Surfing vs snowboarding: which is better?

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The world of action sports has always been one of intrigue, exhilaration, and camaraderie. Two of the most iconic disciplines in this realm are surfing and snowboarding. Both involve an intimate dance with nature, harnessing the forces of water or snow to glide effortlessly across a surface layer, leaving onlookers in awe.

But how do they compare? Let’s dive (or slide) into the captivating stories of both and pit them against each other in a friendly contest.

The Ancient Rhythms of Surfing

Surfing, as we know, has roots that stretch deep into ancient Polynesia. Indigenous Polynesians harnessed the power of the waves, not just for transportation but for sport, challenge, and spiritual connection. Over time, these islanders passed down the art of wave riding, which, upon being discovered by Western explorers in the 18th century, spread across the world like wildfire.

Snowboarding: The Modern Revolution on Snow

Snowboarding, on the other hand, is a relatively younger sibling. Traced back to the 1960s, it was the innovative brainchild of pioneers who looked at snow-covered mountains and saw more than just skiing terrain. What began as snurfing (snow surfing) using modified skateboards, quickly evolved into a global phenomenon by the late 20th century.

Let the games begin!


Surfing requires ocean waves, limiting it to coastal areas. Snowboarding, however, requires mountainous terrains with snow. Both have their geographical constraints.

Winner: It’s a tie!

Level of Fitness

Both sports demand physical fitness. Surfing challenges the upper body during paddling, while snowboarding focuses on legs and core.

Winner: Snowboarding, for its full-body workout.

Time Required to Mastery

Both sports have steep learning curves. However, while basic snowboarding can be picked up in a day or two, catching a wave may take longer.

Winner: Snowboarding.


Surfing mainly requires a board and wetsuit. Snowboarding, however, necessitates a board, boots, bindings, and often more expensive lift tickets.

Winner: Surfing.

Injury Risk

Both have their share of risks. Surfing poses threats like riptides and sharks, while snowboarding presents hazards such as collisions and avalanches.

Winner: Surfing, marginally due to the softer landing.

Longevity in the Sport

Many surfers continue well into their senior years, while snowboarding can be tough on the joints over time.

Winner: Surfing.

Fun Factor

Subjective! Both offer unique thrills. We believe that the sport you mastered first will often remain the most fun.

Winner: It’s another tie!


Surf culture, with its laid-back vibes and connection to ancient traditions, contrasts the rebellious, freestyle culture of snowboarding. After surf bonfires on the beach or apres ski on a mountain? Surf islands or ski villages?

Winner: Subjective, but we’ll call it a tie.

Sexy Factor

Sun-kissed surfers or snowboarders in puffer jackets and beanies? While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, meet Alana Blanchard. Sorry but surfing is sexier.

Winner: Surfing

Conclusion: The Winner Is… Surfing!

In a close contest, surfing slightly edges out snowboarding. The ancient rhythms of the waves, the sun on your skin, and the potential for a lifelong passion make it hard to resist. But remember, whether you’re carving waves or mountains, the real victory lies in the joy of the ride.

Enjoy every moment!