Every year I get fed up of winter. It’s cold, wet and windy and seems to last for an eternity. Oh, and it totally ruins my favourite downhill roads and skate spots.
This year I was lucky enough to try something new. I’d never really heard of Snowskating before until Alex Luxat, the man behind snowskate.de, sent me a Wefunk Slasher Snowskate to try out. In short, it’s a skateboard with a short twin-tip ski underneath and it is awesome.
To set it up, I took a wide double-kick board, removed the grip and replaced it with a thick, foamy version. Then, I drilled some new holes, attached the “sub” and finally - the leash. Fin. It was very easy to do, all you need is a hand-drill and a ruler for hole placement acuracy. It’s really convenient that you can use regular skateboarding hardware to fix the trucks to the board.
It was a slow start to this season and the snow quality was awful, but I was still able to play around and get used to the way the board feels underfoot. I’ve been snowboarding for eight years and skateboarding since I was six years old, but it still took me the best part of an afternoon to figure out how to ride the Snowskate. Once I realised that turning, stability and overall board control predominantly comes from the back foot I was unstoppable. The feeling clicked and I was hooked. Snowskating is a whole new challenge from skateboarding and snowboarding as you don’t have your feet strapped in, so you have to deal with the challenges of bumpy snow.
There are two main ways to Snowskate. Firstly, sessioning a snow-kicker, grind pole or a steep line down between some trees and rocks. The other involves buying a lift pass. Whilst jamming a plastic pipe and trying to kickflip off a mini kicker is fun and a nice way to spend a chilled afternoon with friends, the best way to Snowskate is to hit the big hills and take a gondola to the top of a mountain.
Once you get some speed and start to use the edge of the sub to dig into some deep carves, the feeling is incredible. I had the most fun pushing my fear barrier by going faster and faster down the steeper, wider red runs. When you put the pressure on and lean into the turns you feel like you’re shredding so hard and you don’t want to stop.
Going off-piste and slashing powder is probably the only thing that surpasses the speed of on-piste shredding. The flow and surfy feel is sick, but you need to find a steep section to avoid sinking with the narrower slasher sub.
How do you stop a Snowskate? As a longboarder, I tried foot-braking and coleman slides. These worked in their own ways but I found that regular stand-up sliding (as you would on a snowboard) is the most efficient.
Sometimes I crashed because I hit an icy patch or a hard lump of ice and my feet got bounced off. Crashing is quite chilled on a Snowskate because you can fall feely and not worry about your deck because it is attached to you with an elasticated chord. The only risk is that is that you fall downhill of your deck and it gets pulled towards you by your chord, so wear a helmet!
I’m sat here writing this review and all I want to do is get back on the slopes and shred some more. Its snowing in the mountain right now, but know the season is coming to an end so I’m itching to make the most of the remainder of this season.
If you’re stoked and want to grab a Snowskate before the end of the season, head over to www.snowskate.de. There is a wide selection of Snowskate gear to choose from. We are riding the Wefunk Slasher V1 in the photos, but there is a new “V2” model which is available. The V2 is the same shape as the V1, but it’s a bit stiffer and snappier with a full ash core. The wheelbase is 10mm longer to the rear of the ski and the topsheet has a new satin finish, which shows off the subtle graphic adjustments.
Easy to carry and get about the ski resort
No need to waste time strapping your feet into your board
Variety of riding styles
Cheaper than a snowboard
Easily fits in the car
Don’t need to buy a lift-pass to ride it
No specialist footwear required
Fast and easy learning curve
It’s a totally new way to get down the slopes
People stop and talk to you because they’re stoked on what you’re riding
Lots of people can ride the same board, so it’s great for an afternoon with friends
If you crash, the board can hit you.
Can’t handle ice or moguls easily
It’s hard to share