There is actually much debate as to where snowboarding originated some say snowboarding snowboarding can be traced to the world of skateboarding. Skaters wanting to cross over into the world of skiing are said to have invented the first snowboard. I’m sure that Mr. Burton was not the first person to ride a wooden plank down a snowy slope.
Regardless of its origins snowboarding is one of the most popular sports on the planet. With an estimated 35% of the market share, snowboarding is projected to soon take the popularity of skiing.
Since 1995 this sport of snowboarding has grown exponentially year after year. The sport is undeniably popular, especially with the expansion of the Olympic Winter Games now recognizing snowboarding as a true Olympic sport.
Snowboarding gained drastic popularity with the onset of the Winter X Games hosted by ESPN. The leader in worldwide sports saw the marketability of the sport and pounced on the opportunity. Creating a multi-million dollar endeavor and increasing the exposure and popularity of the growing sport.
Snowboarding may never truly be as popular as skiing due to the initial difficulty in learning. Most casual adventures to the local ski hill are best enjoyed on a set of skis. For someone only going to the hill once or twice a year a snowboard is probably not the best option.
Skiing is pretty easy for beginners to get on their feet so to speak. A person’s firs day on a snowboard is inherently spent on their hind end rather than upright.
Let’s not confuse snowboarding’s difficulty in remaining off you’re a$$ as something that’s more dangerous or injury prone than skiing. That’s probably quite the opposite. Since it’s easier to stand on skis, beginners will often times gain too much momentum and crash. Rarely does a beginner skier consider wearing a helmet. Since they are probably on the hill for their first time, it’s highly unlikely they brought a helmet to the hill with them.
Snow boarding on the other doesn’t allow for the novice to gather as much speed before crashing. Due to the initial awkwardness of mastering the “edges” on a snowboard, beginners rarely gather as much speed as someone trying out skis for their first time.
Due to the initial awkward nature of mastering a snowboard, many folks will never try it as long as skis are an option. Rarely does a person under the age of 40 that has easy access to a snow hill not at least TRY snowboarding. Many knowing that if they stick it out the first few days and “learn to turn” that their dedication will pay dividends in the future.
In my eyes snowboarding is far more intuitive than skiing ever dreamed of being. For starters you have half the number of edges to contend with and learn about on a snowboard. Skis have two edges and you must use two skis in order to get down the hill without burning out your right quad. In addition, skis are independent of one another meaning they can have a mind of their own. One ski can twist and turn one direction while the other one does the same exact thing in the opposing direction. The splits are not my forte.
The fact that they can pop off and go flying in the air is another reason I steer way clear of skis. In addition, you have two other sticks in your hand that can cause a whole slew of other hazards. Four flying sticks is for flocks of flying fish. I want no part of it.
Give me my board and I will show you the true beauty of meandering down the mountain. The flow and feel of riding a board is like nothing I’ve ever felt. From skateboarding to surfing, snowboarding gives me my fix when the flakes begin to fall.
So I’ll leave you with one last question if you’re considering trying out a snowboard or if you’ve tried it before and became too frustrated to continue. If you were going to run down the hallway and slide in your socks on the hardwood floors, would you slide with one foot slightly ahead of the other one (much like the way you’d ride a snowboard) or would you run and stop with both feet side by side?
That’s a serious question that not a lot of people give a whole lot of thought to. Master those two edges (rather than 4) and you’ll be on your way to carving up the sweetest pow pow the mountain has to offer.