I really like snowboarding but... i would guess ski. With snowboarding you fall on your butt a lot. Skis you don't fall as much to begin with as it is easier to start on (although supposed to be easier to get better at snowboarding after the 3 to 5 day period).
I could be wrong on all of this but that is what i would guess and yes i have done both.
:dunno:, talk to several docs. One of my ski buds last year had some developing back/neck problems, but has been a season pass skier for 46 years, he still skied dialed back a notch and on opiate pain meds till the season was over then went in for some surgury. Another ski bud has a fused disc and it limits him a bit but he also has bilateral total knee replacements and he keeps up. It seems that skiers do need strong backs and boarders do take alot of jarring irregardless the falling.
Ideally you shouldn't do anything that involves quick jerking and twisting motions. Something like a herniated disc will only get worse while learning something like skiing and especially snowboarding since you will spend your first few days falling on your ass over and over further compressing the disc and pinching it. I'd suggest you get the disc figured out before you even think about trying something like skiing or snowboarding because it could lead to much worse problems in the end.
I had severe herniation and a rupture in the same disk. I dealt with almost crippling pain from my sciatic nerve being pinched. I went through physical therapy and now the pain is mostly gone except for very rare minimal flare ups. I haven't gotten a scan in awhile, so I don't know what my current status really is, but I've been snowboarding and skateboarding pain free.
Everyone is different, but don't give up on snowboarding. Put in the work to heal yourself and you don't have to limit your activity.