Skis can come in lots of different lengths and sizes to meet different needs and requirements, and there are lots of different shape profiles as well.
Although many people would think of skis as straight pieces of equipment, some slight variations can make a big difference. This is why some people choose to ride with snow blades.
You might be left wondering what the difference between snow blades and skis are, and this is something that we are going to explore in this article in order to answer any questions that you might have.
We are also going to take a look at how each of them works, how they are different, and why they might be used. This will help you to make a well-informed decision when it comes to which one is best for you.
What Are Snow Blades?
If you didn’t know any different, snow blades would simply look like really short skis. They were actually first created as a shorter alternative to the longer types of skis that you will more commonly find on the market.
So, the main characteristic of snow blades is that they are short. We will get into the benefits of snow blades further on, but we will explain a bit more about them below first.
Snow blades have a shaped profile that is quite similar to that of a snowboard, which means that they have a parabolic shape that looks almost like an hourglass, rather than a straight ski.
They are available in a variety of different length and widths, just like skis, which offers a great selection for you to choose from. However, snow blades can be anywhere from 75 to 100 cm long.
Due to the fact that they have a metal grip alongside a wood core that is surrounded by laminates, snow blades are able to work in the same way that skis do when they are on top of the snow.
As well as this, if you are using snow blades, you will also be able to use normal ski boots.
You might find that you have to attach them with special bindings that are made for snow blades, but more often than not, you can attach them with regular ski bindings.
Snow Blades Pros
Two of the main benefits of using snow blades are that they are easy to learn on, and they are super easy to control.
As well as this, the shorter length means that there is less material for you to handle, and this gives them a feel that is quite similar to roller skating or rollerblading on the snow.
They are also much lighter than skis, which means that they are easier to maneuver, and they have a smaller turning radius.
Beginners that find that they are not getting on well with regular skis can usually get better results when they use snow blades to help them to learn the basics of the sport.
The increased turning radius that they are able to provide makes it much easier for you to traverse certain terrain features, like moguls and trees.
A smaller ski is also much easier to use in smaller spaces, where you will need to turn quickly. Snow blades are just about as small as skis can get, which makes them perfect for the job.
Snow blades can also be really fun to use if you are keen to learn some tricks. With a smaller ski, it is much easier for you to complete tricks, like spins, as there is less weight attached to your boots.
When you're wearing snow blades, you will be able to have a go at maneuvers that you might not have been able to master yet with longer skis.
If you are a beginner when it comes to skiing, then you should not try to do tricks at first, at least until you start to get the hang of things.
However, if you have more experience under your belt, then snow blades can help you to have more fun in the air and practice your skills.
This can be the perfect way to learn some maneuvers as you will be able to get a good feel for what it takes to complete the trick on smaller skis.
After this, you will be able to transfer your new skills and tricks to full-length models once you have gotten the hang of it.
Snow Blades Cons
Even though snow blades can be a lot of fun, and they can make skiing much more accessible for beginners, they do not perform as well as skis.
If you are someone that wants to tackle big mountain conditions, like steep slopes, deep powder, or high speeds, you will be much better off using normal skis, rather than snow blades.
They have a much shorter length and smaller size, which can also mean that snow blades do not do as well in powder conditions, and you might struggle to move quickly on a moderate slope that is covered in more than 6 inches of powder when you are using snow blades.
This is due to the fact that they have a smaller surface area to keep you on top of the snow. So, if you are someone that likes skiing powder, you are probably better off sticking to normal-sized skis. Snow blades are also much slower than regular skis.
While this is great for beginners as it allows them to feel more in control when they are learning, it might not be the best for those that want to go really fast on their skis.
The limited speed that is allowed by snow blades is definitely going to be a disadvantage for anyone that is not at a beginner level.
There is simply not enough surface area on snow blades to allow you to build up as much speed. If you do manage to go fast on your snow blades, it is highly likely that they will start to chatter.
Are Snowblades Easier to Learn Than Skis?
The answer to this question will all depend on your own abilities and experiences.
If you are someone that is struggling to learn to ski, then you might find it to be beneficial to learn on snow blades, then transfer your skills to the skis as you start to build up your confidence and abilities.
Some people that have had previous experience with things like ice skating have also reported that learning to use snow blades was much easier than learning to use skis. So, it all depends on what you are good at and what you have experience with.
If you have never done anything like this before, then you are going to find it much more difficult than someone with some experience.
It may be beneficial to try out both of these options to find out which ones work best for you. There may even be some things that you find to be easier when using skis, and other things that you find to be more difficult.
Snow Blades Vs Skis - Things to Consider
Many people that enjoy skiing will like the fact that snow blades do not require ski poles. If you don’t know what the purpose of poles are, or you have struggled to use them in the past, then you might want to try out snow blades.
With snow blades, you do not have to worry about using poles at all. You probably could if you wanted to, but due to the fact that the skis are so short, using poles would not be necessary.
Something else for you to consider is the fact that there is usually a negative perception of people that use snow blades. This typically comes from regular skiers that see snow blading as a form of the sport that is not as valid or challenging.
Therefore, some people do look down on those that use snow blades instead of normal skis. However, as long as you have a strong mindset and you aren’t too bothered about what other people think, then you are free to ski however you choose to do so.
There is absolutely nothing stopping you from using snow blades, and this is a perfectly valid method. Just be prepared for some hardcore skiiers to express their unwanted opinions at times.
This might never be an issue for you, but it does still happen at times, which is why it can be helpful to be aware of the situation.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what you want to use when you go skiing, and as long as you are comfortable and confident, that is all that really matters.
Snow blades can be a lot of fun, especially if you are just starting to learn the ropes when it comes to skiing. They might not be the best to use all the time, but they are one of the best ways to practice if you are not confident enough on regular skis.
They are perfect for beginners that are just getting into this sport, and they can easily become a great learning tool that can help you to increase your abilities in an easy and approachable manner.
Snow blades are unique, and while they are not as popular as regular skis, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be just as fun and rewarding.
As we have already said, as long as you are happy and comfortable, just keep doing what you are doing until you feel ready to move on to the longer skis. Just get out there and have some fun.
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