Officially the term is “Skiboards” was created in 1996. However, when Salomon came along in the late 90’s, they called their version of skiboards – Snowblades. The term skiboards was embraced by the larger companies such as Atomic, Elan, Blizzard, Fischer, Dynastar (and even Salomon) to name a few and most of the smaller start up companies such as Canon, Line, Microski, Journey and more. Skiboards, Skiblades or Snowblades – What’s the Difference? Read on.
The term skiboards was originally coined to depict a combination of skis and snowboards, or “Skiboards”. This was due to the fact that they come in pairs, one per foot, but paralleling the construction and shape of snowboards — twin tips with often more width than typical skis at that time. When Salomon came along though, people often began calling them “snowblades”, and many still do today. Others started calling them skiblades, kind of a combination of skis and roller blades as they do have that skate-like feel. So when customers call us, they often use a variety of terms like snowblades, skiblades, or even short skis, fun skis, easy skis or miniskis. Though officially called “skiboards” some also spell it “ski boards” (not the correct spelling).
Whatever you choose to call them, the primary experience is that being shorter than traditional skis, these are much, much easier to turn and stop on than long skis. Yet skiboards still incorporate bindings that fit either ski boots or even snowboard boots like other riding tools.
Though technically “skiboards” is the proper term, what matters more in our estimation is function. That is, skiboards, skiblades or snowblades, anything you choose to call them, all provide instant fun, have an extremely short learning curve, provide greater confidence for any level rider and allow you to explore more terrain, ride in similar conditions, enjoy the whole mountain and deliver an alternative riding tool versus skis and snowboards.
At the Skiboards Superstore, we have embraced all terms used to describe these, because we understand it does not so much matter what you call them. What matters is that you can enjoy your time in the mountains, with confidence, and with a greater sense of liberation than what traditional skis or snowboard can provide. The bonus is that it happens with dramatically less time spent in learning.
Some would say that true skiboards are wide, feature 4 hole stainless steel inserts with bindings that only fit in these inserts. While once true over a decade or more ago, construction has come a long way, as have binding options. Now high performance skiboards can be mounted directly with release ski bindings, creating more convenience as well as better performance and flex than the standard 4 hole mount that usually has a flat spot.
Width is a secondary consideration when determining what is a “true” skiboard. Skiboards come in varying widths. No official determination has ever been made as to the exact width that determines a “true” skiboard vs. skiblades or snowblades. Often however, narrower skiboards may be referred to as snowblades or skiblades and longer ones even short skis. Many companies such as Head, Atomic, Hagan, Snowjam 540, Summit Skiboards and Elan for example refer to their products as “skiboards” even though they are sometimes narrower or different in shape than the wider, symmetrical twin tip skiboards.
Where does one draw the line? Do we exclude companies that continue to create products in our sport, just because they may be 1cm less wide or not offer inserts, but instead, are mounted with ski release bindings? The width you choose is really a matter of personal preference, i.e. the kind of performance you are looking for and the terrain you choose to ride.
Skiboards (whatever terms you choose to use such as funskis, skiblades, snowblades, easy skis, short skis or any other variation) represent a unique form of snowriding and an alternative to traditional riding on the mountain. We will continue to encourage companies to continue making their particular version of skiboards and we will represent them. The Skiboards Superstore will continue to carry any innovative product we feel represents the core values of our sport — ease, instant fun, liberation, confidence, playfulness and enjoying the mountain environment in any way you choose to. Our standard cutoff for lengths has been 135cm to incorporate Elan Freeride 135cm or Salomon XDR 130. These have the look and feel of skiboards and also represent a company that began making skiboards in the start of the market and continue to make this incredible product. This is somewhat arbitrary however longer tends to get into a different form of riding style.
Skiboards, Skiblades, Snowblades: What is the difference? None really, call them what you choose but in the end, these terms represent a new paradigm in snow riding that continues to gain attention in the marketplace and worldwide. More and more people want Instant Fun and that to us is the ultimate purpose of our sport.