Some Facts About the Advantages and Disadvantages Faced when Skiing and Snowboarding
Initially learning to ski can be fairly simple and once you have fallen over a few times you should be able to do a simple snowplough turn and together with a little confidence this turn can get you back down to the bottom of a mountain providing the slope is not too steep. Within a few days and some basic lessons you should be able to complete the next stage of parallel turns and the two together can enable even a bad skier to look capable. To be able to master the more advanced ski runs with moguls or to successfully ski off-piste takes longer and a little style as you learn to pivot your body and face down the slope you are heading.
The early learning process for snowboarding can be a process of collecting bruises and is best undertaken on soft snow. It can feel somewhat constricting to have both feet clamped together on a snowboard and learning to balance in this way can be a humbling experience. A big advantage of snowboarding is once you master the basics of balance, turning and stopping safely then the experience of going off-piste can be achieved much sooner. Snowboarding through soft powder snow is much easier than traversing your way on-piste, should you fall the landing is much softer and with skiing if you wipe out in the deep powder you may have to search for your skis if they have unclipped, the snowboard stays attached.
Getting to the ski lift requires a long walk in many resorts from your hotel or car park. Wearing cumbersome ski boots and carrying your skis and ski poles can be a stressful experience. The advantage comes when you are getting onto the chairlift, drag lifts such as T-bars and Poma’s are fairly easy once you hang got the hang of successfully getting on (and staying on) them. For snowboarders in their soft boots walking is easy and with the snowboard tucked under your arm it is easy to reach the lift at the base of the mountain. Riding the lifts takes a little trial and error; you have to remove your back foot from the bindings and then at the top have to scoot away from the lift to one side to secure the binding once again. T-bars and Poma lifts can be painful and any flat sections of the piste require alternative methods to negotiate your way along.
Many of the injuries received by skiers are not as severe as they once were with advances in ski technology. Although bones, particularly legs are occasionally still broken many of the long term injuries tend to be through ruptures to the knee and its cruciate ligaments. Collisions between skiers or others using the sometimes overcrowded slopes can result in injuries to the head or upper body. Generally snowboarders suffer much less from injuries to the legs although the ankles can suffer some damage. Upper body injuries, in particular to the wrist or collarbone are frequently suffered. Another snowboarding related injury is to the coccyx or tailbone through having a harder than intended landing on this area of the body.