It’s often said that snowboarding is like skateboarding on the snow. You’re swapping the wheels for a waxed board; the streets for the slopes.
But how similar are these two sports? Are skateboard tricks easier or harder than snowboard tricks, and can a snowboarder easily adapt to riding on a skateboard?
Snowboarding and Skateboarding: The Similarities
Just because you can ride a snowboard doesn’t mean that you can automatically ride a skateboard. However, the stance is the same and the idea is very similar, as well. You will adapt much more quickly than someone who has never ridden before.
After all, you’re standing sideways with both of your feet on the snowboard. You’re moving at speed. And the goal is to manipulate the board while staying balanced and stable, so yeah snowboarding and skating have a good deal of cross over.
Skateboard Tricks vs Snowboard Tricks
This is probably where skaters will dominate in the snow.
Snowboarding and skateboarding tricks are very common, as are the ramps, and pipes used to perform them. Many of the jumps and turns you see in skateboarding are also used in snowboarding.
The difference is that skateboarding tricks often involve kicking or flipping the board. It’s not attached, and so it becomes a tool that riders use to perform tricks. However, a snowboard is always attached, and so it moves with the rider.
Snowboarding tricks can be easier the tricks on a skateboard because you are strapped in and can’t lose the snowboard like you can a skateboard.
Snowboarding Injuries vs Skateboarding Injuries
Snowboarders and skateboarders suffer from many of the same pains and discomfort, such as foot pain and ankle issues.
They are also prone to wrist injuries, as many novice boarders will thrust out their hands to protect themselves when they fall, damaging their wrists in the process.
Learning Curve: Going From A Skateboard To A Snowboard
The basic riding skills of snowboarding and skateboarding are very similar and easily transferable.
However, skateboarding is often harder than snowboarding. With skateboarding, you have to set the speed, you’re not attached to the board, and most skateboards are smaller than snowboards.
It’s also easier to fall on a snowboard and you may be more confident riding at speed and performing tricks if you know that you’re not going to suffer as many cuts, bruises, and breaks.
Once you get past the basics and start focusing on more technical stuff, including carving, tricks, and getting air, there isn’t much difference.
Does Snowboarding Help with Skateboarding?
It’s a strange question to ask and is akin to asking, “Does playing the banjo help with playing the electric guitar”. Of course it does, but if you want to learn how to play the electric guitar, you play the electric guitar!
Skateboarding skills transfer to snowboarding and vice versa. The natural balance is also important, as is the way that you maneuver your front foot, back foot, and your body weight.
Snowboarding may help to shorten the learning curve if you want to learn how to skateboard, but the easiest way to learn is to buy a skateboard, search for some local skate parks, and start practicing!
Summary: Comparing Snowboarding and Skateboarding
As you can see, while there are a lot of similarities between snowboarding and skateboarding, they are not the same sport, they both require a unique approach and a unique set of skills, and just because you’re good at one doesn’t mean you’ll be good at the other.
It certainly helps, though. More importantly, if you’re looking for a way to get your fix outside of snowboarding season, skateboarding could be just what you need.
Buy a skateboard, take to the streets, and practice skateboarding. You have several months to enjoy it before the slopes open again and you can return to the snow and ice.