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Skier ---> Boarder ---> Skier/Boarder: Advice?

Big Game

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Starting "skiing" in the 80s. In quotes, as my skiing technique was non-existent. A dynamic turn --- well those two words I have never would have come across. I had 210s and pointed fall line straight as went fast as my brain would let me. And then I'd skid to scrub speed. Continued "skiing" into the 90s. But as you could imagine, I got bored being so terrible, and further, I was clueless to my terribleness.

In 2001, I tried snow boarding with a buddy. He showed me how to carve. I picked up on it immediately. Boarding now had my interest. My current board is Rossi Experience 173. Not so much for parks, but rather big stiff board and stiff boots for laying some serious troughs when conditions permit. I went with the 173 as I needed extra surface area so I would not get so bogged down in powder. At 190 lbs a 161 was fine, but now at 220. Yep, surface area matters. And I don't find the 12 additional cm slowed my turns a bit. Woods, bumps, it's all good as long as not complete boilerplate. Favorite trail so far = Middle Earth at Castlerock.

Now, I am 44 years old. My 6 and 3 years boys are showing some interest in skiing. But being on a board is a bit of a drag. So this my beard, at least, for wanting to try shaped skis.

But the truth is, I just want to try shaped skis. I am curious if I could carve as easily as with a board. And yeah, I would want to hit MRG. And also, sitting down to buckle in, and then certain places with the traverses make boarding a real PITA.

So I am seeing if anyone else had had a similar experience. Started skiing, grew bored, loved boarding and now does both skiing and boarding:

  • Is it difficult to switch back and forth?
  • What kind of days do you like boarding? Which days skiing? Or do you start a day boarding then switch? Or vice-versa?
  • What's the learning curve to carve on skis when you can carve fairly righteously on a board?
  • I have no idea what kind of gear to be looking for. Size? Stiffness?
  • Other things I am not thinking about?

Thanks. I pretty much lurk but I know there's a lot of HQ people on AZ.
 

becca m

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Hi! I am always stunned by how many people stick to one snow sport!!! Sure, it gets expensive doing all of them, but, you can really have fun learning new stuff!!! Telemark is particularly challenging, so I keep at it even though I am a pretty decent snowboarder.

I skied (before the era of shaped skis), then learned tele on shaped skis (I'm intermediate), a couple years later learned snowboarding (I consider myself best at snowboarding), then bought downhill skis last year after breaking my leg snowboarding - I could ski (p-turns) before I could ride again and I like the release mechanism that I don't have on tele skis.

ANYWAY, here's my deal: when things are firm, I want to be on skis (for me usually tele) - and two edges are WAY better than 1 and you don't have that horrible scraping noise when you turn. Then, when things get powdery/soft/mushy/moguled up, I *LOVE* the snowboard - such surfy fun!!!! When I get bored like if the steeps aren't open, etc, I do an hour on each on the groomers. If I'm at a small ski area with mainly surface lifts, I go with downhill skis. Rope tows and t-bars suck on a snowboard (for me anyway). Crossing between tele and snowboard is FAR more difficult than downhill skis and snowboard because the focus in tele is on the back leg; snowboard is the front. But, downhill to snowboard, the focus is on the downhill leg, so, that's not a difficult transition.

No matter what you do, take lessons - well worth NOT developing bad habits!!!! It's kinda weird to be back on the bunny hill - very humbling when you know you can do whatever snow sport you're coming from really well. :)
 
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Siliconebobsquarepants

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Hi! I am always stunned by how many people stick to one snow sport!!! Sure, it gets expensive doing all of them, but, you can really have fun learning new stuff!!! Telemark is particularly challenging, so I keep at it even though I am a pretty decent snowboarder.

I skied (before the era of shaped skis), then learned tele on shaped skis (I'm intermediate), a couple years later learned snowboarding (I consider myself best at snowboarding), then bought downhill skis last year after breaking my leg snowboarding - I could ski (p-turns) before I could ride again and I like the release mechanism that I don't have on tele skis.

ANYWAY, here's my deal: when things are firm, I want to be on skis (for me usually tele) - and two edges are WAY better than 1 and you don't have that horrible scraping noise when you turn. Then, when things get powdery/soft/mushy/moguled up, I *LOVE* the snowboard - such surfy fun!!!! When I get bored like if the steeps aren't open, etc, I do an hour on each on the groomers. If I'm at a small ski area with mainly surface lifts, I go with downhill skis. Rope tows and t-bars suck on a snowboard (for me anyway). Crossing between tele and snowboard is FAR more difficult than downhill skis and snowboard because the focus in tele is on the back leg; snowboard is the front. But, downhill to snowboard, the focus is on the downhill leg, so, that's not a difficult transition.

No matter what you do, take lessons - well worth NOT developing bad habits!!!! It's kinda weird to be back on the bunny hill - very humbling when you know you can do whatever snow sport you're coming from really well. :)

"....Old dog new tricks" applies to me on this one , tried Boarding when I was 40 plus ,,,,It hurt ..a lot . I would guess not too many people start a new sport over 40 for good reasons . You simply do not recover that fast from injury , Having an instructor no doubt would help but starting over just doesn't appeal to me when my time is limited.

My Niece is awesome at both and I admire her very much but I'm happy to do what I'm doing .
Different strokes
 

Abubob

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After I got married back in 1995 I now had two teenaged step-kids. They had received snowboards from their father so I stepped in by getting each of them lessons. After skiing at that point for near thirty years I figured I might try snowboarding myself in a show of solidarity. Well neither kid really was all that interested in the sport, their own father didn't ever take them so it kind of petered out. I only took them one other time, snowboarding myself but never again. Even though I never snowboarded again it at the very least satisfied my curiosity as to whether I'd like snowboarding or not.

My point is, I guess, it's worth trying new things with your kids. And even though I never snowboarded again it at the very least satisfied my curiosity as to whether I'd like snowboarding or not.

The reason I ski now is that my Dad and Mom took us again and again. It wasn't a choice I was given. It was "we're going skiing" so wake up. I don't think it would have mattered if my parents skied or not but that they took us several times a season for at least ten years. By that time I was hooked and had to feed my own addiction.

I never took a lesson until I became an instructor myself. I didn't even like my Dad giving me advice. i just skied and slid around to the best of my own ability. We also had a small hill in our backyard so I got a lot of practise on my own. I started at the age of 8 and by the time I was 9 I could ski any blue square.

So the key, I think, isn't so much on whether YOU ski or board but that you take your kids with you whenever and wherever you go. The more you do that the better they'll get - whether they take lessons or not. And by the time they're adults they'll be finding their own way to get to the mountain. And once in awhile they'll even ski or board with you.
 

dlague

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Well I attempted to switch to snowboarding, but felt like the season was slipping away and bagged it for skiing. I enjoyed it but did not want to commit to snow boarding gear. Also felt like I was limited to certain terrain because I was learning. I did have a door hinge fall that freaked me out as well.

However, I have two sons that are switch hitters. One skis more and snowboards from time to time - he used to ski then snowboarded for 4 years and switched back to skiing. Our other son, skied all of his life and then decided to try snowboarding here and there and then committed to new gear. Now does it 50-50. He has no problem doing that and likes it to change things up.
 

Cannonball

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I switch back and forth. Was 100% skier for ~15 years, became 100% boarder for ~10 years, mixed in tele for a few years, now am ~75%board/%25ski. The biggest thing I notice is that each one adds to the other. Each adds a different way of looking at fall lines, bumps, conditions, etc. So they cumulatively add to your overall skills.

One downside to havimg a quiver of options is deciding which to do on any given day and always having the feeling that you should have chosen something else. (Of course this even happens if you have a big quiver if skis). That's something you just need to let go. Whatever's on your feet will be fine and fun and a challenge.
 

Big Game

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Well you guys are getting me excited about switching it up. I guess I am lucky I learned snowboarding when I was 30. I don't think I could handle trying to learn it now.

I did get a ton out of being taught on the board. Likely true on skis.

Becca M --- that's kind of what I was thinking. When conditions firm, skis, a little fluffier, board. I would think on a groomed out day to start with board and then as the trails degrade switch to skis. My snowboard injuries, I think like most people, tend to be in those blue-shadows-of-death time of day.

I'm also thinking that because you are using different muscles you may be able to squeeze a few more runs out by switching off during the day. Or is this just some wishcast?

And Cannonball -- I was hoping someone would say something like that. Sometimes I put the brakes on the board unnecessarily. I wonder if I get used to attacking a fall line on skis if that will make me a bit more aggressive when it starts to get steeper.

Ok, yeah you guys got me excited. Even for marginal conditions.

About making yet another sacrifice. For the children.

Now Tele? That looks like a s-ton of work! But it looks pretty boss when you can do it well.
 

becca m

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Go for it, and, the sooner, the better!!!! (I learned these sports in my 40's). I am not sure about getting more turns in by switching off, but, certainly it is more fun with more choices. Some sports take more energy than others, and use up energy quickly!!! I find I use the least energy snowboarding so I can ride all day. Tele eats energy - I seldom see people dropping heel all day. Regular alpine skiing takes me about the same energy as snowboarding, but, I'm not a super-great alpine skier. Alpine with the shaped skis - the skis practically turn themselves - get a few pointers and you should be good to go as you've done downhill before on the old skis.
 

crank

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I learned to board in my mid 30's. My son started skiing at age 3 and once he was able to get around i started boarding. It gave me a challenge while hanging with the kid and riding small local areas. After a few years I mostly went back to skiing. I still board a few times each season if I am at an area like Stratton or okemo with intermediate skiing friends.

much easier to get around and keep up on skis. Take a lesson, rent some skis to start.
 

KD7000

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I ski and board, and love being able to change it up. I learned to ski as a young teen, then switched to boarding when I was 16. Skied a couple times over the years, but was truly in love with boarding. Then, many years later when I had kids, I started skiing again so I could teach them. I've always been a marginal (poor) skier and much more comfortable on the board.

Now, my daughter is 11 and can out-ski me. She's also been taking boarding lessons, but seems to gravitate to the skis. My 8-yr old son just decided last season that he wanted to ski, so he's progressing nicely.

What I find these days is that skiing is more relaxing. I don't hit too many difficult trails, it's better when conditions are marginal, and it's fun to cruise with the kids. For days when conditions are good, or if I'm out by myself or with more advanced skiers/riders, it's all about the board. Gotta say, my 42 year-old body is somewhat less in love with sitting down to strap into the board & hauling my fat ass off the snow before each run. However, the feeling of carving on the board in fresh snow is unbeatable.
 

KD7000

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Would you rather do one thing really well or two things just average?
Meh. I disagree entirely with this sentiment. Having the flexibility to enjoy both is better than ruling one out. But 15 years ago, I would have agreed with you.
 
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