Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 20 of 56 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my son got to actually go to a ski resort over spring break. I've always snowboarded, so he also snowboarded (plus, he's borrowed my wife's board in Arkansas when we have rare snow). He's a pretty talented MTB rider, and we started discussing whether he'd be better off skiing instead of boarding.

The thinking is that your position and movements on skis are much more similar to riding a bike, especially if you ride a bike aggressively (drifting corners, jumping, and rotations). I also know that a lot of the pro riders out there also ski. A few snowboard (Tippie), but I believe more ski (Finn Iles, Jesse Melamed, etc..).

Is there prevailing wisdom out there for those of you who live in mountain areas with snow sports on whether to ski or board? Or does it not matter, and we're just overthinking it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,017 Posts
I ski and snowboard. My suggestion: do whichever one he enjoys more without any regard to how it crosses over to mountain biking because neither one does all too closely. If the primary objective is find a second activity to improve his mountain biking then hit the gym. Nordic skiing might crossover nicely though.
 

·
Destroyer of Worlds
Joined
·
13 Posts
I also ski and snowboard (although more snowboard). About the only thing that crosses over, at least for me, is getting over fear of speed and steeps. I don't think either one is really better or worse for that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
707 Posts
As someone who instructed both skiing and snowboarding and can at least hack it on a bike, this is what I would say:

The most important cross over IMO between the disciplines is getting better at looking down your line instead of right in front of you. Which is true with either skiing or snowboarding. So I would also say whatever he enjoys more. Or both. And speaking from experience, you are way more likely to tear an ACL skiing so if he's not interested in potentially missing a biking season rehabbing a knee, that could be an argument for sticking with the board.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,017 Posts
getting over fear of speed and steeps.
I definitely go faster and bigger on skis than I do on a bike. Somehow though I feel like the consequences of messing up on a bike are higher so my comfort level is lower. If I screw up a jump on skis I land in soft snow then slide out in multiple layers of clothing so I don't get too hurt. Mess up on my bike and there are pointy rocks and stuff to tear me up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,017 Posts
And speaking from experience, you are way more likely to tear an ACL skiing so if he's not interested in potentially missing a biking season rehabbing a knee, that could be an argument for sticking with the board.
Oh man, I'm going through this conundrum right now. I tore my rotator cuff last fall in a mountain biking accident and spent all winter rehabbing from surgery. Now that I'm healed I want to salvage the last bit of spring skiing/boarding but the last thing I want to do is to re-injure my shoulder by either snagging a pole basket on a tree limb or slamming to the ground catching an edge on my board. I did buy some new snowboard boots and bindings last year that I haven't even tried yet so I really want to but I don't want to get hurt for summer biking. Oh woe is me. Dear diary...
 

·
jcd's best friend
Joined
·
3,012 Posts
I actually want to try snowboarding myself but my joints probably can't handle it. In my area, it seems most mountain bikers do ski and snowboard on the side during winter months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,309 Posts
That's a hard one. Whichever gets you out is best.

I will say one thing with complete confidence. Don't let anyone ever tell you snowboarding and surfing are alike. In 55 plus years of surfing, I have never been locked to my surf board and no matter how much I rode, I was always uncomfortable having both feet locked to a snowboard.

My personal choice is the freedom of skiing. I was an instructor for 26 years and still ski anywhere from 60 to 80 plus days a season but if you don't do it often, neither will make much difference so just go out and have fun.

Fun is the goal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,801 Posts
You're overthinking it wrt bike riding.

If there's a chance he's going to get really into sliding on snow and make the move to backcountry riding (i.e. earning your turns with no chairlifts involved), then there's a case to be made for sticking with skis. Otherwise, just do whatever is the most fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,321 Posts
I'm 68 now, but back 16 years ago, I noticed that after a season of alpine skiing, it took 100+ miles of trail riding to get "up to speed" or in shape for mountain biking, even after 60 days per season. I'd thought about trying telemark skiing and at age 52 took that up. It's fun enough that I haven't alpine skied since. This season I have 82 days so far with a few left before the areas close and I've found that the transition is pretty seamless. I've managed to hurt myself once already in Moab, but before my faux pas, I was tracking a very fast time - trying to keep up with my 30 year old son, unsuccessfully - on my first ride.

I've snowboarded off and on for about 8 years, started alpine skiing in 1965 and I'd say telemark skiing is the best for fitness, by a large margin. Both of my sons skied and then snowboarded, but once they tried telemark skiing, the snowboards went on sale.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
2,621 Posts
For me, any sport that keeps your fitness going during the winter is a good crossover sport. I live in the mountains and alpine and backcountry ski all winter but many riders XC ski, winter hike or just ride right through the winter.

I did a lot more backcountry skiing this winter due to COVID and found it maintained my endurance and cardio very well. I was able to get back on my bike and feel my fitness was still there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the replies. He's only 13, so he will be pretty limited on how often he gets to ski until he goes out on his own and possibly attends college or moves to an area with more snow access. The "off season" fitness benefits aren't really a factor, as we bike through the winter down here, and he wouldn't be doing snow sports enough for it to really contribute to his fitness.

I think the thing that REALLY got my brain going on this was a podcast with Charlie Murray that I listened to. Dude has only been racing bikes for around 3 years, and he's hitting the podium on the EWS regularly. But he was a competitive free skiier before moving over to bikes, and he felt that the two correlated quite a bit. As others have said, though, the main correlation is probably getting used to going fast, hucking drops, and hitting steeps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Classic xc or nordic for the best workout in my opinion....but that may not be his gig.
Yeah, he's more gravity oriented. Does some XC racing for fitness, but focuses on Enduro Racing. He'd race DH if it were accessible in our area.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
49 Posts
As someone who instructed both skiing and snowboarding and can at least hack it on a bike, this is what I would say:

The most important cross over IMO between the disciplines is getting better at looking down your line instead of right in front of you. Which is true with either skiing or snowboarding. So I would also say whatever he enjoys more. Or both. And speaking from experience, you are way more likely to tear an ACL skiing so if he's not interested in potentially missing a biking season rehabbing a knee, that could be an argument for sticking with the board.
I came here to say basically this.

Training yourself to look down your line, and for your body to react on this delay is the biggest crossover between the 3. But that is really it.

Being confident with speed MAY play in some, but I honestly think it is a different feeling with all 3 so that actually does not play that much I don't think. I think he should probably stick with whichever he likes the most for winter sports, just being in the mountains and being active go a long ways by themselves. Don't overthink any potential crossovers, I have been doing all 3 for far more years than I care to admit, and really dont see any of them helping me with the other 2 in any real measurable way.
 

·
Self Appointed Judge&Jury
Joined
·
38,201 Posts
OP, you’re over thinking it. As long as you / he stays active in the off season with any sport that requires balance and coordination, one will be sharp and ready to go on the bike.
 
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
Top