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What's wrong with Snowblades?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
My wife is an intermediate skier, who mostly sticks to groomed, blue runs. She gets a bit freaked out on anything that approaches black-diamond level, and prefers a very slow pace when skiing.

Currently, she uses some Salomon snowblades that she has had for awhile, and that she really enjoys using.

Lately I have been encouraging her to get "normal" skis (as her only other skis are old racing skis), as I guessed that regular skis might help her gain some confidence, and that down the line, they might allow her to progress to some faster and more challenging skiing.

But... she seriously likes her snowblades, and is perfectly content with the blue runs! 

My question is, what IS wrong with snowblades, and what advantages would normal skis provide her? I know nothing about skiing, and from what I read, snowblades are actually EASIER to use than normal skis on easier groomed runs! But I never see any other blades on the hills... so there must be some reason.

So why SHOULD she upgrade to normal skis, if she's content with the blue groomers? Being a snowboarder, I assume there must be an advantage... but don't really know!

Thanks! 
post #2 of 18
fore and aft balance. better edge hold.
but she'll have to make real turns.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks.

But will the advantages you mention make a big difference if all she's interested in is going casually down blue-level runs? Or would those advantages only come through if she decided to improve her skills (like you say, make real turns) and tackle some more challenging skiing? 

In other words, for straight-up mindless skiing enjoyment, are the snowblades just as good for her as skis would be? 
post #4 of 18
What would be wrong with a snow board that was only a foot long?
post #5 of 18
Do her feet wobble and pivot back and forth as she is turning or does she make clean arced turns?

If the former, she is lacking the stability that a longer less dramatically shaped sliding device (I can't call a 99cm adult snowblade a ski!). If the latter, then no reason to change.

As for why she probably likes a 5m radius over a 30 - 40 m radius in her 'old racing skis', that is pretty obvious. Old racing skis and an intermediate don't go together all that well. 

Suggest/rent a 150 cm 12 - 15 m radius ski. It isn't much longer and is more stable but still is easy to turn and maneuver.
 

Has she had a bad experience on skis? Is there a reason she doesn't want to venture beyond blues?
post #6 of 18
Sometimes groomers have varying firmness, ie. easy to sink the edge of a small board in further than expected, trip and fall (unless riding the tails which is a bad habit). A skilled skier can stay centered on ski boards and carve packed snow pretty well. Less skilled are at risk of developing bad habits, sitting back, skidding turns, rotary movements of the upper body.

Nothing wrong with skiboards, I think they are great fun and they can be useful training aids. I own and have enjoyed using Kniessel Bigfoots and 123cm Atomic Funzones.

The 123s are too long to qualify as true skiboards, and they have safety release bindings. You should get your wife interested in short carvers like these or something 130ish if she is hesitant to go longer. You can sell her on the improved safety that a real binding offers and the added stability of slightly longer boards. The maneuverability of short carvers will actually be better than sub 100cm skiboards. Skiboards being so short are less likely to change the skier's direction of travel when she changes where they're pointed.

Your wife enjoys skiing. You don't want to mess that up. Let her do her own thing and grow into the sport at her own pace. Despite what some people might say, she is skiing.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

What would be wrong with a snow board that was only a foot long?

Judging by how they descend steeper pitches, lot of snowboarder seem to think their boards are one foot long and four feet wide!
post #8 of 18
I have a pair of Alpina XF snowblades, and I demoed a pair of Salomon snowblades back in, oh, about 1996.  Yes, mindless fun can be had.  No need for poles, like rollerblades on snow.  The mindless fun stops off of anything less than smooth, groomed, blue runs.  They suck in moguls, powder, crud, pretty much anything ungroomed.  Worthless off of jumps, actually rather dangerous due to the aforementioned lack of fore and aft control.  They are stable at medium speed if you always keep them on edge, but don't try going too fast and straight.  They are plain squirrelly on cat tracks with existing grooves.

She's not going to improve her skiing on those things.  Can you talk her into demoing some short twin-tips?  I use mine when I'm stuck skiing with the family at the local podunk hill.  They make it more interesting in the afternoon.  I haven't seen anyone using them for quite a few seasons.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post




Judging by how they descend steeper pitches, lot of snowboarder seem to think their boards are one foot long and four feet wide!

If they didn't have their snowboards, they would be side-slipping those same hills.
post #10 of 18
 If only they had Raxskis...
post #11 of 18
Comming soon to a hill near you!   Raxboards.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies!

MastersRacer: Her turns are actually pretty good, when she lets herself get a bit of speed and stop worrying about the grade. No bad experience, she used to be in the ski club in school (hence the racing skis) and then dropped the sport for about 5 or 6 years. So, she's basically just a bit timid of speed now, I think. Maybe as we go more, that will go away, and she'll be open to the 150cm skis (we almost bought some that length, good to hear that's a good choice.) 

Telerod: Exactly - she's enjoying it, definitely don't want to "force" her into anything. I just thought maybe she was depriving herself of an even more enjoyable ski experience, just because she was afraid that bigger skis would mean more speed and more challenges. We'll let it come naturally, I suppose. 

Spikedog: I have also encouraged her to demo skis, but she has this idea stuck in her head that "demoing" is the same as "renting," and doesn't want to waste a day using some old beat up pair of junkers. But I think demoing will eventually be the way that we'll see if skis are for her, or if the snowblades will suffice.

I figure eventually that urge to "improve" and take on more challenge will come, just not there yet, and can't force it, I suppose!

Thanks again everybody!
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post




Judging by how they descend steeper pitches, lot of snowboarder seem to think their boards are one foot long and four feet wide!
Thats a completely ignorant statement. Plenty of skiers end up side slipping terrain that they can't handle. How is that better? You probably didn't even contemplate it. But hey, at least you got your mindless jab in.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mofo83 View Post

So, she's basically just a bit timid of speed now, I think.
You might be a little timid of speed if all you had on your boots were snowblades.

The snow blades allow here to get by without needing to be technically proficient.  I don't know if she is or not, not knowing anything about her racing background, but having skis would mean she would have to know how to use them as skis aren't as easily out-muscled as snow blades.   Maybe she just doesn't want to shell out the money for a good pair of skis, and a cheap pair isn't worth it to her.  

I do know that it is very unlikely she will ever be comfortable with speed if she doesn't ski a ski that inspires confidence at speed, and they usually don't come cheap.
post #15 of 18
delete
Edited by telerod15 - 1/9/10 at 6:28pm
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks ghost, economics are definitely a part of it. Obviously if new skis were $10, we'd go grab some. Benefit vs. cost is a big part of it, so we'll see what happens.
post #17 of 18
Hi Mofo83
I wasnt aware I was married to you... but you may as well have been describing me.... Happy to bumble along on my blades, getting down blues, reds, no real desire to swap them for skis..... untill last year.
Got to resort, trusted snowblades in my bag but oh no!!!!!  Bottomless powder as far as the eye could see, no corrugated cardboard patterns in sight.
So I had no choice.  Best thing I ever did!  Snowblades stayed firmly in my bag.  I got some very short, very fat skis, they were amazing! 

I came across your post as I am just about to put my blades on ebay and googled snowblades!  I got into blades as I had a very bad experience on my first ever skiing holiday.  Stupid instructors were adament to get the ski class down a red by the end of the week (in a very bad snow year with very icy runs - completely lost my confidence). So I have been blading for many years but they are really only any good on groomed runs.  Granted I have learned to ski on them as I always used them as skis and can carve proper turns but skis are so much more versitile. I dont regret having had them but it is now time to hang them up.  About to be off for a skiing holiday and they wont be coming with me...
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ha, thanks Cloggy. We'll see if my wife has that "moment" when she discovers that skis are just as (if not more) fun, and offer a lot more versatility. Until then... we'll just have fun with the blades.

Thanks
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