By Trent Miller
Snowboarding and skiing are both great workouts on the mountain. While there isn’t a huge difference between the two in terms of a workout, I feel that snowboarding can be more challenging for the body and more of a workout.
Snowboarding is a harder workout than skiing because snowboarders spend a lot of time getting up and down from the ground, they work harder on flats and they constantly are working their core muscles.
For example, ski and snowboard instructor Kevin Jordan said, “Snowboarders of all levels spend more time on the ground than skiers because they’ve got to sit down to strap in before each run, so they generally get more of an upper-body workout… You’re essentially doing a pushup at least once every run, which you don’t get as often with skiing.”
I have been skiing my entire life and at this point it can take very little effort for me to get from the top of a mountain to the bottom. Whereas I see snowboarders struggle even on an easy day, as they have to constantly sit on the ground and clip and unclip their boots.
Additionally, on flats and in the lift lines and uphill parts of the trail, snowboarders have to unclip their boots and hike up while carrying their board. Some snowboarders have to push their bodies with one foot for long distances. In my experience, a skier can use a skinning motion on flats that requires much less effort than walking. Jordan also said, “Snowboarders may get more or less of a workout than skiers on the flat areas between runs, depending on whether they unstrap completely or skate along with one foot on their boards.”
Another factor that adds to the snowboarding workout is that whenever you are strapped into the board, you are balancing your body and are constantly doing a core workout. Also, when conditions or terrain are harder, snowboarders have to work harder. Competitive skier and snowboarder Thom Canalichio said, “The front-to-back action and balance required in snowboarding, on the other hand, tends to really hit the front of my quads and the calves, as well as the deeper muscles of the lower abdomen, such as the psoas.”
In conclusion, snowboarding is a more difficult workout than skiing because snowboarders are constantly unclipping their boots on the ground, pushing on the flats and engaging their core muscles. Again, both sports are a great outdoor workout and lots of fun.