learn (and use) really good technique all over the mountain in different snowtypes - and look good whilst doing it. At the top levels, I do believe skis are faster, and offer more control on 'extreme' slopes that anyone would struggle with on a board.

Boarding is hard and painful to get to a level where you can (properly, with proper turns) use most of the runs in a resort, although it is possible to 'falling leaf' down a black with 20 minutes of learning. Most 'intermediate' boarders look fairly good, and seem more comfortable jibbing around than a similar level skier. Generally it seems easier to learn to deal with different snowtypes on a board too.

So yeah, I agree with the harder to learn/easier to master stuff.
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51st state wrote:
... i personally have never had a single lesson ...

Skier or boarder?
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the "easier/harder to learn/master" argument is fading a bit because of the different skis available for different conditions so there is less to 'master' with skiing than in times gone by wink skinies for piste, fats for off piste, then the combined fats (board) for proper off piste Little Angel
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
tiffin wrote:
My wife .... has been mentioning blades


D.I.V.O.R.C.E.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
clarky999 wrote:
Quote:

i think its been born out of over rated skiers having there back bottom kicked off piste buy proper boarders


Laughing Go watch the freeride world tour videos, see who goes bigger faster and harder... (or the ski/board cross in the olympics) Not that it matters though.



I watched some of the last FWT event and some of the women boarders in particular were dreadful. Ok the snow was setting up as a bit funky but it was still untracked. If what is required of the FWT is to career down a powder field with frequent back bottom checks then I'm a contender,

Definitely in the harder to start, easier to master camp.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

the "easier/harder to learn/master" argument is fading a bit because...



...it's bollocks. Yes boarding is a bit harder for the first few days in general and skiing is harder to reach a generally decent standard. But to be an expert, and I mean real expert, either is as hard as one another: that's why there aren't many true experts around. Take a real look at people on the hill while a lot are good and of a high standard there aren't many out there who are absolutely fantastic at either discipline.


Edit as I'd quoted more than I meant.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Sun 14-03-10 21:31; edited 2 times in total
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Swirly wrote:
But to be an expert, and I mean real expert, either is as hard as one another: that's why there aren't many true experts around. Take a real look at people on the hill while a lot are good and of a high standard there aren't many out there who are absolutely fantastic at either discipline.

Agreed.

I've skied a lot although I'm only just beginning to dabble with boarding and I can't see that there is a huge difference in the "technicality" of the two disciplines, and therefore no significant difference in what it takes to become a truly proficient.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
tiffin, some good advice and imho some partisan misinfo on this thread. If I were starting out, neither terribly young nor terribly old, and reasonably fit, I'd definitely go for boarding first. As others have said, harder to learn but only takes a short time, then you're away up the mountain and having fun down most slopes, feeling and looking reasonably proficient. It'll be a long hard slog till you look reasonably proficient on skis.

edited: as poorly phrased


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sun 14-03-10 23:58; edited 1 time in total
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tiffin wrote:


2. My wife, who is not a skiing fan, may be more keen on boarding and I would like to keep her company. This is more important than you might realise, as she has been mentioning blades Shocked


Decision made. learn to board. Skiing and boarding are both great. but keeping the wife happy is priceless. Madeye-Smiley
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
slikedges, one of the differences with learning to board and ski is that for boarding (after first day or two) it is better/easier to have steeper slopes to practice on which is where this 'I could carve down reds after 5 days' stuff comes from, if you fall you get up and try again but if you are on a piste that is flat and need to keep speed up it is a different matter. Skiers would much prefer a nice blue/green etc at the same stage because if they fall it is easier to get up and simply 'pole off' again. Just because a boarder can ride a more difficult piste does not necessarilly mean it is easier to learn

After a couple of weeks a skier could get around a resort (avoiding steeps) whereas the same boarder is likely to be completely pants on a narrow/flat easy piste and would stuggle doing a 'circuit' of a resort and will be stopping and walking and falling and still struggling to get off chair lifts, they may well get down a red but they would not be to much fun to be with if there are a few flat run outs and narrow pistes with bit of a drop to the side.

This idea that a boarding is easier to get good at earlier is in my view not always true, it is easier to ride certain slopes on a board, but likewise it easier to ski certain slopes at the same stage of development on skis.

edit - I have a 45 year old mate who has neither skied or been on a board and I have recommended he learns to ski rather than board
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Skiing is easier to learn, there is absolutely no question about that.

Learning to ski is gentle and easy, and learning to board is like being beaten up outside a nightclub.

Learning to ski well is certainly a different matter, ditto boarding. But as I said earlier, the "easier to learn harder to master" thing is just a trite way of describing two different learning curves, one of which (skiing) has an intial leap from total incompetence to 'some competence' which occurs during your first morning, and the other (boarding) shows at least a day of repeatedly slamming your face into the ground whilst crying and swearing.
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As for

51st state wrote:
i think its been born out of over rated skiers having there back bottom kicked off piste buy proper boarders


don't be a wally, eh. Skiers vs boarders arguments are SO 1990s.
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rayscoops, you make an interesting point about beginner boarders and relative ease of steeper v. shallower slopes, but even from what you say an early stage boarder can much more quickly get on with the business of sliding round and about the mountain. An early stage skier faces the struggle of turning snowploughs and stems into scratchy basic parallels with poor control on comparatively limited terrain for weeks. And even when they succeed it'd be obvious to the casual observer that they're just at the beginning of learning to ski competently.

Assuming that the sliding bit of an annual winter holiday is about being able to enjoyably get around most of the available sliding area without too much trouble, I think boarding gives the average person (as long as not too fragile for the initial multiple body-blow stage) the greatest chance of getting to that level quickly, so they can get on with the business of being a recreationalist rather than beginner. I don't doubt that to become an expert boarder takes a lot of time but I still hold that it's simply easier to get good at, at least at recreational levels. I found learning to board pretty easy once I'd fallen over a squillion times in the first few hours. I haven't boarded much (not at all for a couple of years now) but a few good friends of mine who are ex-skiers will all admit that they went over to boarding because they were taking too long to progress on skis and boarding not only got them round all the pistes within 1-2 weeks, but got them off piste as well. Can't do that on skis in any meaningful way.

I know I'm likely to be biased, but FWIW I think if you just want to get on with being able to enjoy a winter sliding holiday quickly, and you're not too old to ride out 3 rounds in the ring on the first day, boarding is the way to go. If you have the time and inclination to develop your skills at something challenging, you can do either or both and find them equally rewarding in different ways. If you're too old to survive being knocked around a bit, then skiing is more gentle to learn, and whilst will be a very enjoyable and rewarding activity to practise and progress at, set your sights some way back from the horizon.

Skiing easy to learn, difficult to master and boarding difficult to learn, easy to master is inaccurate, as all generalisations by their very nature must be. Perhaps skiing easy to learn, difficult to get to a generally decent standard, boarding difficult to learn, easy to get to a generally decent standard might be more accurate.*

*apologies to swirly for nicking his phrase
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slikedges, I think boarding gives that impression and I was getting down from the Tignes glacier on day 4 of being on a board so yes I could get around the mountain and see some great sights, but in contrast I could not ride any sort of flat section that needed some form of going in a specific direction to where I was heading, which meant un-clipping and walking to get to a 'high' point on a piste or along a track or path or a flat tunnel, which was not much fun.

For example at L2A there is that long green (1/4 of a mile ?) track that heads back to Cretins, which is a nightmare for boarders but a skier in the first week of lessons would have no problem with it.

I think this is spot on though

slikedges wrote:
Skiing easy to learn, difficult to master and boarding difficult to learn, easy to master is inaccurate, as all generalisations by their very nature must be. Perhaps skiing easy to learn, difficult to get to a generally decent standard, boarding difficult to learn, easy to get to a generally decent standard might be more accurate.* apologies to swirly for nicking his phrase
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Not sure I like the idea of walking. The runs back to to Wengen are either the Lauberhorn which I did but wouldn't want to do at the end of the day as it is knackering or that path beside the train on which I did float passed some walking boarders.

I think If the OH wants to try it then I'll go along with her and see how I feel and if I like it then I may do a couple of days of each next winter. If she doesn't then I'll stick to the skis, worry a little less about form and try to have a few more laughs.
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