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Snow Blades

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
On the first day of the Okemo workshop, we habe the option of spending tthe afternoon on either alternative gear, or taking a bump clinic.

One of the options was Snow Blades. Since my instructor was working with me on adjusting my technique so that I can ski with my new boots and footbeds more effectively {BTW, they are SO much better now!!!} she recommended the snow blade workshop.

The blades are interesting. If you do not get them on edge, they will chatter. If youu find staying foward on you skis scary, it is terrifying to be back on your blades!

And you do not use your poles!

There is alot of skate technique used, but being one of those weird people who do not know how to skate, I was not too good at it.

For some reason, I found the whole experience rather scary. Everyone else seemed to be having a grand old time doing all this crazy stuff in the terrain park.

But the next day, my edging and alignment had slightly inproved.

Life works in mysterious ways.

On the last day of the workshop, all the 2 year alumni recieve a special coffee cup.

Everyone gets a Woman's Spree headband and neck warmer.

There was also a drawing for a pair of snow blades.


Go figure!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 07, 2002 06:10 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Lisamarie ]</font>
post #2 of 24

I hope you tipped your instructor. She knows what she's doing.

Oh yes, that's a great way to learn. The movements to roll your feet on shorties are the exact same as on regular skis. I have a pair of 133's that I take out every now and then to work on edging and rolling my feet. Like you say, you have to stay on edge, else they chatter.

HH and friends ski super shorties an hour or two a week. It's like using paddles in swimming or doing speed work in racing flats.

Do the blades have a real radical side cut? If not, get some Elan 90's that do. Jeez. If I'd have known, I'd have given you juniors Elans from last year.

Way to go. Sounds like you're having some breakthroughs. Days like you've been having create a ton of momentum.
post #3 of 24
I have a pair of el-cheapo ($40), off-brand snow blades that I use to correct fore-aft alignment issues. I have serious issues at times with getting on the backs of my skis at the bottom of the turn, and the blades really highlight this as there are no tails to catch you. They are also a helpful tool for someone learning to skate (as you mentioned) as they have a very low swing weight.

I use the snow blades less than I should because they feel slow and sometimes they're not the most fun in chopped up snow (which we've been know to have from time to time). I try to encorporate them into part of a day when I want to focus on a specific area (like balance), or use them when I'm working with a beginning (slower) skier. As most of my skis are in the 185-190 cm range, having a short ski that is easily manueverable for that task is a big plus. However, I don't use them with people who primarily respond to visual cues, as they sometimes can't transfer what they're seeing to what they're doing unless their skis look exactly like mine.

Oh well, enough of my rambling. Congratulations on winning the skis and on your first black diamond. Sounds like a very productive clinic.
post #4 of 24
Well done LM on the blades, and on doing the black diamond (on another thread)

What blades did you win?

That must have been some trip. I'm sure you're still grinning from ear to ear about it.

post #5 of 24
Blades are a blast!

Have used them with my students to do exactly what you did. This is just the beginning!!! From here, with proper instruction, you can be skiing ice and moguls with confidence!!!

Keep chasing the learning curve.
post #6 of 24
Forgot to add to last post:
I used to be on Salomon 90s (the original Snowblade, now called the Buzz I think). I found they chattered a lot, but were great fun to start.
I'm now on Fischer Spyders (99cm). They are assymetric, very fast, and a lot more stable.
I find them great in moguls (have taken them down Outhouse at WP) and good in most conditions (apart from deeper pow)
I've also used them to help other skiers down slopes they felt were steep. (they were beginners and got on to a blue/black. I went ahead of them and skied it backwards, so I could watch them, and show them where to turn.
They are great for getting your balance and stability correct, and for practicing your carving, but I find they can be a killer on my knees, so tend to only use them a max of every other day.

Keep low & keep smiling on them, and have a load of fun

post #7 of 24

Use those blades with caution though. If they have a regular release binding OK, but if they don't.....??

Check the VT ski safety site. I believe they were linked to a lot of injuries. Last winter I heard lots of screaming from a remote trail. I found a kid with a contorted knee and he was in agony. Turns out it was one of my wifes "best friends" kids and I had just cautioned her against the blades when she was going to purchase them but the shop talked her out of my concerns.

I hope you won the Elans that use a regular release binding.
post #8 of 24
Good point yuki,
Most blades have non-release bindings. The blades themsselves should have warnings on the wrapper advising that standard ones should not be used by people under 1.5m/5ft tall. There are shorter blades for shorter people.
I have raced on them without serious injury, but it's not something to do on your first day on them!

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the feedback! The blades are the Solomon 99.9. Yuki, I was really concerned about the fact that the bindings don't release. I think that's why I was a bit scared on them. I will not be doing anything insane on them. There was no way I was going to attempt the half pipe, even though it probably would not have been all that hard.

But too much newness at once does not sit well with me. New boots with footbeds, first black diamond, spending 3 days where the only time I skied on a green trail was when it was a connector, or returning to the base lodge, all slightly overwhelming for a "woman of a certain age"!

I really do need to learn to skate. When I was a kid, I sprained my ankle once when trying to learn to roller skate, once when trying to learn to ice skate. Then I said, NO MORE SKATING! What's interesting is that docs never recommended physical therapy for ankle sprains, and since this kept happening on my right side, that ankle is less stable than the left. I've been working on it, but years of inbalance does not go away overnight.

I really do need to learn to skate though. This instructor was really into having people skate to start their run, but I felt spastic. I may consider taking some skate style cross country lessons.

In a way, I feel bad. So many of the other students were gung ho on the blades. Oh well! Everything happens for a reason!
Thanks again!
post #10 of 24
You would have been better off with the bump clinic.
post #11 of 24
Now wait a minute.

I'm thinking about skating to make a turn. I don't see where those skills can help. In fact, I think that's bad advice. Because, you're pushing one way to get going the other way.
post #12 of 24
I think that's what a lot of people would have done. I disagree, LM chose the road less travelled by, and that's made all the difference.

LM, you can always do bumps on your next trip, or are you going to try some heli-skiing?

post #13 of 24
She would have learned more skills necessary to her stated goal.
post #14 of 24
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SCSA:
Now wait a minute.

I'm thinking about skating to make a turn. I don't see where those skills can help. In fact, I think that's bad advice. Because, you're pushing one way to get going the other way.

Eh? SCSA, that's only one way of looking at it. Diverging turns are one of the tools that a good skier needs in his/her toolbox. If you never have tried them, or think you never have done them, I would suspect that you very rarely do any high-speed GS turning.

post #15 of 24
SCSA, you ARE pushing on the outside ski. But because all your weight is on it, it digs into the snow, and the pushing moves your body INTO the next turn.
post #16 of 24
Hmmm. :
post #17 of 24
To add to the skating issue, a fun "discovery" to do is traverse on your uphill ski for a few sections. Then instead of stopping and turning around, sort of "jump" downhill onto your new uphill ski. Hmmm, pointing/rolling with you inside ski to initiate a turn, Hmmm, skating push off from the uphill ski...

You actively engage the uphill ski inside edge at the top of the turn by doing a skating push off! Now just smooth everythingout.
post #18 of 24
I use the snow blades less than I should because they feel slow and sometimes they're not the most fun in chopped up snow .[/QB]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not all skiboards are like that, in fact, they're usually the cheaper ones you mention. I've got 2002 Canon M7s, and they're disturbingly fast, I was keeping up with my friends on their 190-series skis, and plenty stable.
post #19 of 24
LM made the right choice by doing a day with the blades.
My nephew is an excellent bump skier.He skis smoothly and centered. even in the nasty ugly chopped up crap we sometimes call moguls.I swear He could balance a cup of water on his head and ski bumps and not loss a drop.He told me the secret to his Bump skiing was useing blades.As others have said you have to stay centered on blades as there isn't a tail to support you if you get into the back seat.Stay centered or you are on your butt,IMHO blades can be a great tool to discover the balance needed to ski Bumps successfully.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
I had actually considered the bump clinic. But as you recall, there were some problems I was having with my boots. It turned out some of the problem was technique related. When I at least worked towards carving, it was a good deal more comfortable than skidding. I have a whole season to work on bumps, so this seemed like a good idea.
post #21 of 24
When you talk about "skate technique" are you referring to the way you have to gain momentum on flatter sections by skating one leg flat the other pushing out to the side and behind, or are you talking about the more crouched stance and swinging motion that is sometimes used to keep a rhythm on quicker turns? Or is it something else?

Just asking

post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
The technique for the flats. I kept wanting to just go into a tuck, but the instructor wanted us to skate.
post #23 of 24
Skating (the kind on the flats) helps develop balance over a single ski. Lito uses it as an introduction/drill to demonstrate the sensation of a carved turn. Shifting weight from one ski to another while gently pulling the unweighted/lifted ski inward is a lot different from the "duck walk" usually displayed by inexperienced skiers- it's also a lot less work and helps keep your balance.

Like the wedge, it's a valuable tool to have at one's disposal when performed correctly. I can't imagine negotiating long flat sections without it, and it's absolutely necessary in racing.
post #24 of 24
Alaska Mike,

Yes, I know Lito teaches it. Sure, I skate on the flats. And now that I think about it, it does help with balancing on one ski.

I used to skate ski. Skate skiing is all about balancing on one ski. That's one of the sports I took up during my 25 year hiatus from Alpine skiing. I got really good at it. Like, I can skate uphill really fast on my downhill skis.

If skating on blades helps Lisa and other students to become better skiers, that's great and it's not wrong. I just have a personal belief that there's better (better meaning progress in a shorter amount of time) drills to practice that teach skiers balance and the all important concept of one footed skiing. Which, will probably fire some up here that think it's two footed skiing.

Sorry, I'm not getting into that. This is Lisa's party. And I'm here to celebrate her success no matter how she got there.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 07, 2002 10:43 PM: Message edited 1 time, by SCSA ]</font>
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