So I wrote just a few short weeks ago about what type of snowboarder I am, but never actually went into any detail about why I snowboard, and why I don’t ski.

Well, truth be told I can (just about) do both, and even spent a day skiing last season in Bled, Slovenia.  I learnt to ski long before I’d really even heard of snowboarding, but that said, I can’t ever see myself going back to being a skier, I just love boarding far too much!

When I did I first learn to ski and snowboard?

I first learnt the basic of skiing at around the age of 10.  My secondary school and its sports fields backed onto Uxbridge dry ski slope, but that ski slope burned down in (not so) mysterious circumstances when I was about 17.

So yeah, I learn to ski on a dry slope, but with the aim of attending the school ski trip a few years later … only to then break my arm a month before the trip.  There was a slim chance my arm might have survived out in the alps, but my insurers were having none of it and in the end I missed out on the trip.

That was around 1999, and I didn’t make it to another ski resort until 2009, a full 10 years later when I visited the Bulgarian resort of Bansko.

… and that’s when I chose to snowboard for the first time.

Bansko Bulgaria

Why did I change?

Why?  Well I just thought that I’d be more suited to snowboarding and would enjoy it more.

Snowboarding seems simpler to me, what with having both feet strapped to the same surface whilst gliding across the snow.  I was also drawn to not having to deal with poles, as I thought it would be only a matter of time until I stabbed myself with one.

Lastly I also thought that snowboarding just looked a lot cooler and a lot more fun.

snowboarding_valmorel_2

Was it an easy change?

I won’t lie, the first 2 days of learning to snowboarder were a tad frustrating, and within that 48 hours I acquired many many bruises from failed attempts to make my way down the beginner slopes at Bansko.

But then, a bit like when learning to drive, I found my biting point and it all just clicked.  Persistence is certainly key with learning to snowboard, stick at it and you will be rewarded!

Considering it had been almost 10 years since I’d last skied I wouldn’t say that my previous skiing experience particularly helped or hindered my snowboarding ambitions, but once I was able to string consecutive turns together I knew I’d make the right decision in learning to snowboard.

Snowboarding Slovenia

My snowboarding adventures

Chasing vast mountain ranges covered in snow has taken me to some truley wonderful parts of the globe.

Admittedly my snowboarding adventures have thus far been contained to within Europe, but each adventure has been something I treasure, and will always look to build on until my knees can take no more.

The list to date is as follows …

… and here are a couple of videos from my 2015 adventures …

Pro’s and Con’s of each

Now other peoples pro’s and con’s list might differ entirely to mine, but as per the below I find it difficult to say that snowboarding is experientially better than skiing, or vice versa.

By all means I know which I prefer, but can admit that both have their pro’d and con’s, ups and downs.

Ski

  • Way easier to learn the basics
  • You’re in the majority
  • You can take on Green runs and flats
  • Easier to slip off of lifts
  • Walking in those boots
  • Poles – easy to drop, uncomfortable to fall on
  • You just don’t look as cool
  • Harder to get up after a fall

Snowboard

  • We look awesome!
  • Less kit to worry about
  • Boots we can walk in
  • Easier of the knees … especially my ageing knees
  • Green runs and flats are a no no
  • Drag lifts suck for us
  • That blind side
  • Harder to learn initially

Do I now loath skiers?

Having switched sides so to speak, you may think that I’m now 100% team snowboard, and hate the other guys.

To be honest though, I’m cool with skiers, and in a way I have to be as a lot of my friends who I go on snow trips with are skiers.  This works especially well for me as a blogger, as it means I can get footage of both sports, rather than just the one.

I see it more as a friendly rivalry than anything else.

snowboarding_valmorel_1

Which do I prefer to watch?

Yes, of course I love watching snowboarding, especially boarder-cross, but that’s not to say I don’t equally enjoy ski-cross too, I totally do.

Watching the Super-G on Ski Sunday is still also a fave of mine.  The intro music brings back some very fond memories on sitting in front of the TV on a Sunday morning and taking in incredible feats of bravery and speed.

The X Games is a great watch too.

… I doubt I’ll be appearing on either of those shows anytime soon though.

A quick message from the guys in the know

Ski and snowboard experts Neilson are stoking the friendly rivalry that exists between skiers and snowboarders.

Whichever sport you favour, you can improve both your ski and snowboard techniques with Neilson’s Mountain Experts. Neilson’s Mountain Collection guests have exclusive and free access to the Mountain Experts, qualified ski and board instructors who will expertly guide you around the mountain whilst helping you improve your skiing or boarding at the same time.

#skivsboard

Photos of myself snowboarding are provided by Pete Churchill over at compasschasers.com/@compasschasers