Snow blades are similar to skis, but they are much shorter and don't require the use of poles. Snow blades typically range from 75cm to 99cm, with models between 90cm and 99cm proving the most popular. They were originally designed with nonrelease bindings before Salomon, the company that originally began producing snow blades in 2003, decided to produce the 99cm model with release bindings. The bindings on snow blades are adjustable to fit various boot sizes.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Select the length of snow blades that best suits your ability and ambition. Shorter snow blades give the impression of being on ice skates and are good for doing tricks, while longer snow blades provide more speed and balance. Wide snow blades perform better in soft snow, while narrower snow blades should be reserved for groomed parts of the mountain.
Whatever size snow blades you decide upon, the basics of how to use them are the same. Unlike in skiing, when an instructor will advise you to lean forward into your boots, it is better to remain in a more upright position while on snow blades. People don't generally use poles while on snow blades, which means that your legs will do the majority of the work when turning. You will need to use your upper body, particularly your arms and hands, more to maintain your balance, but be careful not to lean too far forward as it can often lead to a fall.
Snow blades don't allow you to travel as quickly as a pair of skis, but they are well-suited for doing quick turns, which makes them ideal for skiing moguls. When turning, put your inside boot about a foot ahead of the other one. In order to stop, turn both snow blades quickly to the side. When stopped on a hill, place your uphill boot slightly in front of the downhill one to maintain your balance. Finally, when on a flat surface, treat your snow blades like a pair of roller skates, alternatively moving your legs back and forth at an outward-facing angle to gain speed.
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