Expanding the 'Skating the Zone' Experience to the Mountains

(Published in "The Fix", Official Newsletter of the FunAddicts Skate and Skiboard Club) December, 1997
By Doc Roberts

This ski season, already underway, promises to be the most exciting yet. The reason: a new line of skiboards or miniskis designed specifically for those who wish to transfer their skating/blading skills directly onto the snow. No more lessons, just fun and the ability to go anywhere and do anything you can think of - backwards, moguls, turns, trees, extreme runs, jumps, half pipes. While early pioneers created great skiboards such as Line, Dynastar, Groove, Kneissl (Bigfeet), Canon, Atomic and Salomon, many have continued and some new ones have emerged. With some existing companies like Elan, Atomic and Salomon are still making variations of skiboards, many new companies have been on the scene including Snowjam, Summit, Sporten and Hagan. If you want to experience the Zone in more settings and more frequently, try skiboards for a whole shift in perspective. Skiboards vary in size, from about 75 cm up to 135 cm. Shorter ones feel definitely more skate-like. Skaters, imagine forgetting all that you have had to learn about skiing and just transferring your skating skills to the snow! Yes, it's that easy.

Since, this is an article about the zone, think about the opportunity to transfer your regular experiences of the zone (discussed in previous articles) to skiing. No lessons, no poles, just your regular ski boots and off you go. As we have seen, in order to enter the zone, it is essential to have developed the skills first, and then to push the limits. Well, fellow skaters, you already have the skills, are used to pushing the limits and now just need to take the time to try new moves and have more fun. On skiboards, skaters rule!

The following is an excerpt of a review on skiboards published on the Net in the Hyperski magazine written by Pelle Sjogren: "These could put a major dent in the income of ski instructors. These are the easiest form of downhill snow travel to master. These enhance freedom for every skier willing to try something new. No need for poles; no worries about crossing skis; no need for a week of lessons. [These are] exceptionally easy to maneuver, that allow deep angle carving, the way snowboarders can do. What the mini-skier can do even more readily than a snowboarder is ride among tight trees. Yes, you can use poles with mini-skis. But there is no need to since unweighting comes easily."

Why is this such an exciting opportunity? Because as we have seen in previous articles, being in the zone represents those times when we allow joy, flow, our true self to emerge, in essence, are those special times when we are expanding our potential and being fully alive. Skating has provided this experience on a regular basis, so has blading, but now we can quickly experience this in another setting. You owe it to yourself to try these in one form or another. I would suggest you try these as soon as possible because if you like them, then you have an entire season to enjoy them. Do not wait on this because this represents a significant breakthrough in being fully alive and enjoying life, not to mention the side benefit of staying in great shape. Stay tuned. For now see you in the rink, blading outdoors weather permitting and definitely on the mountain.

P.S. Skiboards are not a novelty or fad, they are one of the hottest snowriding adventures yet, and from everyone I've talked to who have tried them, they are here to stay. I'm shipping my skis and poles off to the Salvation Army! But don't just trust my opinion, ask others who have now bought these skiboards and hung up their skis permanently. To reiterate: You must give these a try as soon as possible!