Skis vs Snowblades/skiboards – What’s the Difference?

skis vs snowblades

Skiing can be traced back to the 18th Century, but it has been around for quite a long time since the 1200s or even older. Snowblading, on the other hand, is a new thing. It first started from 1990 to 1995, before it became a widespread winter sport. Snowblading is riding on two short skis that look like small snowboards and without poles.

When it comes to the broad topic of snowblading vs. skiing, the answer is simple: skiing is far more available, but snowblading is exciting and new, with a devoted following. Snowblading is performed by skiing on two short skis with dual-tips, without the need for poles. It is tough to learn, but once mastered, it is incredibly gratifying and thrilling. Snowblading is better suited on groomed snow and slopes, as the snowblades bog down in deep snow. Snowboarding is performed on a single surfboard and focuses on rail flips and snow carving.

skis and snowblades

Many snowboarders and skiers try out snowblades, and they got fascinated for many reasons. The game is enjoyable and unique, and the small skis version makes it a simple sport to master. The learning process is relatively short. People soon gain the ability to tackle more challenging slopes than they could before, whether on snowboards or skis.

Snowblade Features

A snowblade is made up of several elements, which we will examine briefly.

1. Snowblade Length

Snowblades range in size from 30 to 55 inches and resemble small snowboards more than skis. In comparison to conventional length skis, this short length provides several advantages. It enables you to turn more sharply and stop more quickly. Because of the short length, there is also a minimal possibility of your tips running over.

2. No Poles

Yes, get rid of the poles! Snowbladers do not use them. However, some use straps to keep their skis from falling off in challenging situations. Snowbladers do not need a push from poles, and they can skate on flat land without using poles if necessary.

3. Dual Tips

Twin tips are not found in every style of snowblade, but they are quite frequent, with identical bends on the front and rear. This makes landings simple, and it also helps to land sideways and continue on your journey without stopping.

4. Ski Length Comparison

There are several benefits to owning a set of longer skis in addition to your regular skis. Longer skis have a noticeable influence when it comes to vast playing fields of fresh snow. More important arcs, lengthy carves, and a feeling of momentum all the way to the ground. The bigger ski has a lengthy rail line, which allows for more elegant arcs, whereas snowblades do the reverse.

Moves on snowblades are quick and short, similar to skating, and best suited for stunts and jump rather than carves.

5. Bindings

Snowblade bindings are a hybrid of all binding types, combining snowboard and ski bindings. There are both rapid release and no release options. Why would anyone use a no release, whether snowblading or skiing? If you can’t fall, you can press the rail even harder. However, this option is more suited to professional skiers. On the other hand, if you are unable to release and fall at an incorrect position with regard to your blade, there is a chance of cracking your ankle or knee.

The Learning Steps

The simplicity of learning is one of the most important factors to consider while choosing between skiing and snowblading. When it comes to learning, snowblading surpasses skiing.

Both skills are complex and have their shining moments.

1. Parallel Skiing

This is fairly easy on snowblades than on skis. Because the snowblades are smaller, which means there is less possibility of the blades clashing.

2. Turning and Stopping

As skiers develop, they master the use of ski trail’s edges, both inside and outside, to stop and turn. It’s a delicate technique that requires time to master, but once you experience that rail, you’ll never forget it. The rail on a snowblade is significantly shorter, making it simpler to keep control as there is a short rail to manage and a less formidable talent to master.

3. Skiing on Deep Snow

skiing in deep snow

This is an obvious distinction between the two sports since lengthy laps of deep snow are what we really seek unless you’re on snowblades. Normal skis float effortlessly across wide swaths of snow and make quick use of snow piles. While navigating your way through these expanses of snow on snowblades may be exhausting and requires a lot more energy. Snow slopes start to seem like mud, and the only way to get through it is to push harder and put far more force than on skis.

4. Breaking the Ice

When it comes to striking an ice patch, one would expect that snowblading would be the clear victor with its frequent connection to skating. Still, things aren’t always what they appear to be. Skiing over a lengthy ice patch demands extreme control, precise maneuvers, and mastery of your braking techniques. On skis, you have far more track to extract the necessary force across the ice. Snowblades, on the other hand, have less track and hence less control.

5. Speed

speed while skiing

When going fast, the skis are significantly more stable, and they scarcely notice dips and flaws, absorbing and pushing them off. If you’re going at a comparable pace on the snowblades, you should be more aware of the obstacles. You must proceed with caution since they have the potential to knock you off course.

6. Flat Area

Both snowblades and skis can swiftly handle flat sections, but keep in mind that skiers use poles to push along with. Thus, the snowblader can skate across flat areas with minimal effort.

7. Boxes and Jumps

When it comes to jumps, the logic would suggest that short snowblades have higher efficiency than longer skis on boxes and jumps, and to be honest, they do. Because there is less rail to manage, the snowblader has far better control over the focal section of leaps and boxes.

The issue is with the touchdown. Snowblades are small and shaky, and the skier usually takes the leap well but then tumbles. However, Skis are more stable and increase performance because they have a better length, increasing the stability.

The Flow Experience

the flow experience

When skiing, there is an ideal condition known as Flow, which may be equated to a Zen state in which everything seems harmonized. Athletes sometimes have this feeling when everything appears to be working efficiently. Many professional skiers who have expertise in skis and snowblades stated that they could achieve Flow much faster on snowblades than on skis.

It’s difficult to measure and explain, but when you are in a state of Flow, the world appears to be communicating with you, and it’s a wonderful experience to have. If you can get there quickly by snowblading, it’s a worthwhile endeavor.


Your chances of staying safe are heavily influenced by how well you control the skis or snowblades. It will also differ depending on the circumstance.

If you have ice skating experience and feel much more at ease on snowblades, you’re safe compared to the normal skis, which may seem a little different.

If you’re extremely skilled at both and strike a thick chunk of ice, you’ll feel the braking issue with snowblades.

Because there are very few snowbladers, making a true estimate of the safety will be challenging.

In any case, you must wear the proper bindings and boots to lower your risks of physical injuries.

Final Thoughts

Snowblading is a lot of fun, but both skis and snowblades have their pros and cons. It isn’t easy to pinpoint a practical logic for the ordinary mountaineer to choose one over the other.

It all depends on your personal likings!