Which Is Harder Skateboarding Or Snowboarding?

If you live in an area that has warm summers and cold winters you may have the opportunity to do both skateboarding and snowboarding[1]. Both of these activities are exciting and perfect for thrill-seekers. The feeling of gliding over the asphalt or the snow can give you a rush of adrenaline.

If you are new to both these activities you may be looking to try one. If you’re in this situation you may be asking which is harder skateboarding or snowboarding?

Skateboarding Or Snowboarding – Differences and Similarities


Both of these activities require a great deal of balance if you want to do them well. Skateboarding requires you to stand on a board that is connected to trucks with wheels on them. These trucks are flexible and the ball bearings inside of the wheels are perfectly crafted for maximum spin speed.


On a snowboard, your boots are strapped into the built-in structures on the board. Once strapped in, you are balancing on a fairly wide piece of material that often has a slight curve. In snowboarding, you also have to deal with the snow and ice. Balancing on these terrains may be difficult despite the wide area of the board that touches the ground.

When comparing these two activities it is quite clear to see which requires a better balance. Although snowboarding does require a good amount of core strength and balance to stay upright in the snow, skateboarding has many more factors that can contribute to knocking you off the board. Unlike snowboarding, in skateboarding, your shoes are not strapped into the board. You stand on grip tape on the board, but nothing secures your feet on to the skateboard. The flexibility of the trucks and the movement of the wheels make it incredibly difficult to stay balanced while moving. In terms of balance, skateboarding is much more difficult.

Forward Movement

High speeds are a huge factor in both snowboarding and skateboarding. In snowboarding, your forward movement is determined by the slope of the hill and the slickness of the snow that you are riding on. Snowboarding uses gravity to propel you down the side of a hill or mountain. Snow and ice can contribute to your speed which can reach up to 60 miles an hour in the right conditions.

In skateboarding most forward movement is determined by how hard you kick off from the ground. Skateboarding requires you to push off from the ground repeatedly to build up speed. Your speed on a skateboard can be increased by going downhill, but most often you will need to kick. When riding in the most common areas like the street or a skate park you will need to kick extensively to reach decent speeds.

When it comes to forward movement, each of these activities is difficult in a different way. In snowboarding, you are moving much faster and have to control and steer yourself much quicker. This can be difficult and require both physical ability and awareness. Skateboarding is difficult because you have to physically exert yourself to move forward at all. Reaching high speeds on a skateboard requires frequent and powerful pushes from the ground.

Moving forward on a skateboard is much harder because you have to do the work to propel it. In this situation, it may be harder for skateboarders to move because once they get going and moving at a decent speed it will still have to do the same things as snowboarders to stay safe. The addition of having to do the work to move forward makes skateboarding a bit more difficult when it comes to forward movement.

Performing Jumps and Tricks

If you’re an advanced rider in either of these activities you may want to start trying a few small jumps or a couple of easy tricks to add to the complexity of your ride. In snowboarding, jumps and tricks are usually only done off of ramps. The rider will approach the ramp at a high speed, jump at the height of the ramp, and be propelled forward and upward.

Jumps and tricks on a snowboard can be extremely difficult because of the high speeds that they happen at. Learning to jump on a snowboard will take time and effort to figure out when is the right time to try and lift your snowboard off the ramp.

Jumps and tricks on a skateboard are more often done without the use of a ramp but can be performed with one. Basic tricks like the ollie and the kickflip are done off the ground at relatively low speeds. Even the most basic tricks on a skateboard require you to both lift yourself and the board off the ground through a series of jumps and kicks. Getting your board off the ground in the first place to be incredibly difficult and require a lot of practice because the method is fairly complex.

When it comes to doing jumps and tricks both activities can be incredibly difficult to learn. The lack of forwarding momentum in skateboarding and the possibility have your board leaving your feet to make jumps and tricks in skateboarding far more difficult than snowboarding. Skateboarding offers a higher risk for injury because even if you land the trick or jump the board may still roll away and leave you on the ground.

The Verdict

Both activities are hard. Their challenging nature makes them fun and a perfect activity for thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies alike. They both require physical ability and technical skill to be good at. However, many things make skateboarding more difficult than snowboarding at the most basic level.

Snowboarding has many more safety precautions put into place and the momentum of a downhill movement makes it easier to hop on and try for the first time. Skateboarding is unforgiving and requires you to learn balance quickly. Moving on a skateboard is much more difficult and when you finally get to the point where you can learn jumps and tricks, the process is slow and possibly painful.


[1] Snowboarding – Link