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Snow blades

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am an intermediate skier, or at least I think I am. Skiing blues pretty well. A few weeks ago during our ski vacation a friend let me try her snow blades. They were "magic blade" with the little adjustable (non-releaseable binding) and about 90 cm long but I am not sure of the manufacturer and I had a lot of fun on them. They really made going down the mountain a lot less work since I was constantly edging on the regular skis. The conditions skiing weren't great - it was kind of icy and gritty so I think that is why enjoyed these blades so much. Anyway, I traded in my rented skis and got a pair of blades with releasable bindings made by Head. Even though they were parabolic (which my friend's were not), somehow it wasn't the same. I think the bindings made them so much heavier that it didn't seem as much fun anymore. I've got the opportunity to purchase some blades, both Salomon, but never having dealth with them much before I am not sure which is best. My choices are either 85cm ones or 95cm ones. Both parabolic and are supposed to be very stable. Does anyone have any feedback/suggestions/comments? Is there any material or lenght that is better than another? I understand that blades would not be good for powder over 6 inches, which we did get by the end of the week but I figure blades are so light and small I can kind of take them for kicking around. Please help! Thanks!!!!!
post #2 of 17
Welcome to EpicSki, Evesdrop!

Tough question for me to answer, since I've never been on blades, but you may get some answers here. Any chance you can ask your friend what her's were? Sounds like they are ones you would like. Also, as with skis, why not demo until you find ones that you like?
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Although I liked her blades alot, the tips were pointy and the backs were flat. I was told that parabolic ones were more stable and you could actually spin on them, etc. which is why I wanted to find some of those. As far as skis, since we've only been going skiing for a week every year for the past three years I've been renting them. I'm not necessarily uncomfortable on them it's just that it's a crapshoot with the weather conditions. If it's icy, etc. I just don't enjoy having to work so much to control them. Once I start getting tired my knees don't want to do what I want them to do and I end up with tips crossing, etc. Not so much fun!
post #4 of 17
Sorry I wasn't clear... My suggestion was to demo snowblades until you find ones you really like.
post #5 of 17
The bindings on blades don't release like the bindings on regular skis do. Instead, they stay attached to your feet no matter what. If you fall on them and twist in certain ways, it is like having a giant wrench twisting your lower leg and can screw up your knee.

I sprained my right knee in this manner on a pair of them a few years back. Granted, I was doing something stupid (360 over a big gap and came up just short of the landing) but a regular ski would have released in the same situation and my knee wouldn't have been sprained.

You mention it is a lot of work to turn a lenghty pair of regular skis all the time and the blades are just easier to maneuver. I'd encourage you to keep with regular skiing - as you progress further your technique will become much more efficient. Eventually the skis will do most of the work for you which is a pretty rewarding experience. What is really hard though is going from blades back to regular skis - it will seem even harder to turn the regular skis.

Personally, I found that the blades really ski poorly in anything other than groomers and parks. If there is any crud, small bumps, or clumps in a trail they just aren't long enough to have any stability.
post #6 of 17
Blades with non-release bindings increase the probability of injury SIGNIFICANTLY over blades with release bindings. The only fractured Tibia/Fibula I see are from blades with non-release binding. Spend a few extra bucks and get the release bindings. Your legs are worth it.
post #7 of 17
go with the 95cm ones that are available to you,99cm is as long as skiboard comes.They are great fun and a great way to rapidly advance to true two foote carving on normal lenght skiis.I personally recomend Canon or Line skiboards as they are both wood core and not the lifeless foam core items produced by Salomon called snowblades.I dont have any issues with foam core skiis other than Salomons,their snowblades are lifeless and their skiis become so after one good hard season.I have a pair of 1st year Rossi xx that still ski sweet,but 1st year 1080's were lifeless after one season
post #8 of 17
1) do a few searches for blades, snowblades, skiboards, etc. there have been several long threads on the subject the past few years. a diversity of opinions...

2) check out http://www.skiboards.com
post #9 of 17
Whatever you decide spend a little extra to get the models with releasable bindings. Non-releasable are a serious safety issue. A check at the injury stats will show you these things can be quite dangerous. I know firsthand as I wittnessed an accident where a friend of mine fractured his ankle and the tibia right above the boot this year while riding K2 fatties. He caught an edge going over rollers at a fairly quick pace(25-30mph) and one leg went one way the other leg stayed put. The result was a compound fracture of the tibia that resulted in a week in the hospital, surgery to put in 5 pins, months in a full leg cast and a lot of pain.
post #10 of 17
You might also consider getting a very short set (135cm?) of regular shaped skis. Must take care that they are appropriate for your weight and skill. My 13 yr old son had a break through in parallel form after playing with blades for a couple days last season. Gave him a strong shot of confidence. Over the summer I bought him a used pair of ~135cm Atomic skis with adult bindings (he's about 5'7"). He's having as much fun with them as he had with the blades. I expect him to outgrow them soon. He gets more aggressive on each outing and I have a 170cm pair waiting in garage. His little sister will get the Atomics next.
post #11 of 17
Mmmmmmm..blades that don't release=tib/fib fracture. Keeps patrol in bizness.
post #12 of 17
head makes a nice fat woodcore skiblade with releasable bindings (tyrolias).
post #13 of 17
The best advice offered here was to go to skiboards.com. Check out the forum there and you'll be all set. If you take the advice of those here that recommend releasable binding on skiboards then go with the Spruce Risers with Salomon bindings on them. The Head Big Easy skiboards (which is what you were on) have Tyrolia bindings mounted directly to the boards. This is a big mistake according to most experienced skiboarders as it changes the whole feel of the skiboards and turns them into really short skis (as you experienced).

Once you get to the forum at skiboards.com you'll find that most people don't recommend the Salomon snow blades since they use a foam core and break down fairly fast (they also have plastic non-release bindings that are pretty crappy). Go to the skiboards.com forum and seek the right guidance.

And please start calling the sport skiboarding, not snowblading. Snowblades are a specific model/brand of skiboard from Salomon.
post #14 of 17
Originally Posted by Noodler
The Head Big Easy skiboards (which is what you were on) have Tyrolia bindings mounted directly to the boards. This is a big mistake according to most experienced skiboarders as it changes the whole feel of the skiboards and turns them into really short skis (as you experienced).
first, my mistake above for not reading the original post more closely. you were on the head skiboard i was referring to. oops.

second, whether the design of the head is a "big mistake" might depend on your own particular goals. if what you want is to "turn them into really short skis," it could be a good thing. many people do - they're useful training tools.

only other thing i'd add after re-reading the original post and followup by original poster is to second gbugnis' points. skiboards will only make your annual ski-week MORE of a crapshoot. they are less versatile than skis and in my experience are fun only in a narrow range of conditions (well groomed hardpack; not too icy; no crud, no powder). if you think rental skis are a crapshoot with weather conditions and you have problems on ice or crossing tips, maybe you ought to try higher-end skis ("demo skis" not rentals), insist that they're tuned properly, and go a little shorter next time.
post #15 of 17
ski blades were originally introduced as a "toy" or a novelty - they are not an all mountain tool like alpine, tele, touring and nordic skis.

if you like to spend time on them for fun - great. if you're going to buy one set of "skis" - I like the advice to get shorter alpine skis.
post #16 of 17
Evesdrop - I'm not "trolling" here, but watch out for the advice from skiers who don't know a whole lot about the current state of skiboarding and the latest skiboarding gear. Just go to the skiboards.com or skiboardsonline.com forums to get the real scoop. There are skiboards that truly are high-end all-mountain tools that can handle all kinds of conditions. Overall though they are a bit more limited than skis in some ways, but can do other things better too. I spend most of my time skiing, but enjoy my Line Mike Nick Pro skiboards too.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you to everyone. I'll definitely log into the snowboarding website and do some more research now that I have some opinions to guide me.
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