Skateboarding vs Surfing: Know the Difference

03/19/2020

Skateboarding and surfing are two of the best board sports, at least for those who have tried it in the past. While both will require a board, they are different in more ways than one. The most obvious difference is perhaps where it is done. Styles and techniques can also vary.

Want to know more about skateboarding vs surfing? Keep on reading and learn from the insights we’ll be sharing. By the time you are done reading, we hope that it will be easier for you to choose which one is more suitable for your needs and preferences.

The Most Obvious Difference

It goes without saying that the most obvious difference between the two is where they are performed. Surfing is done in the water while skateboarding is done on the ground. Regardless of which you choose, there is a danger of falling off the board and getting injured. In surfing, you might end up drowning. In skateboarding, you can suffer from bruises and cuts.

Because surfing is done on a liquid surface, it can be shifty. This will make it more difficult for you to balance. In skateboarding, you will be on a stable surface, so balancing is easier, however, the size of your board can still pose some challenges when it comes to staying in a standing position.

Both are Standing Sports

One of the similarities between surfing and skateboarding is that they are standing sports. You will complete both while you are moving and standing on the board. The goal is to maintain balance as you show off your moves.

These standing sports will also assume the same position. Your feet will not be standing side by side. Instead, one foot should be slightly forward, and you will also have to bend your torso at 90 degrees. You will also be quite leaning forward and your shoulders will go first.

Can Be Enjoyed Alone

This is an obvious similarity between the two. If you hate team sports, then you will love surfing and skateboarding. Unlike basketball, football, rugby, or other team sports, you can do this alone. You don’t need to tag your friends along to have fun.

Nonetheless, take note that there is tandem surfing. As the name implies, you will be riding the board in tandem. This requires communication and coordination between the two surfers, which can also make it more complicated compared to traditional surfing.

Which is Easier?

The question as to which one is easier seems to be a perennial debate among surfers and skateboarders. The answer will most likely depend on who you will ask. In our opinion, however, surfing is more difficult compared to skateboarding.

Some people will assume that because a surfboard is bigger, it is easier compared to skateboarding. This isn’t exactly the case. Let’s consider the riding environment. You surf in the ocean with big and unpredictable waves. While it is not required to be a strong swimmer, you need to understand the fundamentals of tides and rips for your safety. In contrast, when you are skateboarding, you are in a more controlled environment.

In terms of physical abilities, surfing is also more difficult. Both sports will require you to balance on a board, but if you want to go surfing, you need to do more than such. Anyone who has surfed before will surely agree with us when we say that the sport is 90% paddling. It is necessary to have strong paddling skills, which means that you will be using your upper body a lot. You also need to survive wipeouts, which are not experienced when you are skateboarding.

However, this does not mean that skateboarding will be easy. There are still many things and techniques that you will need to learn such as hip rotation, kick pushing, and body shifting. You also need to have sharp balancing skills. The biggest challenge is the small size of the board, which will make balancing trickier compared to doing it in a surfboard.

However, this does not mean that skateboarding will be easy. There are still many things and techniques that you will need to learn such as hip rotation, kick pushing, and body shifting. You also need to have sharp balancing skills. The biggest challenge is the small size of the board, which will make balancing trickier compared to doing it in a surfboard.

As they say, every wave is different. But when you are in the skatepark, you will be on the same bowl. This makes it easier to practice consistency in skateboarding. With surfing, each wave is a new challenge, making sports more challenging.

Different Communities

There is also a difference when it comes to the communities of the two sports. Based on our observation, you can correct us if we are wrong, the skateboarding crowd tends to be younger, mostly males. This is in contrast to the surfing community, which is more diverse. We see a lot of women on surfboards than women on skateboards. We also see more of the aging population enjoying surfing than those who are skateboarding. Again, we don’t have the statistical data to back it up, but they are just based on keen observations.

Link Between the Two Sports

More than the similarities and differences between the two sports, the more important thing to know is that they are related. The most obvious link is that by learning skateboarding, you are improving your surfing skills. In fact, a lot of professional surfers have used skateboards to practice their maneuvers on land before they can do it in water. This is especially great in improving their balance.

From rail to rail transitions to ground carving turns, there are many things that surfers can learn from skateboarders.

Conclusion

In sum, skateboarding and surfing are different in many ways. They both use a board and they are both standing sports. Beyond this, they vary. Surfing is believed to be more difficult, which can be because of the challenging environment where it is done. The ocean can be unpredictable and dealing with waves is not an easy feat. This is as against the more stable environment where you will be skateboarding, such as a skate park. Regardless of which one you want to try, it is important that you learn the basic techniques before hitting the board to stay safe and sound while enjoying.

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