Will Snowboarding Help You Wakeboard Better
Does it help to Cross-Train with other Board Sports?
This question has lots of variables to go over before that question is answered. Like can you already wakeboard and snowboard? Can you just wakeboard and want to learn snowboarding. What part of wakeboarding and snowboarding are you looking to advance? Let's look into the similarities and differences of carving snow on the mountains and slashing the wake or even riding the snow park and cable park. Let's break this up in two ways.
- Will Wakeboarding automatically make me a snowboarder and reversed if I can snowboard will I be able to Wakeboard.
- Do these sports complement each other and by doing both will I be better at the one I do most?
Wakeboard and Snowboard Seasons
In the Midwest, we have pretty short seasons for each sport. Committed water sports nuts could possibly start in Mid to Late March with Dry Suits or good wetsuits and ride until late October early November. If you snowboard we are more dependant on freezing weather so the hills can make artificial snow. So good years you might get some runs in Mid November and ride through March. You can extend the season if you are willing to take a trip out west or east. The point is if you like and enjoy one sport and want to extend your boarding doing both is a great option.
Taking Your Wakeboard Skills to the Snowboard Hill
So let us answer the first question assuming you know how to wakeboard and are decent at it. Again under this scenario, you are new to snowboarding and are trying the sport for the first time. Having firsthand experience with this I can easily say you will probably not be great at snowboarding your first or second time out. The two sports are different in so many ways from how the boards ride on their respected surfaces to how you gain speed and start and stop. Even more, the shapes of the boards are different, the edges, the pull everything. With all that said you will have a slight advantage over those who have never been on a board in their life. You understand the stance, how to ride on an edge, the feeling of being locked in on the board, riding over your board, balance, some muscle memory, and more. So if you are willing to take some falls on the first day or maybe two you should be able to advance slightly faster than others.
Cable Park and Snowboard Park
Now if you are used to riding in the cable park on wakeboard then you will have even more advantages. The two parks are different yet have more similarities than boat riding vs. mountain carving. You will be used to hitting features, going off ramps and landing in similar fashions. The boards are also built with familiar features. Flexible tips and tails and smooth buttery bases. When wakeboarding behind a boat usually you ride with molded fins on the base of the board and this helps you track and keep and progressive edge when trying wake tricks. Knowing everyone has different athletic abilities and skillsets we are venturing to say cable parks and snow parks will have the most crossover with the given sports. The main difference will be the pull from the winch or cable system (water) vs the downhill speed (snow) needed to clear a jump or get on a feature. There are many aspects that are similar and please note there are too many to list so we will just name a few:
- Ramps - Kickers - Jumps
- Landing Positions
- Ariel awareness
- Rails, Boxes, Pipes and Wall Features
- How to ride over features
Once you learn how to master these in one sport it will be easier to learn in the other. Again minus the pull from the rope. Summing up the question if one knows how to do one sport will that give you advantages to start the other? The answer is Yes, but there will be a learning curve when starting out in the other sport. You will have some built-in skills that will help you but don't get frustrated and expect to go out and master the other in one day.
In the image below you can see both parks have similar features you will have to master, but one rider is getting pulled by the cable and the other is using gravity to go down a mountain
Big Question Will It Help?
Now onto question two that was kind of touched on already but wasn't properly addressed. Will the two sports help advance each other or will snowboarding help be wakeboard better? Again if we are talking about cable parks and snowboard parks then yes these two sports will definitely help you progress at both. If we are discussing casual riding on the mountain and boat riding the answer is still yes. Being on any board and mastering balance, mechanics, and muscle memory is important. Let's take riding on your board switch for an example. If you ride great regular on a wakeboard and need to practice switch the snowboard season is a great time to tune in on those skills. Go out and ride for one entire day switch on your snowboard and then every time you go out, take a run or two down the hill switch. You will be surprised how the muscle memory of that will carry over to wakeboarding. Don't expect miracles because cutting at the wake and through the wake switch is awkward if you're not used to it. So recapping this cable park and snowpark riding has the highest crossover for keeping your skills at a high level. Boat wakeboarding and snowboarding have lots of crossovers and complement each other, but they are two totally different sports and will have a bigger learning curve for each. If you are in the midwest these two sports are great options for staying on your board almost year-round. There are many other activities and tools to help advance your boarding skills. We also like balance boards, Onewheels, longboards, and wakesurf boards.
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