Skiing and snowboarding are amazing winter sports for the whole family. The question is: do you ski or snowboard? Most stay loyal to one or the other, but then the black sheep say they use ski blades as their weapon of choice when going down the mountain.
If you don’t know what ski blades are, keep reading as we explain what they are, why you would use them, and what they are used for. In addition, we will cover the three recommended ski blades to consider for your next trip to the mountain.
What Are Ski Blades?
If you are looking for a new experience the next time you head to a ski mountain, checking out ski blades should be on your list. What are ski blades, you ask?
Also known as trick skis, scorpion blades, bigfoot blades, snowblades, or short skis are hybrid skis and snowboards, giving more maneuverability and agility when shredding the mountain.
These hybrid skis are typically 100cm in length, which is slightly smaller than standard skis that range between 150-200cm. And like snowboards, ski blades are made to be wider than normal skis.
Ski blades aren’t a new trend that is turning heads on the mountain. They were first invented in the 20th century, but lacked attention because of their slower speeds than a typical ski.
Who Are They For?
Even though ski blades didn’t take over the ski and snowboard scene, they didn’t go away. In later years, ski blades started to get the name of Trick Skis because of their maneuverability while tree-riding, hitting rails, or jumps. This makes them good for terrain parks, like snowboards.
As is often the case, the younger crowd took to the trick skis, helping them re-emerge again in local ski shops. Ski blades were also beneficial for kids and new skiers because of their wider stance, increased stability, and slower top speeds.
Bigfoot blades are also suitable for going into areas that Bigfoot himself would generally go. The deeper snow in the trees is a good option for adventure seekers equipped with these. The wider stance of the ski blades helps you get in and out of tough spots working similar to a snowshoe.
These short skis probably aren’t the best choice for speed demons or thrill-seekers because of their limited speed capability. Nonetheless, if you are looking for something different to try on the mountain when it’s not an epic powder day, then ski blades are worth a try.
Do Some Resorts Not Allow Ski Blades?
Like snowboards, ski blades received judgment when they were first being seen on the slopes. They were seen as dangerous and completely useless snow equipment that could potentially harm other visitors.
Let’s just say that they are not universally beloved.
Luckily for ski blades, however, they didn’t get the same harsh backlash that snowboards when they first emerged. As a result, a majority of ski resorts allow ski blades and even rent them out for the day.
Nonetheless, there are still ski-only mountain resorts that don’t allow ski blades or snowboards because of their membership rules. Don’t worry, though, because there are only four ski-only resorts left in the United States, so there are plenty of places you can shred using your snow blades.
Why are there ski-only resorts though? The main reason that ski-only resorts were made is because of the stereotype that snowboards and ski blades are harder to control, increasing the chance of running into somebody. The other argument is that these different styles of riding tear up the snow, making the terrain harder for skiers to enjoy.
Honestly, for people who want to take on ski blades, the best place is in tree trails, terrain parks, or beginners on the green slopes. They aren’t ideal for the deep snow powder runs, so they don’t affect runs that are meant for veteran skiers. For these reasons, ski blades are accepted and used at several ski resorts.
How To Choose Ski Blades
Before we discuss our top pick for ski blades, let’s talk about what to look for when buying them.
Length and Width
The first thing to look at when shopping for ski blades is the length and width. If you are a shorter person, short ones are better because the longer they are, the harder they are to maneuver. On the other hand, if you are taller, you will want to try longer ski blades because they will be slower if they are too short, making it tough to get down the mountain.
Width is also important because how wide the blade is will determine how it handles different terrain. A more narrow blade will be faster, which is great for people who want a nice mix between speed and maneuverability. For newer skiers and tree riders, wider blades are a better choice because they can make quick turns while having impeccable stability.
Construction and Design
Similar to regular skis and snowboards, the construction of a good ski blade is important. A lot of ski blades are made with a wood core for better durability. They are also made with aluminum plates, graphite bases, and fiberglass layers to increase stability and performance. For people who have a need for speed, looking at narrow ski blades with sintered bases is a good choice.
The sidecut of the blade is also essential when choosing which snow blades to go with. Ski blades with a longer sidecut are better for carving, while blades with a short sidecut don’t fare as well. With that being said, if you are thinking about getting ski blades for terrain parks to do tricks, then getting a short sidecut is better.
The last thing to consider when shopping for ski blades is if they have camber or not. Camber adds a degree of arc when laid flat on the ground. Ski blades with more camber make it easier to lift off the snow. This is ideal for park riders who need more pop when hitting rails or jumps.
If you aren’t sure if you will be doing more park riding, slope riding, or a mixture of both, then keep reading as we discuss our top three recommendations for ski blades.
Best All Mountain Ski Blade
Line Skis Blade Skis 2022
If you are set on getting ski blades that can handle a little bit of everything, Line Skis Blade Skis should be at the top of your list. Line Skis has been making award-winning skis for years and their ski blades are no exception.
The Line Ski blades have a 3mm tip and 1mm tail, giving them more lift in deep snow. The overall construction will provide you with the freedom to ride how you want. At the center of the blades is a 5mm camber giving an excellent glide over powder and control at high speeds.
The Line Ski blades are lightweight, using an extremely thin core giving the skier the ability to carve and take quick turns. Overall, this is a great all-mountain ski blade that offers great stability, enhanced grip, and control.
Best Ski Blades for Terrain Parks
K2 Fatty Ski Blades
Line Skis isn’t the only ski brand that is known for making award-winning skis. In fact, K2 has been making top-tier skis for nearly sixty years.
Their K2 Fatty Ski blades go right in the list of quality snow gear they make and are a great choice for anyone looking to hit the terrain parks. The Fatty’s have a cambered center, full twin tip tail, and a graphite core making it ultra-lightweight for easy lift-off the snow.
While they are animals in the park and on pipe, they can also do all mountain terrains. They are also a great choice for beginner riders because of their stability and ability to quickly turn in deep powder.
Best Ski Blades for Beginners
Snowjam 540 Titan Ski Blades
Snowjam has had a reputation for making well-made ski blades for some time now. Recently, they continued to back up the reputation by releasing the Snowjam 540 Titan ski blades.
They are quality snow blades made with a wood core that offers ultimate flex, making them easy to maneuver on different snow surfaces. The 540 Titans are also a thicker ski blade which makes them great for beginners because of their stability.
If you haven’t ski bladed very many times, then the 540 Titans are a good choice to start out with. They are shorter in size than other ski blades but are wide, giving more control to a beginner.
Ski blades can be a lot of fun and a nice switch from traditional skiing. Even if it isn’t something you do every time you head to the mountain, they are worth giving a try.
They may not be as popular as traditional skiing, but ski blades can be a good learning tool for a beginning skier. At the end of the day, no matter what you choose to ride on the ski mountain, it’s still going to be a good day. So, grab your gear, and hit the slopes!