A Quiver of Snowskates is NOT Like a Box of Chocolates

Posted By: The Ski Channel on November 16, 2011 11:32 pm

Written by Kendra Wilson,

As promised, this is a blog detailing the different types of “snowskates.”  After reading this, you will be able to properly identify the type of snowskate you are looking at or that someone is describing to you. And, you’ll be able to explain the best conditions for that snowskate to be ridden in.  There will be a quiz afterward.


Flat-deck snowskates are a single deck with no trucks.  They usually have a plastic base with ridges or grooves to allow it to slide along the snow.  Some of them are entirely plastic, but some of them have a laminated wood core like a regular skateboard and a P-tex base.  Flat-deck snowskates are best used for urban snowskating.  They are great for pointing at a jump or a rail in the library’s parking lot on a Sunday when there is 3 inches of snow on top of asphalt.  You can do just about any skateboard trick on these things.



4×4 snowskates have a skateboard style top deck, skateboard trucks, and a ski in place of each wheel.  Each ski has a blade (metal or plastic) running down the center for control on ice and firm snow.  They are the most skateboard inspired type of snowskate.   You can ride these snowskates in the library’s parking lot or at resorts that allow snowskates.  This type of snowskate is best suited for hard-packed snow and ice, so you will probably want to stick to the terrain park and the groomers.


Bi-deck (or double-deck) snowskates have a top deck with grip to stand on, trucks, and a ski (or sub-deck) with metal edges.  The top-deck is very similar to a skateboard deck, usually made out of wood.  The ski is similar to a mini snowboard.  Core materials vary among snowskate companies.    The trucks are snowskate specific, and the design is different for each company.  The leverage that the trucks give you combined with the narrower bottom ski and the metal edges allow you to carve turns and stop.  You can also pop ollies like mad on these things.  Bi-deck snowskates can be used for urban snowskating like the flat decks, but because they are more expensive, you’ll probably want to be more selective about where you ride these.  Where the bi-deck snowskates really stand apart from the flat decks, is that these are more versatile.  You can take these snowskates to any resorts that allow them and shred greens, blues, blacks, and double blacks depending on your skill level.  These types of snowskates can handle almost any type of snow conditions, deep powder might be the only situation that you’d leave this in the trunk and take out your powderskate or powdersurfer instead. 



Powderskates have the same construction components as a bi-deck snowskate.  The difference is the ski on the bottom.  They still have metal edges, but to ride deep powder, they have longer skis with wider noses.  Powderskates come in a bunch of sizes ranging from a 49 inch ski for all mountain use all the way up to 60+ inches for super deep conditions.  You can actually mount a powderskate ski to the top deck you use for park and ta-da!  You are ready for the deep stuff.  Most powderskates can handle all mountain terrain, but of course you will lose a little bit of responsiveness on the groomers and trick-ability in the park just due to the larger ski.

Powdersurfers don’t have trucks or metal edges.  You don’t need those in the powder.  They are usually made of laminated wood, sometimes with a P-tex base.  Powdersurfers offer the best “surf feel.” These things work best in back country, untouched, deep powder.  This is not the snowskate that you’ll take to the resort to ride groomers or the terrain park.

So, that’s it. Before you take the quiz, you better  read through the post again to make sure you got all that.

1. Which type of snowskate is best?

Flip your monitor upside-down for the answer.