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  • Skiboarding Popularity

    I've been skiing my entire life, with a dab once or twice on snowboards. Switched from regular skis to skimboard 10+ years ago and my first sets were Line, super short, but so much fun. I went back to skiing, especially twin tips, but i find myself going back to ski boarding. I finally bought my first RVL8s a couple of years ago, and having so much fun on them.

    When I'm on the mountain, I usually find that I'm the only ones I notice on them. Every blue moon i come across another ski boarder.

    With that said, what are your opinions on the popularity of the sport within the past 5 years or so? Is it growing? Diminishing? Stagnant or on the brink of an explosion? I'm not a skiboard history buff, but wanted to know your opinions.

    Thanks

  • #2
    From what I have seen the popularity of skiboards is the same or diminishing. I see other random skiboarders once or twice a year, and even skibladers that used to be popular with teens and college kids are rare now. Only one of my two local ski shops carry boards or blades, and they told me that they hadn't sold any in years and didn't rent any out all last season. I get a lot of remarks in lift lines about how they'd never seen boards like mine. They're usually kids who see me do tricks that are hard to do on skis or snowboards. I also get interest from older, rusty skiers with young kids. That's too bad because all the fun aside the skiboards' quality and designs have really improved by leaps over the decades. They are nothing like the Fun Machines from the 90s that I toyed around with when not skiing. I think the main problem with skiboards' popularity is inaccessibility for learners and recreational riders. You cannot walk into any shop at any resort and rent or buy any of the quality skiboards, you cannot take beginner lessons on skiboards at ski school, and nobody is going to drop $500 on them over the Internet untried and unseen unless there is some history. But I don't think skiboarding will die out. Social media like Facebook and Youtube videos and the meetups and SBOL definitely help. I think companies like R8 and Spruce could be more aggressive about marketing, but they are small and probably can't do resort/school partnerships, a storefront at a mountain, sponsored demo trips, etc.

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    • #3
      Based on the forum only, there has been a vast decline in participation and a definitive trend away from park riders towards resort riding. Only a few years ago this forum was dominated by younger park riders talking about The Junk Show, Revolts, KTPs, non release bindings, pro riders, BLyfe, rails, DLPs, big air and ground tricks. Those guys seem to have moved on, just leaving the resort riders talking about rocker, longboards, backcountry, risers, soft boots, short skis and release bindings. Again, just an opinion based off forum participation, which may not represent reality.

      It would be nice to know what actual skiboard sales are. There seem to be a lot of longboard, soft boot set ups, short ski and rocketed resort boards being sold, which might support the trend away from park. The resources in skiboarding, like marketing, products, media and sponsorship, have always favored the park riders. Not surprising, as they have driven the sport for years, but maybe our future now lies elsewhere?
      Just these, nothing else !

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      • #4
        I think the future of skiboards lie with recreational riders. Park riding has taken the path down the "bigger is better" road, and I don't think there is any room for skiboards to compete against snowboards and park skis. This is not a statement about quality or capability of skiboards or its riders but rather about the reality of trends in park riding over the last decade and more. Recreational riders are a far bigger audience anyway. For every park rider who can actually do beginner or intermediate tricks on boxes and rails or land a ten foot jump, you probably have hundreds or thousands of recreational riders that stick to green and blue groomers all day long.

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        • #5
          Skiboards have always represented a much easier way into mountain sports than skis, but the problem is, skis have caught up. Skis have become shorter and much easier to turn over the recent decade, so beginners find them much easier to manage. Perhaps the need for skiboards has gone.
          Add that to the accessibility issue, and my feeling is skiboarding will remain a niche sport, which is a shame as they have so much to offer.

          Sent from my Moto G (5S) Plus using Tapatalk
          Crossbow (go to dream board)
          Most everything else over time.
          Go Android

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          • #6
            thanks folks for your opinions to the question.

            I'm always hoping that skiboarding would be more accessible to people as an option to increase awareness of the sport. The advancement of twin tips are a kind of in between long skis and skiboards, thus another reason the popularity of skiboards remain stagnant.

            Less popularity means less money for marketing, and exposing the snow loving masses to the sport.

            I guess I will have to keep on dreaming of the day, when people would stop asking me, "what are those?". Until then, we ski boarders will carve out our own niche, pun intended, and enjoy what there is now.

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            • #7
              My philosophy is that if I can just kick enough skiers' asses down the worst runs on the hill, they might start seeing skiboards as more than just a toy for kids and crappy skiers.

              Yes, I have a wee bit of Short Ski Syndrome... but I do think it's important to show that skiboards are a serious all-mountain alternative. Now that I've got two decent pairs, I'm looking forward to getting some friends out on a pair of Spliffs on a moderate powder day to see why they're so great to ride.
              Make Skiboarding Sexy Again

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