If you’ve ever been frustrated by having to fiddle with snowboard bindings, you’re not alone. For one man I met today, that led him to the snowboard’s smaller, lighter, bindings-less cousin, the snow skate. Step on the board and ride away, with no need to sit down, bend over, thread ratchets, pull up a lever or do anything else. Step. On. Go.
There are some other advantages, too. With a skate you don’t need to, well, skate in the lift line or on flats, which reduces torque on the body. With the skate being smaller than a snowboard, it’s also easier to carry.
My chairlift companion does wear a leash, which in theory all snowboarders should be doing (see the Responsibility Code published at any ski area), as well as a helmet (a good idea for anyone).
Some resorts don’t allow skates, but some, do. At the moment I don’t have a list of handy, but the distinction reminds me of the early days of snowboarding.
As you can see from the video, snow skating can look a lot like snowboarding, but on a smaller scale. And if you think about it, a snow skate, unlike a snowboard, shares its “no bindings” quality with cafeteria trays. So should the term “grays on trays” refer not to snowboarders, but to snow skates?
Have you ever tried a snow skate? Would you ever try one out?