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Tis the season
By Ksenia E., Fredericton Central High, Fredericton, NB

With winter veering its snow-covered head around the corner, many people are dreading the thought of shoveling driveways, driving through treacherous roads, and bearing the bitter cold. For snowboarders and skiers, a fantastic winter wonderland is about to begin. This leads to the question which has plagued mankind since the invention of the snowboard; which is the better choice, snowboarding or skiing?

Many people have "fallen" for the more modern way to hit the slopes, snowboarding, for several reasons. Some say it is more exciting because it feels more dangerous being strapped onto one board, giving a sense that there is a risk factor.

Amanda A., a grade twelve student at FHS, feels this way and says that although skiing is easier because you have more control, snowboarding is more fun because you control your movements with your body. She also enjoys the fact that you are going down the hill sideways and can only describe snowboarding in one word; "Cool."

Jordan D., a grade twelve student attending FHS, also agrees with the idea that snowboarding is more fun because you are strapped in, and says he loves how you feel like you are "surfing the snow". He finds snowboarding harder, yet "funner" and says that, along with many other things, "it just looks so much cooler".

An experienced eight-year skier turned snowboarder, T-J C., says snowboarding is better in several ways. It is "funner to powder (meaning ride on fluffy snow) and to do tricks". He says that the tricks look much better on snowboards and seem awkward with skis. As for which is more popular, he feels snowboarding had its burst of fame but has died down to where skiing has become more popular.

Erin C., another grade twelve student at FHS, says that neither is better, but she has had better success with skiing. She says the only experience with snowboarding was one that was spent mostly on her behind. One thing she doesn't like is how snowboarders are given the stereotype of "being all rebellious" by many people.

The second side to the story, skiing, also has its supporters. Many people find that snowboarding is mostly a trend and that most people do it for the coolness factor. Because your legs are not strapped onto a board, and can be released if you fall, many find you have more freedom.

Vladimir Miladinovic, a twenty-four year old attending UNB has been skiing since he was six when living in Europe. He says that he cannot truly say if one is better than the other because he hasn't done much snowboarding. He does, however, dislike the fact that many people snowboard because it's cool, rather than because they like it. There are benefits to both, however.

"Technically snowboarding is made for deep snow," says Vladimir, "It is easier in deep snow and people with less experience find it more fun. On a clean track snowboarders have no advantage, and in fact it is harder."

As for benefits to skiing, Vladimir says that it is easier to manipulate skis on a clean trail and you can control the speed. It is more difficult to initially learn to snowboard, he says, but to move from beginner to a higher level is more of a challenge on skis. He also says that the idea that snowboards are better for freestyle is wrong, and that the tricks on snowboards are easier to do. The best and most insane tricks he has seen were ones done by skiers.

Justin Francis, an 18 year old attending Ottawa University, says that he enjoys skiing because snowboarding is primarily for tricks and showing off, whereas with "skiing it's just you and the slopes." He also finds many people snowboard to look cool, and, since skiing is less popular, is usually done because the person truly enjoys it. As for freestyling, he says he's seen some impressive stunts done on skis and thinks that since your legs are less fixed together you have more mobility. "The really amazing skiers can do such cool stuff."

Both sides have their supporters and clearly, they have their ups and theirs 'downs.'


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