Skiing and snowboarding are ways of moving over snow with boards attached to the feet; practiced mostly as recreation or sport, but often as conveyance.

Skiing is a kind of sport that uses a pair of skis to travel over snow. The skis are bound to boots, and progress is one foot at a time. On the other hand, snowboarding involves traveling on snow on a single snowboard attached to boots. Snowboarding is inspired by surfing, skiing and skateboarding.

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Skiing versus Snowboarding comparison chart
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About Skiing is a sport that makes use of a pair of skis for traveling on snow. Snowboarding is a sport where the participant descends a snowy slope with a single snowboard attached to his feet.
Equipment (Number of boards) 2 - A pair of skis appended to boots by way of binding. 1 - A snowboard is attached to the foot of the rider by means of a special boot.
Body / feet position Facing straight ahead, leaning forward, feet facing the front Facing sideways, feet in line with the body, perpendicular to the direction of movement.
Learning Skiing is relatively easier to learn for a beginner since it permits movement of both legs. Snowboarding is relatively harder to learn as you need the entire body to navigate.
Likely Injuries Skis can be navigated on bumps and ice, but a fall is likely to injure the knees. Snowboards navigate better in powder and crud, and while they’re easier on the knees, one might sustain injuries to the wrist.
History Samis and Nordic people invented this sport to hunt, for military maneuvers and as a means of transportation. The snowboard was invented by Sherman Poppen for his daughter and was earlier used as a toy.
First official race A 34 mile cross country ski race in Norway in 1932. The first national snowboard race happened near Woodstock in Vermont in 1982.
Types/Styles Alpine, Freestyle, Nordic, Military and others. Rail riding and Jibbing, Freeriding, Dryslope, Freestyle and Freecarve

History & Evolution

Skiing was invented by prehistoric people (Samis, Nordic) mainly as means of transportation and for hunting. Documented evidence of origin of skiing is found in Norway and Sweden. The origin of skiing as recreation and sport is attributed to Sondre Norheim (Father of Modern Skiing). He is responsible for the creation of skiing templates and all modern versions of skiing have originated from this. Telemark skiing or telemarking was common in 19th century and has since then been revived. New technique called the snow plow or stem technique has made snow slopes friendlier to beginners. The Arlberg technique is largely responsible for making skiing a very popular recreational activity.

The snowboard is believed to have been developed in 1970s in Utah. The first snowboard was called the Snurfer and was designed by Sherman Poppen for his daughter in 1965. The Snurfer began to be manufactured as a toy from the following year. The 1970s and 1980s saw snowboarding evolving into a popular recreational sport. Dimitri Milovich developed snowboard designs and started his own company called WinterStick. Jake Burton Carpenter, Tom Sims, Chuck Barfoot and Mike Olson are largely responsible for the snowboards and mechanisms that is currently in used today.

Types & Styles

Skiing:man leaning forward, facing ahead
Skiing:man leaning forward, facing ahead

Skiing primarily consists is of two types:

Telemark Alpine or Downhill skiing

Apart from these there are many other types of skiing:

Freestyle skiing:

Nordic skiing:

Military skiing - used as means of military transport apart from being enjoyed as recreation and sport. Army troops are trained for ski warfare which uses military skiing techniques. Biathlon, the sport owes its origin to military skiing patrols.

Kite skiing - skiing while being carried or pulled by kite, hang glider or parasail.

Paraskiing - done after jumping off from a plane or starting at high altitude.

Adaptive skiing – done by individuals with disabilities.

Dry slope skiing – done on artificial snow, dirt or dry snow.

Snowboarding: man faces sideways, perpendicular to the direction of movement
Snowboarding: man faces sideways, perpendicular to the direction of movement

Snowboarding is done in many styles which are used for recreational as well as in professional snowboarding.

Techniques Used

Skiing, makes use of poles to assist skiers as they move downhill or uphill and support them when they are in an upright position. It is necessary for snowboard riders to frequently seat themselves and exert more energy to remain on edge when they are at a stop.

Both a snowboarder and a skier hold the same kind of expertise but with respect to sheer velocity, skiing gains an upper hand over snowboarding. Skiers are faster than snowboarders.

Effect on the body

Skiing relatively affects the knees more when compared to snowboarding. Injuries and accidents related to the knee and broken bones occur largely in skiing. Snowboarding is more harmful to the wrists.


Skiing competitions are organized by International Ski Federation and this body is responsible for rules and regulations, scheduling of competitions etc. each county has its own national association which manages the competitions. The US Ski and Snowboard Association handle competitive skiing in America.

The Air & Style, Burton Global Open Series, Shakedown, X-Trail Jam, X-Games are large snowboarding contests. The Ticket to Ride is the largest grand finale of all independent free style events under the Tour Flag. It is officially recognized as TTR.


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