THE LIFT LINE
Snow Skates... WTF are snow skates?!
A Q&A with Dean Ceccoli
Q: So first off, the name Snowskates. To your knowledge is this the official name for them? Any pseudonyms we should be aware of?
A: To my knowledge snowskates is the official name.
Q: Now that we've established the name, let's get to the "What." What exactly is a Snowskate? It just looks like a ski boot?!
A: These snowskates are like ski boots with a ski base mounted on the bottom of them. The ski base on the bottom looks exactly like a ski with steel edges on both sides, just like the bottom of skis.
Q: We've been on the slopes for years, all around the world and have only seen Snowskates a hand full of times, originally not even knowing what they were. To your knowledge how long have they been around, and when did you become aware of them?
A: I believe they were a hit in the late 90's and came back in production by this company called Sled Dogs from Norway. I became aware of them in 2015
Q: Give us a little bit of your background. Skiing / snowboarding experience and what made you decide to try Snowskates?
A: My background is that I have been skiing since I was approximately 9 years old. I tried snowboarding a couple of times and stuck to skiing. I remember always saying to myself "wouldn't it make sense to have a pair of small skis like a pair of hockey skates. I've always been good on ice skates, rollerblades, and skis. Sled Dogs snowskates are a combination of all of those. So I started searching the internet thinking it's the year 2015 and there has to be something out there new that someone invented by now. Then, sure enough I came across them. I decided to get a pair online and when I first went on them they came so natural and easy to maneuver. I instantly developed a passion for it and love to try new things. Thank you to the makers Sled Dogs snowskates ...lol.
Q: Now that we know what made you first take the leap and try Snowskates, tell us why you stuck with them. Why are Snowskates your preferred method of getting down the mountain? What are the advantages / benefits to you?
A: The advantages are that they are way more maneuverable than skis and snowboards. You don't have to carry all that equipment around with you. For some reason most people don't understand new things. I remember when snowboards first came out and people just smirked at them. Look how popular they are now. These snowskates are easy to learn, if you skied and skated before you won't have a problem. Even if you never did any of that they are so easy to learn on because it just feels so natural on feet without having long skis attached to you. Catching air is simple and when you do fall, it doesn't hurt as much because it's just like having a pair of boots on, you get right back up. And if you don't fall on skis, snowboards, etc... then you just aren't pushing yourself to the limits.
Q: What conditions are best for Snowskates? Are they versatile enough to be used on powder days? Is there any slopes that you need to avoid when on Snowskates, moguls, black diamonds, etc.
A: The best conditions are groomed slopes. They do not work well in deep snow or powder. You don't need to avoid any slopes, only depending on your experience. I hit moguls and black diamonds all the time.
Q: How is the maintenance on Snowskates? Skiers and Snowboarders constantly have to wax their equipment and sometimes tune the edges and bindings. What do Snowskates require and how often?
A: The maintenance is a breeze. Sharpen the steel edges on them so you get a better bite when carving on the slopes and I wax them once before hitting the slopes for the day.
CHECK OUT SLED DOGS SNOWSKATES HERE:
Skis, snowboards, snow bikes, snow blades... there are many ways to fly down a snow covered hill or mountain and enjoy the winter season. Spend enough time on the slopes in most regions and you'll probably become familiar with most of the aforementioned methods, and you may even be aware of something called a "snowskate" (singular). A snowskate is essentially a mini snowboard bolted to the bottom of a skateboard deck with a tether, you may see the odd snowskater walking onto the chairlift holding their snowskate in hand.
Okay, now let's talk about something a little weirder, something so rare that when you see it, you can't even be sure of what you're seeing. Let's talk about Snowskates. When first seeing someone snowskating on a mountain resort, it is hard to discern what exactly they are even doing. That person has ski boots on, but where are their skis, why are they sliding down the mountain and spinning around like that with no skis or ski poles... basically WTF are they doing. Well the answer is, they are snowskating.
To shine light on this mystery, Snow Life conducted an interview with longtime skier turned snowskater Dean Ceccoli, to find what exactly snowskates are, and why they are so fun! Below is our Q&A with Dean as well as photos and a video that he was generous enough to provide to help us understand what exactly we are seeing when we see the skiless boot riders gliding their way down the slopes.
Q: How is the learning curve with Snowskates? Do you feel your years of prior experience on skis was essential, or can someone get started on Snowskates directly as a novice?
A: Well obviously your background makes it easier on them. As I said before I've always been good on skates and skis so it came second nature to me. Someone with no experience at all would take some practice but would be way easier to learn than skis or snowboards and for that person way less intimidating for them.
Q: To summarize, what tips would you like to give for someone that might be thinking about trying Snowskates? Do you have a brand preference or know of a good place someone could go to get some Snowskates?
A: My tips for anyone wanting to try snowskates is go for it. You will be amazed how fun they are. The speed and maneuverability is amazing. The feeling is just pure awesome getting air off a jump and carving the hill up. The only place to get them is online at sleddogs.com. They are all over in Europe and there is a distributor in Canada and now the U.S. If you are from the US the site would be sleddogsusa.com. The main company is based in Norway, sleddogs.com
Q: Anything else you would like to add to conclude this interview? Personal notes, thanks, referrals, shout outs, etc...
A: If you are considering trying these awesome things you will not be disappointed. I'm 44 years old and I feel like a little kid again when I'm on these. If any of the readers would like to know more about them they can contact me on Facebook... Dean Ceccoli. The freedom of these are unexplainable compared to being on skis and snowboards. Don't get me wrong, I still love skis and snowboards but these babies bring fun to a whole new level... and remember, simple to use!!!!.... lol. Thank you for the interview, and to all of you that wanna see clips of them in action.. just go on youtube and type in sled dogs snowskates, tons of videos from all over to watch. Don't hesitate for anyone to contact me about these. I would be more than happy to hear from anyone who is interested and to tell them more about them....so long fellow snow lovers.