The Snowskate – a Growing Sensation
Have you ever felt the urge to bust out skateboard-style tricks on your snowboard while barreling down the mountain or flying off a jump? Well, with the innovative Snowskate, now you can!
The Snowskate is a hybrid of a skateboard and a snowboard that allows you to do skateboard-style tricks on the snow. There are many different types and brands of this revolutionary snow deck, many of which have developed quite recently.
The first comparable snowskate was produced by Circa in 1970, and was locally sold in toy and sporting good stores. It featured a skateboard deck attached to a blank snowboard by two ski-like aparati in between. Modern snowskates retain the same basic elements, although there are now many more variations and improvements to the design. The four basic types of snowskates nowadays are the single-deck, the bideck, the 4×4, and the powderdeck.
Single decks are preferred for riding in snowskate parks and urban terrain but can also be ridden down hills (that is… if the lift operators allow you to bring one on the chairlift). These first appeared on the market in 1998, manufactured by Premier Snowskates. Now there are several manufacturers, the main ones being Ambition Snowskates, Icon Snowskates, and Premier Snowskates. The single deck snowskate succeeded in bringing this obscure sport out of the shadows and into the mainstream, lending to the popularity of snowskate parks around North America.
A bideck snowskate is a snowskate that has a top skateboard deck standing on a lower ski deck, which is in contact with the snow. Bidecks come in single blade varieties and multiple blade varieties. Bideck snowskates were reportedly invented by Steve Frink in 1994; but were not put on the market until 2001, after many prototypes. Around the same time, Burton Snowboards released a similar design named, the “Snowdeck”. Burton has since stopped making snowskates. Different bidecks are tailored to different styles of riding- longer bidecks are favored for mountain snowskating, and shorter bidecks are favored for tricks and stunts.
The 4×4 snowskate is the least common variation; although it provides the most genuine skateboard like feel. This is due to the four small skis, each replacing a wheel. They tend to be a little fatter and longer than a normal skateboard.
Powderskates are the most surf-like Snowskates. These tend to be very large and have a fat sub and deck. As the name denotes, powderskates are preferable in deep powder conditions. There are two varieties; single and bi-deck. The single deck is exclusively intended for powder, and provides the most surf-like feel; whereas the bi-deck provides more leverage, and can therefore be used on and off the powder.
Here’s a quick look at snowskating in action: