I've been in Switzerland for almost two and half years now, but I haven't done the typical Swiss things (except eating Fondue). Last winter I was either not here or busy at work, so I avoided all winter sports.
But this year two opportunities came up when I could go with colleagues to do skiing or snowboarding. So I finally tried both. I had a little skiing experience from two years ago, but that was it.
One Friday at 8 PM a colleague asked me if I wanted to go to Laax for skiing the next day. I didn't really have any plans, so I said why not. He was going to teach his girlfriend how to snowboard, so I decided I would tag along with them. The others were skiers with more experience, so I didn't want to be the clunky wheel.
I fell on my butt more times than I can imagine and it was sore for two days. But it was fuuun!. Towards the end of the day I could go about 100 m without falling!
The week after that, my team had some visitors and during dinner, we decided we should all go skiing in Lenzerheide two days later. There was another beginner in this group, so we decided to take ski lessons together.
Skiing went better. I remembered more than I expected since last year. I fell only about two or three times. One of which was standing in place. Whoops. Another one being the alternative to running into a fence.
However, I found that I had much less control over my skis, especially with regards to speed. When you are on the snowboard, you are in an unstable equilibrium and you constantly have to balance. Because of this, as a beginner, you don't really get to a high speed, because as you go faster, it's harder to balance, so you fall before reaching a dangerous speed. It will hurt a bit, but it's unlikely to break any bones. But on the skis, you are in a stable equilibrium, so if you just do nothing as you are sliding down, you will pick up speed, with little risk of just toppling over. But then, when a turn comes, you won't be able to make it, so you'll either fall (at a much higher speed), hit the fence/tree or run off-piste.
Of course, this is all true only for beginners like me. When you get to more advanced stuff, it might change, but for now, I feel more comfortable on the snowboard. And hopefully I can go again in two weeks time!