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Snowblades... what do you think about them? - Page 2

post #31 of 39
Having used my blades on Friday night at Wintergreen, VA in soft/slushy conditions, I have this to say. Blades are good on ice. Blades are pretty good on good groomed, but then again so are skis. Bladed are not so good on everything else. I felt that I was missing out on an awesome looking soft (soft/slush on tops, some ice inbetween) bump run because I was on blades instead of skis. In short, if you are a beginner in nice conditions, give blades a try. As you advance, there is a point where there is nothing you can do on blades that you can't do on skis, and lots more you can do on skis than on blades.

Also, with soft boots (Salomon Verse 5) using the blades beat the sh*t out of my shins.
post #32 of 39
Originally posted by aschir01:
As you advance, there is a point where there is nothing you can do on blades that you can't do on skis, and lots more you can do on skis than on blades.

I think that pretty well sums it up.
post #33 of 39
I have treated 2 boottop fractures this year on skiers with snowblades. I think they're dangerous. With no release mechanism, the blade just digs in the snow and "snap", call for the sunvalley splint and the sled.
post #34 of 39
Mr Potatoehead is right on about them. The Vermont ski safety folks had some data that indicated that the spiral fracture rate was close to the early 60's before we had release bindings.

Two seasons ago, I responded to screams from a kid on a closed trail. When I got there a young blader had his foot and leg horribly contorted behind him. The kid did not recognize me or my son in his agony; the kid belonged to one of my wifes close friends and oddly enough she called me days prior to ask my opinion .... I told her not to buy them. The shop assured her they were safe.

A few days later at the lunch table in the middle school, the kid came up with some wild tale .... he was on skis and was run down by a group of yada yada yada. My son put it straight and told the real story .... no pack ran him down, closed trail alone (easy green) and no release bindings on his blades. They haven't spoke since.
post #35 of 39
I used Atomic 120 blades (which are very ski like and easy to carve) with regular ski bindings when I was learning. I keep them and lend them out to beginners regularly. They are great for learning. When I ski on them now I don't feel as stable as I do on my longer skis. check out
http://www.skiboards.com for more info.
post #36 of 39
Actually, for experienced skiers, skiboards can be a good way to find out just how well they can adapt to radically different equipment. It takes lots of skill to ski skiboards really well. Obviously they have limitations for skiers, but the less limitations they present for you, the better skier you are.
post #37 of 39
Last month my favorite instructor (George Mosher – Grand Targhee, Ski Mag top 100, etc,) put me & my wife on Rossi shorties. They were 120 & 130cm. He used the 130s just because there was only one pair of the 120s. Essentially the long end of blades... Had standard demo bindings. The goal was to focus on balance & body position for smooth carving. I was skeptical at first. No more. They were a great drill tool and a riot to boot.

Fast-forward a few weeks... Took my new Atomic e-zone 120s (purchased from skiboards.com) out for the first time yesterday. These have a 75mm waist, factory mounted adjustable centro binding and a 9m radius. These are on the "ski" end of the length and design spectrum.

Conditions were less than ideal - lots of new floofy & somewhat heavy snow. All grooming was pretty covered up. Spent most of the day off piste on x-hots. But you know how it is with a new toy beckoning! Near the end of the day I popped the skiboards on for a few runs - even though conditions seemed all wrong. I expected to get creamed because the trails were all cut up. I was forecasting a couple of falls per run. I also expected to limit myself to the beginner lift. Well, the skiboards were a gas. I immediately moved onto some vanilla blues. They handled the cutup stuff & baby bumps way better than expected. I even popped off trail here and there. Never fell, despite some close calls.

They definitely communicate! When I was on top of them, they'd lock in and just carve, carve, carve. Body position was the same as for my normal skis. None of the gorilla stance stuff people talk about. Big turns, little turns, whatever. Stop on a dime with no skid whatsoever (I'm 6'1 & about 200 pounds). When I got careless - well, it must have been entertaining to watch me "recover". Also, they were fast. This was a surprise, but I couldn't count the number of people I blew past while just comfortably cruising on the skiboards.

I have not tried any of the shorter boards/blades, so I cannot comment on those. I can say that I am really impressed with both the practice potential and the fun factor of the 120s I've been on. Both the Rossis and the Atomics were great fun (although I think the Atomics handled better for me). Both had "standard bindings". I suspect that for me "groomer day" will become synonymous with "skiboard day".

I don't know why Atomic seems to keep these things a secret. They aren't even on their website! With any amount of marketing, I have to believe they'd be hot sellers.

Don't knock them until you try them...

I do have one question - As noted in earlier posts, there is some disagreement about DIN settings. I've heard suggestions about dropping the heel setting & about dropping everything way low. For now, I compromised and set heel and toe to 6 (I usually run 8-9). So far, so good, in terms of not releasing early anyway. Does anyone have any real data about optimal DIN settings on these things?
post #38 of 39
we bought a couple of pairs of s/h K2 Big Air USA blades, the best investment ever. At 800mm they soon sort out any balance problems and a sloppy inside ski will slap like a windscreen wiper. They are fantastic carvers although it is possible to ski them lazily and a return to longplanks will be a shock if you have allowed their easyskid to take hold.

Stay on piste and away from moguls -that's spiral fracture country, though the odd drift of loose stuff keeps you sharp! Powder/crust actually depends on your weight, my son goes where I can't follow. Regading injury, if you are good at falling they're fine as they can be kept up off the snow and shouldn't snag, fighting the fall is probably unwise with nonrealease bindings. 10,000 ft vert and you'll be knackered, but happily so. I wish I had them for all the kids I work with.
post #39 of 39
For the most part I think they're ridiculous and silly, but they are a great tool for teaching someone who can ride rails like crazy but maybe has underdeveloped rotary motion. They require your muscles to turn the old fashioned way. Thus when the subject returns to their carving style skis they have improved technique, and are able to integrate leg twisting and edging together more effectively.
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