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Skis vs. Snow Blades.

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am a intermediate skiier, never used blades before.

Hear that blades are easier and more fun, I would like to try them in a few weeks but want some advice before I get on the mountain.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 23

I don't know if they're easier or more fun, but they're definitely a great training tool. You simply cannot get down the trail on snowblades unless you have good fore/aft balance. With no long tip or tail to rely on, the only thing keeping the rider upright is a well balanced, stacked stance. If you've ever gone rollerblading, you'll find the experience quite similar.

The one thing I will say is they aren't very stable at speed, and they generally prefer groomed (or firmer) snow.

Asking about snowblades in a ski forum is sort of like inquiring about mopeds in a motorcycle forum. Although they're related, a lot of folks look down on them (mopeds, that is ). Don't listen to the naysayers! Get out on them and find out for yourself what they're like.
post #3 of 23
You're probably gonna get a ton of disparaging remarks from these guys....many of them think blades are stupid and ridiculous....so just be forewarned.


Avoid the regular blades - they tend to be squirrly and hard to control. Try to seek out a set of K2 Fatty's or one of the new 'freeride/trick' blades that are slightly longer and fatter. You'll find they're a lot more stable, even at speed. In most cases, you'll want to keep blades on edge at all times (unless you're doing 180s or 360s) - they are pure carving machines.

Here's what to remember: Fat = good, skinny = bad & Edges = good, flat = bad!
post #4 of 23
Also, if you like your ACL, make sure the ones you have are mounted with a releasable binding.
post #5 of 23
To each their own, I guess. I've never had an issue with the snowboard-style bail bindings on my blades, and when I did blow out my ACL, it was on skis with shop-adjusted bindings. It's all in how you fall.

FWIW, I'll be out on my blades this weeked before jumping on the skis - they really get me centered and edging! I'm even planning to do some Nastar racing on mine this year.
post #6 of 23
Originally Posted by volklgirl View Post
To each their own, I guess. I've never had an issue with the snowboard-style bail bindings on my blades, and when I did blow out my ACL, it was on skis with shop-adjusted bindings. It's all in how you fall.
Agreed. However, studies (don't ask me for links) have shown that non-releasable bindings on snowblades have a higher incidence of injury that releasable types. I just believe that folks should be aware of the risks and then make choices on thier own.
post #7 of 23
There have been other threads about blades (BTW snowblades are a Solomon trademark - the generic term is ski boards). Here's one thread:
Other threads have had instructors referencing using blades as a tool for widening your horizons/learning to balance or carve better.

I have a pair of Solomon no releaseable binding blades and they have not killed me yet. They are a lot of fun if you know how to ride them, but they are not an everyday ski for most people. While you may not get them going mach 6 down the fall line, they can go extremely fast across the fall line (scare the tourists fast) relative to other skiers. If you have a problem with blades being unstable at speed, you are not on high enough edge angle.

Personally, I've found that blades are a good source of entertainment on wide open groomed trails or the bumps for about 2-4 hours and then I'm back on regular gear. Although I've not had trouble with the clip bindings and I believe the shorter length greatly reduces knee injury risk, due to the concern about knee injuries you can't go wrong getting a pair with releasable bindings. If the slopes are crowded or the trails are narrow, you're better off on traditional gear. Once you learn how to rip on these things it can be extremely unnerving if you are laid out and get popped airborne by a little bump in mid turn, you can easily "jump" 20 feet sideways before you land again. Give yourself extra room.
post #8 of 23
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Once you learn how to rip on these things it can be extremely unnerving if you are laid out and get popped airborne by a little bump in mid turn, you can easily "jump" 20 feet sideways before you land again. Give yourself extra room.
post #9 of 23
As others have said, they teach you a lot about fore/aft balance. You will get dumped a couple of times before you're able to link turns.

They feel hopelessly unstable if you have them on anything approaching "normal" edge angles. Crank 'em up on edge. Ditch the poles. They have a ridiculously short turning radius, so you really have to stay dead center on them -- which again gets back to the fore/aft balance thing.

Firm surfaces work best. Take 'em out first thing in the morning on the groomers. Snowplowing or sideslipping to a stop on them is an exercise in futility, so you have to turn them uphill -- make sure you have some space around you.

Be forewarned -- your regular skis will feel like they have the turning radius of a battleship.

They do have limitations, but in their element -- they are a blast.
post #10 of 23
Check out the "Bumps for Boomers" website (www.bumpsforboomers.com). Joe teaches and skis ONLY on skiboards. Whether you buy into his method or not, he probably has some info that would be helpful to you (and he likes to drink bourbon, which makes him ok in my book).
post #11 of 23

hello I like to ski but love to snow blade looking for blades that are good on powder  

but also have good control on the packed. Get tugged behind snowcat (snowmobile) often on flats (hay field) and up and down steep winding forrest service roads. Live near two good ski hills (big mnt and blacktail) in n. w. mt.  need advice on all terrain snow blades. Heard good things about K2 and Joy Ride and Kemper any advice on whats my best buy? Montana 

post #12 of 23



The more powder, the larger surface area under foot you want. This is why blades generally suck for skiing powder. The best length times width will give you the best powder performance, but this will also detract from groomed snow performance. Your Mileage May Vary.

post #13 of 23

I confess, I have picked up a pair of snow blades to play with around the neighborhood on any good snow day with the kids and their sleds.  However, anything over about 10-12 inches of dry snow or anything over about 6 inches of heavy snow would likely be a "no go" for the snow blades.  Try to imagine how well they would (NOT) work as water skis to get a feel for how they would perform in deeper snow.  As for ski joring behind a snowmobile, you'd probably be OK if you could stay in the sled tracks.  Getting whipped around a corner out in to the loose deeper stuff would likely dump you though.  Although that really does sound like a lot of fun.  We did it on cheap little plastic mini skis back when I was in my early teens with mixed and mostly hilarious results!


By the way, haven't gotten any skiable snow in town this year.  Thinking it's been about 3 years since a decent accumulation hit my town.  But, I'll be ready hahaha!yahoo.gif

post #14 of 23

Holy 7 year old thread!


"Snow blades" - get one with a releasable binding. The original soloman's are not very good and have no binding.

Atomic had their Free Zone model ski - 123cm that was good. It had a little width to it relatively.

Hart had a nice 90cm one. Elan's psx came in 113,123,133cm. Get the 113 or 123 if you can find them.

I see Head is coming out with a new one next year.


Upshot: you want one with a binding. They are made better overall and are safer.

post #15 of 23
post #16 of 23

I don't know why everyone says you can not use them in powder.  I've skiboarded 88cm skiboards in waist deep pow @ alta, red mountain BC,  sugarbush during the epic noreaster of 2007, snowbasin etc.


The key is pitch.  Yes, I agree if you are going to ski green circles or easy blues, a foot of powder will kill you on skiboards.  Runouts can be a hassle too on powder days, but you can usually find a packed down runout on all but the most extreme powder dumps. 


 If you are on blacks, double blacks, no problem whatsoever, just keep your tips up.  I just bought a pair of Icelantic scouts, 143cm and super fat.  Haven't tried them yet, but my plan is to use them when I ski with my friends who only want to ski open moderate pitch terrain (i.e. no extreme chutes or sick tight tree runs) on powder days. 

post #17 of 23

Had the opportunity to ski blades this year.  Great toy, and can be skied like a  slalom ski to carve with a blast at slower speeds. Yes they do carve....but no mistakes.


Other than that, they fall under my listing of extremely fun...been there and done that....rather spend my money on race skis.

post #18 of 23
Originally Posted by leocat99 View Post

(i.e. no extreme chutes or sick tight tree runs) on powder days. 

I find mine work best in extreme, deep, sick tight tree runs where few can follow. I find deep powder days after a storm in the tight trees.

I let the tips dive which creates resistance and control.

post #19 of 23

Racer- Those are the runs I like best too.  I only not go on those when I'm with my non-skiboarding compadres with their 175-185cm skis who are afraid to go into those nether regions.  In those cases, I get out with them on the open stuff, but usually end up ditching them to go into the trees later in the day.smile.gif

post #20 of 23

just imaging if one blade was on deep powder, the other on pack powder, one leg go,  the other dive

post #21 of 23

been there, done that.  I've made up my own move on that one.  I call it the "modified ski run"  when the one leg dives you pull it out as fast as you can and "run" putting it in front of the packed powder ski. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  lol. yahoo.gif

post #22 of 23

here's a little clip of having some fun on a tree run I named "the pantload chute" going down with 2 of my longboardathal pals.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkX5854K51Y   My friend called it the "pantload" because after he did it, he had a pantload.  lol.

post #23 of 23

Shop-task, Vancouver's inline skate shop, tried selling skiboards for a season. I noticed they didn't sell skiboards again this year--guess skiboards weren't a big seller. Personally I'm quite content with my $30 clearance centre snowblades. They're like little rockets! A phenomenal transition tool for inline skaters to get them skiing. 

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