Is Snowboarding or Skiing Easier on Ankles?

Ski boots are stiffer than snowboarding boots, making skiing easier on your ankles. Ski boots kind of act like a brace around your ankle, so it’s pretty difficult to sprain an ankle while wearing them

My name is Christine, and I’ve been an avid skier for most of my life. I get out on the snow as often as possible during the winter, and I know through first-hand experience how skiing and snowboarding affect your ankles. 

This post will look at if snowboarding or skiing is easier on ankles. I’ll tell you why skiing is generally better for your ankles and provide you with some other good information about preventing injuries with either activity. 

Let’s dive in. 

Key Takeaways

  • Skiing is usually considered better for your ankles than snowboarding because ski boots are stiffer than snowboarding boots. This provides more support for your ankles and limits the chance of injury. 
  • It is possible to injure your ankle skiing and snowboarding, and there is no way to prevent this from happening altogether. 
  • If you already have bad ankles, your chances for injury are increased, whether you are skiing or snowboarding. You can still experience pain or injury wearing ski boots. 

Is Snowboarding or Skiing Easier on Ankles?

Skiing is typically easier on your ankles than snowboarding. This is primarily because ski boots are stiffer than snowboarding boots, which gives your ankles more support when you are skiing and helps prevent sprains and other injuries. 

Ski boots are basically like wearing an ankle brace when you ski. They allow for minimal ankle movement, which helps you control your skis but also helps prevent your ankles from getting injured or hurt. 

The chances of getting an ankle sprain or other ankle injury while wearing ski boots are pretty small. But it can still happen. There is no way to prevent injuries altogether when you ski, and even though your ankles are well-supported, you can still get injured. 

Snowboard boots are not as stiff as ski boots. They don’t offer as much support and protection for your ankles. Sprains, especially high-ankle sprains, are more common while snowboarding than skiing. 

That said, snowboard boots still provide some support and protection for your ankles. Snowboarding isn’t bad for your ankles; it just isn’t as easy on them as skiing can be. Snowboard boots have more flex, meaning your ankles will move around more. 

If you already have bad ankles, then your chance for an injury is more possible whether you ski or snowboard. But ski boots will generally keep your ankles better protected from twists and turns while you ski. 

At the same time, if you already have an ankle injury and your ankle is swollen, you will probably struggle to put a ski boot on because it is so tight. Snowboarding boots will probably be easier to put on in this situation.   

Choosing Between Skiing and Snowboarding

If you are trying to decide between skiing and snowboarding based on what’s better for your ankles, then you should probably go with skiing. This is because of the reasons I mentioned in the section above, mainly that ski boots provide more support. 

But I don’t think you should make this decision solely based on your ankles. It’s something to consider if you have ankle issues, but you should decide to ski or snowboard based on which activity appeals to you more and what you like doing the most. 

I like skiing more than snowboarding, even though I’ve snowboarded a handful of times. I don’t dislike snowboarding, but I enjoy skiing more. It just feels a little more natural and is what I pursue the most. 

If you have the means, consider trying both activities to see which one you like more. To take that idea a step further, consider skiing for one season and then snowboarding for the next. This will give you even more perspective into what you like the most. 

Another thing to consider is if you are dealing with any other injuries. Wrist injuries are more common with snowboarding because of the chance of catching an edge and falling forward or back. If you have wrist injuries, skiing might be better. 

But snowboarding boots are more comfortable than skiing boots. So, snowboarding might be a better option if you don’t like how ski boots fit or feel. There are endless little considerations like these to keep in mind. 

Final Thoughts

Skiing is easier on your ankles because ski boots are stiffer and keep your ankles from twisting or turning on the mountain. That doesn’t make snowboarding bad for your ankles, but snowboarding boots don’t offer as much support. 

If you are dealing with an ankle injury, you should probably take some time off the mountain to let it heal. A previous injury can get worse whether you ski or snowboard, and often rest is the best medicine. 

Have you ever had an ankle injury caused by skiing or snowboarding? Let me know in the comments below. 

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