Can You Really Snowboard With a Skateboard?


It’s hard to miss the similarities between a skateboard and a snowboard. Aside from the decks, the skills, tricks, and objects you need for both activities are also quite similar. But if you compare their prices, a skateboard is much cheaper, leaving many to wonder if it’s possible to turn it into a snowboard.

You can snowboard with a skateboard, but it’ll be challenging to control. You’ll need to remove the wheels and install the edges and bindings on the deck properly before you can ride it. But even with the right tools and creativity, the “feel” of a skateboard isn’t comparable to an actual snowboard.

Aside from converting a skateboard into a snowboard, you also need to consider the skills that you’ll need to ride it properly. We’ll talk about all of them in great detail to help you determine whether you can really snowboard using a skateboard or not.

Can You Transfer Skateboarding Skills to Snowboarding?

Before anything else, it’s important to understand the skills that you need for both activities. If you already have a skateboard, and you’re wondering if you can use it to snowboard, then you might as well consider if you can use your skateboarding skills to snowboard, right?

The truth is that many skills that you learned from skateboarding also apply to snowboarding. In fact, we’ve seen skaters who learn snowboarding a lot faster than most beginners just because they already know the fundamentals. Skaters get used to snowboarding a lot faster because they don’t have to learn how to find their balance, and they’re already familiar with the posture that’ll help them keep it.

Aside from the stance, foot pain will also be very similar. If you’ve been skateboarding for a while now, you already know how uncomfortable it can get when skateboarding, not to mention the soreness you feel after a crash. Snow may provide you with “softer” crashes, but the feeling is still comparable.

You can use many of the skills you learn from skateboarding to snowboarding because the fundamentals are almost similar. However, you still need to go through a bit of adjustment to be good with it — familiarity with skateboarding doesn’t always mean you’ll be good with snowboarding.

Snowboarding on a skateboard is best done with bindings added

Similarities and Differences of Skateboarding and Snowboarding

Having the right skills — or at least the fundamentals — isn’t enough for anyone to go from skateboarding to snowboarding. There are several things that you need to consider before you can actually use a skateboard to snowboard. Here are some of the similarities between both activities that make a lot of people think they can use a skateboard to snowboard:

  • Stance and balance. The reason skaters end up learning snowboarding a lot faster is because of balance. It’s what hinders many people from learning snowboarding quickly, but skaters are already very familiar with it.
  • Basic skills. Almost every skill you use for skateboarding is applicable for snowboarding, except for two — stopping and turning. It can be a huge learning curve for skaters, but it still helps because they don’t have to learn everything from scratch.
  • Tricks. If you compare skate parks and snowboard parks, one of the first things that you’ll notice are the similarities of the objects around them. The verts, big jumps, and rails are very common for both. In fact, most of the tricks you can do with snowboarding were skateboarding-inspired.

These can make it easier for skaters to snowboard, but there are still several differences that you need to be aware of before you start using skateboards to snowboard. It won’t be a smooth transition because of the following differences for both activities:

  • Control. If you’re skateboarding, control will be much easier because it’ll only feel like you’re standing on the board and gliding through the terrain. Stopping and turning are very different because the deck is attached to your feet when snowboarding.
  • Accessibility. Skateboarding is more accessible for two reasons; it’s cheaper and a bit easier to learn. If you can find your balance with skateboarding, it’ll be easier for you to learn other skating tricks.
  • Hazards. Skateboarding may be easier to learn, but skaters are at more risk than snowboarding. Simply put, crashing on dry ground will be more painful than crashing on snow while wearing several layers of clothing.

If you can get past these differences and adjust your skills to adapt to these, it’ll be easy for you to transfer your skills from skateboarding to snowboarding. But, it’s not even a question for many skaters because they’re confident with their skills.

The only drawback for them is the cost of a snowboard versus a skateboard. The price difference is so much for some people that they wonder if it’s even possible to use an actual skateboard — or, more specifically, turn a skateboard into a snowboard.

Converting a Skateboard to a Snowboard

People often wonder if it’s possible to turn their skateboards into snowboards, but why? What’s the rationale behind it, and why do people even think that it’s possible? Let’s talk about some of the most significant reasons for it.

Affordability

Even without equipment (which is one of the biggest expenses for snowboarders), a skateboard is a lot cheaper. In fact, you can easily get everything that you need for skateboarding for less than $200, and it’s still at least half of the price you’d pay for a decent snowboard.

Skaters who are already invested in it may want to try snowboarding but aren’t ready to spend a lot of money for the board and equipment they need. That’s why some of them are looking into converting to a much cheaper skateboard and still get everything they need for proper snowboarding.

Accessibility

Since skateboards are much cheaper, they’re also easier to find. There are even some skaters who own multiple boards that they aren’t using. Many of them are even considering upgrading their skateboards when the off-season comes, which could lead to their curiosity for converting their old skateboards into something that they can use when the snow flies.

Design

Skateboards, especially longboards, are comparable with snowboards when it comes to design. The only differences are the wheels for the skateboard and the edges and bindings for the snowboard. Since you can remove the wheels and it’s possible to install the edges and bindings, one can’t help but wonder if it’s possible, right?

Process from snowboarding without bindings to converting skateboard to snowboard

Can You Snowboard With a Skateboard?

With all the similarities between skateboarding and snowboarding — boards and skills — is it really possible to convert a skateboard? If you’re already invested in skateboarding, and you only want to try snowboarding this season, then it’s possible to convert a skateboard into a snowboard.

There are three things that you need to do before you can properly use a skateboard for snowboarding:

  • Wheels. Before you can even start using a skateboard for snowboarding, you need to remove the wheels — you won’t need them to ride the snow. 
  • Edges. Snowboards have metal edges that help a snowboarder to carve down the hill. Simply put, these edges make it possible for you to control a snowboard.
  • Bindings. These are “boot-like” contraptions that keep your feet attached to the board, allowing you to control it while riding.

If you can remove the wheels of a skateboard and install the edges and bindings, you already have a snowboard. Although it sounds simple, it often requires a bit of work to have something functional on snow. If you can install these properly, you’ll have a snowboard that’s only “good enough” for you to try snowboarding for a season.

However, it’s not something that we would recommend if you really want to practice snowboarding. Even with the skills you’ve transferred from skateboarding, it’ll still be difficult for anyone to have a good sense of control, especially with the difference in the terrain.

Even if you use a longboard instead of a normal street deck, which is the most comparable to a snowboard in design, the “feel” is still not comparable to using an actual snowboard. It’s possible, especially if you have the right tools and enough creativity to make it work, but it’s not something that you can use long-term.

If you’re considering snowboarding, it would be best to invest in beginner boards that are a bit cheaper to help you practice your skills and see if this activity suits you. But if you feel like you have what you need for the conversion, then it’s also a possibility that you can look into.

Conclusion

The similarities between skateboarding and snowboarding can make anyone wonder if it’s possible to use a skateboard to snowboard. The fact that the skills and objects you need for both activities are comparable makes it even more interesting for many people.

However, the decks you use for both activities have very different functionalities, making it challenging for anyone to convert a skateboard into a snowboard. Although it’s possible, the “feel” of using a skateboard won’t be comparable to using an actual snowboard.

Sources

Reddit: Do Skateboarding Skills Transfer to Snowboarding?

SkateboardersHQ: Does Skateboarding Help With Snowboarding?

Riding Boards: Skateboard vs Snowboard: A Hard and Cold Comparison

Snowboarding Forum: Can I Turn My Skateboard Into a Snowboard

Men’s Journal: This Skateboard Turns Into a Snowboard

Ryan Conner

Outdoor enthusiast with several years of snowboarding experience in the winters and watersports activities all summer. Living within 3 hours of 4 well-known ski resorts, I get plenty of board time from Nov-March every season.

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