What Are Snowblades?

What Are Snowblades?
Snowblades are similar to skis, yet half the length and are typically used without poles. Made by Solomon, Snowblades are a type of skiboard, but a trademark of Solomon. Because of their size they are easy to maneuver anywhere on the mountain, expanding the skier's horizon and repertoire of ski tricks such as spins and flips.


During the 1940s in Europe, skiers sought a way to traverse summer glaciers without carrying heavy skis on their back. By cutting racing skis in half, friggles were invented, allowing skiers to trek anywhere on the mountain and ski down. In 1990 Kneissel developed The "Big Foot," the first skiboards. In 1995, major brands such as Klimax and Line began manufacturing skiboards. Solomon joined the craze in 1996, developing its trademark Snowblades.


There are two types of Snowblades. Standard Snowblades are from 75-110 cm. long, a little wider than skis, and twin tipped. They are used for a more freestyle approach in the park and half-pipe. Longboard Snowblades are a little longer, typically from 10-130 cm. long and are like traditional skis. There are also two types of bindings. Non-release bindings hold the foot tight to the ski, clamping both the toe and heel off hard ski boots, and are used with standard Snowblades. Full-release bindings are similar to telemark bindings--only the toe of the soft boots connected to the ski--allowing the skier ability to traverse and climb mountains. Full-release bindings are more often used with longboard Snowblades.


Because of their size, Snowblades can get anywhere on the mountain. They can also be paired with skins--pieces of fabric attached to the bottom of skis to prevent them from sliding--and become snowshoes. With skins, you can climb to the top of mountains in search of fresh powder snow, but don't have carry your skis on your back. Just take the skins off and you are ready to go.


Snowblades are not very stable--they wobble when traveling straight downhill--and do not pick up speed like skis. They are also not recommended in powder because of their the tendency to sink and bog down. Although extremely mobile in the snowboard park and half-pipe, Snowblades can be dangerous if used for inverted tricks and flips.


In 1998, skiboarding debuted at the Winter X Games. Solomon Snowblades were one of the brands used by the riders. At the X Games, skiboarders performed aerial flips and multiple spins, giving the sport media exposure. As of 2009, Solomon Snowblades were the top-selling skiboards on the market.

Article Written By Tyler Nall

Tyler Nall is a forestry technician and outdoor enthusiast. He received his Bachelor of Science at the University of Oregon with majors in psychology and sociology. Nall started writing professionally in 2004 and currently writes for various websites.

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