Snowskate

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Snowskating combine elements of snowboarding and skateboarding to create a new experience which is most closely described as skateboarding on snow.
Snowskate (Snowdeck) - "Burton Junkyard"

A snowskate is a hybrid of a skateboard and a snowboard, intended primarily to allow for skateboard-style tricks on the snow. There are many types depending on the brand or style of snowskate.

History and design[edit]

The first snowskate traces its history to the Snurfer circa 1964.[citation needed] The Snurfer is considered to be the first snowboard to ever hit the market, but it could arguably be called the first snowskate, since it was without bindings. Joshua Luther first coined the phrase snowskate when he needed a way to get across town during a blizzard.[citation needed]

Around 1970, a product called the "Snow Skate" was sold in local toy and sporting good stores. They resembled the modern day Fuse snowskate. There were two ski-like aparati that were attached to the area around the truck of a skateboard, allowing the skateboard to move through the snow. The "Ski" portion of the snow skate is made of a hard plastic with rubber straps that went over the skateboard wheels to hold them together. Other mentionable early snowskate brands were The "Skeeter"[1] and the "Snodad".[citation needed] Designs of this early era ranged from two skiblades on the lower deck (Like the Skeeter) to four blades on the lower deck. Sometimes, the early snowskates used metal runners, similar to ice skate blades, enabling the snowskater to use the momentum to ride well.

The "Snodad" came about much later in time. It was created by PNW skaters with the intent of riding fresh snow without bindings. Unfortunately the demise of the company came shortly after its official launch. It exists only as a historical "tip of the hat" to these pioneers of snowboarding without bindings.[citation needed]

Modern snowskates[edit]

Snowskates are now available in four varieties: the single deck variety, the bideck variety, the 4x4 variety, and the powderskate variety.[citation needed] All of the modern snowskates have either a waterproof top grip coating on the deck, or a textured deck to avoid slippage while riding.[citation needed]

Single deck[edit]

Single deck Snowskates are usually made out of laminated wood with a plastic bottom or are made of solid plastic, There are grooves cut into the bottom of the board, usually 7 or 5.[citation needed] Single decks are preferred for riding in snowskate parks and urban terrain but can also be ridden down hills, however, they are rarely permitted on ski resorts. Snowskates of this kind are most suitable for winter skateboarding tricks.[citation needed]

Single deck snowskates first appeared on the market in 1998, manufactured by Premier Snowskates and marketed by Andy Wolf, former member of the Nitro snowboarding team.[citation needed] Today the primary manufacturers are: Ambition Snowskates, Icon Snowskates, Fuse Snowskates and Premier Snowskates.

Snowskate parks became numerous when the first single deck snowskates were being sold in stores. Word of mouth quickly spread about the single deck snowskate, leading to the popularity of snowskate parks around United States.[citation needed]

The snowskate park moved snowskating from an urban underground winter sport to a mainstream winter sport. With the introduction of the snowboard, many resorts have removed their snowskate parks, and snowskating has moved back to its underground winter sport roots.[citation needed]

Bideck[edit]

A bideck snowskate is a snowskate that has a top skateboard deck which the rider stands on and 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 a Stevens Pass (Washington) local named Steve Frink.[citation needed] He came up with the idea of a skateboard with skis in 1994 while burning his skateboard in a skateboarders' ritual.[citation needed] In the year 2001, after many prototypes, he completed a final and finished product which he marketed under the brand "Bi-Deck Snowskates".[citation needed]

Around the same time, snowboard manufacturer Burton Snowboards released the "Snowdeck". Burton has since stopped making snowskates. There are many bidecking skate communities in the world. Different bidecks are tailored to a different style of riding. Longer bidecks are favored for mountain snowskating, and shorter bidecks are favored for tricks and stunts. Current Bideck snowskate manufacturers are Hovland, Parole Boards, Ralston, Pioneer, Fuse, Predog, 0910, Minus-7, Chiller, LibTech and Boyd Hill.[citation needed]

4x4[edit]

The least common snowskate, 4x4 snowskates, provide the most skateboard like feel.[citation needed] They have four small skis, each replacing a wheel, and are generally a little fatter and longer than a normal skateboard.[citation needed]

Powderskate[edit]

Powderskates are the most surf-like snowskate. They are usually large and have a fat sub and deck.[citation needed] It is popular, as the name says, for use in deep powder. There are two varieties; single and bi-deck.[citation needed] The single deck is only for use in powder, and provides the most surf-like feel, whereas the bi-deck provides more leverage, and can be used on and off the powder.[citation needed]

References[edit]