Actually, skiing and snowboarding have much in common
Having read many letters touting the dissimilarities of skiing and snowboarding as reason for separate slopes, I’d like to point out the reality – their overwhelming similarities.
With 27 years of skiing experience and as an instructor, I feel I’m qualified to comment. Hopefully, all will understand snow sports better.
Starting with equipment, manufacturing principles are nearly identical. Skis and snowboards have camber, sidecut and edges. One obvious difference is nonreleasable bindings on snowboards virtually eliminating the possibility of gear separating from a rider and striking another.
The skills and timing required mirror each other. Flexion, extension and rotation are movements used in both sports. Nearly identical flexion and extension movements and timing pressure edges during turns, small- or large-radius, producing identical results.
Rotation is used and timed identically during turns, although joints rotated are different. Weight shifts produce very similar results. Higher edge angles produce the same result. Overall, timing, intensity and duration of all movements is nearly the same.
We all have the same blind spot, too, behind us. Parallels between the two sports are precisely what allow instructors to teach either sport easily to someone experienced in the other than to those with no snowriding experience.
Actually, snowboards are short, fat skis ridden sideways. Ninety-nine percent of the theory is the same. Generally, stance on a snowboard, and its effect, is the difference.
Snowboarders must be extremely vigilant about people on their heelside, which means behind them. I also believe educated skiers should recognize being on a snowboarder’s heelside and vocalize they are there. We should avoid helmets that greatly decrease hearing. I like music, but I wouldn’t ski or ride with headphones, either.
Deep down, separatists, in my opinion, still think of snowboarders as negligent hoodlums. Demographics prove otherwise. In reality, education, cooperation and intelligent use of slopes keeps us safe.
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