Surfing is much harder because Surfing is much more physically strenuous than snowboarding. You use more muscles, and it can also be very taxing from a cardio perspective.

The way I describe surfing to people who snowboard/ski is that surfing is like snowboarding only if the Snow mountain is moving.

Here are a few other reasons surfing is much harder than snowboarding.

  1. You have to paddle out beyond the break. This is a skill in itself that requires strength, duck diving (diving under the waves with your board) and an understanding of the local conditions where you are surfing (knowing where the reef is, where the currents are, etc.)
  2. Once you are beyond the break you have to learn how to judge a wave, predict where it will be, position yourself and then time your entry right. Basically, you are learning how to hit a moving target.
  3. Then once you can do that you have to learn how to balance on the board…on a hill of water that is trying to crush you.
  4. If you fall on a mountain it’ll punish you once. If you fall in big surf and get dragged into the impact zone you’ll get pounded over and over again until you paddle out or are swept to shore (where you will have to start at #1 again).
  5. You will be competing with others for your waves. The nicest waves (often the easiest to ride) are likely going to be taken by better surfers than you. The better the waves, the fiercer the competition is likely to be. You have to earn your waves.
  6. Way too many distractions and hazards in the water than on land- Think about Sharks?
  7. snowboarding is way more democratic, in that after you pay for your ticket, you have just as many rights and access as your skills will allow.
  8. Surfing isn’t like that at all. It’s very competitive and that’s hard for a lot of people to deal with.
  9. Any number greater than 3 people in the water means you have to now compete for your place in the lineup.
  10. Even if you surf the same break for 20 years…there’s always a new crop of surfers that want to take your spot.

Fitness level :

Well, Which is harder- Surfing or Snowboarding a lot depends on your fitness level and comfort with water sports versus snow sports.

Surfing is physically more difficult. In snowboarding, you normally ride a lift up the mountain then glide down.

In most cases, when you surf, you must paddle out through the waves, then paddle like a fiend to catch the wave before you are finally in the correct position to glide down the surface of the wave.

While competing against any other surfers who may also want to catch the wave you’ve chosen.

Technically speaking, snowboarding is tricky because you have to be careful not to catch the edge of the snowboard.

You can be quickly smacked onto the ground if you catch an edge. Also, making your way off the lift safely is challenging.

Surfing similarities to snowboarding

Surfing and Snowboarding both are action sports in which you stand on a “board” and rely on balance to remain upright, and gravity for propulsion, then  Yes Both are similar kind of Action Sports jus that one is done on snow and the other on the water.

Surfing dissimlarities to Snowboarding

But in most other ways, no, they are surprisingly dissimilar.

In Snowboarding, you are (usually) attached to the board.
In surfing, you can roam freely across the much larger board area.

In snowboarding, success depends on managing your weight distribution and edge pressure, from side to side and front to rear of your board, often quickly and drastically.

While weight distribution is also key to surfing, it is performed in a much more subtle and fluid way.

If someone is good at surfing, does it necessarily mean they are good at snowboarding?

No, however, if you are good at one, then chances are, you are going to be good at the other sports.

Think of it like this,

Surf -Board on the ocean, you use the waves to move.
Snowboarding -Board on the snow, snow accelerates you down the slopes
Skateboarding -Board on the land, wheels on the board help you move

All similar action sports, all use board, so if you are good at one, you will probably be able to take the other sports.

Snowboarding, you pretty much have to have some fairly serious winter gear. Boards boots and even can be rented.

Still, a surfer looking to start snowboarding is likely to pick up the basics a lot faster than someone who doesn’t skate or surf. They already know how to make a board move symmetrically despite an asymmetric stance, the importance of weight transfer, centre-of-gravity, things like that.

I met a surfer at a snow Mountain some years ago. He was mainly a surfer, but he was also very good at bowl skating. Since I wanted to learn how to surf someday, I asked him if my snowboarding would be of any help.

He said that in his experience the biggest benefit a snowboarder has when learning how to surf is that a snowboarder won’t be afraid of falling or getting hurt. After years of falling on Snow ( Some Ice, eh) falling on or in water is no big deal.


Common things in surfing , skateboarding, and snowboarding,

They all rely heavily on lower body strength and control and they all use Board as the tool.

  1. Balance and being able to manage differences in movements between the upper and lower body are also key coordination skills in all four sports.
  2. Some people organize their life to live near good surfing, skiing/snowboarding or climbing. Skateboarding you can do anywhere.
  3. You need a great sense of balance, you cannot be afraid and hesitate, it helps to have a love of speed, and you have to anticipate what is coming up next,

Surfing, Skateboarding and snowboarding, which one should you choose as your action sport?

Depending on Your age, fitness level, accessibility and your budget.

Skateboarding – For many Kids, this is the most accessible and Cheap action sport. In Australia, there are many Skare parks in almost all Suburbs.

Snowboarding – it is comparatively less accessible especially in Australia where we don’t get snow in winter but we need to visit snowy mountains for our snow games and activities. The Snowboarding accessories and gears can be expensive.


Do you own a board? Excellent, go go get it. Accessories are not very expensive you need a Surfing board. Pre-Requisite- You need to be an expert in swimming.

Personally, for me It’s Snowboarding.

  1. Surfing is really hard, the ocean is unpredictable, mostly cold, hard to learn and it tastes bad.
  2. Skateboarding really hurts when you fall. The learning curve is steep.
  3. whereas, Snowboarding has softer crashes, predictable terrain, soft and comfortable gear.

Wrapping up!

Snowboarding is more difficult to get started. Beginners need to pay attention to falling injuries at the beginning.

Skateboarding is more accessible. There are numerous skate parks across Australia.

Surfing is really hard, Ocean can be unpredictable with some life-threatening dangers like shark attacks. If you Live in Australia, near the beaches surfing can be one of your favourite actions sports to learn


About Us

A blog site of family outdoor adventures, Sports including Golfing, skiing, surfing, running , plus gear reviews and Fitness by Manny and Div, offering tips and information, photos, gear reviews, and expert tips-planning advice on outdoor adventure & Fitness.

Manny Acharya & Div Acharya
Savvy Bloggers & Influencers


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