Snowblades have developed such a bad reputation at resorts everywhere. They are just considered ‘Silly” by (snowboarders mainly)those who think skiing is pretty silly anyway, so this just takes away more points from us. There was a time where Snowblading (or skiboarding which was its real name) was in its hay-day. It had its own event in the X-Games, granted so did snow shovel racing and downhill winter mountain biking but who’s taking notes. There were companies devoted to just manufacturing snow blades and bindings and became sort of a subculture in the snow community. Teams were forming and pro athletes were popping up here and there. Professional rollerbladers took up ski boarding since it was a pretty smooth transition between sports. Did they really know how to ski, heck no! but they could slide rails and hit jumps which was all that mattered to them anyways.
I will be the first to admit that yes, I was a skiboarder. I absolutely couldn’t wait to receive my Line, Mike Nick Pro Models in the mail that fall of 2000 and when I did I practically slept with the things. I grew up skiing in the Northeast where we sometimes get some fresh dumps, but it was few and far between. I really took to the terrain parks when I started to get tired of ripping groomers and skiing ice moguls. It couldn’t have been more fun on skiboards, my buddy Nate and I were probably the only dudes hitting the biggest jumps and trying to slide all the rails and boxes on ski boards at Mount Snow. Us and two friends even painted “MIKE NICK” on our chests and backs like football fans and made it on to the Xgames broadcast of Skiboarding Slopestyle at Mt Snow on ESPN (it was below zero in Southern Vermont, chilly at best).
I guess the point I am trying to make is that now I ski on regular length skis exclusively, but I wouldn’t be where I am now without the blades. People see skiers on blades now and assume that “oh yea its so easy there so small and easy to turn” which is true to a certain point. Snowblades helped me harness and wrap my head around the modern carving technique. Without them, I might still be swishing around like Stein Erickson. Don’t get me wrong they are maneuverable, light and easy on your legs but to really carve them, takes some time,effort and skill. I will still crack some jokes, but i can’t ever deny that I was once a blader and know how awesome it can be. (Wow I am going to get a lot of flack for this!)
A great snowblade, by Defiance Sports
is available here
(defiance blade link) and if you have thought about picking up a pair do it, believe me it will be a blast and over time will improve your skiing.