Does skateboarding help with snowboarding?


I remember my first snowboarding trip. I had been skateboarding for a while and this proved to be very beneficial. If you’ve got basic skateboarding skills and you’re planning on a snowboarding trip you have an advantage.

Skateboarding helps you to learn snowboarding really fast, you might not even need to join a class. Learning to ride a snowboard is a bit more difficult, but learning the tricks will be a lot easier.

Skateboarding and snowboarding have a few things in common, the biggest difference is that your feet are strapped to a snowboard and you’re taking it up against snow instead of concrete. Carving, doing tricks and riding work a bit different though.

What do skateboarding and snowboarding have in common

Many of the tricks from skateboarding transferred over to skateboarding. Once you get used to a snowboard it much easier to learn these tricks if you know how to skateboard. The only other thing that comes to mind is that you stand sideways on both a skateboard and a longboard.

skateboarding in the winter snow
Redditor Rullbradepojk skating in a snowy skate park. Photo taken by Jesper Kjellsson

Stance and posture

Both have goofy (right foot in front) and regular stance (left foot in front). There is this also something called board feel. If you know how to ride a skateboard, a snowboard takes less time to get used to. Steering has some similarities, mainly how you distribute your weight on your back and front. Actually making a turn is different though. Both sport require to bend the knees a little to maintain balance.

Tricks and objects

When you look at skate parks and snowboard parks you see what they have in common. Verts/half pipe, rails, big jumps should be familiar to skateboarders.  and when you got the snowboarding basics down and can ride comfortably, you’ll have a great time in a park. You’ll have no problems with jumps. 50-50’s and boardslides. You’ll progress much faster than people who never skateboarded.

Difference between snowboarding and skateboarding?

The big difference between skateboarding and snowboarding is you’re riding snow instead of concrete. You will go a lot faster and obviously, you don’t have to push. On top of that, your feet are strapped to your board which makes bailing impossible. This is something you really have to get used to, so I’d advice you to take it easy to keep yourself in one piece. Just like skateboarding, snowboarding takes time and is all about staying in control.

Size is another thing to take into consideration. Skateboard sizes are about personal preference but when it comes to snowboarding size matters. Get a larger board if you want to ride powder and stay afloat. Get a smaller board if you want to freestyle and do tricks in parks. Snow doesn’t hurt as much as concrete but ice is a different story.

Slowing down

When it comes to slowing down, you can’t just use your foot. You’ll need to learn how to powerslide by pressing the edge into the snow and slightly leaning backward. Also, your feet are wider apart which may feel a bit awkward at first. As far as weight distribution goes, when it comes to snowboarding you often need to apply your weight on the front and back. If you do this while skateboarding, you’re gonna have a bad time (pebbles, cracks, Twiggs).

Turning and moving

The last thing I need to mention is pivoting. On a skateboard, you just lean in the direction you want to go while applying a bit of pressure to your heels and toes. When you want to turn a snowboard, you use your whole body to make turns.

I can most definitely say riding your snowboard fakey is a lot harder than riding a skateboard fakey. I’m pretty good riding fakey on my skateboard, but snowboarding fakey still is very challenging.

Costs

Snowboarding is a lot more expensive compared to skateboarding. Not only the equipment like a board, boots and clothing, also your lift tickets can be expensive. On top of that, a trip can become even more expensive consuming booze and paing for accommodation

A full skateboard will cost you about $150, shoes about $50 dollars. A snowboard is easily double the amount, depending on brand and quality, it can even go higher. I recently found an excellent skateboard for about $70 which is perfect for beginners. Check it out if you’re interested. So yeah, skateboarding is a lot cheaper.

Snowboarding vs skateboarding, which is easier?

I can’t speak for everybody here. Some say skateboarding is easier, others say snowboarding is easier. Both are right because there are a few aspects that are easier to learn when snowboarding and the other way around.

Learning to ride a snowboard is more difficult

Riding a skateboard is easier to learn, like pushing and just cruising around. Once you get how balancing works, you only have to move your weight around and slightly press your feet when steering.  Riding a snowboard is a bit more difficult than riding a skateboard. You easily make too much speed and don’t know how to stop. When starting out you often get your snowboard’s edge stuck resulting in a slam. Even though snow is a bit softer than concrete, it still hurts.

Skateboarding tricks are harder

Skateboarding tricks, on the other hand, are much harder. To this day I still can’t ollie a 360 on my skateboard but in my first week of snowboarding I pulled it off. There’s a mental part that makes it more difficult, you really need to commit to a trick in order to land it.

Fear is often a cause why tricks fail. A boardslide, for example, is way more difficult on a skateboard because you need much more control. A boardslide on a snowboard is easier because you just need to make a small jump, have a larger sliding area, and your feet are attached to your snowboard. Same goes for jumps, much easier when snowboarding.

So it’s a bit of both I guess. You’ll learn to ride a skateboard faster but the tricks are harder. Riding a snowboard is harder but the tricks are easier for the average person. Skateboarders and snowboarders agree that skateboarding is more painful when things go south. I’d rather land on snow than hitting concrete.

Consider a snowskate

What do you get when a snowboard and a skateboard have a baby? A snowskate! If you can’t pick you could consider bringing this hybrid along. It’s a ton of fun and much like skateboarding, taking your trucks off your skateboard won’t work though. Snow skates aren’t exactly new but you see them more and more nowadays.

A snowskate has a similar size and shape as a regular skateboard deck but there are a few differences. They come in 4 different types but you’ll probably should look for a single deck snow skate. It’s made of a couple of layers of wood The bottom is made of solid plastic and there are between 5 and 7 grooves cut into the bottom to maintain grip.

On top of the board,  snowskates have a specialized plastic grip (sort of like anti-slip) and some even have rust-resistant steel studs embedded in durable polyurea. This increases traction between your feet and the board.

It’s a total different experience compared to skateboarding or snowboarding. If you want to try something new, go for it.

If I can snowboard can I skateboard?

Just like skateboarders hate the winter, snowboarders hate the summer (except for those who do both). If you’re thinking of picking up skateboarding outside of the snowboarding season, go for it!

It’s probably easier to learn how to skateboard if you already know how to snowboard. Your feet are closer together and you can actually jump off. When it comes to the more technical stuff you probably have a harder time learning. An ollie on a skateboard is quite different as doing an ollie on a snowboard. Boardslides should be easier though, you already know how a board reacts when you slide, still you need to be able to ollie a bit.

Just like snowboarding, learning to skateboard means getting the basics down before you go to the technical stuff. Start slow and don’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing. Once you can ride with confidence start practicing beginner tricks. I wrote a post about easy beginner tricks that you can pick up fast. I’m not talking about ollies and kickflips, just real basic stuff that still looks good.

Why not both?

Both skateboarding and snowboarding are awesome sports and great to do with a couple of friends. It’s healthy and you’ll burn a lot of calories doing it while having fun. Both sports have certain risks involved, skateboard and snowboard to your ability and don’t do anything you’re not ready for.

 

 

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Ruben Vee

I'm an aged skateboarder, but I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago and I'm out there whenever I can. Insta @skateboardershq

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