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Born Again on Skiboards (thanks SBOL forum!)

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  • Born Again on Skiboards (thanks SBOL forum!)

    My skiing over the last several years on my clunky 186ers had become very stale to point where I was regressing and no longer enjoying it. My 50+ year old hips were in constant pain and didn’t appreciate trying to maneuver those redwoods strapped to my feet. I started looking for an alternative and came across some of Talon Sei’s videos about skiboards. He makes it look so easy of course and damn those boards look cool!

    I dove deep down the rabbit hole into the SBOL forum, researching everything I could for several weeks. There was so much detailed advice about models, technique and pros/cons. Both Greco and Jeff Singer were very helpful in steering me in the right direction. Jeff patiently walked me through the risers, bindings and board profiles. I ended up with a pair of Crossbows for the frontside and Osprey for powder days out here in Colorado.

    My first impressions – what a blast! So much more free and fluid than my old clunkers. A completely different experience.

    On the first day, the snow was firm with nice bite. Great groomer day at Winter Park so I pulled out the Crossbows. My initial couple of runs on greens were bit shaky. I felt like a fish out of water. My fore-aft balance was off. It felt like I was about to launch over the handlebars. I remembered reading on forum to try and stay more centered on skiboards. I eased off on the forward pressure and started to get the hang of it.

    I then ventured out to a few wide-open blues. I stopped using poles (held them in one hand). That really seemed to help me with balance and get into the flow. The freedom reminded me of my snowboarding days in a good way.

    I then began focusing on getting the skis on edge with a more aggressive wider stance (“gorilla-style” as someone had mentioned here). Wow! I was laying some rails, which I haven't done well in years. I stopped trying to muscle the Crossbows and instead followed their radius. Wonderful tight rounded turns. I could really feel the flex under the risers! I also noticed that I was able to put more weight on my inside ski for more of a two footed turn, which helps with my hip pain issue.

    I then played around on the slope edges, trying out a mono-board type stance with nickel between the knees. The slarving was so much fun. Even ran into some chunky snow with no issues.

    Finally, I headed into the moguls. This may have been the highlight of my day. I suck at moguls and nearly gave them up except on perfect powder days. With the Crossbows, I was so much more nimble! It was night and way compared to my old skis. And the trees! New terrain was opening up before my eyes.

    Someone on the forum had mentioned that skiboarding is so much more fun when you stop trying to impose traditional ski technique such as forward pressure and weighting/unweighting. I agree wholeheartedly after my second day on the Crossbows with similar conditions. I found myself enjoying a more fluid and playful two-footed style with lots of varied turns. A truly liberating experience.

    See a few pics below (the old lumbering Rossi skis have been put in storage!).

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  • #2
    Excellent report, happy for you that you've discovered skiboards, your only problem now will be choosing which boards you will want to try next

    Originally posted by nordicwilly View Post
    Someone on the forum had mentioned that skiboarding is so much more fun when you stop trying to impose traditional ski technique such as forward pressure and weighting/unweighting.
    Actually I would say it's even better: with skiboards you have *both* options available, you can go "gorilla" style on two feet and let them carve as wide turns as they want (my daughter calls these "sumo turns" ), or go ski-style, weight on the outside foot - which I do when the slope is reasonably steep (red/black), because going gorilla-style doesn't really slows me down on such slopes

    Don't know how much powder you've experienced on skis, but those Ospreys should put an even bigger smile on your face
    Myself: RVL8 2011 KTP, Spruce 125 LE, RVL8 "Drooling Clouds" RCs, Spruce 2016 Osprey
    Daughter: Twoowt Pirania 95cm; RVL8 2015 Blunt XL; RVL8 2021 SII; Spruce Crossbows
    Past: RVL8 2010 Revolt Trees, RVL8 2014 Condor, RVL8 2009 ALPdors, Spruce 120 Yellow/Red

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    • #3
      Great post! Welcome to the wonderful world of skiboarding and the skiboard community!

      Sent from my moto g(6) play using Tapatalk

      Boards :
      Blunt Xl, DLP, Spliff, Condor, Rockered Condor , Slingshot, Sherpa, Icelantic Shaman
      Boots
      K2 BFC 100 Grip walk sole , Dynafit CR Radical AT boot, Ride Insano Snowboard boots
      Bindings:
      Zero Pro Non release Binding
      Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
      Spruce Riser with Attack 14 GW /AT binding
      Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)
      Rocker and Sbol Soft Boot Bindings.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by newbie2011 View Post
        Actually I would say it's even better: with skiboards you have *both* options available, you can go "gorilla" style on two feet and let them carve as wide turns as they want (my daughter calls these "sumo turns" ), or go ski-style, weight on the outside foot - which I do when the slope is reasonably steep (red/black), because going gorilla-style doesn't really slows me down on such slopes

        Don't know how much powder you've experienced on skis, but those Ospreys should put an even bigger smile on your face
        Thanks for the advice on the steeps. I did notice I was going much faster than usual gorilla style.

        I can't wait to a powder day on the Ospreys. I have been blessed to live in Colorado for 20+ years now so powder days are a coming!

        How did you get your daughter on skiboards? My kids were ribbing me pretty good about the skiboards (calling them little fat sausages) until they started seeing them in action. I reminded them how much better they skied in the moguls when they were little kids with short skis and no poles.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jjue View Post
          Great post! Welcome to the wonderful world of skiboarding and the skiboard community!
          Thanks Jack! Your wonderfully written reviews and description of the skiboarding experience got me hooked.

          And then I found out you take them to the backcountry . I do a lot of Nordic XC skiing, both track and off-track, but have not made it to backcountry yet without proper safety gear and training. But the idea of maneuverable skiboards has got me thinking again about it...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by nordicwilly View Post
            How did you get your daughter on skiboards? My kids were ribbing me pretty good about the skiboards (calling them little fat sausages) until they started seeing them in action.
            I started her on short skis, waiting for her to get taller, upto about 12 yo, at that point the skis were getting quite long so I had her switch from 130cm skis to 95cm skiboards, and for her first day the transition was even more spectacular that yours, from struggling on blues she was lining up red after red and asking for black slopes
            Myself: RVL8 2011 KTP, Spruce 125 LE, RVL8 "Drooling Clouds" RCs, Spruce 2016 Osprey
            Daughter: Twoowt Pirania 95cm; RVL8 2015 Blunt XL; RVL8 2021 SII; Spruce Crossbows
            Past: RVL8 2010 Revolt Trees, RVL8 2014 Condor, RVL8 2009 ALPdors, Spruce 120 Yellow/Red

            Comment


            • #7
              Great to hear that the jump to skiboards was such a success! They really do open up all sorts of terrain that just wouldn't be pleasant on long skis.

              I've been on skiboards so long that I've forgotten most of the technique I was taught in any case, but one really liberating thing that this forum taught me was to embrace slarve turns... (slide carves) instead of always trying to get the edge in for perfect carves. It's relevant especially with wider skiboards in hard snow conditions. Heck, I love setting those edges and laying down great carves, but if the snow's not cooperating then slarves let me keep my control even at high speeds on ice.

              Other than that, since you're often the only skiboarder on the mountain, you can throw the technique book out the window and do whatever works! I try to keep light through moguls and chop, and only really worry about having one board in control at any given time. Since they're lighter weight than skis and the tips and tails don't get caught up in turns, you can react to whatever is immediately underfoot, and anticipate dips and bumps to smooth out the ride.

              Welcome to the community!
              BOARDSLAYER
              Base / Edge Destruction X X X
              Cores Snapped X X X

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Steeps View Post
                I've been on skiboards so long that I've forgotten most of the technique I was taught in any case, but one really liberating thing that this forum taught me was to embrace slarve turns... (slide carves) instead of always trying to get the edge in for perfect carves. It's relevant especially with wider skiboards in hard snow conditions. Heck, I love setting those edges and laying down great carves, but if the snow's not cooperating then slarves let me keep my control even at high speeds on ice.

                Other than that, since you're often the only skiboarder on the mountain, you can throw the technique book out the window and do whatever works! I try to keep light through moguls and chop, and only really worry about having one board in control at any given time. Since they're lighter weight than skis and the tips and tails don't get caught up in turns, you can react to whatever is immediately underfoot, and anticipate dips and bumps to smooth out the ride.
                Great advice Steeps. I do need to focus on the slarving turn more. With such short boards, it seems like that turn can get you out of trouble fast.

                Funny you say that about keeping control of one board at any given time. I noticed that yesterday in the chopped powder on tougher terrain. I was trying to use mono-ski style, but did better on focusing on one ski at a time.

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                • #9
                  Finally got out yesterday on the Crossbows for first time this year at Winter Park. I was reminded how much better I ski on these shorties when I stay centered. Fore-aft balance is key as I have seen others here mention.

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                  • #10
                    Technique update: I described it to someone last weekend including the phrase "as long as you keep one board vaguely under control..."
                    That's mostly in comparison to skis, where the long tips and tails are going to get you in trouble if you don't keep them under control at all times.

                    One of my favorite things to do in a not-too-steep patch of moguls when conditions are decent (no powder, but not icy) is to do 'tip turns' by keeping the tips on the snow and lifting your heels as you come around. I'd have to get back on snow to really analyze it, but I think I start that part of the turn as I'm coming around the side of one mogul and my boards are about to point straight downslope. It's best performed at slow to moderate speed, but can be really fun when you get in a rhythm.

                    And yes, fore-aft is the only really difficult part of skiboarding! Once you nail that it's pure freedom.
                    BOARDSLAYER
                    Base / Edge Destruction X X X
                    Cores Snapped X X X

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Steeps View Post
                      One of my favorite things to do in a not-too-steep patch of moguls when conditions are decent (no powder, but not icy) is to do 'tip turns' by keeping the tips on the snow and lifting your heels as you come around. I'd have to get back on snow to really analyze it, but I think I start that part of the turn as I'm coming around the side of one mogul and my boards are about to point straight downslope. It's best performed at slow to moderate speed, but can be really fun when you get in a rhythm.
                      I like to do that too! It feels like you're doing some half nose butters all the time. I think it's also sometimes used in regular skiing for very short turns with slow to moderate speed without doing a full jump turn.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Steeps View Post
                        One of my favorite things to do in a not-too-steep patch of moguls when conditions are decent (no powder, but not icy) is to do 'tip turns' by keeping the tips on the snow and lifting your heels as you come around. I'd have to get back on snow to really analyze it, but I think I start that part of the turn as I'm coming around the side of one mogul and my boards are about to point straight downslope. It's best performed at slow to moderate speed, but can be really fun when you get in a rhythm.
                        I like the sounds of that. How you keep from face planting if your heels are up? Is it like a pivot on tips of skis?

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                        • #13
                          Yes, I'd expect it's the same thing... although I never learned it on skis. Not for powder days for sure! There's not enough of a lift to dig the tips in or put too much flex on the boards, it's more like unweighting the rear 3/4 of the board while maintaining contact with the front, and pivoting around it.
                          BOARDSLAYER
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