Another winter is well on its way and luckily things are new and fresh again. Snowskating has always had this feeling to it where you just weren’t sure what’s around the next corner. Obviously with a new sport you really don’t know where it will go. This mystery is what attracted me to snowskating.
Early on the goal was to reuse old snowboards and be able to stand up for most of the run. Just the fact that you could go down hill without bindings was enough to make me hike back up for another run.
I had no idea what would make a good snowskate so I tried to make them really pretty using my woodworking skills. If they looked beautiful then maybe people wouldn’t question whether or not they actually worked.
I fought the direction that most snowskates were going in. Small skateboard-like sizes to me seemed like I would be stuck in the parking lot. Of course I had never really tried a small skate so my opinion of them was totally wrong. At one point I realized that if I could control a massive snowskate and a small snowskate then what about all the sizes in-between? This was when the skilsaw came out. I had visions of trolling yard sales to score old snowboards for cheap then cut them down to size and re-sell them for a nice profit. I still have that same stack of cut down snowboards that have never touched snow.
Luckily Adam at FPS did the hardwork for me and I felt like the time spent cutting down old snowboards was wasted time.
Riding big powder skates you immediately hone in on the conditions that will make them fun. Big long groomers just aren’t very enjoyable on powder skates so you become fixated on untracked terrain.
At first building my own subs seemed like a monumental task. I was afraid of the mistakes that it would take to accomplish my goals. But after the first crappy skate I was hooked.
Just heading up to the mountain with a new prototype that offered answers to my many questions was enough to power me through the inevitable let down and remorse that would come after riding it. There will always be mistakes and those mistakes will direct your future designs. The mistakes make the boards. Without them you would be directionless.
If you haven’t already noticed the snowskate community is made up of riders and builders. In some areas the builders outnumber the non builders. Making attempts at snowskate innovation is part of the sport. Those attracted early on need a hand in the direction. This helps everyone I believe because there is a constant “sharing” of ideas. I know I would not have been inspired to make changes to my skates if it were not for FPS, Ralston, Lib, Starfish, Circuit and Grassroots to name a few.
So here we are, in the winter of 2013 with skates that still resemble my original attempts made eight years ago. The goal is still the same to stand up for most of the run.