Welcome to the SBOL forum of skiboarding fanatics.
A number of resources are available and can be found in the following links:
Skiboarding FAQ: http://www.skiboardsonline.com/vbull...read.php?t=248
The skiboard comparison table that provides specs: http://www.skiboardsonline.com/BRDS.html
The selection table that suggests skiboards based on weight, height and riding preference: http://www.skiboardsonline.com/vbull...ead.php?t=7115
Rider reviews at: http://www.skiboardreview.com/
But even after you have reviewed all these resources, you may still have questions.
This post is an attempt to pull together the common responses from forum members to the new skiboarders’ questions. It is a mix of plagiarism and links for additional information and would require a very long list of credits to the forum members that had provided the advice originally. I trust that the original contributors are OK with me taking the liberty of tweaking their text when I felt it would benefit the new skiboarder. Please post corrections to any errors or omissions and helpful links I am sure I have missed. I will then edit this post in an attempt to keep it current.
Since this post is very long, consider copying and pasting it into MS Word or similar text processing software. The links will be maintained, it can be printed, and may be easier to read. If the text is a light color, select all after pasting and change the color to black.
"What I have always considered the "soul" of skiboarding is to take your equipment down to the absolute minimum that still lets you ride the way you want to. The freedom you get from the boards just being a slight extension of yourself is awesome. This mindset is skiboarding - whether you end up on 75s or 120s is just details." (Kirk, February 2013)
Skiboards use a four-hole insert setup much like snowboards in either a 40 x 40 mm pattern for skiboards 110 cm or less in length. Skiboards greater than 110 cm in length (long boards) use a 40 x 100 mm pattern to ensure only releasable bindings are used on long boards.
When you buy your first pair of boards you will also need to buy the bindings. If you decide to go with releasable you will need the Spruce bindings that incorporate a riser to which the bindings are mounted. DO NOT drill the skiboards and try and mount the bindings directly onto the skiboards. The core of the RVL8 and Spruce skiboards are not built for that mounting configuration and the skiboard’s flex would be affected.
Non-release bindings have a 40 x 40 mm pattern and are easily adjusted to fit whatever size of boots you have. This is done using an Allen wrench that may be provided with the bindings. Check this thread for micro adjustment instructions for Bombers:
The following thread includes a video that demonstartes how to secure your boot to the non-release binding. http://www.skiboardsonline.com/vbull...ead.php?t=7532
If you go with release bindings, when ordering you will be asked your height, weight, age, and boot sole length. The bindings will be adjusted for you prior to being shipped.
Note that the release bindings come with both mounting-hole patterns in the riser so they can be used with any length skiboard.
When you get the boards and bindings you simply screw them into the skiboard’s inserts and tighten them down in an x pattern. Starting with the upper left going to lower right going to upper right and finishing with lower left then tighten in the same pattern.
With skiboards, as opposed to skiing, you can bring a number of boards to the ski resort and one pair of bindings and switch off by unscrewing the 4 machine screws which takes approximately 30 seconds. Since your binding is already adjusted to your boot on the riser there is no readjustment. You screw in the riser onto the skiboard, pop your boot in and you are ready to ride.
TRY BEFORE YOU BUY. When choosing ski boots you need to go to a ski supply store and get fitted properly because of the variation in shape between manufacturers for the same size boot. As an example, Salomon boots are relatively wide (large “last”), while boots like Full Tilt and Dalbello are for relatively skinny feet (small “last”). Once you know what boot fits, are comfortable and in your price range, only then consider ordering on-line. If you already have ski boots that fit snug, but are comfortable and are fairly upright, they will be fine to use.
Note the boot shell fit checks suggested in the following thread. It is the shell that a boot fitter should be checking first for proper fit. If they do not do the boot shell check, move on to a different shop that does. Otherwise you will be buying a boot that is comfortable for the first few days of use and then packs out and becomes uncomfortable. http://www.skiboardsonline.com/vbull...ead.php?t=8813
More Boot Info:
Most ski boots and hard-shell snowboard boots (non-DIN compatible) work on non-releasable skiboard bindings. But only DIN compatible ski boots (most ski boots) will work with releasable skiboard bindings.
A few definitions:
DIN Compatible: shape of the heel and toe of the boot meet defined dimensions to fit standard ski bindings.
DIN: The settings a ski technician adjusts on your bindings to ensure release at the appropriate circumstance based on your height, weight, age, boot sole length, and riding style. If you buy Spruce releasable bindings, Spruce will set them up for you based on the data you enter about yourself at the time you place the order.
Last: width of your foot or boot at its widest part.
Mondo Size: boot size that corresponds to the length of your foot from heel to toe in centimetres. Remember that often one foot is longer than the other and should be used to select boots.
Sole Length: length of your ski boot sole as marked on the side of your boot near the heel:
Do not forget that SBOL sells an excellent boot if you are in the market for a hard-shell snowboard boots (non-DIN compatible) that many forum members give very good reviews:
Another popular boot for skiboarding is Full Tilt. More information can be found in: http://www.skiboardsonline.com/vbull...ead.php?t=8888
HEAT MOLDABLE LINERS:
If you are brave enough, you can heat mold your liners yourself in the kitchen oven. Remeber to use a toe cap taped to your foot, tape some foam on hot spots, use toe spacers, and wear a very thin sock/nylon, like those worn by your girl friend.
Many new skiboarders DO NOT TAKE SKI LESSONS to learn how to skiboard because the ski instruction system starts people off incorrectly with the V plough and then people have difficulty breaking the habit and edging properly.
But if you really want to try ski instruction then go to the ski school with your ski boards and show them the boards. Tell them that you want to learn how to “carve,” by getting these boards on edge during turns. Ask "Is there anyone here that can help me?" It’s likely there will be a few instructors who understand with some modifications, carving on ski boards is similar to carving on skis, so they may be able to help you with just that, so long as you make it clear that is what you want to be the focus of the lesson.
After a few seasons on skiboards, you will probably be as good as or better on skis than most intermediate skiers. Not that you would want to go to skis.
BTW, in France and Bumps for Boomers in Aspen use skiboards to re-train proper skiing technique, which is being on edge to carve versus sliding around with skis flat.
Check out the Bumps for Boomers website: http://www.bumpsforboomers.com/BFBl3RFactor.htm
EXERCISES & STRETCHING:
Initially, the sensation of speed you will experience by actually being pointed in the direction you are going, mixed with your legs bobbing around independently will be disconcerting. Don't worry. It goes away as you learn to use your skiboard’s edges. Depending on how quickly you take to skiboarding, you might spend a few days strictly on the bunnies. That's OK. Others take to it like a fish to water. We're all different with no right or wrong in that way. The joy of skiboarding will hit you immediately. You'll be unable to wipe the stupid grin off your face. Starting out, just make sure you can do a few things:
If you are not comfortable taking the lift or tow rope the first time, walk up the bunny hill. Magic carpets are great the first time. Simply carry your skiboards and walk on for the ride.
If you take the lift, gently point your skiboards towards each other to create a plough effect when unloading. Getting off the lift is the only time you'll use this technique as skiboards are short so ploughing just isn't very effective but it's perfect for that little coast off the lifts.
While on the lift, DO NOT bang your skiboards together to clean the snow off. It will damage your board's top sheet and edges. Use your glove to clean the snow.
Start with your skiboards 90 degrees to the slope of the hill. When ready, twist/turn your tips down hill and focus on finding your balance.
When you first start down the bunny hill, do not look down at your skiboards. Don't worry, they're there.
What you want to do is literally point with your finger to where you want to go and look at your hand/finger. Say for example you want to head right. Take your left hand and point at something specific to the right. It doesn't have to be anything like a tree it can just be a location and then actively look at your hand. Your skiboards will magically begin to move you towards your goal. You'll get the hang of it in a snap. You'll find the boards want to get up on edge and not stay flat. This is a good thing. Do that.
When your first starting out on ski boards there will be a time before you get to the point of carving but beyond the pointing your hand to turn stage. In this sweet spot of the learning curve you may find yourself going too fast for comfort or safety of those around you.
A simple way to burn off speed is a drift or soft edge turn. What you want to do is with your body still aimed downhill quickly use your feet/heels/hips to slide your ski boards out to the right or left (one side may be more dominate for you). It’s very similar to the moves you make to complete a hockey stop (discussed later), but rather than coming to a complete stop, you "fling" the skiboards out to one side and use them to burn off speed then bring them back to pointing down the mountain.
As a beginner this can be especially helpful in tight areas like cat tracks or beginner runs where you don’t feel like you have enough room to make the larger pointing turns safely.
As you get comfortable controling your speed by using the drift or soft edge turn, you will find that pressuring the outside board helps to get a firmer carve.
(The download prompt is about 2/3 down the page. Since I find the site unstable, if you get the download to work, save the video on your computer for future reference. They are in Japanese but are still really helpful.)
(password = revel8)
A translation of the video is found at: http://www.skiboardsonline.com/vbull...ead.php?t=7540
As you progress further, you need to tip your boards up on edge NOT by leaning, but by swinging your knees to the side. Try this at home. Put your boots on, and standing on carpet, bend your knees forward a little, then just swing both knees to one side. You will see your boots tip up on edge, which is what you need for carving, but your weight is still straight down, which makes the edges bite, and stops them from sliding out. You only need to lean enough to resist the centrifugal force, which is quite low until you get going really fast. This will also help you keep your boards close together and fairly evenly weighted, which resists chatter. Also works wonders on icy snow. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89h9u5Lc2IA
This image shows the tracks you should see in the snow as you progress through the carving phases: http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/r...rogression.jpg
More info on carving:
http://www.skiboardsonline.com/vbull...ead.php?t=7595 (includes video)
In no time you will be comfortable and having fun:
Once you are able to move in a (semi) controlled fashion on the bunny hill, move to a slightly steeper section to get a little more speed and practice stopping. This is the most important skill to learn your first day on the slopes.
The hockey stop is a must-learn technique when it comes to keeping yourself under control. It is just what it sounds like, a "hard turn" of the skiboards like a side slide on ice skates. You'll need a little speed and dig in your edges to effectively hockey stop, but it will come naturally. Be sure to practice in both directions so you become equally capable of hockey stopping in both directions (either foot leading).
You'll find that doing a softer version of it will be a good way to shed speed if you get going too fast.
The longer your skiboards relative to your height and more conditioned you are the less important stance becomes. Many ride more upright to avoid thigh fatigue. Whereas more athletic riders get into the gorilla stance, and hold it for long periods to get a low center of gravity when carving aggressively.
One thing to keep in mind is that many of us use our boards in different ways. A large group like hitting the elements in the terrain parks, some cruise long runs, some race themselves on the groomed runs, and some like to spin/carve, while others like the back country, trees or the steeps. Each will have their own stance based on what they enjoy and their physical abilities. Use the stance that feels right for you.
But like any other physical activity, bend your knees to some degree to absorb the bumps.
At some point you will fall down. It's going to happen, and being prepared mentally for that eventuality is a good idea. Try to fall down towards the hill if at all possible. It is a shorter distance to go before your body contacts the slope. Generally you want to land on your butt, which is better than going forward onto your hands or head. If you feel that gravity has just gotten the better of you, sit down. A controlled sit is far better than an uncontrolled spill. Once you're down, try to keep your boards up. The last thing you want is to have a board catch on something while you slide to a stop. If you happen to fall on a steeper slope, don't be surprised if you slide for a long distance before stopping.
Before getting up, check if all body parts feel OK. If not, wait for aid. Otherwise stand up facing 90 degrees to the slope of the hill by pushing up with your uphill arm. Do a second check of all body parts. If OK, step into your release bindings if they released. Note that you may have to release the bindings manually before being able to step back into them. This is done by pushing down on the heel arm. Take a deep breath, reflect on what you just learned of your riding limitations, and restart having fun.
SKATING versus POLES:
Initially the lift line and flat spots can be a difficult on skiboards without poles or skating skills.
To skate spread the tip of one of your skiboards apart and push off of that skiboard’s edge while gliding straight on the other skiboard. Then do the same with the opposite skiboard. Just like on ice skates. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJldslCwVDA
It may take awhile to get the skating thing down. And in very flat and crowded lift lines with longer skiboards you may not have enough room to always skate. Another option is to get collapsible poles. These are poles that nest into themselves going from extended to half or one third of the length. You will often find these in “trekking” or snow shoe section of the store, not with the rest of the ski poles. Make sure you get the snow baskets for them if they don’t come with the poles.
You can put these in your backpack when you don’t need them (but be aware if they stick out too much they may catch the bar on the back of the lift when you are seated and they are in your pack). Or you can just hold them, collapsed, in one or both of your hands like batons (in the middle of the pole rather than at the handles) while riding. As you get better at skating and get to know your resort you can leave the poles behind, but collapsible poles are a happy median because you can have the versatility of having poles when you need them, but not having them extended while you ride.
Once you master skating there is no need for the poles and you will experience a whole new level of freedom. http://www.skiboardsonline.com/vbull...ead.php?t=5746
GETTING STARTED IN THE TERRAIN PARK:
TeamRVL8's Kirk Thompson gives a step by step plan for mastering the park elements and tricks. http://www.skiboardsonline.com/vbull...ad.php?t=10313
NATIONAL SKI PATROL RESPONSIBILITY CODE:
* Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
* People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
* You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
* Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
* Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
* Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
* Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
....and wear a helmet, most of us do!
Check out these threads on a few ideas on how to ensure your skiboards do not "walk away":
TUNING & WAXING:
New skiboards come pre-tuned and waxed so they are ready for the slopes. If you are using “experienced” equipment the following will be helpful:
Tuning & Waxing with Videos: http://www.skiboardsonline.com/vbull...ead.php?t=7478
Tuning - Side Edge Angle: http://www.skiboardsonline.com/vbull...ead.php?t=6195
Waxing on a budget: http://www.skiboardsonline.com/vbull...9955#post89955
Do not forget to detune near the tips:
To help prevent top sheet edge damage, chamfer the top edge of your skiboards. The objective is to have the edge of the top sheet "set back" from the sidewall so the first surface to be hit by your "other" skiboard (the usual source of the damage) is the sidewall (which is tougher), not the top sheet (which is more fragile). By chamfering the top sheet at 45 degrees to a depth of the thickness of the top sheet, you minimize the opportunity for your other skiboard hitting the edge of the top sheet.
A good example of what you are trying to achieve is the edge of a laminated book shelf that you probably have somewhere in your house. The shelf’s edge is chamfered the thickness of the laminate to minimize catching the edge of the shelf.
The following thread describes a number of methods to chamfer the top edge:
IF THINGS DO NOT GO AS EXPECTED:
IF YOU HAVE EQUIPMENT PROBLEMS:
If we need customer service contact SBOL or RVL8 directly at one of the following email addresses.
As Greco has stated: "...... if you're happy tell your friends, if you're unhappy tell me." As many of us have experienced first hand, he always does his best to satisfy his cutomers. So give him a chance and odds are, you will not be disappointed.
* learn to hockey stop your first day
* have comfortable snug fitting boots
* stay on edge, NOT flat to ground
* KNOW YOUR LIMITS to be safe
* RELAX and have FUN
AT THE END OF THE DAY:
Before celebrating your first day on the slopes, make sure to wipe off all moisture and snow from your boards to prevent rusting of the edges and premature edge failure. It is a hassle but the little effort required will keep your skiboards in good condition.
WHEN ASKED "WHAT'S A SKIBOARD?"
For when you are hooked and want to expand your collection, check out:
Greco, Jeff and all forum members who share their knowledge and their advice to make it enjoyable for us.