Ski to snowboard transtion
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oldensign - DCSki Columnist
5 months ago
Member since 02/27/2007 🔗
456 posts

Greetings Sliders - 

A knee injury is making me think about a transition. Long time skier, boarded for a year or two pre Y2K. So it has been a while.

Has anyone had any experience changing over due to injury? Or returning to the board after a long layoff?  

JimK - DCSki Columnist
5 months ago
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,816 posts


 I was just watching Warren Miller's Chasing Shadows from 2015 on Amazon Prime.  About 2/3rds through the film there was a segment on monoskiing and one of them said he hurt his knee skiing and switched to a monoskis because it was much easier on his knee.  The guy had gray hair was hucking cliffs and deep carving with his monoboard :-)

oldensign wrote:

Greetings Sliders - 

A knee injury is making me think about a transition. Long time skier, boarded for a year or two pre Y2K. So it has been a while.

Has anyone had any experience changing over due to injury? Or returning to the board after a long layoff?  

amorFati
5 months ago (edited 5 months ago)
Member since 11/13/2021 🔗
6 posts

I'm a skier and a good buddy of mine is a boarder.  We joke often about one vs the other.  We have come to the conclusion the skiing is better when you are older because you don't have to get up and down constantly or bend over to adjust your snowboard bindings.  You have to constantly reattach your foot after you get off the lift.  We were in Big Sky once and we're trading quips and a another boarder joined in and said I'll ski when I'm old.  Best retort ever.  

Not sure how boarding would be for knee injuries.  Ski isn't good for that.  You would have to tolerate the constant bending over which my back wouldn't like.  I'll see what my buddy thinks.  

wojo
5 months ago
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
319 posts

oldensign wrote:

Greetings Sliders - 

A knee injury is making me think about a transition. Long time skier, boarded for a year or two pre Y2K. So it has been a while.

Has anyone had any experience changing over due to injury? Or returning to the board after a long layoff?  

 Not an instructor/orthopedic expert . . . . but I board and ski.

I picked up boarding after 35.  Took one good season (10 times) of 1/2 skiing half boating at Whitetail to feel like I could board any run.  I was exhausted during the transition and my upper body and arms were tired from getting up and down (and falls).  Now if board and ski based on who I am with and where I am.  If you make the switch, recommend you consider a High Cascades Summer Snowboard camp.  I really helped me out and was an awesome time.  There is no age limit.  I was over 50 and not the oldest person there.

I have noticed that East Coast ice sliding on a board is much easier on my lower body.

In response to amorFati comment about getting up and down. I have learned two things from instructors that I have carried forward . . . keep your arms up on your chest in a fall so you don't break your wrist and how to buckle in without sitting on the hill.  On an average day I only sit on the snow once or twice.

I really like the option of boarding and skiing.  All sliding is good sliding.

My quiver is waxed and ready to go and I might hit Timberline mid week with my board!!

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
5 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,798 posts

amorFati wrote:

I'm a skier and a good buddy of mine is a boarder.  We joke often about one vs the other.  We have come to the conclusion the skiing is better when you are older because you don't have to get up and down constantly or bend over to adjust your snowboard bindings.  You have to constantly reattach your foot after you get off the lift.  We were in Big Sky once and we're trading quips and a another boarder joined in and said I'll ski when I'm old.  Best retort ever.  

Not sure how boarding would be for knee injuries.  Ski isn't good for that.  You would have to tolerate the constant bending over which my back wouldn't like.  I'll see what my buddy thinks.  

 What do you mean by "constant bending over"?  I've learned to hinge at the hips in recent years.  Started with lessons at Massanutten after knee rehab that showed what fundamentals I was lacking.  But I've never had any back problems and have been working on core strength for almost a decade after starting to ski out west more regularly.

wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter 
5 months ago
Member since 07/27/2014 🔗
281 posts
Roughly a deacde ago, my best friend felt like he had accomplished everything he could skiing the Mid-Atlantic, so he switched to snowboarding. He pointed out several times that it was "humbling."

Then he abandoned Alexandria for Costa Rica in 2016 and if he ever returns during winter, I suspect he'll be back on skis and not so "accomplished." At least I hope so, I miss getting on the slopes with him!
Denvern61
5 months ago
Member since 11/11/2020 🔗
14 posts

Go and make the switch back to boarding. if you're recovered from the injury it really shouldn't matter physically, it more of a mind thing.  if you think there will be less of a chance twisting a knee boarding and that's what gets back out on the snow.....go ride.

That being said, you can still hurt your knee boarding, if it bends, it can break.  if it helps, pull on a brace, I do.  Just like sking, your knees and legs are everything.  getting low on the snow doesn't mean bending over at the waist, it's at the knee.  My wife, two sons and myself have hurt our knees boarding, so kinda speaking from experience. 

other than braces, think about changing your stance width and bindings angles to something more comfortable for you.  also look into mounting step-in bindings on your board and limit the amount of bending over you have to do when strapping in.  I believe Burton has step-in step up.  

Being that you have a sking background, but still want to switch to boarding...make the jump to alpine (hard booting) snowboarding.  You ride aggressive binding angels, but you face almost forward and it's about carving ( trench digging).  Can be little hard to find and expensive for equipment, not many of us hard booters left or manufactures still making equipment.  It's a blast and looks really cool when you start to hook up turns.

By the way, I switched from sking to boarding due to a knee injury almost 40 years ago and never looked back.

Just my 2 cent..........

Leo
5 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
295 posts

I instructed skiing and snowboarding.  I have had both ACLs repaired from skiing incidents.

Boarding is easier on your knee in the sense that a torn ACL is a lot less likely on a board.  There are specific reasons skiing is one of the most common sports for a torn ACL.  Very generally, the potential for lateral forces combined with your leg being attached below the knee via a hard, rigid ski boot. 

That said, as someone who will never giving up skiing even though I enjoy boarding, the most important thing you can do is train and strengthen and stretch.  Core and legs.  And if you are really concerned wear prophylactic braces even on a knee you haven't already injured.  That, to me, is a better solution than giving up a sport you love.  But at the end of the day, even all of that would not guarantee against knee injuries, though it does dramatically lower the chances. 

oldensign - DCSki Columnist
2 months ago
Member since 02/27/2007 🔗
456 posts

Greetings All!

As a follow up I took up boarding this winter and loving it. It took about 10 days on the hill to gain a strong level of confidence.  I have pretty much reached to point where I can handle most of the mountains around me on the board.

I find I like to ski when the conditions are smooth or icy and board when in powder or "choppy" conditions.

As suggested I wear a brace and pads while boarding. Still have issues getting dumped off fixed chairs but mostly that is lift specific. 

Powder on a board is amazing!!! Although I find I am slower on the board thus not as much vertical in a day as on skis.

The biggest drawback is now my truck is full of so much gear when I head to the slopes!!!

skinavy
2 months ago
Member since 02/24/2015 🔗
78 posts

I too picked up a board when the local weekend hill got "small."  Humbling- yesss.  Made 650 vert feel like the Matterhorn again.  Similarly, took ~10D, at least 1/2 boarding, to feel safe and controlled on all the blues. I stick to blue groomers, and being on the board makes my son smile- gives us something to truly do together when he graces me with his presence, and he likes that he is better than I am at it :)

The board made me a significantly better skier- awareness for the heelside blindspot, and a far better appreciation for fwd/back and side/side weight distribution- you better get it right or that single edge quickly becomes the enemy instead of your friend.  I found it was much easier to truly carve on  board, and feel early turn initiation, as there is no ambiguity when you shift edges and it is obvious when you're skidding a turn.  Learning to drive a board with the forward hip helped me really learn "weight forward" on skis.  Overall a great teaching tool to improve my skiing, although I will stick to 2 planks vs 1, 95% of the time.

Oldensign- you should see us, with 2 sets of boards, daily driver skis, AT/skinning rigs, nordic, and sometimes carvers- all for a generic weekend.  The boots are the hardest part to stow :)

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