Snow Blades vs. Skis

Cori Gramms
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What are Snow Blades?

Snow blades are simple, one-piece sled-like blades used for skiing. Snow blades vary in length, with shorter ones for children and longer ones for adults. Adult snow blades are generally half the length of skis.

Snow blades have a similar appearance to snowboards as they widen at either end and taper in towards the center.

As with regular skis, snow blades require ski boots and bindings. The bindings can be the same as that of regular skis, but sometimes they differ.

Snow blades are designed for slow movement on flat surfaces, and they’re perfect for parents who want to take their children out for a safe ride on the snow.

Snow Blades

What is the difference between snow blades and skis?

The simple difference between a snow blade versus a ski is that a ski is longer, and a snow blade is shorter – usually 99 centimeters (39 inches) or less.

You don't require ski poles to snow blade due to snow blades being so short in length.

Further differences will be described below with a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of snow blading.

Advantages of Snow Blades Compared to Skis

  • Snow blades are a choice of skiing for people who want easy, lightweight, and compact equipment to ski. These qualities allow for skiing in smaller places, they have a smaller turning radius and make quicker turns, and they are generally easier to maneuver than skis.

  • Snow blades will also assist the transition from the basics of the sport of skiing, as they are often a much better option than skis for a beginner. They are also suited to experienced skiers who want to slow down a bit.

  • Snow blades are relatively inexpensive, and they’re considered safer than skis.

  • They make performing snow tricks a lot easier to master than skis as there is a lighter weight attached to your boots. Mastering tricks, like doing jumps or spinning in the air on snow blades, can build your confidence before trying tricks on the larger skis.

  • While there’s no denying that you can learn how to snow ski in your backyard, finding a good ski slope to hone your skills might be quite a challenge. You are often required to spend time and money traveling to the mountains to practice regular skiing.

If you would like to see the technique involved in snow blading, watch this video.

Disadvantages of Snow Blades Compared to Skis

  • There are many different kinds of skis on the market. Some are long, some are short, some are wide, and some are narrow. Everything is crafted based on the kind of terrain you will be skating on.

  • Skis are designed for higher speeds, steeper slopes, and deeper snow. In contrast, snow blades can only be used in flat terrain.

  • Skis allow a variation in the movements you can do, such as glide without falling.

  • Snow blades do not perform well on powder as there is a smaller surface area to keep above the top of the snow.

  • Snow blades can only be used with low-speed riding, and they start to chatter if the speed is increased. This is a major disadvantage for skiers who are used to faster speeds.

Final Thoughts

Making "the ski or snow blade decision" depends on your experience with the activity. If you are new to snow sports, you should first think about which activity you’d prefer.

Do you like the challenge of carving down a snowy mountain face? Or are you happier on more gentle terrain?

Once you’ve decided which activity you enjoy most, you’ll have a better understanding of which equipment works best for you. It’s tough to determine a clear winner because the equipment is different for each type of skiing.

We can, however, make one decision for you. Choosing either full-length skis or snow blades will result in a fun day in the snow, doing what you love doing the best.