Snowboarding and skateboarding is both enjoyable leisure activity. People would flock to various playing sites for this sport. However, most of them are confused about the difference between the two!
Are you one of them? Then you’re in the right place!
The main distinction between the two is that snowboarding is a winter sport while skateboarding is an action-adventure freestyle sport. You can observe that they differ in the boards used, too!
Despite their differences, many people use skateboarding as a transition to snowboarding or also practice it when they cannot snowboard.
Sounds interesting? Keep reading to know more!
Snowboarding vs. Skateboarding: Differences Between Them
Stance & Balance
One thing that makes snowboarding and skateboarding so closely related is the stance many call a surf stance, standing sideways while facing the travel direction.
Even though a snowboard is typically longer than a longboard, your view of the board is similar in width, which is about shoulder width. Your feet are closer to the tips on a longboard than a snowboard.
Another key difference is that your feet on a snowboard are strapped through the bindings, whereas they are free moving on a longboard.
As a result, balancing is a bit different since you can lean forward or backward on a snowboard without losing your board, which you cannot do on a skateboard.
The weight of your boots and bindings on a snowboard will also affect the balancing in different ways compared to the skateboard.
Basic Riding Skills
Your natural balance is similar while you ride a snowboard or a skateboard. However, while you ride a skateboard, you have the four wheels rolling on the ground.
On a snowboard, you depend on the board’s edge- you typically don’t ride on the flat except in the more advanced scenarios. Hence, edge riding is a crucial difference from skateboarding.
The body motion for carving is very similar to a snowboard and a skateboard. For example, using your head, shoulders, and upper body to initiate the turns.
On both, shift your body weight to lean onto an edge to turn. On a skateboard, leaning will make your wheels spin, whereas, on a snowboard, it makes your board edge into the turn.
Stopping on a snowboard is similar to power sliding on a skateboard, which makes your board skid across the slope by shifting your weight and pushing out.
Stopping on a skateboard is done through foot braking or bailing and outrunning. This cannot be done on a snowboard as your feet are strapped to the board.
Regarding the learning curve, most people agree that skateboarding is more complicated to learn than snowboarding. Here are a few reasons.
If you fall on a skateboard, you risk hitting the concrete, and hence you will get hurt very severely, even at a low speed. On a snowboard, you will fall in the snow; even if there is ice, it is not as bad as concrete.
Anybody can get on a skateboard and toll a bit, but getting the basics down, like turning, stopping, and pushing, requires more effort and time than snowboarding.
The learning snowboarders can typically ride down a mild slope within a day, whereas safely rolling down the hill on a skateboard will require much more practice.
Once you have got the basics down on a snowboard and can link the turns and ride down the hills without falling, the learning curve gets steeper to ride bigger hills by doing cliff jumps and riding pipe.
Likewise, learning freestyle or dancing tricks on a longboard, sliding and bombing skills, transitions, and riding ramps are hard skills to learn.
Accessibility & Cost
Skateboard does not cost much to get into, typically S100 to S260 for a board, depending on the type. You may also want to fork out another S100 for safety gear.
A snowboard costs much more, including freestyle binding and snowboarding boots. You must also factor in expensive snowboarding stomp pads, pants, gloves, and goggles. In addition, the cost of traveling to the mountain and the lift tickets add up to a hefty amount.
Do skateboarding skills transfer over to snowboarding and vice versa? One thing is for sure. Your balancing skills from one sport will no doubt help you to pick up the other sport much faster.
Skateboarders who start snowboarding can link the turns and ride down the slope on the first day.
Carving turn down the hill on a skateboard is similar to doing the same on a snowboard. A skateboard must mainly get used to riding the edge and pivoting on the front foot.
Snowboarding is done exclusively on snow on the slopes. And unlike skateboarding, your feet are strapped to the board while snowboarding! There will be very few instances you might see someone snowboarding on flat surfaces.
Talking about the tricks associated with snowboarding includes basic ones like Ollie and Nollie, tail press, Buttering, indy grabs, Frontline 180, and many more. But all these tricks need you to have great control.
Ollie and Nollie are nothing but small lifts off the ground, with proper attention paid to the positioning of knees and crouching stances.
Some of the skateboarding tricks include:
- Riding a switch involves keeping one foot on the board and pushing with the opposite foot. So if you usually keep your right foot on the board in the riding switch, you use it to push off. The trick is you reverse your regular placements of feet.
- This is a riding manual. In manual, you press the board’s tail and lessen the pressure on the front foot. The front of the board lifts off the ground.
- Kick turn is an advanced version of the manual. As you ride the manual, turn your shoulders and upper body around in whichever direction you prefer. This will do the job for your lower body and turn the skateboard. Then you come back down and center your weight on the skateboard.
These are some basic but popular tricks in both cases!
Talking about popularity, if seen, on the whole, you’d see that snowboarding and skateboarding are sufficiently represented.
But due to obvious reasons that are the ground for snowboards, the popularity of skateboards is a tad more than that of snowboards. But that isn’t to say that one is better than the other.
The reason skateboards seem more widely used is that they can be used any time of the year and anywhere.
Whereas the snowboarding season itself is pretty limited, and without proper snow-covered ground, it hardly makes sense to take out your snowboards!
Also, in some areas, snowboards are more culturally accepted than skateboards. Especially among the older generations, you’d find almost all of them are inclined towards snowboarding. And it is the younger generation who are into skateboards.
Another thing that can be observed is that while the older and younger population engages in snowboarding as a sport, skateboarding only seems limited to the youth.
But another thing that should be kept in mind is that snowboarding has become a symbol and a way of earning. That means it is part of the tourism economy.
So, snowboarding can very well be said to be widely popular in the winter months in snow-covered areas!
Personally, I feel both snowboarding and skateboarding are equally risky. Though the risks associated with it are maybe on different levels, they are there. That said, let’s look at some of the risks.
One significant risk of snowboarding and skateboarding is that you can hurt your knees if you do not have control over the proper landing process.
And in both cases, there are risks of losing control, tripping, and falling face-first, which can cause serious injury.
Falling face first is a significant risk in skateboards because your feet are not strapped to the board. And when you lose, you will probably hurt your feet and your chin. Ankles are one of the most vulnerable spots in these kinds of sports!
That said, snowboarding is also not risk-free. While there is a proper way to stop skateboards when required, an n case containing becomes tricky if snowboarding if you are going downhill, stopping becomes tricky.
And if you do not have proper control, you might run into some other rider and, in the process, hurt them as well as yourself!
Other Notable Differences
- Terrain: Snowboarding is executed on snow. Skateboarding is mainly performed on ground terrains.
- Season: Snowboarding is a winter sport. Skateboarding is a summer sport.
- Locomotion: Movement is due to the snowboard that slopes down the snow. Movement is due to the wheels that roll at the base of the skateboard.
- Bindings: Bindings are requisite to snowboarding. Skateboarding is usually not practiced with bindings. Exceptions are, however, made duly in the case of beginners.
Is Snowboarding Harder Than Skateboarding?
Here, again I feel that it is very subjective. The answer to this question will depend on the person you are asking. I mean, think about a person who has grown up near snow-covered mountains, where there is a rampant snowboarding culture.
For them, snowboarding would be as regular as any other sport. But a person who has had no connection with any snow activity their entire lives, who has always seen winter as only chilled temperatures and no snow, who has never been to any snowboarding resort, obviously for snowboarding will seem a strenuous activity!
Also, since skateboards have strapless feet, snowboarding can be difficult and trickier to handle for many skateboards. The same is valid for vice versa.
So I don’t think there is any reason to categorize one sport as more complex than the other because it doesn’t make sense when these seemingly similar sports actually require a variable environment and skillset.
Snowboarding and skateboarding are complementary sports; most riders cross-train for one by practicing the other.
Skateboarding lets you stay in shape and can hone your balancing, downhill, carving, and freestyle skills from Spring to Fall.
Conversely, if you have the budget and time, snowboarding can keep you riding when it is too cold and icy to skate.
Snowboarding is a great sport, and there is no feeling like being on these slopes. It is essential to remember that skateboarding is similar to snowboarding, which can be the perfect solution for those who cannot snowboard throughout the year.