Ski and Snowboard! Two of the most famous and impressive winter sports in the world. Style, action and speed combined with the alpine landscapes that we most adore. We have personally tried both activities, both abroad and at home and we were both impressed. Every sport has to offer you something special. Below in our article we will explain in detail the respective cases of the two sports and what they include.
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Basic information about Ski
Skiing is a well-known winter sport as mentioned above. The sport is done with the use of special equipment for sliding on a surface covered with snow. It is an individual sport and each athlete uses special protective clothing, boots and suitable sandals. In Greece it has become very well known as a sport in recent years and there are several ski resorts. The well known ones are in Parnassos, Kalavrita, Kaimaktsalan, Vasilitsa and many more in various mountainous locations. The sport of skiing is also included in the program of the Winter Olympic Games.
Historically, skiing originated in the Nordic countries. It was the way to move under adverse conditions, in inaccessible areas that were covered with snow. The movement was possible with a pair of elongated wooden planks. These boards, also known as skis, gave the sport its corresponding name. The skis were tied to their shoes or boots.
Basic information about Snowboarding
Snowboarding is the winter sport that includes the descent with a special board from a slope with snow. The board is tied to the athlete’s feet throughout the descent. The development of the sport was influenced by activities such as surfing, skateboarding, but also skiing that we mentioned in the previous paragraph. It started in the USA, became quite popular in 1970, and a little later in 1998 it became a winter Olympic sport.
Historically, some believe that the first snowboard was invented in 1965 and was named Snurfer (from the word combination Snow Surfer). In 1979, the first World Snurfing Championship was held in Michigan.
Ski or Snowboard for Beginners?
Ski can be easily learned at first, but it is more difficult to reach a high level along the way. On the other hand, Snowboarding is more difficult at first due to balance. In the process, however, achieving a more advanced level is relatively easier. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, but you can use it to make your first choice for the respective winter sport you want.
In general, most people find skiing easier. The reason is that they can get up more comfortably and with less difficulty after a fall. This is because their legs are separated. Even the posture of the body with the legs forward is more natural and does not make it difficult for them. On the other hand, in snowboarding, both legs are joined in a plank, which makes it difficult to recover after a fall. Also, the body is in a lateral position which is more unnatural and uncomfortable for many people.
The same thoughts mentioned above also affect the difficulty of reaching a more advanced level, but vice versa this time. Although more natural at first, the fact that the legs in the ski are separate can make it difficult to learn advanced turns, as it can be more difficult to move both legs at the same time. Snowboarders, however, will not have this issue, which may make it easier to progress to more advanced turns.
A list of all the ski resorts in Greece can be found here.
Differences between ski & snowboard
Skiing is easier to get used to as both feet move independently and you move with your body facing the same side as your feet. Looking ahead also gives you a much better view of the slope you are heading, compared to a snowboarder.
Having both feet glued to a board can be annoying at first and take some time to get used to. Your body should be at 90 degrees from what your feet show. It is also important to remember that with snowboarding, you do not have good slope supervision, which can make it difficult for people around you.
Although your legs are split and can make it difficult to fall, you can still increase the risk of injury during rotational movements. Skiing also tends to strain the knees more than snowboarding.
The fact that both feet are attached to the same board means that Snowboarders are more likely to be injured when they are in the early stages of their skier training. The most common injuries are to the wrists, shoulders and ankles.
Apart from the boots and the helmet, the same clothes can generally be worn for both activities. You will need a warm jacket that will protect you from the harsh weather conditions in the mountains, internally, a pair of snowproof pants, gloves and some warm ski socks. If you are going to the slopes for the first time, you can rent all this equipment from the respective ski resort you have visited.
Where can I take classes?
For those who are going to a ski resort for the first time in order to try a winter sport, the respective center has already taken care of them.
In the largest and most organized ski resorts, both in Greece and abroad, there are schools available to undertake your education and pass on their knowledge to you. Prices vary depending on the area and the respective ski resort, as well as whether you will ask to take classes with another group or on your own.
To avoid overcrowding, it is best to make an appointment before you arrive at the venue. You can also ask about the prices set in each school to have a first contact or if you are interested in the individual or group course. If you have not tried one of the sports mentioned in our article above, it is definitely worth getting a first taste with an experienced teacher who will put you in the mood faster and will definitely save you from many future ups and downs!
For anyone interested in taking it a step further there are courses for more advanced levels. You can learn more advanced moves, work on more techniques and buy your own personal equipment.