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Snowblades? What's up with that? - Page 2

post #31 of 33
Bringing this thread back to life...

I'm so impressed with my 5 year old son's progress in learning to ski that I felt obligated to posting. I put him on Salomon mini Groms (60cm snowblades) and I picked up a pair of cheap 90cm skiboards for myself (but put aluminum bindings on them) that I could use when teaching him. Our gear is so small and light that moving around from the car to the slopes is incredibly easy.

I have no formal ski teaching experience, but have taught many friends to ski. I decided that for my eldest son I would try to teach him "real" turns right from the start and skip the whole snowplow and stem turn phases. I'm happy to say that in only 3 trips to the mountain (probably about 10 runs max at Copper & Winter Park) my son is now semi-carving linked turns on green groomers by himself. I've never even uttered the word "snowplow" to him. I believe that the 60cm skiboards were a key factor in his quick progress.

For myself, I really enjoy using skiboards to provide another type of fun to have on the mountain. I mostly use them when I'm with a large group of people of mixed abilities. It gives me something fun to do when I'm skiing with others since I normally enjoy pounding moguls, but most people don't.
post #32 of 33
Well, l DO have formal teaching experience and am glad that your son is making progress. You will soon find however, that there are no short cuts to learning good skiing skills. Those 'carved' turns will not hold up under any other conditions and skis other than what you have described. This can end up frustrating both yourself and your child. Please don't make the mistake of over judging your child's ability and putting him on something he can not handle. Real carving skills are not learned for a number of years on skis. My 9 year old son has been skiing for 6 years and he still doesn't always get the hang of it, even after 3 years of Race team. I will say however, that there is some value in getting the feel of using and balancing on edges, as long as the skier can learn by feel (which most of us are capable of doing).


Edit: BTW watch out for those spiral fractures on those non-releasing birdings.
post #33 of 33
They are a pretty cool learning tool. A primary ski? Whatever floats your boat -with the exception of monoskis.
When I was teaching skiing, on occasion, I would take my classes out on them. I was teaching 5 day classes (consecutive days). On about the third day with beginners, when they could manage greens and a hand full of easy blues, we would go out and skiboard. We actually used the original Bigfeet. The really fun part was taking out my younger students. I could take them places they would not see for years on regular skis. We would go out on "Recon" missions in the trees. They got a taste of what tree skiing was like, what steeper terrain was like, they could ski faster, and terrorize the mountain as a commando snowball unit -no poles. When we returned to our normal alpine equipment, there were some definate improvements about 80% of the time.
As has been stated several times in this thread, most of the local jr. race clubs used them for training. For and aft balance is honed quickly on them.
Snow blades are a cool learning tool and a great toy. If you have ambitions of becoming a great skier though, you will also have to pay your dues on the real alpine equipment.
Fruitboots? Too funny!
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