Why more people are learning to ski and snowboard : Multi-discipline on the mountain
There is a new bandwagon in town and unlike many, this one is worth jumping on. We are talking about the trend for becoming more all mountain and multi-discipline by learning to ski and snowboard.
Over the years the frosty relationship between skiers and boarders has thawed, hate was replaced by respect and now the lines are starting to blur with many of us attempting to master both winter disciplines.
There are well-documented pros and con of both sports. Snowboard boots are more comfy and off piste is easier to tackle but drag lifts are a challenge, flat sections a nightmare and rental kit rubbish. Skiing has a deeper history and to master the sport there is a wider range of techniques to develop which allows access to a broader range of terrain however, carrying all the kit can be problematic.
Let’s not dwell on the past let us look to the future were skiers and boarders live in harmony because they are no longer one but two. It feels good to answer “Both” to the question “do you ski or board?”
In our experience, there are more people that predominantly snowboard that can also ski and very few skiers that also snowboard. This is probably because skiing is the default. For those lucky enough to go on school trips and family ski holidays, it was always ski lessons with a day of snowboarding thrown in if you were lucky.
This has lead snowboarding to be a choice you make when you grew up. Which could be why it was viewed as the rebellion on the slopes and why many dedicated snowboarders are secret skiers. However, more skiers are now looking to add boarding to their skill set.
Why choose to ski and snowboard
Now that there is more respect and clear crossovers in the form of events, clothing and goals within snowboarding and skiing it seems only natural that actual users would want to start to find out what their winter brethren are getting up to.
By becoming skilled at both you are opening up more of the mountain to yourself than ever before. As a skier, you may have viewed some lesser blue runs as nothing more than a highway to another place on the mountain but as a snowboarder that run suddenly becomes an interesting natural park with a variety of hits to play on.
As a snowboarder, you may have dismissed a run that is located at the end of very long drag with a lead into the piste that has a steep icy start, notorious for breaking snowboarder wrists. By clipping into your skis you could find the confidence to take on all of these challenges and discover one of the best and underused runs on the resort.
The list goes on: You may discover that you are better in the park on a board than skis or that you find off-piste more rewarding and enjoyable with something different strapped to your feet. Or it could be that an afternoon of Aprés is on the card and one board is easier than poles and skis.
If you love to travel and try new resorts you will find some that just aren’t suited to enjoyable snowboarding, often this is due to lack of investment or the natural shape of the mountain. These can be great resorts with amazing runs and well worth the effort of mastering both.
Great idea if you want to work as an instructor
Self-improvement is one reason people are taking up both. Another reason is to further their careers and employability as instructors in the mountain. If you qualified as both you are instantly more desirable to a ski and a snowboard school it will also mean that you get more lessons, gain more experience and progress faster.
We have recognised that there is a need for employers and a desire for instructors to follow this pathway to working for a ski and snowboard school. Which is why we have introduced a course that allows you to train to become a ski and snowboard instructor almost guaranteeing you a job once you have passed.
It’s never too late
A trend we have noticed is for older skiers or snowboarders to start taking up the alternative sport. One skier declared that as a lifelong surfer he felt that he had to give snowboarding ago and fell in love with it claiming that it’s just more fun.
On the flip side, many accomplished boarders are looking at skiing and see the advanced techniques and style and are moving over to two planks in for a more disciplined way of getting down the mountain.
We are all just more open minded.
Skiing has always been considered a more conservative sport, snowboarding broke that and slowly forced it to be more open minded and both sports have benefited from that. The bitter ski v’s snowboard rivalry of has almost gone, we have learnt to share the mountain and now we are learning to share the sport.
If you are looking to learn a new way of getting down the mountain the take a look at our performance courses in Europe, Canada and New Zealand. Or if you want to make your way as a muli-disciplined instructor the take a look at our Dual Level 1 & 2 Instructor course.