Today's Ski and Snowboard Equipment Makes it Easier to Learn


CONTACT: Mary Jo Tarallo |

January 2018 - A debate has been raging among snow sports enthusiasts for years over which sport is easier to learn – skiing or snowboarding, according to Mary Jo Tarallo, director for the snow sports industry’s Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month initiative. The 10th anniversary of the program kicked off January 5, 2018 and continues through the end of January although some aspects will continue through the Winter Olympics. Many industry professions will say that improvements in equipment over the years have had an impact on both.

Brian Beaumont, owner of Ski Shoppe, Ltd. in Baltimore, MD, said that the latest technology has made everyone’s learning curve shorter and easier. “Shaped skis have made a huge difference,” he said. “They’re wider underfoot which makes them easier to stand on, and shorter lengths make it easier to initiate a turn. Your technique doesn’t have to be as good to get the same level of performance out of a ski.

Companies that cater to seasoned skiers and snowboarders as well as beginners have a lot of skin in the game to attract and nurture newcomers.

Jon Rucker, vice president of HEAD, explained that his company’s technology is capable of helping new skiers and snowboarders get from the beginner slope to the top of the mountain in a short time. "At HEAD we have been manufacturing skis for sixty-six years, which gives us unique insight into building products targeted to benefit specific levels of skiers and riders. For those who are just entering the sports, we have honed in on an ideal blend of easy turning and confidence-inspiring stability to allow for quick progression from a person’s first turns to a lifetime of smiles on the slope

Jeff Boliba, VP of Global Resorts at Burton Snowboards, agreed that more companies are focused on helping beginner’s progress. At Burton, the focus is on learning and helping anyone who wants to get out on the mountain achieve his or her goals.

“From boards to boots to bindings, every component of the Burton Progression line is designed to help people learn and progress,” he said. “The boards are shaped to significantly reduce edge catches while making it super easy to turn.

To further improve ease of turning in skiing, "rocker" technology, meaning the tip and tail are bowed up slightly, makes the boards much easier to turn without as much technical skill on the part of the skier or rider. Most all-mountain skis or boards these days that are suited for beginners will have a combination of shaped and rocker technology. Rossignol and Elan, two progressive rental product companies have embraced the technology.

Regardless of the brand offered in beginner learning programs, if you decide that you want to get out on the mountain more than once or twice a year, the next step toward conquering more challenging terrain is to get some quality, well-fitted lease equipment and then consider purchase preferable from a respected specialty snow sports retailers.

More details on the role of today’s equipment in the learning process are available at