Skis VS Snowboards

To Ski, Or Not To Ski?

Joe Best, Reporter

The snowy weather is almost here, making skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts tremble in anticipation as they prepare to hit the slopes. Unfortunately for us Kansans, we have no mountains to slide down and must make do with the tiny hills that leave us wanting more. Unless you have skied or snowboarded before, most people are content with the snow-covered hill and don’t know the incredible experience they are missing. But the few who know that nothing can replace the rush of hurdling down the side of a mountain at high speeds, look no further. Here is the solution to your skiing and snowboarding fantasies.  

If you look to the left of Kansas, you will find the beautiful state of Colorado, and if you keep looking left, your eyes will come across the Rocky Mountains! Many snow-heads across America make the trip to the Rocky Mountains in search of the adrenaline rush that only thousand-foot mountains can give. Once you arrive on the snowy peaks of the mountains, you must choose your steed that will carry you down the cold and unforgiving slope filled with falling trees, slippery ice patches, and moguls (big bumps of hard-packed snow). This decision must not be made lightly because what you choose will determine the kind of experience you will have.  

Skis and snowboards ride their own unique way and train different muscles and skills. The pros and cons of skiing versus snowboarding are a popular topic for debate in the snow sports community. What is easier? Which is more fun? Is one more dangerous than the other? Obviously, if you ask a skier or a snowboarder, they will tell you their sport is the best. To find out for yourself, you must learn to do both and decide which you prefer. If you have never skied or snowboarded before and you are only in the mountains for a brief time, then skiing is your best bet. Skis are easier to stay up on and figure out than snowboards, but if you find that you can do both easily and need some more reasons on which is worth practicing, then here you go.  

Comfort. If you have ever tried on ski boots, then you know how uncomfortable and difficult they are to walk in. Snowboard boots are much more comfortable and easier to walk in, and instead of having to figure out the best way to carry two long pieces of plastic, snowboarders only have to carry a single snowboard. But that is where the easy part ends. When mounting and dismounting the ski lifts, snowboards are not the most practical. When wearing skis, all you need to do is sit down, knock the snow off your skis as you ride up the mountain, and then push yourself off the lift and slide down at the top. Not so easy with snowboards, because your back foot must be detached from the board in order to walk around. Getting on is fine, but to get off with the back foot unclasped is difficult since your ability to steer with one foot is not great. If you plan on snowboarding, expect many falls. 

Price. The price for skiing and snowboarding passes are the same, so you do not have to worry about that. There is no extra charge for having a snowboard instead of skis, or vice versa because that would be ridiculous. The type of skis you buy may be cheaper or more expensive than the type of snowboard you buy depending on if you want to be competitive or just need the basics, but either way, they are both relatively close in pricing. If you hunt around shops or online, you can definitely find some skis and snowboards that are both the same price. This sport is a little expensive anyway, mainly because of the amount of cold weather and safety gear you have to purchase to be comfortable on the freezing mountains.

Cool factor. Well, that depends on your point of view. When someone tells you they snowboard, they automatically up their coolness levels. Snowboarders are like the surfer dudes of the mountains and are generally super chill. Skis are quick and perfect for speed junkies who just want to go screaming down the mountain as fast as they can. They are also more maneuverable, which enables them to do many tricks and flips. One of the coolest Olympic sports (in my opinion) is the ski jump. It would be risky to do that with a snowboard and you may end up in a thousand broken pieces.

There really is no significant difference in cool factor these days and it depends more on what your perspective is. We may never find out which is better than the other and truthfully, it does not matter. You will have a blast either way, especially when you’re with friends or family. Kansas is not a very mountainous state (at all), but it is not far from them, so if you ever feel like scooching down pitiful sled hills are not fulfilling your life, hop in a car, drive east for about 10 hours, and you will arrive in the Colorado Rocky Mountains!