Today’s reader question:
Will skateboarding help my snowboard skills? Should I try skateboarding in the off-season?
Indeed it will! Skateboarding is a great off-snow board sport and a lot of the skills you learn in skateboarding will help in your snowboarding as well, particularly in the freestyle area.
In fact, I’d say about roughly half of the pro snowboarders that I’ve met are skateboarders as well. From what I’ve seen, it’s quite common for a lot of snowboarders to be skateboarders too.
Why skateboarding helps your snowboarding
1) Shared tricks
Skateboard tricks are very similar to snowboard tricks. Sure they have wheels on the bottom of their board, but a lot of the trick execution is very similar thanks to the fact that snowboarding borrows most of our tricks from skateboarding.
There’s some differences in how we deal with using our edges in snowboarding, but tricks like spinning, rail/box tricks and controlling pressure on jumps and halfpipes are all similar skills that will transfer well to your snowboarding.
Movements such as extending your legs in a halfpipe to gain speed or how you rotate your upper body to hop on and off boxes are skills that can easily transition between both sports.
I myself used to skateboard a lot before I started snowboarding and it honestly helped A TON in the freestyle area. The better you are at skateboarding the more skills you’ll discover that will translate over to snowboarding.
2) Switch riding
One thing I noticed is that because freestyle skateboarding naturally makes you ride switch at mini ramps and skateparks, it helps you get used to the feeling of making switch movements in your snowboarding as well.
It does help. In fact, I know one of my friends on the Voleurz team (Braden Dean – interview here) actually has an added advantage in that he skateboards goofy and snowboards regular and I think it actually helps him to be more of a naturally well rounded rider.
3) Balance and stability
It should go without saying that skateboarding will use many of the same balance and stability muscles that you use in snowboarding.
How it works is that you have certain muscles that control how you make tiny balance changes and how you shift your weight to stabilise yourself when you snowboard.
The thing is, those muscles don’t get used when you aren’t snowboarding. Skateboarding is one of the few things that works those muscles outside of yoga ball and balance ball workouts, so it’s a great option to keep those stability muscles working.
At the end of the day, skateboarding is a ton of fun as well. I’d say that it takes a little bit more time to get yourself stable on a skateboard at the beginning, but if you enjoy snowboarding then there’s a decent chance you’ll enjoy skateboarding too.
Hope that answers your question!
ps – be careful of falls at the start. Concrete is hard, so take it easy when you’re starting out.