” Skiboards and Twintips skis offer Skiers, In-line Skaters and Riders an Easy Way to do Tricks in the Park and Pipe” Mclean, VA
Published by the Snowsports Industries of America Newsroom
“One of the fastest growing winter sports, skiboarding has attracted skiers, snowboarders, skaterboarders, and in-line skaters because of its versatile and acrobatic nature. The sport actually has decades-old roots in the Austrian “farngleitner”, a short fat ski first used by mountaineers to ski down glaciers on stable spring snow. The farngleitner grew so popular that it spawned a summer racing league, and the 100-centimeter ski is still used to train young racers to stand centered on full-length skis.
But skiboarding began to catch on among non-racers – even among non-skiers – in the early 1990;s when Austrian ski manufacturer Kneissl launched its “big Foot”, an 80-centimeter shaped ski. The sport grew modestly until the late 1990’s, when several other major ski manufacturers, along with several upstart entrepreneurs, burst onto the scene with new products. French skimaker Salomon helped popularize the sport, with its snowblade product, in the late nineties.
Skiboarding helped spawn an entirely new on-mountain culture which blossomed with new events, new clothing and even new riding styles, according to SnowSports Industries of America (SIA), the national, not-for-profit, member-owned trade association that represents snow and winter sports outdoor companies.
As the sport of skiboarding evolves, so do the tricks. Kids have adapted in-line skating moves to the slopes. They bank off picnic tables, grind on rails and skate backwards. Inn response, resorts have provided new terrain parks, chock full of skate-able jumps, tables, rails and other structures, often in clear view of a chairlift and taking center stage away from the snowboarders’ halfpipe.
Skiboarding is a huge hit among the Echo Boomers (kids between the ages of 12 and 24), and it continues to gain in popularity among adults. Some ski schools use skiboards to introduce newcomers to snow gliding.
“Skiboarding isn’t going to disappear. It’s here to stay. But some of the products are changing a little to match the riding styles.”
The factories have by no means abandoned the shorter skiboard. Boards in the 90-to-100 centimeter lengths were now sold by Alpina, Blizzard, Canon, Elan, Fischer, head, Nordica, GPO, Head, K2, Salomon, Snowjam and, of course, Line. Some still remain.
Almost all the short skiboards are sold with “traditional” non-releasing bindings, but a new trend popped up last winter when Head offered a skiboard with a Tyrolia Sumpro alpine binding. But most 100-centimeter skiboards leave less than 20 inches of flat space in the middle, barely enough room to fit a conventional release binding, especially if the rider has over a size nine foot.
The beauty of the non-releasing bindings is that skiboards are easy to interchange between family and friends. Just a simple adjustment changes the easy-to-work binding adding to the versatility of skiboards.
In the end, there are plenty of choices for those skiers, snowboarders, skateboarders, and in-line skaters who want to explore the acrobatic side of the slopes.
For further information, please go to either www.skiboards.com or www.summitskiboards.com