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What Are Skiboards?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Skiboards are equipment used in the winter sport of skiboarding, which was introduced in the early 1990s. The boards resemble skis, although they are usually about half the length of traditional skis and twice the width. Skiboards are sold by a number of American and European companies, including Salomon, which markets the boards under the trade name Snowblades. For this reason, the sport is sometimes erroneously called snowblading.

The sport is immensely popular among its followers, many of whom tout it as far more enjoyable than other snow sports. On a skiboard, it is possible to ski through deep powder, maneuver in heavily wooded areas, cope with moguls or small bumps on the ski course, and tear up the snow like snowboarders do. They boards are also easy to learn for most individuals, including those who have no experience with snow sports.

Skiboarding is sometimes compared to inline skating, and many inline skaters have picked up skiboards for winter fun. For this reason, it is sometimes called a transitional sport, attracting winter sports enthusiasts as well as skaters. The sport allows athletes to power through a wide variety of terrain as well as executing tricks including complex turns and flips. These boards are welcome on most ski slopes, and also share room in the half pipe with snowboarders.

Skiboards resemble short, fat, twin tipped skis in design. They are tipped at both ends to allow the skier to move backward or forwards with ease. Most boards also have a slight hourglass shape which allows the athlete to carve through the snow. Most ski boarders use fixed bindings like snowboarders, and do not usually carry ski poles either.

Skiboards work with most conventional ski and snowboarding boots. Some boards are designed to work with hiking boots for back country expeditions, so that hikers can easily transition to and from skis. Boots should be comfortable while allowing freedom of movement and a fully upright stance. It is also important to make sure that the heel is stable in the boot, and will not slip or rise with the skier's movement.

Skiboards are also used in free style skiing, because they allow a wide range of movement. Free style skiers usually enjoy playing with these boards as well as conventional skis. Most people who pick up a pair of skiboards find themselves returning to the sport, partially because it is easy to learn and skiers at all skill levels quickly become comfortable on skiboards.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By popcorn — On Jun 21, 2011

If you are going to try skiboarding make sure you get your pair well fitted and understand how they differ from skis. I found that if you try to learn forward on skiboards, like you would with skis, you actually lose control and they make much more noise.

Another thing to look at is how high the tips are at the front and the back of the skiboards. If they are lower it can make it tougher to navigate in deep power or rough snow.

The length of skiboards you choose really has to do with what you plan on doing. The 75cm - 99cm length is best for moguls and clear spaces, while those 90cm and longer are preferred by people who do jumps and tricks.

By lonelygod — On Jun 20, 2011

I found that trying skiboards was great idea and it helped me get into winter sports. I was terrible at skiing and could never manage to keep my balance. I think that nothing is worse than seeing an adult stuck on the bunny hill. It was so embarrassing.

Skiboards though, with their shorter and wider structure were a world of easier compared to their more famous cousin. I felt like skiboards were sturdier and that I had a less of a chance of falling down and humiliating myself while wearing them.

For those that want to try something like skiing, but are perhaps a bit clumsier, I would suggest giving skiboards a shot first.

By ShellM89 — On Jun 20, 2011

@jlknight65 - While you can buy skiboards online, the best advice is to do some research online about skiboards and skiboarding. Then decide if you want to order online.

You might also try renting some skiboards to find a length you like, since there is such a wide variation in length.

In general former skiers seem to like the longer skiboards, ranging in sized from 90 to 125 centimeters, while I have seen some as long as 143 centimeters.

Skaters seem to prefer shorter skiboards which can be shorter than 75 centimeters, but usually are between 75 and 100 centimeters.

One of the big draws for skiboarding is that they have a short learning curve when compared to skis and snowboards. With skiboards you also have more control and maneuverability.

By jlknight65 — On Jun 20, 2011

I have watched some really cool skiboard videos online. It looks like so much fun. I don't live in a area where there are snow sports. Can you buy skiboards online? What is the price range for skiboards?

By BreeZee22 — On Jun 20, 2011

Sometimes being described as short, fat, skis, the more popular sizes range between 90 and 110 centimeters, but some are as long as 130 cm. Skiboarding has had a rough history since its inception, but in the last several years it appears to be on the upsurge.

In 2007 the first Skiboard World Cup was organized and held in Predeal, Romania, and in 2008 the sport made history by having a World Cup even held in Dubai, the first international snow sport held in the desert.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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