• zelechowski mathieu

Snowboard VS Ski Who Is Winning ?


I’ve read an article this morning about the ban applied on snowboarders in Alta ski resort U.S.A. It’s an endless fight against the 2 tribes. You can click on this link to learn more. Some people’s reactions are simply stupid. Anyway, I am not pro or against any side, true I am a snowboarder but I appreciate watching good skiers on the slopes of Courchevel. And as I physio osteopath in Courchevel, I m treating everyone with the same amount of respect.

I collected a few facts about both world, who’s winning ? Well, I let the reader of this post make his mind.

  • History : skiing is nearly prehistoric, it was a utilitarian way to hunt and move across snowy terrain, the first appearance of skiing dates 6000 BC, my grand father was using skis in Poland back in the late 30’s to move around in the winter. It’s now a sport and an excellent way to enjoy the mountains, the army uses it well. Snowboard was first created in the 20’s last century, and got finally properly set in the 60’s.

  • Ergonomics : well, ski resort are ski resort.... Every single pieces of equipment is designed for skiers, ski lifts, chair lifts. The T bar or Rope Tow is a perfect example, the biomechanics are not right for snowboarders as the torso is not aligned with the traction forces leading them to fell off more frequently.

  • Ergonomics 2: Just try to walk, go to the bathroom or even drive with ski boots !!! It’s as comfortable as walking with feet in concrete!! For snowboarders as the flexibility of snowboots is much greater, walking is an easy game.

  • Ski Facts: top speed : 250 km/hour on skis 200 km/hour on a snowboard, quaterpipe highest jump : 10,7 meters on skis 9,8 on a snowboard, jump length 112 meters on skis 56 meters on a snowboard ( not talking about the 230 meters on skis with special equipment in Plenia, Slovenia)

  • Injuries fact : 3 to 6 injuries on a 1000 snowboard days, 2 to 3 injuries on a 1000 ski days, 48% of injuries in the resort of Courchevel involved snowboarders and most of them were beginners, 18% were skiers.

  • Biomechanics: let’s face it, skiing is easier to start with than snowboarding, for skiers the center of gravity is lower and between feet which is physiologically better. Snowboarders have to worry about the body mass center going from one edge to the other, a much harder game when you start.

  • Crashes : Crahes are by far much worst on skis than snowboard. You’re dealing with 4 limbs moving around, the chances of dislocations are higher than a snowboarder with 2 feet attached to one board.

From my experience in Courchevel, and the collision injuries involving snowboarders and skiers I am seeing during my physio osteopath hours , turns are a major factor.

Snowboarders have a much greater turn radius than skiers. Please guys when you want to do that 20 meters radius carving turn, assess first who’s behind you and watch out for skiers.

Anyway, everybody is winning and should enjoy the slopes of Courchevel as it should deserve.

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