Snow Blades vs. Skis

Snow Blades vs. Skis
In the past decade, you might have noticed a new type of gear on the slopes. At first glance, they seem to be the "mini me" of alpine skis. They are called ski boards. But because Salomon skis has a brand of ski boards known as "snow blades," many people use this term to describe all types of mini-boards. The first thing you will notice is snow bladers, as they are called, do not use poles. While this might seem frightening, many ski instructors claim using snow blades can help fine-tune your carving technique. Because you do not have poles for balance, snow blading requires accurate foot and ankle movements. The sport combines elements of alpine skiing, snowboarding and ice skating.

Snow Blade Description

In contrast to regular alpine skis, which usually range from 120 to 200 centimeters in length, snow blades are shorter and wider. Snow blades typically measure anywhere from 90 to 120 centimeters. They usually are rounded at each end.

Bindings Compared

While alpine skis have releasable bindings, most snow blades do not.

Performance Differences

Chances are you have seen snow blades used in the terrain park and halfpipe. This is because their small size makes them maneuverable for skiing backward and performing various tricks.

Injury Potential

While knee injuries are the most common injuries experienced by alpine skiers, the nonreleasable bindings of snow blades could cause injuries of the lower leg. This can occur during twisting falls. Additionally, because snow bladers are not using poles, they might experience hand and wrist injuries that are similar to those experienced during snowboarding.

Article Written By Lisa Mercer

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

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