Skateboard vs Snowboard – What’s The Difference?

Skateboard vs Snowboard

Are you a big fan of board sports? If you are, then you know that there are different kinds of boarding and you would probably love to try them all. But what makes these board activities different from each other? 

For one, the types of board used in each sport are different. They vary in size, shape, parts, components, and a lot more. Some boards have wheels while others don’t. Let’s take for example a skateboard and a snowboard. Both may look the same at a glance, but are different in many ways. Why don’t we take a closer look at a snowboard and skateboard and find out?

A Brief History

It is always nice to learn how these sports all started and how they evolved over the years. It’s funny to learn that both were somehow a product of boredom.

The very first snowboard was said to originate in 1917 by a 13-year-old kid named Vern Wicklund. It was made of a shred deck which they initially called a bunker. After 22 years, their family had patented the first snowboard.

In 1965, Sherman Poppen also came up with his version of a snowboard, which many considered to be the first snowboard. He called it a snurfer, combining surfing and snow. It was believed that he came up with the idea when he saw his kids bored during the winter.

Skateboards on the other hand started in the 1950s. Many believe that the skateboard was born when surfers tried surfing on land when there are not enough waves. In fact, skateboarding was previously called sidewalk surfing.

The first skateboards were made from roller skates attached to planks or wooden boxes. It wasn’t until 1959 that companies began to manufacture and sell skateboards. During this time, skateboarding had become a popular hobby.

Over the years, snowboards and skateboards had greatly improved. From an old water ski and wooden box to lighter and more constructed boards, today these boards still continue to evolve.

What Makes Skateboards And Snowboards Similar

What Makes a Snowboard Different from a Skateboard

Aside from being born out of boredom, these two are more similar than you think. This is why it is no surprise that you can learn both sports easily even if you started on skateboards and vice versa.


Obviously, they wouldn’t be considered as board sports if both didn’t use boards. Although there are different types of decks for both, park boards and longboards are the main things to consider, especially for the purpose of skating. Using boards for these two activities only means you’ll be familiar with the basic controls, movements, and functions that come with them.


Another similarity is the need to master the art of balance. Both snowboarding and skateboarding will require you to find balance in order to move while standing on the board. Since they differ in terms of board length, one needs to adjust when switching from skateboard to snowboard.

However, it helps that you’re familiar with either of the two as you’ll also be using the same group of muscles. Muscle memory will make it easier for you to adjust and learn how to balance and soon perform other tricks.


Both sports require fluid movements in order to maintain balance and keep you from falling. Any uncertain or sudden movement may cause you to fall and get injured, which we would all like to avoid.

Nevertheless, always practicing proper movement and good habits whether you are skateboarding or snowboarding will help you learn both sports easily.


The stance is another thing that makes skateboard and snowboard very similar. When riding a board, both need to be in a surf stance. This means standing sideways and facing towards the travel direction.

Though both may differ in board lengths, the stance is somehow similar. In terms of width, both should be within shoulder width.


The tricks done on skateboards and snowboards are fairly similar. This is probably because skateboarding has a great influence on snowboarding in terms of snow park surroundings.


Both sports can be extreme and one wrong move can send you off your board. This is why these two activities require wearing safety gears to avoid fatal injuries.

The basic safety equipment for both is a helmet, knee pads, and gloves. Although it may require more gear depending on your skill level. But basically, those are the most important ones. Well, of course, you’d be required to use a different kind of gloves or pads when skateboarding or snowboarding.

What Makes a Snowboard Different from a Skateboard

What Makes Skateboards And Snowboards Similar

Now that we already know their similarities, let’s now differentiate the two. It may help you decide which one’s for if you haven’t tried any of the two.


Snowboarding, from the name itself, is performed on snow, while skateboarding is usually done on the streets or ground. However, both may involve slopes and other obstacles to perform tricks.


Skateboards use wheels to move around while snowboards move when the board slides down on the snow.


Snowboards are performed during the winter season when there is snow. Skateboard on the other hand is usually done during summer or anytime of the year when it permits for a safe skateboarding experience.


Bindings are not a requirement on skateboards unless you are a newbie. Expert skaters don’t normally use binders anymore. On the other hand, bindings are a requirement for snowboards. It helps keeps the rider in place while riding.


The foot is commonly used as a brake on skateboards, however, it is impossible to use your foot on a snowboard to stop. This is because your feet are strapped to the boards. In order to stop on a snowboard, you need to shift your weight and push out and let the board skid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have questions about skateboard and snowboard, here is a list of frequently asked questions to help you out.

What are the boards made of?

Skateboards are usually made of specialized hardwood. Maple wood is the most commonly used material due to its durability. The board is then coated with polyurethane to increase sturdiness and add smoothness to the deck.

Snowboards, on the other hand, are made of wood and laminated fiberglass. Beech and Poplar are usually used to create a snowboard, although there are some that are made from bamboo and birch. The bottom of the snowboard is made of polyethylene to make the surface smooth and hydrophobic.

Do snowboard and skateboard have the same size?

Both boards vary in shapes and sizes. However, a skateboard is shorter compared to a snowboard. The latter uses a longboard.

The standard size for skateboard decks is normally between 28 and 34 inches long. As for snowboards, it usually ranges from 35 to 60 inches.

Do skateboard and longboard have the same parts?

Generally, the only similar parts between the two are the decks. Let’s find out below the other parts of each board.


  • Grip tape – It helps the rider stay on the board while doing tricks.
  • Trucks – Connects the bearings and wheels to the deck.
  • Wheels – Used to help riders move around and perform tricks.
  • Bearings – Mount the wheels on the axle.
  • Hardware – Attaches the trucks to the board.


  • Bindings – Keep feet attached to the board to perform tricks and keep them safe.
  • Edges – Placed on the edge of the board to help snowboarders change direction.

Are snowboard tricks easier to learn than a skateboard?

Although tricks done on both sports are almost similar, it is somehow easier to learn snowboard tricks compared to a skateboard. One reason is that it is harder to balance on wheels. Also, your feet are strapped to the board and in case you fall, concrete or wood is so much harder than falling on snow.

Is skateboard more dangerous than snowboard?

You can get hurt from both sports but somehow there is a greater chance of getting hurt from a skateboard. As mentioned earlier, landing on concrete or wood hurts more than on snow, making it more dangerous. There are plenty of videos on YouTube to demonstrate this fact.

Apart from that, there are more dangerous and riskier tricks on a skateboard than snowboard. However, both can be very dangerous especially if you’re a newbie.

Can you transfer your snowboarding skills to skateboarding?

Since both include riding on a board and maintaining balance, then it can help you learn skateboarding easier and vice versa. However, skateboarders tend to learn snowboarding easier than snowboarders trying to learn skateboard. Riding on wheels had proven to be more difficult.

Which is more expensive between the two?

A snowboard tends to be more expensive than a skateboard. You can find a decent skateboard for under $100. It may range from $50 to $200 depending on the brand and type. Plus maybe another $100 or more for safety equipment and gear.

Snowboards are way more costly. The board alone may already cost around $300. Apart from that, you’ll also need snowboard boots which usually cost more than $150. Add up the safety gear, so more or less you’ll spend $500.

On top of that, you also need to consider the additional expenses of lift tickets and traveling to snowboard parks which are usually in the mountains. Unlike a skateboard, you can practice and ride almost anywhere.

Do both sports require the same safety equipment?

Both sports require wearing a helmet to protect the head during sudden falls. Here are some other safety gears for both sports.


  • Boots – It is important to use the right kind of snowboarding boots aside from keeping your feet warm, they also provide support and protection to the rider.
  • Goggles – This protects your eyes from the sun, snow, wind, trees, rain, and other possible eye hazards. It can also help see you clearer while riding.
  • Gloves – Gloves help keep you warm during your ride on the snow and protect your hands at the same time in case you fall.
  • Wrist guards – This is normally used by newbies to keep their wrists from getting hurt during falls and practicing tricks.


  • Knee pads – An essential gear particularly for beginners. It keeps your knees from wounds or scratches in case you fall.
  • Gloves – Your hands also need protection. Some skateboarders use their hands as brakes especially when doing tricks. This will also help keep your hands from serious injuries when you fall.
  • Hip pads – Not all skaters probably wear this, but if you are a newbie, you may want to wear one. When performing tricks you’ll never know where and how you will land on the ground, so best to keep your hips guarded.
  • Gripsoles – This is more for your shoes than your body. Skating can ruin your shoes faster, if you do not want to keep buying shoes, then gripsoles can help you with that.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Board

Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Board

Whether you are shopping for a snowboard or a skateboard, there are basic things to consider to find the right one for you. To help you out, here are some tips on choosing the right board for you.

Size and shape

Both boards come in different sizes and it is vital to pick the right one. Some things to consider when choosing the size are your height, weight, and skill level.


For skateboards, you also need to consider your purpose for buying one. Some boards are designed for cruising and others are made for performing tricks and racing.


Board quality is very important as snowboards and skateboards tend to get smashed and hit all the time. So you might want to find something that can withstand all the hard falls without breaking easily. Most high-quality skateboards are made from maple wood while snowboards are made from Beech or Poplar.


Now you have to be careful with the price tag. Remember that not because they are expensive or are made by a popular brand it also means that they are the best. It may be true for some, but most of the time it’s not. Sometimes the less popular and cheaper ones are better.

Read reviews

If you are a newbie, you may want to read a lot of reviews first. But be careful where you read them. Some are paid to make great reviews. You may get honest reviews from real customers who had really purchased the products.


Snowboard and skateboard have a lot of similarities, which is why it is not surprising that many riders try to learn both sports. It does not matter whether you are a snowboarder or a skateboarder first, because you can easily learn either of the two since the basic skills needed for both are almost the same.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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