In light of the winter season and some recent snowfall, it’s time to settle a longtime debate: skiing or snowboarding?
As a skier myself, I’m biased. But I’d be lying if I said that learning how to snowboard never crossed my mind.
Skis or snowboard aside, it’s hard to deny the benefits of hitting the slopes.
Winter often ushers in a type of depression known as seasonal affective disorder. Skiing and snowboarding combine the great outdoor air with physical activity and some sunshine exposure. They’re natural remedies for the debilitating effects of seasonal depression, the University of New Hampshire states in an article about healthy living on its website.
Outdoor physical activity proves beneficial to the body. The exercise increases cardiovascular endurance, strengthens lower body muscles and improves balance, core strength and flexibility.
What’s fascinating is how both skiing and boarding are lifetime hobbies. If you visit any mountain ski resort, that chances are that you’ll see an older person zooming down the slope.
It’s not uncommon for me to see men and women over the age of 70 braving the cold and shredding the powder. It sure does keep them young.
Whether you’re a 3-year-old learning to ski on the bunny hill or an 80-year-old conquering a double-black-diamond course, the snow can be for everyone.
Another benefit? Unity. I love that skiing and snowboarding bring people of all ages and cultures together. A single chairlift ride up the mountain can lead to an exchange of life stories and possible friendships.
The National Ski Areas Association estimated that about 10.5 million people participated in skiing or snowboarding in the United States during 2020-2021.
While tensions may always exist between the two types of riders — especially when snowboarders hog the chairlift and lay their board over the top of your skis — the benefits of simply getting out on a mountain are undeniable.
If you’re looking to get out on the slopes for the first time and wondering whether to take up skiing or snowboarding, keep this advice in mind: Skiing is easier to learn but harder to master, while snowboarding is harder to learn but easier to master.
So, whether you ski or snowboard, just get out there and have some fun hitting the slopes.
Taylor Soehner is in the 12th grade at Garden Spot High School.