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Snow Blades - tool or toy

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Back 10 or more years ago Snow Blades were used by our ski school as tools for teaching all age students all kind of useful stuff such as for aft balance and carving. Today I get only negative feedback from younger instructors when Blades comes up for discussion. Practically no one favors an investment and refuses to even try em on. What's your experience with Blades? Are they toys for children or can they be used as practical tools for ski instruction? My kids love their snowblades and skis on them all the time.

post #2 of 25
If I'm stuck skiing with beginners on a flat hill, I'll pull them out for a few hours just to goof off. They are horrible in powder, moguls, and jumps. They are fun on groomers only if you keep them on edge. Funny looks from the lifties abound, and they eyeball your feet to make sure you've got straps or some other way to keep them from getting away from you.

So, more of a toy. I'd have think back to the 1970's and the GLM method (graduated length method) to remember a time when something resembling snow blades was in vogue as a teaching tool.
post #3 of 25

You left out the 'd' in the title.

Snow blades themselves are horrible. No bindings, they're terribly built. Maybe it was the broken leg issue that aoured people on them. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone.

The short carving skis with bindings like 110 - 125cm are fun. Haven't used them in years though. I agree they're really on fun only on the edges, and making large turns.

Problem is there is no rest on them when just on a flat trail. No relaxing.

 

I think yes, they can be a good tool to get people on the edge and loosened up.

post #4 of 25

It seems like a rare day that I don't see at least one or two people out on snowblades...  but those that I do see are usually madly pivoting them around and are not really exhibiting anything approaching "control".

 

I had a pair at one time.  On flat icy hills where you could get them up edge, they were a lot of fun.  I remember thinking they were fun bump skis because they would fit into any gap (but that was before I knew anything about bump skiing...).  I remember them being great for learning fore-aft balance because there was absolutely  no room for error on the things.

 

I don't remember if I finally got bored of skiing on the things or if I got scared off by the non-release bindings.  I certainly haven't missed skiing on them.

post #5 of 25

I have a pair that I got for goofing around in the neighborhood on the rare occasion that we get measurable snow.  Fun to have on following the kids with their sleds.  I don't see how anyone could easily break a leg on them.  All they are is slippery snow shoes with edges. Too short to hang up enough to seriously torque the legs IMO..

 

That said, I'd go tele or snowboard at a resort if I was bored with skiing.  If you want to work on fore/aft or enhanced edging drills just unbuckle your boots, then go find something steeper and unbuckle your boots..

post #6 of 25
Or, toys for tools? smile.gif
post #7 of 25

I think Blades are much maligned 1) b/c incompetents used them and 2) b/c they are connected to roller blades, which have, for some reason, fallen out of favor with the skate crowd ("fruit boots" and all that).  FWIW, I think they are great tools if used properly.  You learn a lot about edging, stance, balance on these things.  

My son used to blade all the time and he could/would carve parallel RR tracks down anything.  He also took them off-piste.  Once we were at Snowmass and headed towards the Cirque Headwall.  A guy told us to turn around; we'd never make it down w/o disaster.  We let them take off first, watched them crash and burn, and then my son carved right by the yard sale.  

 

Son has since moved on to skis, but the training/experience he got has proven invaluable in growing his skiing ability.

post #8 of 25

Pretty sure the ice skating we do over the summer yields similar gains..

post #9 of 25

Snow blades (particlularly Volkl Double Troubles) are a fantastic tool to learn to carve, have a balanced stance and learn to get a functionally wider stance. 

 

The do not allow any back seat driving whatsoever and wag like a mad dog's tail when not weighted properly and carving. they give instantaneous feedback to correct and/or incorrect technique!

 

They can truly revolution someone's skiing if used as a means to an end. 

 

If they are the end game, NOPE!


Edited by Atomicman - 3/4/14 at 12:35pm
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

You left out the 'd' in the title.

 

fixed it

post #11 of 25

First of all the real technical name for them is skiboards.  Snowblades were a specific name given to them by Salomon for their version of skiboards.

 

Line skis got its start in the skiboard business.  The Line Mike Nick Pro is one of the most revered classic 99cm skiboards ever built (I own 2 pairs).  I used skiboards primarily when my kids were little and I was teaching them.  Mainly because it made it easy to help them manage the mountain while I was on "small skis" without using poles.  It was very easy to ski backwards on them.  What I also found out though is that they are a great tool for developing your carving skills (especially fore/aft balance) and taking them into the moguls (without using poles) is a great learning challenge for developing your balance.

 

Note that my skiboards were always mounted with risers and releasable bindings.  The plastic crap bindings are the ones they put on the "toys" versions of skiboards.

 

I haven't skied on my skiboards in many years, but I have thought about pulling them out for fun a few times.  Maybe I'll bring them out for the M-Day gathering at A-Basin just for kicks.

post #12 of 25

I tend to think of Ski Boards as wider and maybe shorter. Def under 103cm.

To train carving I think the 110-125cm are better.

 

99cm

 

 

99cm Elan Freeline ^^                111/87/100mm

 

http://www.skiboards.com/

 

But what do we call these?

125cm Elan Freeline vv

 

                       115/78/103mm

post #13 of 25
These are awesome for picking up Bogner-wearing ski bunnies.
post #14 of 25
My observations of folks using these things is they do a lot of rotating body parts other than the femurs to turn 'em.
post #15 of 25

Hmmmm......I think I'll go to the Shop @ the hill & see if I can rent a pair. The look on the shop guys face will be priceless.

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post
 

Hmmmm......I think I'll go to the Shop @ the hill & see if I can rent a pair. The look on the shop guys face will be priceless.


You can buy a pair on eBay mid summer cheaper than it costs to rent them.

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post
 

Hmmmm......I think I'll go to the Shop @ the hill & see if I can rent a pair. The look on the shop guys face will be priceless.


You can buy a pair on eBay mid summer cheaper than it costs to rent them.


I dunno,prolly get laughed off the hill.  The Bigfoots caught my eye.:D

post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

My observations of folks using these things is they do a lot of rotating body parts other than the femurs to turn 'em.

Particularly the "Big Foot" ones.

I mean if you want to ski like Susquatch, get those.:)  Hey, maybe you'll throw some technique and style at it and end up like Chewbakkah.

 

As far as buying Snowblades - the Soloman ones, they should be very close to free. So many ended up in the landfill.

Better off getting a used real short ski with bindings.

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

 

As far as buying Snowblades - the Soloman ones, they should be very close to free. So many ended up in the landfill.

Better off getting a used real short ski with bindings.

 

There is actually a very strong market for Salomon Snowblades on sites like eBay. Depending on the model, they go from about $80 up to $180 with multiple bids. These are pretty exceptional prices for ten year old "toys" and shows that there is still a strong market for them.

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

 

As far as buying Snowblades - the Soloman ones, they should be very close to free. So many ended up in the landfill.

Better off getting a used real short ski with bindings.

 

There is actually a very strong market for Salomon Snowblades on sites like eBay. Depending on the model, they go from about $80 up to $180 with multiple bids. These are pretty exceptional prices for ten year old "toys" and shows that there is still a strong market for them.

That's simply amazing. Those things are total crap. Was waxing a pair years ago and the base bubbled up, coming loose.

 

Go to probably any ski town and try to get 80$ for a pair of snowblades. Would be like trying to sell them here for that.

post #21 of 25

If you try to use your hammer like a screwdriver, you're not going to get far. 

post #22 of 25
Do I hear a c note for these NIB Bigfoots.
post #23 of 25
They are fun to play around with. I put them on to teach lower kids, and at the same time work on my own skiing. Good for edging and stance and balance.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

If you try to use your hammer like a screwdriver, you're not going to get far. 

Well screwdrivers make indecent chisels and pry bars and you can get pretty far with that and a hammer.

post #25 of 25

I bought a pair on Ebay 3 years ago when starting my 4 kids skiing.  At the time I had a 7, 6 & 5 year old that would be skiing for the first time.  2 days of lumbering around the bunny hill teaching them the very basics (putting on skis, carrying speed to lift, turns, stopping, getting up from fall, controlling speed, etc) was absolutely exhausting.  I used the snowblades to essentially walk & ski.  I could walk/skate around on the relative flats easily & get much closer to them to help get skis back on or help them up after fall.  Still easy to teach/demonstrate basic movements or drills they needed to focus on.  Was the best $50 I spent that season.  Only used them 5 times that season, but pulled them out again this year to start with my 3 yr old.  Again, what a difference.  I used both my usual skis & snow boots on a magic carpet one time before realizing that it was time for the snowblades again.  If you're teaching small kids I'd recommend picking up a pair.  Yes, you will get some funny looks, so will have to check you ego.

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