skateboarding vs. snowboarding

Skateboarding vs. Snowboarding: The Ultimate Showdown

Skateboarding vs. snowboarding, which is better and which one is easier to learn? These sports are both board sports which means riders use boards to perform tricks and stunts and to ride over a surface.

Skateboarding is obviously performed over land and other obstacles while snowboarding on snow and ice. However, both sports require excellent skills and talent to perform. Let’s find out what makes skateboarding and snowboarding similar and ways different in this ultimate showdown guide.

Skateboarding vs. Snowboarding

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Let us compare quickly skateboarding with snowboarding with the following factors:

  • Board sport stance and rider balance
  • Riding skills
  • Accessibility
  • Learning how to ride
  • Sport hazards
  • Tricks and stunts

Board Sport Stance and Rider Balance

Skateboarding and snowboarding are similar when it comes to the rider’s stance and balance. Actually, the stances on a skateboard and snowboard were derived from surfing as a surfer stands sideways on his surfboard as they face their travel direction.

A snowboard is larger and longer than a longboard, but the stance on both boards is the same when it comes to width or shoulder width. There is a slight difference in the stance on a longboard as your feet are closer to its tips compared to a snowboard because a longboard is shorter.

On a skateboard, you may not be able to stand on a duck stance or your feet pointing at 45 degrees in the opposite directions. Standing on a skateboard, you are more likely to place your feet parallel on a longboard or a skateboard than on a snowboard.

Also, your feet in a snowboard are strapped on the deck using bindings. With bindings, you can move about riding the snow without losing your snowboard. However, it may be harder to keep your balance, especially when you’re riding a snowboard for the first time. But eventually, you’ll learn how to maintain your balance even when you’re wearing bindings.

On a skateboard, your feet are free to move around. You can change your foot’s position if you feel you’re going to lose your balance or if you’re trying to correct a trick. But once you fall or lose your balance, you’ll lose contact with the board and may even send it flying off somewhere near or far from you.

Finally, the weight of the board affects the way a rider moves and stays on top of the deck. Snowboards are heavier than the combined weights of the board, and the bindings are too heavy to work with. But once you get the hang of carrying and using a snowboard, you won’t think it’s heavy at all.

Riding Skills

When it comes to the rider’s skills with skateboarding and snowboarding, the natural stance is the same in both sports. However, with a skateboard, you’re rolling on pavement or flat ground using four wheels, while on a snowboard, you’re riding on the edge of the board. Therefore, edge riding is the main difference between skateboarding and snowboarding.

Carving is one of the most common tricks in skateboarding and snowboarding. Carving is the same on a skateboard and a snowboard as you use your whole body, including your shoulders and head, to turn the board. You’re shifting your weight to lean over an edge to turn on a snowboard. Meanwhile, when you lean on a skateboard, your wheels turn in response. On a snowboard, you’re edging into a turn.

And when it comes to stopping on a skateboard and snowboard, key differences were noticed. When stopping on your skateboard, you place one of your feet on the pavement to brake and afterward outrun the board.

On a snowboard, you need to perform movements similar to a powerslide. You can’t jump off a snowboard or place one of your feet off the board to stop. You must skid across a slope as you shift your weight off the board and push out of the deck. Stopping will take time and is not as quick as stopping on a skateboard.

There are also some similarities, like sliding on a skateboard, with is like making turns on a snowboard. You’ll constantly be gliding over the ski run to slide on a snowboard.


Skateboarding and snowboarding have many similarities and differences. When it comes to accessibility and the cost of performing each sport, you’ll find these very different from each other.

To ride a skateboard, you only need a board, safety equipment like a helmet, elbow, knee, and wrist padding, and grippy shoes. You can ride your skateboard on the street, in an empty parking lot, or a skate park, all of these venues are free. Also, you don’t need specialized clothing to wear as you ride your skateboard.

When riding a snowboard, the costs pile up from the equipment, clothing, and venue cost. Snowboards are more expensive than skateboards. Add the bindings, snowshoes, thick winter clothing, hats, and accessories. You also need to consider the transportation to the slopes, the cost of ski lifts, the price of hotel accommodations, etc.

Skateboarding is more accessible to anyone, even if you’re located in the city or rural area. Learning and riding a skateboard is more affordable, something that anyone can afford. But even if snowboarding is more expensive to indulge in, many people still travel to mountain resorts and ski resorts to go snowboarding with their families and friends.

Learning How to Ride

When you’re considering learning skateboarding or snowboarding, you’ll find that skateboarding is more challenging to learn than snowboarding. This is according to many people who have tried to understand both sports. This is why more people, young and old, are starting to appreciate snowboarding more than skateboarding. To prove this theory, are the following reasons.

The very first thing that riders start to learn for both sports is stepping on the deck. In skateboarding, stepping on the board for the first time will make the board roll under you. If you’re not careful, the board can shoot out, and you’ll lose balance.

On a snowboard, your feet will be bound on the board, and thus, you won’t lose balance as the board remains steady when you ride for the first time. The snowboard won’t move as long as you don’t push it. You’re safe at first.

When it comes to falling, the two vary greatly. When you slip on a skateboard, you can become hurt very badly. This is the result even when you’re riding at slower speeds. This is because you’ll ride on the pavement; even a tiny error can result in terrible issues on a skateboard.

Any mistake on a snowboard, you’ll fall on soft snow. And even if you hit hard ice, it’s not as problematic as hitting hard ground or pavement.

It’s also a fact that anyone can ride a skateboard and move on flat ground, but when it comes to performing tricks and stunts, you need to work hard to excel. When it comes to snowboarding, novice riders will learn how in just a few hours of rolling down a smooth slope.

And once you’re done with the basics, learning to ride down a steep hill or performing cliff jumping and moving into pipes, you need to train well in a snowboard. The same goes with learning more advanced tricks and stunts on a skateboard. You must prepare well and practice constantly if you want to excel in riding ramps, dancing, and racing.

Sport Hazards

We mentioned a while ago that riding a skateboard is more dangerous as you’re riding on hard ground. If you’re unaware of how to brake or stop, you can end up severely hurting your body, limbs, and even your head.

In snowboarding, falling may not be as hard as you’re falling on snow. There are also many hazards on the slope, but when you learn how to ride a snowboard safely, you can easily avoid these hazards head-on.

The tricks and stunts performed on a skateboard can be more dangerous than those on a snowboard. In skateboarding, you can perform tricks and ride on the streets over urban obstacles like ledges, benches, stairs, handles, mailboxes, lamp posts, etc. Stunts are also performed in skate parks over ramps, halfpipes, bowls, etc. Any small mistake will make you land on the ground-breaking of your bones.

Even if you’re skateboarding as a way to commute, racing down a hill, or dancing on a longboard, skateboarding will still be more hazardous if you’re untrained and unaware of the risks.

Tricks and Stunts

There are many similarities between skateboard tricks and snowboarding tricks. This is because snowboarding is mainly based on skateboarding.

Also, snowboarding tricks are much easier to learn than skateboarding tricks as your feet are firmly planted on a snowboard. You won’t fall off and lose your balance on a snowboard. Also, if you make any mistake in a trick or stunt, landing on snow is not as bad as landing on pavement, concrete, grass, or wood.

But since you cannot jump off a snowboard as your feet are bound by bindings, you will find it riskier to perform many stunts.

If you’re a skateboarder, you will find it easier to ride a snowboard as you already know the body and feet positioning, feet and body movement, and the overall movement you must show as you carry out a trick.

A trick as simple as jumping is different for each sport. Jumping on a skateboard is simply performing an ollie which is kicking the back of the board as you lift the front foot to allow the board to pop from the ground. On a snowboard, both your feet are strapped on bindings, so you need to pop your feet from the floor to lift your board from the ground.

You can transfer your excellent skateboarding skills to snowboarding and vice versa. This is because the balancing skills you’ve learned from one sport will help you balance and perform well in the other. Having previous experience with each board can help ultimately.

Snowboarders who don’t have any knowledge about skateboarding will find it hard to perform stunts and tricks. They need to learn from a professional or to practice regularly to be able to ride a skateboard well on the streets and in the skate park.

Frequently Asked Questions About Skateboarding and Snowboarding

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Here are the most frequently asked questions about the two board sports.

Skateboarding vs. snowboarding, which is harder to learn?

Skateboarding is harder to learn as you need to balance well and know how to brake and fall safely on a skateboard. Also, if you fall on a skateboard as you’re learning tricks and stunts, you’ll end up falling on the cold hard ground and hurting yourself.

On a snowboard, you won’t have to worry about learning how to balance as your feet are firmly strapped on the snowboard. Also, there are no wheels that can make the board move as you step on it.  And if you make a mistake as you ride, perform tricks and stunts, you’ll land on soft snow and won’t hurt yourself.

Can you improve snowboarding when you learn skateboarding first?

Yes, you can learn how to snowboard when you have an experience with skateboarding. This is because most snowboarding stances and moves are based on skateboarding. Most of the tricks in snowboarding, like grinding and jumping, are based on skateboarding tricks, and thus, it would be best to ride a skateboard first and learn more tricks here before you dedicate your time and effort to snowboarding.

Final Words

Regarding skateboarding vs. snowboarding, several factors are considered to tell which is best or which is harder to learn. The board sports’ stance and balance, riding skills, learning curve, sports hazards, tricks, and accessibility are the most important factors to consider.

Skateboarding is deemed more accessible and less costly to learn and enjoy than snowboarding; however, snowboarding is safer as you ride on soft snow. Consider all these factors to know whether skateboarding or snowboarding is easier or harder based on your preference.

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