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Which is harder? Big Wave Surfing or Big Mountain Skiing?

Plain and simple, surfing big waves like the one at Jaws looks pretty difficult. We recently had a debate in the office over which discipline is more dangerous; big mountain skiing or big wave surfing. Surprisingly, the majority of TGR employees felt that big wave surfing is much harder. This video from Take Shelter Productions features some of the best big wave surfers in the world including Ryan Hipwood and Shane Dorian among others. For every "Jaw" dropping line (pun intended) there is an equally gnarly crash and wipe out.

What do you think is more dangerous? Big wave surfing or big mountain skiing? Be sure to keep the following video in mind.

Big wave riding is harder, no safe zone without the ski, the mountain is moving, mostly or should be the boards are not attached to you feet and the terrain is constantly changing under your feet, plus the 2-3 min breath hold you going to need at worst. Train is more intense! Plus you always have an avalanche behind you on every ride!

Big Mt skiing/ snowboarding more risks, more dangers, heavier consequences!

This summer was insane 6-8 foot, great summer but got the board in the face, broken nose black eyes, cut feet, stitches and snapped 2 boards. Mild concussion. Surfing the next day.

This winter took a bad line, Broken neck, fractured pelvis and dislocated shoulder plus other bits and peices out for 3 months+.

All you got to do is look at the last 5-10 years of pro riders, surfing lost a few at Pipeline etc, in the pro skiers especially the list is to long, Doug C, Shane M, Arne B, Cj, Jamie P the list goes on and on.

Both needs a huge set of nuts!

Sorry nothing else to do but eat pain killers and do this sort of stuff!

Discounting the avalanche risk, I could probably pick my way down a lot of ski movie lines in Alaska in a safe, but unspectacular way. Big wave surfing doesn’t seem to give too many options as to how to ride it. Just surviving the wave is the while objective, so I have to give this one to the surfers.

About The Author

stash member Jonathan Desabris

Digital Content Producer at TGR. Jackson Hole transplant from the Green Mountain State. Contrary to popular belief I have never lived in New Jersey.