Has Foiling ruined powder skiing/snowboarding for you?

Background: I used to be obsessed with riding powder on a snowboard, lived in mountains and rode at least 75 days/year and eventually lived in Salt Lake City Utah to ride even more powder. Now I live in Florida and foil daily and still go on 1-2 powder trips annually.

Snowboarding in bottomless powder is not too dissimilar to foiling but absolutely so much harder to obtain. Erik talks on the podcast how there is scarcity in good surf, well that is NOTHING compared to the scarcity of fresh powder where there is a literal feeding frenzy at the resorts, high risk avalanche recreational backcountry, or pay for cat/heli skiing which requires you to have lots of cash. We scored tons of powder last trip and I kept thinking “wow I get this feeling everyday in boardshorts now for free”. Obviously it’s awesome and magical just to be in huge mountains and exploring new terrain etc, but I’m talking about the actual sensation of carving powder.

Anyone else have this experience? Previously obsessed with powder but now finding foiling almost completely fulfills that sensation? It’s a great thing because powder ain’t cheap!


Longtime Utah (LCC) skier here - I kind of feel like the fleeting nature of a big pow day makes it more special. You only get those overhead days a handful of days a season and they are really special days. I also wouldn’t say pow scarcity is as bad as you make it out to be. Yea, the obvious tram lines are done after 2 laps (that might be generous) on a bluebird weekend, but there are plenty of good turns if you are willing to hike, go BC or ski storm days.

I also love the variation on the mountain. There’s always a new line and I feel like there is more same-day variability than in the ocean.

I cant really compare one to the other though and foiling definitely hasn’t ruined skiing for me. The bigger issue is that skiing often takes hours (getting to the hill, laps, hikes, getting home) - almost more like a downwind epic, where I can be more efficient in a foil session.


Agreed, don’t get me wrong I still love the mountains more than most and still budget enough to buy a honda civic annually on serious ski trips and I also had season passes at Snowbird and used to skin up both BCC and LCC.

But the point is that carving powder used to be a rare and unique sensation basically reserved for the wealthy (you want guaranteed fresh foil-like powder turns for your week off in mid-February? better cough up $8000+/pp for a trip to the Monashees w/CMH) but now it’s widely available through foiling and for that we must rejoice!

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get a powsurfer. It’s the foiling of snow. twice the speed / half the control.

you’re right though. I kinda take powder skiing/boarding for granted because I live in BC and it’s a regular thing. but foiling good waves in boardies has it beat. Certainly when you consider everything relating to avalanches.
I’ve spent much more of my life on the water than on snow, but I’d still pick water every day.

It hasn’t yet, living in Idaho…but I hope that it does in the future, I’m ready for a shift to the water after decades in the N. Rockies being able to ski the backcountry and pick my powder days…

I live in northern New England about half the year and yes, I have made a full shift to foiling. This is due in part to generally inconsistent snow in my area, and partly due to having been to BC on backcountry trips with perfect bottomless snow. Much like Hawaii ruined surfing on the east coast for me, visiting BC/WY/MT has ruined local skiing. There just aren’t enough good days for me to want to stay here all winter.

I still love skiing pow but for now a mix of wing, wake and prone foiling keeps me happy. As I have told my friends, my biggest and best days of skiing are likely behind me but my biggest days on the water are yet to come. See you in a couple weeks in FL.


My wife learned to ski at Mad River Glen, and always wanted to go back over the holidays when we 1st got married…until she had a few seasons in the N. Rockies…

I’m looking for the spot to move to, to support the new passion…Aus or NZ are what I’m fantasizing about…

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Foiling didn’t ruin it, the mobs of people, hours of traffic, crazy lift lines, outrageous ticket prices. That’s what ruined it for me. :rofl:


Yeah, it has for me.

After around a decade in Park City, UT, I think I’m over it. Our primary residence is the Jacksonville area of Florida. Now that foiling has arrived on my doorstep, I don’t really want to leave our foil garden much. I’m keeping mountain biking as a secondary activity, but probably gonna ditch snowboarding, at least for now and the indefinite future. The amount of stoke between an epic backcountry tour in deep powder, is comparable to a waist to chest clean day out on the prone foil in the surf.

My primary snow passion was split-boarding in the backcountry and public lands of the Wasatch range. It’s a very gear and training intensive endeavor with real risk of not coming back from any given outing, mainly due to avalanches. It’s difficult and unwise to do this only occasionally and since I don’t want to be away from foiling for long periods of time, I have to let it go.

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Foiling has ruined any sport that relies on complex logistics. My local is soooo good on the regular, just popping out for a beachy I’m totally unwilling to do extra work to achieve a session.

So traveling for snow is out, traveling for surf is out. Really travel is just something I do cause the family is interested…if I had my way I’d never go anywhere.

Even for MTB. I’ve got just enough action here I’m not super inclined to go anywhere. I’m not even working full time and my schedule is SLAMMED with family and sports priorities the idea of wasting hours or days of my life on an airplane is idiotic.

I’m even anti downwinder on the wing and anti downwinding foiling just cause the logistics setup isn’t worth it.


Seriously don’t understand why more are not willing to meet a friend and drop a vehicle. Used to do it all the time in kiting. Now in foiling have a hard time finding dw partners that want to do it. Downwinding is all fun, no work. Meeting to drop a vehicle is trivial. Luckily I live walking distance from the beach so I can do solo runs, but would prefer a voyager style loaded pickup any day for shuttle runs


It’s more coordinating 100% of a session with someone else and the full commitment for time.

You get there and leave half an hour before your buddy you end up waiting blah blah blah. And just having to babysit someone on a downwind run.

Also you have a 2hr window and do a 1.5 hr run that 30 min is wasted.

Id much prefer to just do shore runners and hitchhike. (Try hitching with a 7’6” downwind board!)

That’s the key right there. I drive minimum thirty minutes to the beach. I don’t want to meet up. Transfer gear and drive another thirty minutes. Then do a forty minute run. Then drive thirty minutes to get the other car. Then drive an hour home.

I’ll take two hours of self sufficient winging thank you.


100%. We did a Sun Valley trip last year and with the expense and then the crowds I was over it on day 2. All I could think about the whole trip cost as much as a used ski and we could have 2 skis right now and then I’d always have a ski in the water and the odds of ever missing a good day would go down to near zero. And it was really cold the whole time :slight_smile:


I’m in exact same position. Foiling is arguably the most efficient fun and exercise you can do.

I live right near the beach and regularly bang out a 30 minute session of glory and I’m showered and back working or with the family after only been gone for 45 minutes total. It’s really remarkable.

When you have lots of responsibilities (family/work/interests) foiling just can’t be beat.


This. Got 1 day of skiing in last year in Tahoe. Took 3 hours to get from Tahoe City to Palisades, 3 mile drive… Got turned away at the top because the lot was full… Skiing is incredible but everyone and their mother skis now after covid and getting to the mountain takes forever and costs a fortune. Sad!

Very interesting discussion.
I’ve been a serious snowboarder for ~10 years, every snowboard day takes 4 hours return of road and a full day committed.

Foiling provides similar fun, it’s 20 minutes’ drive and I can do a short 1 hour session.

I indeed think that I will be much less snowboarding in the future.

Snow kiting eliminates everything that has ruined it for you.

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Nope, not at all. I also completely relate the experience of foiling and powder, but a couple of weeks in Japan each year is guaranteed to get large amounts of powder with zero resort frenzy. I foil every day, but only go the snow for one trip a year (from Australia that is all that is feasible) but I still crave my snow trips.


Totally agree with you! Every snowboard trip I take, although I love it for other reasons but for the pure riding feeling and enthusiasm, I’d rather foil.