Skateboarding is a great off-snow board sport and a lot of the skills you learn in skateboarding will help in your snowboarding as well, particularly in the freestyle area.
So if you’re wondering, does skateboarding help you snowboard? The answer is yes! Roughly about half of the pro snowboarders were at some point skateboarders as well. From what studies have revealed, it’s quite common for a lot of snowboarders to be skateboarders as well.
Skateboarding helps you to learn snowboarding 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.
Snowboarding is a very active sport and getting to grips with the technique can often take some time. As an avid snowboarder, you might find that you’ve already got the technique nailed, but when you need to take some time off during the warmer weather, coming back to the slopes in winter, you may feel a little rusty.
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.
So many people use skateboarding to help them transition to snowboarding or practice on it when they can’t snowboard. So, does skateboarding help snowboarding?
Keep reading and find out.
Skateboarding Versus Snowboarding; Comparisons
There are so many similarities between skateboards and snowboards that people use them for cross-training in the summer. As you skateboard down the street or your nearest hill, you’ll feel like you are right there on the slopes and you can practice your technique.
Many of the tricks from skateboarding transferred over to snowboarding. 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.
Here are some comparisons between both;
Stance and Balance
One of the things that make skateboarding and snowboarding so closely related is the stance – which many often refer to as ‘surf stance’. It is basically, standing sideways on your board when facing travel direction.
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. The steering has some similarities, mainly how you distribute your weight on your back and front. Making a turn is different though. Both sports require bending the knees a little to maintain balance.
Even though a snowboard is typically longer than a longboard, your stance on both types is similar in width, about shoulder width. Your feet are closer to the tips on a longboard than on a snowboard.
Where things may differ is that you may not have as much of a ‘duck stance’ on a skateboard than on a snowboard. Your feet are generally more parallel on a skateboard.
Another key difference is that on a snowboard, your feet are strapped through the bindings, whereas they are free moving on a longboard. As a result, balancing is a bit different, since you can lean forward or backwards a lot on a snowboard without losing your board, something you can’t do on a skateboard.
The weight of your boots and bindings on a snowboard also affect your balancing differently compared to a skateboard.
Your natural balance is similar when riding a skateboard or a snowboard. However, when riding a skateboard you have the 4 wheels rolling on the ground, whereas on a snowboard you ride mostly on the edge of the board – you typically don’t ride on the flat except in more advanced scenarios. Edge riding is a key difference with skateboarding.
The body motion for carving, on the other hand, is very similar on a skateboard and a snowboard – e.g. using your head, shoulders, and upper body to initiate turns. On both, you shift your body weight to lean onto an edge for turning. On a skateboard, leaning makes your wheels turn, whereas, on a snowboard, it makes your board edge into the turn.
Stopping on a skateboard is often done through foot braking or bailing and outrunning, which you can’t do on a snowboard since your feet are strapped to the board. Stopping on a snowboard, however, is very similar to power sliding on a skateboard, making your board skid across the slope by shifting your weight off and pushing out.
Sliding on a longboard also bears a huge resemblance to making beginner turns on a snowboard which typically involves constant sliding on the ski run.
Turning and Curving
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. When it comes to the learning curve, most people agree skateboarding is harder to learn than snowboarding.
Stepping on a skateboard on pavement will make it roll immediately, with the possibility of the board shooting out under you.
On a snowboard, you’re bound to the board and initially parallel to the slope so you’re pretty safe at first. If you fall off a skateboard, you risk hitting the concrete and hence you can get hurt pretty badly even a very low speed. On a snowboard, you’ll fall in the snow – even if there’s ice, it’s typically not as bad as concrete.
Cost and Accessibility
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 paying for accommodation.
You can practice skateboarding anywhere, in flat areas and parking lots for flatland tricks, on bike lanes for cruising, on nearby hills for free riding, or in city streets and skate parks for street, transition, and pool skating. You can practice tricks such as Ollies and kickflips anywhere without having to spend a dime, and access many city skate parks for a very small fee.
In contrast, most people will need to go through some effort and make time to travel to a ski resort to go snowboarding.
As mentioned earlier, skateboarding has a greater risk of hurting yourself even when riding slowly by hitting the pavement with your body or head. That is why it is important to wear a very good skateboarding helmet before attempting to skateboard.
Snowboarding is not as bad since you’re riding on snow most of the time and you can slide when you fall. Little falls hurt a lot more when skateboarding due to impact and road rash.
Practising skateboard tricks can also result in constant bruises on knees (unless you wear kneepads), shins, and ankles.
Snowboarding can also result in serious injuries from falling downhill at high speed. The mountain environment can also be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, particularly on more advanced slopes.
All in all, skateboarding is probably riskier than snowboarding at a beginner level.
One thing is for sure, your balancing skills from one sport will no doubt help you pick up the other much faster.
Unlike “normal” non-boarder newbies, skateboarders who start snowboarding are typically able to link turns and ride down a slope on the first day. As I mentioned, carving turns down a hill on a skateboard is very similar to doing so on a snowboard – a skateboarder mainly need to get used to riding the edge and pivoting on the front foot.
The reverse is not always true: being a snowboarder doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to find your balance on a skateboard right away as riding on wheels often takes more practice.
A lot of skills transfer from skating to snowboarding.
Unfortunately, the actual basic riding of a snowboard is quite different. However, if you are a longboarder and love doing slides, you will pick it up quick because beginner turns are one constant slide from the top to the bottom.
As a snowboarding instructor, it can be hard to teach new snowboarders the balance and stance that is needed to become proficient at snowboarding. It’s a good idea to suggest that new snowboarders try out skateboarding first to get to grips with the movement. The skateboarding to snowboarding transition is relatively easy as they are so similar and it’ll mean that any new snowboarders will be able to get straight onto the slopes and enjoy some of the winter snow.
With the longboard, you use the same stance as you would with a snowboard, and they are around the same size, making it easier to teach snowboarders if they’ve given skateboarding a go in the first place.
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.
In my opinion, however, 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 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, on the other hand, are much harder. There’s a mental part that makes it more difficult, you need to commit to a trick to land it.
Why Skateboard Tricks Fail
Fear is often a cause of 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 – plus landing in snow beats landing on a hard concrete surface.
So it’s a bit of both. 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. And of course, you would rather land on snow than hitting concrete.
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 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. Board slides 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.
So, for the question – does skateboarding help you snowboard? The answer is YES!!! Skateboarding can improve snowboarding;
- Helping you balance on a moving board while in a surf stance
- Teaching you how to carve into turns and how to slide to shed speed
- Helping you master freestyle tricks common to both sport.
Skateboarding and snowboarding are complementary sports, and many riders cross-train for one by practising the other. Skateboarding can easily and inexpensively be practised outside of the snowboarding season.
Skateboarding lets you stay in shape and hone your balancing, carving, downhill, and freestyle skills from Spring to Fall. Conversely, snowboarding, if you have the time and budget for it, can keep you riding when it’s too cold and icy out there to skate.
Snowboarding is a great sport, and there is no feeling like being on those slopes. It’s important to remember, however, that skateboarding is quite similar to snowboarding and it can be the perfect solution for those who cannot snowboard throughout the whole year.