It’s a debate as ancient as time itself, and by this we mean the period of time that’s occurred between 1965 and the present day. Skiing or snowboarding, what’s better? Who’s cooler? Who looks the best eating fondue?
Well it’s time to put all that to one side, and settle things the good old fashioned way… with an article-list thing. Never ones to favour the “agree to disagree” approach, we’ve listed twelve reasons why we think skiing is definitely cooler than snowboarding.
The Mpora office is split right down the middle on this one so if you don’t hear from us in the next few days, it probably means we’ve killed each other to death with ski poles and snowboard bindings.
1) Candide Thovex Is The King Of Cool
At the time of writing, Candide Thovex’s ‘One Of Those Days 2’ has had over 16 million views. Not only did this edit cement Candide as one of the coolest people in action sports, it pretty much made him the gnarliest person on this, or any other, planet.
‘One Of These Days 2’ dropped in January 2015, and it just gets better every time you see it. The audacity, the tricks, the twists and turns; it’s all fish-hooks for your eyelids.
Sure snowboarding has had it’s moments this year, Billy Morgan’s Quad Cork obviously springs to mind, but in my opinion nothing has come close to touching Thovex’s powder-based magic.
2) Skiers Can Go Faster, Higher, And Further
Skiers can go faster, jump higher, and jump further. That might sound like a childish playground tactic to settling a debate, but it’s true. Science, the old rascal, has proven time and time again that the basic laws of physics and aerodynamics will always side with the men and women on planks.
The tuck-in position of downhill skiers means they pick up less drag than snowboarders, which consequently results in faster speeds. The fastest anyone has ever gone on skis is 252 km/h (157 mph).
Comparatively speaking, the fastest anyone has ever gone on a snowboard is a measly 203 km/h (126 mph). Pah!
As a result of this speed advantage, and the added spring made possible by having two separate contact points with the snow, skiers are able to jump higher and further. Looking at this in terms of pure distance covered, the world record for ski jumping is a whopping 251 metres.
That’s the length of two and a half football pitches which, when you think about it, is absolutely insane.
3) Skiers Don’t Get Stuck On The Flats
Snowboarders might look like the cat’s pyjamas when they’re shredding lines down a slope, but get them on the flats and they look like little old ladies with incontinence issues. From lording it over the skiers to being in desperate need of their help, and all because the mountain has had the stone-faced cheek to level off.
“Give us a drag-along, dude.”
“Help! I can’t move.”
“Mate. Stick out your stick-thing, and give us a ride willz-ya?”
They’ll reach out their hands to you and, because you’re a skier and skiers are inherently nice, you’ll offer them your stick and get them going again. The snowboarders might pretend the world would be a better place without us, but if skiers didn’t exist the snowboarders would still be on the flat bits (three months after the snow had melted).
4) Skiing Has Much More History
Nobody is denying that snowboarding has history, but compared to skiing’s rich history it’s but a newborn baby. Archeologists believe that people have been skiing, in some form or other, since 5000 BC. The earliest examples of it being a “thing” were found in Putin’s Playground (aka Russia).
On top of that, wall paintings suggest that people have been using skis in the Xinjiang region of what is now China since approximately the tenth century. Of course, back in the day, skiing was purely a practical way of getting around. In the mid-1800s though, this all changed and skiing became a popular leisure activity.
This revolution in the way people viewed skiing provided crucial economic support to mountain resorts and can be traced directly to the incredible facilities we see today. If skiing hadn’t taken off in the way it did, there’s no guarantee that snowboarding would even have had the infrastructure within which it eventually thrived.
Go skiing, and feel the weight of history upon your shoulders.
5) Snowboarders Are Always Injuring Their Wrists
Statistically, skiers are more likely to die. But, that’s alright, “Valar morghulis” and all that. The skiers of this world have come to terms with that, after all we’re the ones that can go faster, jump higher, and jump further. Death is just part of the package, a burden that we’re willing to shoulder.
When you delve down into the numbers some more it becomes clear that while skiers are wrestling with the Grim Reaper, snowboarders are much more concerned with their wrists…and how not to injure them. Roughly 40% of all snowboarding injuries involve wrists and while it would be easy to make a self-flagellation gag here; we’ve decided to rise above that easy option.
Whether you’re a snowboarder or a skier, wrists are important. They’re useful for waving, for climbing ladders, for putting together anger-inducing ‘Ski vs Snowboard’ posts and for protecting your face from incoming projectiles thrown by people on the other side of the debate.
Wrists, everyone. Look after your wrists.
6) Skiers Have Sticks, Everything Is Better With Sticks
Those of you who have eaten Chinese food authentically, with chopsticks, will attest to the beautiful simplicity of sticks. In the world of snow-based action sports, snowboarding is the equivalent of wolfing down a chow-mein with a shiny knife and fork. You might end up eating the exact same food as us, but the way in which you do it doesn’t have quite the same class.
Meanwhile, the skiers of this world weave majestically down the slopes with poles in their hands…looking like a retro postcard (in a good way). Not only do the poles look seriously rad, they are also a highly practical slope-side accessory. Got stuck on the flats? Just push yourself along, and help stationary boarders in the process.
Hiking up a mountain? Fear not because you have, not one but, two sticks to help you get where you need to be. Your snowboarder friends will be slipping and sliding, completely at the mercy of gravity, while you will be charging up the mountain like Sir Edmund Hillary.
7) Skiers Can Make Sharper Turns
Skis are like those sports cars, the ones that Top Gear wank-puppets slag off for being less aesthetically pleasing only to end up being stunned to their very core by their incredible handling.
You can just imagine professional plate-scourer Jeremy Clarkson trying on some skis, possibly while wearing some neon spandex, and saying something like “Hammond! I feel like a right tit.”
But then Clarkson, hero to the dads, starts going down the mountain; utilising the extra contact points made possible by skis, he turns sharply…showcasing in one eye-catching swerve the brilliant manoeuvrability of these “vehicles” attached to his feet.
“These things offer more twists and turns than Scarlett Johansson’s backside!”
And of course, at this point, he’d probably say something classically Clarkson: “Well tickle my gentleman’s sausage, and call me Charlie. These things offer more twists and turns than Scarlett Johansson’s backside!”
We’re not condoning misogyny, the objectification of Scarlett Johansson’s backside, or Jeremy Clarkson here; we’re merely highlighting that it’s easier to make sharper turns on skis.
8) Skiers Can Make Themselves Look Like Helicopters
You can’t look like a helicopter while snowboarding. Unless, you’re wearing some sort of bizarre outfit that makes you look like a helicopter. But who, in their right mind, would do this? Skiers can look like a helicopter whenever they want. They just need to hit a kicker and do that clever trick-thing where the planks cross like helicopter blades.
What do you mean that isn’t a reason? The ability to look like a helicopter, whenever we want, is probably the main reason skiing is cooler than snowboarding. Dare I say, the ultimate reason.
9) There’s Never Been A Snowboard-Only Resort
And there are several skier-only resorts. Some people thinks this makes skiing elitist and snobby and, if we’re being totally honest, it does seem to suggest that. On the other hand, fair play to these resorts for having the audacity to bank their entire income on one particular sport. If nothing else, the fierceness of these people’s loyalty to skiing deserves a doff of the cap.
We’d hate for there to be an actual war between the two-sides but if it ever came to that, we’d want the people of Alta, Utah, on the front line.
10) Snowboarders Are Scared Of Button Lifts
Most skiers look at a button lift, shrug their shoulders, and say “Yeah, man. It’s a button lift. What’s the problem?” Then they get on the button lift, take in the nice views, and ski effortlessly off it when it reaches the top.
Snowboarders, on the other hand, have endless nightmares about them. For weeks before their trip, and weeks after, they’ll wake up in the middle of the night screaming “Nooooooo! Not the button lift, anything but the button lift.” Calm down guys, it’s just a button lift.
11) Justin Bieber Snowboards
They say a picture can speak a thousand words…
12) Snowboarding Used To Be Anti-Establishment, But Now It’s Done By Balding Investment Bankers
Snowboarding is like the little alternative band you’ve been loving since 2004, that suddenly blew up when their fourth album got a five star review in The Telegraph. You still love the band, but they’re not ‘your’ band anymore. They’re bigger than that, they’ve waddled over to the mainstream and lost their underground appeal.
Your favourite band, like snowboarding, is still churning out some cracking stuff but they’re now singing to the entire congregation rather than just a handful of shaggy-haired rebels. This growth in audience has fundamentally changed the demographic of snowboarding, which was one of the things that made it so cool in the first place.
There’s still the outrageously cool Scandinavian dudes, of course, but now there’s also a huge pile of balding investment bankers, called Graham, who choose snowboarding over skiing in a misguided attempt to stay young and relevant. And while the Grahams of this world see an increase in their “street cred”, the world of snowboarding suffers an almighty dip as a result.
Snowboarding is currently going through what Facebook went through a few years ago. Parents, parents of friends, uncles, aunties, and grandparents all started sending you friend requests and the whole thing felt immediately less gnarly. You’re still on Facebook, but you know in your heart that things will never be the same again.
Skiing, meanwhile, has slinked along under the radar and become almost anti-establishment in its nature. It doesn’t have the video games, and it hasn’t had a smash hit like ‘The Art Of Flight’. This might sound like a negative but, when you consider it thoughtfully, it actually highlights how skiing can be the choice for people who shun what society deems “cool.”
There’s nothing cool about something so obviously cool and that, perhaps more than any other reason, is why snowboarding is less cool than skiing. Snowboarding thinks it’s cool, and there’s nothing cool about something that thinks it’s cool. Same goes for people who give themselves a nickname; Derek “The Party Animal” Smith, we’re looking at you.
These things go in circles, of course, but at this moment in time skiing is cooler because it’s deemed less cool by the people who believe they speak for the concept of “cool”. Skiers bravely take the path-less-trodden and, because of that, they’re cooler than snowboarders.