This question and many more will be answered in this article. Buckle up and let's dive into it!
Skiboards, snowblades, skiskates... Is there any difference?
Yes, there is, but the one thing they have in common is that they are all types of short skis. We will have a closer look at the differences in the following paragraphs.
What are Skiboards?
You may know them as Skiboards, Snow Blades or Big Foot. All being a short form of regular skis that allow free movement and enhance creativity on the slopes.
The term "Skiboards" was established in 1998 and referred to the construction of the short skis developed from snowboards. They were meant to carve on the edges like snowboards but were made separately for each foot, therefore still being skis.
What is the Difference Between Skiboards and Snowblades?
Skiing professionals like to distinguish between classic skiboards and snowblades. While both of these terms refer basically to short skis and are widely understood as such, you can find some differences between the two if you look at them properly. Skiboards are more true to their snowboarding origin, therefore they tend to be wider, have usually wooden cores, feature twin tips to ride easily forwards and backwards and perform various tricks. Similarly, snowblades look more like their big ski brothers, which makes them slightly narrower and these are also usually made of the same materials their producers are using for full-length ski.
If you are interested in thorough explanation of differences between the two types of short ski and understand how the development of these proceeded during the years, Talon in his video shines a light on both skiboards and snowblades history and key features.
When was the Skiboarding Sport Invented?
It might be surprising but the Skiboarding sport is not the fashion of past 30 years. In fact, it was developed way earlier, in the 1940's, when the mountaineers tried to make their ways across the mountains easier in winter and used short ski named Firn Gliders. After long 30 years, the skiboards were noticed by first ski producers, who spotted a chance to use the potential of these short ski to bring much more fun to the slopes.
As the amount of skiboards at the market increased, more and more skiers were tempted to try them out and find out what is so special about them. But don't be mistaken, even if they make the impression that they are made for free riders or professional skiers, that is a far cry from what they really have to offer.
Are Skiboards Suitable for Beginners?
Actually, they can bring benefits to skiers of all levels. For beginners, riding on skiboards is super easy to learn because the control of movement and speed is not complicated by long and heavy boards stuck to their feet. They can also be used as a preparation stage before moving on to regular ski. No more embarrassing moments on the slope with your ski tips crossed.
Intermediates may feel a huge improvement in their skiing abilities when they use their short ski to be more confident with their moves. That can bring them to start trying some tricks, in which they would be otherwise limited with regular skis. You just have to tame you fear not to get in your way.
Even if, as and expert, you may think you've already mastered everything, skiboards may offer you some extra experience. Maybe carving fast turns with your hand dragging in the snow or riding through the forest paths, there are no bad conditions for these. Just show what you dare for.
If a little inspo is what you need, look no further. Actually, watch this...
And if it's still not enough, then know, that there's a Skiboard World Cup being held, in which you can compare your skills with other skiboarders in six disciplines: the Fakie Downhill, Slope Style, Rails and Boxes and the Chinese Downhill (a race down the slopes backwards) and The Big Air. Seems fun, doesn't it? And you can bring home a medal!
Are skiboards easier than skis?
Yes, they are. As mentioned above, they are shorter, and therefore easier to manuever. Plus, they provide wider base than regular skis with an extra support. Skiboards are amazing skis for beginners and even for skiers with knee injuries, since it doesn't take too much of strength to carve or take turns.
What is the History of Skiboards?
It was in the mid-1970's, when the Kneissl with Big Foot pioneered in the short ski production. Bringing not only the game-changing idea of making the skis shorter to provide an easier ride on the snow, but also an iconic design for the left and right foot separately with printed toes.
Varieties of Big Foot ski by Kneissl
In the 1980's Atomic came up with their Figl Skiboards with the idea to offer the light short ski to European mountain climbers who could easily ride down the hill on their way back from climbing. Some adrenaline seekers also used them on frozen lakes in ice-skating mode.
Varieties of Figl Skiboards by Atomic
Since 1997, other producers have recognized the potential of these fun skis and entered the market with another innovative versions of snowblades using different kinds of bindings, materials and construction.
The highlights in skiboarding history were the Mikroski created by Kent Keiswieller who redesigned the snowboard construction, Klimax with their short boards performing exceptionally in carving turns at their time, or later Head introducing the release bindings for the first time.
Varieties of Snowblades being Produced in 1990s and Early 2000s
The main reason why snowblades became so popular is the simplicity of the idea to make the regular skis shorter to allow more movement to the whole body and remove the excessive weight from the legs.
As the time went by, many manufacturers have joined with their efforts to make their own versions of short ski using different materials for the boards and for the bindings as well. However, in many cases the quality and performance of these short skis was not on a high level, which discouraged a lot of skiers and casted a shadow over the entire sport.
Nowadays, there are still skiboards and snowblades being produced to choose from, and they will always find their fans across the slopes who are willing to go beyond the regular and enjoy the freedom and fun that these short skis provide.
Are Skiboards by Snowfeet* Different?
As we truly believe that this sport has a lot of potential and that it would be really sad to let it be forgotten, we want to put our own efforts into supporting the growth of the snowbladers' community and as well to pay a tribute to the pioneers of this sport. So, we have developed our own Snowfeet* Skiboards for you so that you can become a proud promoter of this fun sport on the slopes.
Not only that we want to keep this tradition alive and make our contribution to this efforts, we have also come up with innovations and improvements that would make snowblades feel perfectly at home in 2020s.
Our first concern was how to sort out the bindings to provide as much comfort as possible and to maintain the safety as well.
So, we have equipped our Skiboards with ski boots bindings that is easy to fasten, it is safe and andjustable to fit sizes of ski boots 36-49 EU / 4.5-14.5 US / (22.5-32.5 MP/Ski boot size). And as we know that from snowblading its not that far to snowboarding, we have added another version of our Skiboards with bindings that fits snowboard boots in sizes 38-49 EU / 6-14.5 US.
Skiboards by Snowfeet* are made in the length of 26 in / 65 cm. However, we kind of felt that one length version is not enough. Therefore, it will be no surprise that we have introduced another version of Skiboards that are a bit longer than the original ones, and therefore are providing the perfect middle course between traditional skis and mini skis.
The longer versions of Skiboards is available in the length of 35.5 in / 90 cm, 39 in / 99 cm, and 47 in / 120 cm with ski boots bindings and in four color variants.
What are Skiskates?
Skiskates are very short skis, basically skates for snow.
Well, having said all the necessary, we hope we have convinced you that you can't go wrong with skiboards. However, there's yet another kind of short ski, or rather mini ski, that you may have not heard of before, that allow you to earn even more from snowy hills. And the best part is that you don't even need a hill!
You have surely heard of Snowfeet*, the mini ski we have invented that are fastened directly to your regular winter boots so that you can ride them anywhere and everywhere.
Well, we have got a brother to our Snowfeet* now! A bit longer, but still being mini ski, packed with useful equipment you will appreciate in winter gear, such as heel brake, safety leash, metal edges, high radius tip, and of course a high quality construction including wood core. Behold, these are Skiskates by Snowfeet*.
What are skiskates?
Skiskates are the shortest skis in the world, combining skiing and skating.
With a body consisting of cap construction and wood core, skiskates are pretty similar to the traditional skis you know, but with some extra advantages.
They are very short - only 44 cm - which allows you to enjoy your ride to the fullest.
Are Skiskates Good for Downhill Skiing Only?
They have been developed to allow all kinds of movements on the snow and you don't have to be limited by going downhill only. You can use them to ski, of course, but also to skate on the snow. Do you want to ski, enjoy some jumps on the way, ride through bumps, and skate on snow right to your doorstep? Grab these and you are free to show your skills.
And we know just the perfect way how to jump into winter season in a cool way. It is with Skiskates with fresh modern design, superb quality and made by reliable and professional producer. And guess what? Our own Skiskates tick all the boxes!
Are Skiskates Good for Beginners?
Skiskates can be a bit challenging because they are very short, but it helps to know how to skate. The learning process is fast, though.
Skiskates are easy for rollerbladers or hockey players since they already know their way through the ice and snow. For the rest of the beginners, skiskates can be a bit challenging, since they do not provide a long and firm base and they require a different style of moving.
However, the learning process is super fun and fast, so you will enjoy your whole journey with skiskates.
Interested? Wait no more and head to our shop!
If there's anything you would like to know before you hit the "order" button, feel free to ask us in the comments section down below.
Enjoy the ride!
Anna from Snowfeet*
Sorry to hear about your injuries. As for Skiboards, all of the version will be great for your knees, since you will not put that much pressure on them.
If you are looking for an experience as close to regular skis as possible, go for the Skiboards 120 (they only come in regular release bindings, though).
I assume that Skiboards 99 would be suitable, as well. Ski boots binding are suitable for your size plus you can always have them adjusted.
Hope this will help. See you on the slopes. :)
Anna from Snowfeet*
Hey there Tony,
we are happy to hear from you. Since you want to assist your kids with their skiing, I would recommend opting for Skiboards 65cm. They will give you enough stability to help your children but they will be still very light to enjoy even on your own.
From the variety of our Skiboards, they are the closest to skiskating you can get. Skiboards 65 basically combine the best from both skiboarding and skiskating.
Let us know what did you choose. :)
Anna from Snowfeet*
thank you for the comment! We are glad that we could be of some help. Hope you will enjoy the skiboards – let us know how did it go.
Best of luck with your skiing! :)
Anna from Snowfeet*
thank you for the question. Since you consider yourself a beginner, I would recommend giving the Skiboards a try. They are longer than the Skiskates and you will get more support while learning skiing on them. Skiskates can be a bit challenging for unexperienced skiers, as they are quite short and sliding them is more similar to skating.
Hope this will help.
Thank you so much for all the detailed information you’ve provided; I have came later in life to learning to ski and have often thought, while repeatedly trying, how I would like to find a pair of super short skis – the ski rentals have nothing! – and continue in my attempts to learn. I am super excited with your skiboards and I definitely want to give them a try!
Nearly 60 and excited, :) Karen Dirks