N 42.3026°, W 83.7368°
The winter period is coming again and for many surfers that leaves 2 options open, will i go surfing or snowboarding this season ? The 2 sports seem to have many similarities, but is that necessarily always true? In this article we will walk briefly through the differences and similarities of surfing and snowboarding and see if it is easier to learn surfing if you can already snowboard and vice versa.
Similarities and Differences Between Surfing and Snowboarding
Both surfing and snowboarding require a large amount of skill, balance and control to do well. The similarities between the 2 seem very large, for both you need a board, the placement of the feet is the same and the movements you make also. With a snowboard you use the edges of the board for carving, with surfing you do the same to build up speed. Yet there are a few fundamental differences that set them apart.
The first and most obvious is that for surfing you need waves and for snowboarding a mountain. The ocean is constantly moving, so you never surf the same wave twice. With snowboarding you can make the same round time after time, which makes it a lot easier to learn. For snowboarders this is a big advantage, because it means you don’t have to wait for the perfect wave. A second point that should not be skipped is the fact that you are stuck to the board with snowboarding. This makes it much easier to do airs, for example. What many surfers have to do when they go snowboarding is to move their feet and put pressure on your back foot. This is essential for making turns on the waves, but with snowboarding you control more with your whole body, not with your rear foot. If you go snowboarding as a surfer, this will certainly take some getting used to with maintaining the balance, and vice versa with surfing being exactly the same.
Is surfing easier when I can snowboard ?
Yes and no. The use of a board, moving forward due to the influences of nature and the feeling of being with the elements certainly matches. In essence it is therefore very similar, but the implementation is far from comparable. If you want to go surfing as a snowboarder you will first have to learn that you are unnaturally keeping your feet in one place. While surfing, you are constantly correcting to ensure that your feet are positioned correctly, this is very uncomfortable as a snowboarder.
The bottom line is that you will have a small advantage. You know how to adopt a stance on a board and this feels more natural. Still, surfing remains a difficult sport to learn and you have to put a lot of time into it.
Best of both worlds
If you can’t choose whether you are looking for warm destinations with good waves this winter or going into the mountains then there is always the option for snow surfing. This is a recently born sport and a very special one in that regard. Unlike traditional snowboards, surf snowboards have no bindings. This makes it more difficult to maintain a balance, more difficult to maneuver and is considerably slower than snowboarding. Apart from that, it is still a super cool combination of surfing and snowboaring and definitely worth a try! Watch the video above to get a better idea of the sport.