Seriously - what's with the snow blades?
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scootertig
March 11, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
This probably could have gone into the civility conversation, but I put it here instead...

What's with all the snow blades at Seven Springs? I haven't skied that many mid-Atlantic areas (7S, HV, Whitetail, and Timberline), but I don't think I've ever seen as many snowblades anywhere as I did at 7S 2 weeks ago. It was crazy. And, tons of the snowbladers were in jeans/starter jackets/etc, the typical never-ever or 1-day-a-year type of gear.

Is it because they make you feel better than you are? Are they "cool" and I didn't get the memo?

Some of the people on snowblades were some of the scariest snow riders I've ever encountered...


aaron
Crush
March 11, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,020 posts
... heh like training wheels for bikes, they let anybody get around the mountain. funny that they are all of a sudden popular here, i saw a lot of visitors use them when i was living in park city a few years ago but it sort of then went away ... well the visitors liked it because once again you can get around without really having any skills - thus the jean and jacket togs .
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
March 11, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Seen a couple at SS this weekend. IMHO, they're like beanie babies or some other temporary fad. Just like cicadas, but instead of every 17 years (that would be optimum), they're like every three or four...

The only problem is that as you noticed, it was a jeans and hoodies crowd. There is no semblance of knowledge of safety procedures or given the attitude, the remotest chance that they cared.
oldensign - DCSki Columnist
March 11, 2008
Member since 02/27/2007 🔗
437 posts
I was a big fan of snow blades when they came out. Mainly for portablity and the ablity to do tricks. However real skis got shorter and the advantages faded. You also could not get any speed on them.

However if it is getting more folks on the hill we should embrace them becuase I am sure they paid full price for there lift and rental.
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MarkMascolino
March 11, 2008
Member since 01/18/2007 🔗
32 posts
The other thing is that with them, there is no chance of ever getting your tips crossed which was something I struggled with the first 4 - 5 days of skiing. Other than that, I think they kind of look dorky on anyone that is more than 3 feet tall.
GGNagy
March 12, 2008
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
451 posts
Been skiing on ski blades for about 8-9 years now. Funny think is, mine are now monsters at 83-85 cm and FAT. The main difference is that turning on on a ski blade is a muscle function that is alot closer to turning on rollerblades or skates and thus more familiar to alot of people who may not otherwise ski or ski well. They also feel like they respond quicker, not just because of their short turn radius, but also because their lack of length requires much less effort to initiate the turn. My personal experience is also that it put alot less stress on the knees, as I have been dealing with some poor ones for a while, and have only been able to get back on "long" boards in the past 2 years.

Are they all wine and roses? no! Short length means you have to work MUCH harder to keep your CG over the boots. Uneven snow effects you alot more, and uneven snow QUALITY can easily send you *ss over teakettle. The worst possible ski conditions could actually be a nice fresh pile of manmade snow.

They are also slower than skis, which is a good and bad thing. You are much less likely to get taken out by a ski blader bombing a run. The old never-release bindings also means your not likely to find a gaggle of ski-bladers clogging up the top of a slope, sitting on their butts. \:\)

They are different, can be fun, and can attract people to the sport who might not otherwise come out. Yeah, it is also cheaper and attracts the less affulent crowd. Not all of us can afford the fancy clothes, skis and weeks and weeks in our condos, nor the attitude to look down on anyone who doesn't.

Besides, the original poster mentioned 7 springs... Whats the PA skiers motto again? \:\)
kwillg6
March 12, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,034 posts
I had a friend of mine do the blade thing. They didn't have real bindings just some type of clip in thing. He fell and got a spiral tib/fib fracture. My son also played on them and had to pay damages for broken fasteners/bindings everytime he rented them . I understand that the industry has become somewhat smarter and has gone to regular bindings on the blades. I see kids mostly using them and doing figure 11s down slopes like WL at t-line. There is NO stability at speed with blades and you better have a very good sence of balance if you plan on skiing at mach speed.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
March 12, 2008
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,221 posts
I don't know if they were intended as such but blades are a very good training tool for teaching the carved turn. I know instructors who use them for training. You just tip them on edge using no rotary input at all. They will lay parallel grooves in the snow; pure carved turns. They cannot be skied flat or they are unstable as has been said. However on a good edge angle they are stable. You go continuously from one set of edges to the other. 99% of the people you see on them are not doing this; they are using them like cafeteria trays strapped to their feet. Used that way they are menacing. I have demoed blades and probably should spend some more time on them.
scootertig
March 12, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
 Originally Posted By: GGNagy
They are different, can be fun, and can attract people to the sport who might not otherwise come out. Yeah, it is also cheaper and attracts the less affulent crowd. Not all of us can afford the fancy clothes, skis and weeks and weeks in our condos, nor the attitude to look down on anyone who doesn't.


Wow... I wasn't suggesting that it was a question of anything other than not being inclined to ski as often. I was casting no aspersions on the social status or upbringing of anyone on snow blades. I have a limited disposable income, and I choose to spend a good portion of it (during the winter) on skiing when/where I can, and try to save as much cash as possible while doing so (never paid full price - or even "standard" price for any gear, almost never pay full price for a lift ticket... we're not exactly talking silver spoons here...)

But if you want to try to paint me as a snob who doesn't understand why people in jeans and starter jackets deserve to ski, then feel free. That's on you... (and not true) It's just completely missing the point of what I was saying...

aaron
comprex
March 12, 2008
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts

Denis, I'm putting a pair of Chilis on some Fischer Spyders (the ones with the asymmetrical sidecut).
PartyPooper
March 15, 2008
Member since 03/15/2008 🔗
2 posts
What's the hardest part about becoming a fruit-booter?.....



.......Telling your dad!!!
Denis - DCSki Supporter
March 15, 2008
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,221 posts
???

What's a fruit booter?
PartyPooper
March 16, 2008
Member since 03/15/2008 🔗
2 posts
fruit booter = ski blader
Denis - DCSki Supporter
March 16, 2008
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,221 posts
Ski blade bindings are pretty much like snowboard plate bindings. (I ride plates when I ride.) You can use alpine or tele boots in those bindings, so the question arises, how would one know a fruit-booter when they are not attached to their blades when any boot would do?

As far as I'm concerned all snow sliding is good. I like snow. \:\) \:\)
RodSmith
March 17, 2008
Member since 10/22/2004 🔗
318 posts
 Originally Posted By: comprex

Denis, I'm putting a pair of Chilis on some Fischer Spyders (the ones with the asymmetrical sidecut).


More sidecut on little toe side?
RodSmith
March 17, 2008
Member since 10/22/2004 🔗
318 posts
I guess the reason most of us don't use snowblades is because our slope time is limited and we don't want to waste any of that time doing something that is less fun. Same reason I don't ski alpine bindings.

Do I look down on alpine skiers and consider alpine ski boots to be fruity? Well yeah, but I enjoy watching good skiers and riders regardless of the length of their boards or type of binding.

I took up telemark and snowboarding, and played with Big Feet, during a time when I worked at a small hill and had plenty of slope time. If I had been skiing less than ten days a year, as I do now, I probably would not have found the time to explore these diversions.

skier219
March 17, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
I have come to dislike snowbladers because of two things, not related to the snowblades themselves: 1) they are often on terrain that is totally inappropriate for such a small amount of ski/edge given the person's size, and 2) they are often among the most unsafe persons on the slopes. I guess it's one more way people can get into trouble on ski slopes.
comprex
March 17, 2008
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
And shifted frontwards, yessir.
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