Snowskates are pretty much what they sound like: a hybrid between a snowboard and a skateboard. In fact, the first commercialized snowskate was made out of a skateboard deck with two ski-like structures attached to where you would normally find the trucks on the skateboard. This was invented in the 1970’s for people that needed something to commute on during blizzards and sold in local toy and sporting goods stores. As skateboarding progressed, snowskating followed by imitating its style and technical maneuvers that you can’t perform when strapped into a snowboard. Snowskating is most popular in urban environments that receive a lot of snow. This allows riders to Ollie, grind rails, and clear gaps. Even though urban snowskating is the most popular form, there are also snow skates designed for carving resorts and surfing powder.
Modern snowskates come in a variety of styles: single deck, bi-deck, and the powderskate. The single deck is commonly used for urban and park riding and is most similar to a skateboard. Much like a skateboard, the single deck snowskate is usually made of laminated wood, but instead of having a truck system and ski attached, the bottom of the board is made of solid plastic. The plastic is routed out with grooves that run from tip tail to help with traction when turning on the snow. Since this type of snowskate is challenging to control it’s often prohibited from major resorts. Some resorts have built special snowskate parks, but most often these boards function best in urban environments or your backyard. The leading manufacturers for single deck snowskates are Ambition, Premier, Icon, and Fuse.
The bi-deck snowskate is much more resort-friendly. Much like the original snowskate, it consists of a skateboard deck with a ski attached to the bottom of it. The skis are referred to as blades and come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on what type of riding you want to do. Longer and wider blades are most commonly used for riding larger hills and mountains. Some are even designed to float in deeper snow. Shorter blades are designed for freestyle and park snowskating. Since you aren’t strapped into your snowskate, bi-decks have a leash option that connects your ankle to the mounts between the ski and deck. This prevents the board from hazardously shooting out from under you and possibly injuring others. The control from the blade, and safety of the leash, may be whey reasons why bi-deck snowskates are often accepted by resorts.
The Powderskate is pretty much a surfboard for the snow and is rapidly increasing in popularity. It’s a single deck snowskate that’s wide like a surfboard and much longer than the average snowskate. The Powderskate is specifically designed for surfing pow lines. Most often, the Powderskate is made of wood and has a foam or rubber platform for standing on. It’s not often you will see one in a resort unless the conditions are appropriate. One of the Leading companies in Powderskates is Grassroots Powdersurfing.