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Never understood the hype about skiboards...until I rode them.

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Last winter my buddy's girl-of-the-season had a bunch of skiblades/skiboards/snowblades sitting around her place up in VT. We decided to get her to bring a bunch of them with her one day, which turned out to be 6" of fresh up top. One pair of Salomon SB10s, and the rest were Salomon Mini-Maxs or something...the basic SHORT skiboard.

We decided to use poles (a good idea for lift lines and such), and headed for the trees. What a blast! The wider, longer SB10 was the popular model, as it allowed one to actaully ride up on the soft snow. I got into places in the woods that I wouldn't even have considered on my 180s.

They also really opened up the edges of trails where all the good snow was at the end of the day. Additionally, they rip on groomers (the 99cm SB10 that is). You must stay centered over these things or you're going to eat it, and I found that they really helped my form on regular skis. So I've bought a pair to supplement my regularly sized Atomics for next season. I may even hit the park, which before now I have despised.

The one drawback I noticed was that they work completely different muscles than skis do, so I was hobbling around at work for a few days after the weekend. But I'm sure somewhat regular use will nullify this effect.

Any reviews/feedback from your own experiences with shorties? Tips on cool things to do with/on them?
post #2 of 42
Hey neighbor! Writing to you from right around the corner in Brookline! My first experience with blades was at Okemo. The one thing Ii can say about them: Its Carve or die!!! You cannot skiid in those things, or you will be in big trouble. Fox and Arcmeister are seriously into Blades, and they will add more detail.
post #3 of 42
Hi CP,
As LM says, I have a pair of Fischer Spyders which I use.

Quote:
Originally posted by CP:
Any reviews/feedback from your own experiences with shorties? Tips on cool things to do with/on them?
Apart from the fun aspect of them, I use them to help my balance and carving skills.
Because of their length, you have to be centred on them to ski them properly - too far forward or back and you'll wipe out, but stay centred and they will reward you
Practising carving turns on them is an excellent exercise too. They're not deigned to go in a straight line, and if you don't get the edge pressure right, they will chatter. This is where I tell you to get rid of your poles and get down. Lower your centre and widen your stance - I'd suggest slightly wider than shoulder width, (but that's not written in stone!) Now, try to keep pressure on both edges in the turn. If you don't have enough pressure on one ski, it will start to misbehave, and chatter, get the pressure right, and you'll have a smooth ride.

Now, one thing you said that I don't agree with is:
Quote:
Originally posted by CP:
...they work completely different muscles than skis do
If you don't carve turns, or if you try to go straight on them too much, they will put stresses on knees and thighs, but when you carve everything out, they will give you a more thorough workout than skis, because there's less room for error, so you have to use your skiing muscles more.

Final tips for using them without poles: make sure you can duckwalk up slopes, and when you're on the flats, use ice-skating movements to get your speed up. (cross country skiers do the same thing)

Hope this helps (I'm not a pro, but I do my skiboards)

S
post #4 of 42
Fox - “Use” is an interesting euphemism.
post #5 of 42
Fox is right, they are the same muscle groups that you should be using when you ski. It's just lots of people aren't forward enough and driving their tips through the turn on regular skis, instead they let the tail of the ski take to much of the weight (causing skidding). So yes, blades are great for centering and are a good tool. But I don't like them as a replacement.

I got majorly annoyed with them in Niseko where tonnes of people used them in lovely fresh soft stuff. Sliding down the mountain sitting on their tails, tips chattering, totally out of control. Had more than one student wiped out by out of control bladers. They really don't suit those type of conditions, not enough surface area.

[ August 13, 2003, 02:02 AM: Message edited by: Bec ]
post #6 of 42
You folks freaking kill me! First I find that I'll be better off roller blading, then I see that I could just merely drive my car.

Now I see that I could have it all by Snowlerblading!

BobMc
post #7 of 42
One thing I was told by another ski dad is skiblades/boards (whatever you want to call them) would help me enjoy slower pace and easier slopes when skiing with kids. Makes sense to me; instead of chomping at the bit and pushing the kids (consciously or not) beyond comfortable speed and terrain, seems like I could work on form and have some fun at the same time. Anyone else use them for this?
post #8 of 42
I bought a pair of snowblades last year after my girlfriend bought some, loved them, and let me try them. Like previously mentioned, they are good for carving only. My girlfriend noticed that there isn't even enough of an edge to snowplow at all. They od need to be kept of edge or else they will vibrate and chatter to no end. They force you to stay centered and carve, so they are a good tool for refining technique. One thing, though, is that when I take the blades out to the slopes, I do have a feeling in my gut that I am missing a day that I could be really skiing. On the other hand, when night skiing condiitons at Wintergreen aren't too good, I can use them to carve anywhere, jump in the park, or play tag on the green slopes (only if it isn't busy there).

To sum up, blades are good carving/technique tools, fun in the park, but no replacement for real skis - for me at least. My girlfriend, who had knee surgery not too long ago, loves her blades as replacements for her old 180cm straight K2s. She skiied the 180s tentatively going slow and turning a lot, which tired her out rather quickly. On her 99cm blades she can almost keep up with me on my 190s now. So... try blades for free if a friend has a pair and see how you like them. They in no way replace skis, but can be a fun addition to the quiver.
post #9 of 42
Thread Starter 
I completely agree with you, aschir01, that they in no way replace "real skis." But sometimes here in the east, when conditions are ass, or you get sick of skiing 100 runs a day on the same 5 trails, the minis make for a nice change.

Lisamarie: greetings from lovely Long Ave/Allston Street, where those two damn fire trucks go screaming by all night long ;^) I'm moving out in a few weeks, but only to Central Sq for a few months, until my buddy's house is finished up in Melrose. I think I've spotted you before here and registered that you're close by. You said you ski at Okemo? I'm up at Stratton almost every other weekend (slopeside housing) between December and March, so if you ever make the painfully slow drive up there on Rt2, gimme a shout the week before. Yeah it's a flat mtn, but it's good for warp speed runs, and has some good tree stashes too. Also, do you have any experience with the BSSClub? A guy I chat with over on an Audi forum swears by it for meeting people in the area...and not having to drive. Also, what do you think of Bob's Ski & Sport on Comm Ave near the EMS? I need a good tune but I don't trust any shops in the city yet. The people in there seem to know what they're talking about, and I'd rather go in there than to Ski Market or REI. Anyway, maybe we can get together for a trip up to Killington in late October/Nov if we get slammed like we did last year.
post #10 of 42
I've had a pair since the year after the first ones came out, so they're the skinny solomons.

They're great for improving your form, like everyone has said you need to stay balanced. They also really help upper/lower body separation when carving. Definitely fun in the woods!!

I don't like to use them in the park bc. I have a hard time landing on such small skiis, but I'm sure the newer fatter boards are much better for this.

I've also found them to be excellent on ice. Maybe this is because the edge is shorter and it's easier to keep a consistent tune/ or keep consistent contact with the ice while skiing.
post #11 of 42
Leave the fruit boots in the parking lot.
You smelly telemarkers can stay there, too.
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by CP:

So I've bought a pair to supplement my regularly sized Atomics for next season. I may even hit the park, which before now I have despised.
I'll be blunt, you're gonna have snowballs thrown at you, park skiers and boarders hate skiboarders. The skiboard trend is dying fast. Line (the creator of skiboards) in pulling out to go to skiing full time. Pro skiboarders are now switching back to skiing.

Basically you have two type of people oin skiboards, the good park guys (there are very few left), and your gapers/joeys who want a cheap version of skis. I am one of those people who dislikes skiboarders because most of those people just are an embarrassment to themselves.
post #13 of 42
So, the only people who are extremely anti-skiboards are those who have never tried them - a bit like the anit-snowboard thing that used to be around.
Some people who have tried them didn't find them useful, or didn't gain anything from them. I would hazard a guess that the main cause for that is poor technique, and as I said earlier, the technique on skiboards is very similar to that on skis, so you can draw your own conclusions on that one.
Although, perhaps when someone becomes an "expert" and has nothing left to learn, then there is no point in going back to raw technique.
As for Line making a business decision, well, that's their choice. If it wasn't for skiboards, Line would never have had the money to be able to go forward and build skis.

S
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Wear the fox hat:

Some people who have tried them didn't find them useful, or didn't gain anything from them.
After a few hours one day I gained the solid, first-hand knowledge that snowlerblades are one small notch above ski bikes and a big step down from butt glissading or shovel riding in terms of skill, style and fun. I found that they were only useful if you crouched down low like a drunken gorilla and stayed on your edges all thet time. I learned that anyone who chooses to regularly ride snowlerblades when normal skis are an option is probably seeking to mix it up on seriously boring terrain (like an indoor ski hill or a midwest trash pile) but lacks the athleticism or sense of adventure to try tele gear or a snowboard, or is just a clueless moron.

WTFH, which one best describes you?

The notion that people who don't enjoy snowlerblades have poor technique is pretty much the inverse of what a casual survey of the starter jacket-wearing choads fruitbooting around on the groomers would tell anyone with an ounce of sense and skill.
post #15 of 42
Ugli,
I'm not suggesting skiboards should be used to replace skis, but as an aid to improve ski technique, but it is obvious that your technique is perfect and requires no improvement, so you'd benefit from nothing helping you.
post #16 of 42
Friutbooters Unite!
I nominate saucerboy for president!

duke
post #17 of 42
In case many of you didn't notice, this isn't the first time around for some variation on the fruitboots. Back in the '70s they were called "ballet skis".

Hopefully, this go-around will also be short and we can get another 20 years of slopes sans short shorts. I have to agree that the average rider is woefully lacking in basic ski ability; most select ski blades because they do not have the skills needed to swing a pair of Mad Trix.

An homest question for those of you proponents: Why do you choose ski blades in lieu of park skis?
post #18 of 42
I don't play in the park.
I use them to compliment my skis and as an aid to improve my skills on piste.

S
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Wear the fox hat:
I don't play in the park.
I use them to compliment my skis and as an aid to improve my skills on piste.
S
Do you wear your fox hat while "blading" in the "snow dome"? Please post pix. :
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Wear the fox hat:

Some people who have tried them didn't find them useful, or didn't gain anything from them. I would hazard a guess that the main cause for that is poor technique, and as I said earlier, the technique on skiboards is very similar to that on skis, so you can draw your own conclusions on that one.
Maybe they didn't find them useful because they realized there is nothing that you can do on snowlerblades that can't be done better on real skis. There are far more effective ways to improve technique than skiboarding, which is why you will never see top skiers using skiboards.
Since good skiers never use skiboards, you can draw your own conclusions about those who do use them.
Besides, except in Europe, where the monoski is still looked on with reverence, skiboards are dead.
post #21 of 42
Typing nothing like the last bloke.
post #22 of 42
Ugli,

From the way you describe your experience with skiboards, I could call you a clueless moron. Next time you try to put down an activity based on your biased and clueless experience, you should think twice. Besides, nobody said to give up skis or that skiboards are the ultimate riding experience. Relax, live and let live.

Speaking of "drunken gorillas", is that how you ride your in-line skates in the summer?
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by TomB:
Ugli,

From the way you describe your experience with skiboards, I could call you a clueless moron. Next time you try to put down an activity based on your biased and clueless experience, you should think twice. Besides, nobody said to give up skis or that skiboards are the ultimate riding experience. Relax, live and let live.

Speaking of "drunken gorillas", is that how you ride your in-line skates in the summer?
Could you call me a clueless moron? Please? Because you actually didn't. You just said you could. So here's a chance for you to live up to your potential.

Perhaps you and Lick The Fox Muff can teach me how to gracefully ride snowlerblades, standing upright and twirling, twirling, always twirling?

And could someone explain exactly how skiblades could improve one's ski technique? I'm really curious. But I'm not curious about this whole "Barking Bear" thing. As I've said before, I'm a happily married man, so don't get any ideas.
post #24 of 42
Here's my guess: they think that skiboards improve carving and balance. If you don't know what a carved turn feels like, a skiboard is an easy way to do that, and you're not centered over your skis, skiboards will dump you on your butt (or face, if for some reason you're too far forward).
Why it's so difficult to just learn these things on skis is beyond me--for years there were no skiboards and good skiers still learned to carve while being well-centered.
Some skiers still manage to become pretty good without the snowlerblades, so go figure.
I do find it ironic that in the same thread that WTFH derides others for not embracing skiboards he shows disdain for terrain parks. I guess his technique in the air is so good that he doesn't need the extra practice.
post #25 of 42
"I don't play in the park" equals disdain? Funny, I took it the way I would intend it; namely, as a statement of fact. I don't get in the park much, either. Has nothing to do with looking down at it or those who do.

[ August 26, 2003, 03:09 PM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #26 of 42
Ugli,
The main areas that skiboards help to improve are balance and edge pressure when skiing on piste.
I shall explain what I mean, and I'll use small words...
Skis have sweet spots - the area, normally around the middle of the ski, where you are balanced on the ski.
If you have a ski with a large sweet spot, then you can get away with poor skills without falling. Lean too far backward, or forward, and the ski can cope. While this can make skiing seem easier, it tends to make the ski less responsive.
A ski with a small sweet spot will require the skier to be in control and balanced, and won't allow for as many mistakes.
Skiboards are short, and so have small sweet spots. This means the skier needs to be properly balanced on the ski, or they will lose control.
Using skiboards at the start of a trip, or in early season, even for half a day, will help the skier regain a balanced position, which can then be transferred to skis, where it will be much easier.

Improving edge pressure is obvious to any skier who skis responsibly. Most pistes today are crowded, which means teh opportunity to safely schush is rare, it is more normal to have to turn around obstacles. The ability to carve turns effectively comes from being able to apply the correct pressure to the edges of each ski. Again, it is possible to get away with sloppy technique, and the skis won't give much feedback, apart from loss of speed.
With skiboards, if not enough edge pressure is used, then they start to chatter. Keep the edge pressure correct, and you won't end up with the tips banging each other.

I hope this helps inform you, and I hope you can consider your reply with a little more thought than the schoolboy name-calling that has been going on recently.
post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Pete Zehut:
I do find it ironic that in the same thread that WTFH derides others for not embracing skiboards he shows disdain for terrain parks. I guess his technique in the air is so good that he doesn't need the extra practice.
I have no "disdain" for terrain parks, or those who use them. Quite the opposite, I have a lot of respect for people who have skills in that area. I don't go there, because doing jumps, rails, etc isn't the kind of skiing I enjoy.

S
post #28 of 42
CP,
...I'm really trying to be rational about skiboards for a minute... Yeah, they are a great tool for refining fore/aft balance. Race coaches have been putting juniors on them to focus on this for years. If you haven't been on them, it's doubtful you've been in a serious race program lately. Our coach had us on them way back in the early 70's. And not only do they help you find you center, they are FUN. Anyone who thinks shorties are stupid have never tried them...

BUT when used too much they are actually BAD for your overall ski technique. They don't encourage use of essential skills (pivoting and fore/aft leverage, for example) and as a result you start getting a bit sloppy and, even more importantly, you begin focusing on mechanisms independently rather than blending them. In others words, they create skiers that need to go from "A" to "B", then "B" to "C" rather than skiers who can make the natural jump from "A" to "C".

A real-life example is two brothers who ski at my area. I've watched them progress from snowplowing to junior racing over the past 8 years and while both have always been similar in ability, a couple years back the younger one began to do most of his freeskiing on blades. He's actually pretty incredible to watch on them because he really has all their nuances down. But put him next to his brother now on regular skis and it's pretty obvious how far ahead his brother has jumped in the past two years. There's no doubt in my mind the younger brother can and will catch back up to his older brothers ability, but only when he gets through the ski-board phase.

Stay away from instructors or coaches that emphasize ski-boards -- Great for instant gratification... but a *sure* dead-end for learning.
post #29 of 42
Cheap Seats, nice post, I tend to agree with you on this one. After reading this thread I have decided that you are now fuddy duddy main steam in Epicski. Move over. [img]tongue.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #30 of 42
Thread Starter 
You girls can piss and moan all you want about this topic. I merely was trying to convey that skiboards are a nice change when regular skis become a bore on limited, crowded terrain. I had fun on them and that's all that really matters to me, so I bought a pair of them. I'd be very interested to ski with some of you and see if all this big talk can be backed up! Personally I think a few of you are full of it. So kiss my grits... To the rest, thanks for the thoughtful input.

To me, skiboards are a way to slow my usual rapid pace down the hill; to enjoy the slope and the crisp clear, or snowy day and the undulations of the hill. They allow my to make four times the amount of turns I'd make with my long boards, and make me stay balanced while doing it. I get something out of it that some of you obviously do not. To each his own.

That is all from me on this topic. Now get out of my way when I fly by you on my skboards this winter!
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