Blades (or SkiBoards) - any hands-on practitioners??

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Blades (or SkiBoards) - any hands-on practitioners??

Postby Bluey » Thu Feb 26, 2004 3:32 am

Does anyone have any experience with Blades?

We call them Blades here in Oz but I understand some countries call them Ski Boards. ( Just to be clear, I'm am not talking about snowboarding).

For a number of years now my son has used/hired Blades and prefers them to regular length skis.
I watch him take off down a slope and he has enormous control and stability....I've even seen him in light powder with them.....he reckons they're better/easier to control than regular length skis.


Apart form the fact they look a bit "childish", due to their small length/size, ...does anyone know from their practical experience as to what conditions they are suited to and under what conditions they would be better than regular length skis....and therefore, also, what conditions aren't they suited to.

On the safety point of view, all the Blades that I see, don't seem to have a quick release binding system. Any thoughts about this aspect? Maybe we're just got old technology Down Here.....


Given that they appear to be very easy to carve with, and to negotiate bumps in ....why aren't they more readily promoted in the ski hire places??.......or is this just a conspiracy by resorts etc to promote lessons to beginner skiers using regular length hired skis? (.....just joking with the last bit)



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Postby Bluey » Thu Feb 26, 2004 3:43 am

Oops!!
Just searched/checked over at Epic and I note they have been already just recently discusssing this very topic.......
still I'd be interest in your opinions, from a PMTS pont of view.

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Postby -- SCSA » Thu Feb 26, 2004 8:52 am

Good morning Bluey,

Well, I aint no expert, just a hack. But I do see more skiers on blades. If they're doing it for fun, all the best to them. But if they're using blades for learning, I can't see where they help. I think HH agrees.

Rather, if a skier really wants to work on carving, I think the PMTS approach is to focus on drills. Yes, the right pair of skis matters, but I think the emphasis is on drills.

Another approach I'd take is the Harb Carvers. I'm definitely picking up a pair of Carvers. Even if I don't see an improvement in my release/parallel shins (which I'm sure I will), they still look like a lot of fun, if from only a work out point of view.

I have a long driveway, paved. So the Harb carvers will work great for me.

So I'd throw away the blades and get the right pair of skis, along with the right instruction. To compliment this, I'd go with the Carvers.
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Postby Hobbit » Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:19 am

Maybe this is a topic for a separate thread, but here it goes.

SCSA, you are saying that you have a long paved driveway and you are going to practice with carvers there. The carvers look great, but I am trying to picture myself using them. As soon as you are finished with the run, what options do you have? The problem I see is that you have no choice of practicing alone. You?ve got to have a group of people with the dedicated driver. Otherwise you either have to walk up the hill in the boots, which will quickly ruin them, or take them off after every run, which is also disappointing. Am I missing something?

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Postby jclayton » Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:35 am

HI Hobbit,
I have used the carvers here in Mallorca , there is a long smooth walkway which goes for miles and has lots of hills . You can skate up hill no problem , if you have poles these also help with rythm . They react a little differently to rollerblades but the principal is the same ( uphill that is ). Also there is the benefit of aerobic exercise , if this is too much for you you should have access to one of those funny ring things !! for extra power .
The walkway we have here is perfect , about 4 - 5 metres wide and a nice smooth surface with a variation of inclines , some 3 - 400 metres long. I often rollerblade with my Siberian Husky towing , just like water skiing and she loves it .
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Postby -- SCSA » Thu Feb 26, 2004 3:18 pm

Hi Hobbit,

jclayton sez it right. Once you're done going down, you just skate back up and repeat! :)
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Postby Hobbit » Thu Feb 26, 2004 3:59 pm

I had an impression about it like going on the steeper hill. I guess I need to try and see for myself.

Also it probably depends on the model. Are you guys using the Slalom one? The Pro model suggests gentle to moderate hills. The Comp probably requires even a steeper one. I wonder which models are used in the video demos by Harald and Diana. It's also hard to guess how steep is the hill in those demos.
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Postby Bluey » Fri Feb 27, 2004 3:14 am

Just want to finish off my inopportune thread..........Have now searched sufficent of the Epic site and read enough of the threads on it for my satisfaction.
Epic Ski has plenty of discussion in their "General Ski Discussion" section/forum on "Blades"..... which I easily found by doing a simple search of that discussion /forum....My conclusion is that I wont venture onto Blades. IMHO, whilst I've never used them, this would appear be a backward step nor would I recommend them to anyone who is a serious minded enthusiastic skiier.

That's my conclusion..... and I would like to paraphrase what I learnt from reading the posts over "there" so that you can understand the basis for my conclusion above ( someone may wish to disagree with me.....)
If you disagree, please say so...........

Anyway, I am now of the opinion that Blades are for beginners who just want to have fun and are not really interested in progressing too far with their longer term technique.
Secondly, most Blades don't seem to have a safety release binding ( except Salamon's) so from my point of view they don't reach the safety standards I require........and my assessment is that Blades are therefore, in the "higher-risk'"/ but "low-return" quandrant.....risky fun.
Thirdly, Blades seem to be better suited for well groomed slopes and then only early in the morning before the surface deteriorates eg crud. It appears to me that if the slopes you are going to ski on have terrain/ snow conditons with high unpredictable variability and if you're unfamilar with the terrain/slope ( as most beginners are ) then I would not recommend them to beginners under these conditions........
Lastly, and more importantly it appears that if you want to progress with PMTS as a style of skiing than using Blades is just an unnecessary "detour".....lost time........it appears that whilst Blades might be a tool for learning to stay centred on your skiis, this can also be done on regular length skis, without the drawbacks as noted above.


Going back to my original post in this thread......All of the above gave me an insight and helped me remember as to why my son apppeared to do so well on his hired Blades....but it also reminded me of the times he face-planted it...usually at high speed...... but luckily, in powdery-type snow conditions, so no injuries were sustained.........
My son skiied mostly on well groomed slopes and whlist he enjoyed himself, he also had plenty of unpredictable falls.
He's young. He had fun and didn't hurt himself but I also recall that eventually towards the end of our last ski holiday he asked to go back to use regular length skis.

Enough said by me.......


If others want ot use blades....so be it..... but I'll leave Blades to others, they're not for me.....


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Postby -- SCSA » Fri Feb 27, 2004 4:09 am

Hi Bluey,

Well, I think you're spot on! :!:

I really don't think blades serve any purpose, to the skiing enthusiast. And I agree completely with your belief that they're actually a step backward.

10-4
-- SCSA
 

Postby jclayton » Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:28 am

I tend to agree with the above observations but I have found they are fun for a couple of hours or so , jumps,twists and just letting it all hang out . When I have hired some with my son we have had lots of fun bumping into each other , he attacking me ( sons always want to beat up their dad ), jumping on my back etc... . As they're short there is not much leaverage so bindings are not really an issue ( they have to comply with regulations ). Afterwards it is always great to get onto "real skis " for the high voltage stuff . I would say , OK to hire for half a day with kids once a year , and thats about it .
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