One board is all I need

December 7, 2015 — by Stephen Ding

Reporter defends snowboarding over skiing.

Snowboarding down a hill littered with inches of soft powdery snow, I quickly moved my body aside, barely avoiding a speeding skier dressed in a murky green jacket.

I watched with wide eyes as he sped down the hill, occasionally performing fancy tricks on his way down. Just as he reached the bottom, though, his skis got caught in soft snow and his legs twisted and tangled together.

I watched from far away, seeing the painful expression on the skier's face. At that moment, I told myself I would never switch back to skiing. This was five years ago — five years since I discovered the joy of snowboarding.

Many have heard the term “quality over quantity” and that holds true for snowboarding and skiing. Instead of using two flimsy skis to go down a hill, a solid and firm board would be more favorable.

Although using two skis increases the speed of the user, a single board is slower and therefore allows for more control. Based on the studies of MPORA, a website specialized in mountain biking, bmx, snowboarding, skiing, etc, the fastest speed skiers can go up to 156 mph while speed boarders can only hit 126 mph. However, this speed explains why ski accidents tend to be more devastating than snowboarding ones.

While skiers need poles like an old man needs a cane, snowboarders do not require them leaving your arms free for breaking falls. Poles are just useless pieces of metal that hinder the user by weighing them down. There is no real reason for them since it is possible to ski just as fast without poles.

Additionally, it is possible to lose a ski after falling and it will result in a huge loss of money. Unlike skis, a snowboarder has his/her board connected with bindings. While it is possible for the bindings to loosen and fall off, a chain coming from the board is attached to user's boots. I mean, who wants to spend a few hundred dollars for another two flimsy sticks?

According to American Journal of Sports Medicine, it is more likely for skiers to receive ACL tears which can lead to long term consequences in performance. The tearing of the ACL can also lead to other injuries in later years of life. With these reasons in mind, snowboarding seems like an overall safer alternative.

There are many issues that come along with skiing, but the worst thing I’ve ever experienced was attempting to get off a ski lift along with another three to five people. Without knowing which way the others will go, getting my skis tangled with another person was was not uncommon for me. You can really feel the slow embrace of death when you are frantically trying to untangle your ski while the lift approaches you.

Furthermore, falling on a snowboard also seems much safer than falling on a pair of skis. While riding skis, it is possible for a person to get his/her legs tangled up with the long skis while falling on a snowboard will be face first or backwards. MPORA also states that skiing accidents can result in at least 33 percent more deaths than snowboarding accidents.

Even snowboarding skills have better sounding names than skiing moves. A stop for skiing is called a pizza or chopsticks while a stop for snowboarding is called a falling leaf.

“Boarding” might sound like ”boring,” but I assure you, it’s far from it.

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