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Go home snowskating, you’re drunk.

Snowskating is not rad. It’s fun. That’s all. It’s not something that anyone is ever going to be impressed by. Next to snowboarding, it looks flat out dumb. Your feet may be comfortable. You may get some “oohs and ahhs”. But, you are not a superstar. You are not a legend. You have no claim to any kind of fame simply because you can ride one, or have ridden one for however long. You’re just drunk.

You can’t start a GoFundMe for every event in your life. You can’t pick teams and kick someone off the team if they say something you don’t like. You don’t get to decide who gets back on the team. You can’t work for a company that doesn’t manufacture a single thing and get offended when someone calls you a salesman. What’s wrong with being a salesman? You can’t tell people what to save their activism for. You don’t get to say which kind of snowskating is the cool kind. You can’t demand respect when you aren’t the least bit respectful. You’re drunk. Go home.

I want you to envision for me: a grown man walking into his garage, gathering his Snowskates, bringing them inside to his grimey bathroom, placing them in his toilet, arranging them precisely so the brand name is visible, holding his junk in one hand and his cell phone in the other, positioning it just so, snapping a picture of himself pissing on his Snowskates, and proceeding to post that picture on the Internet. It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard of. And why would someone be inclined to plot out and execute this delusional plan? Because his friend began dating a girl that he dated more than 2 years ago. She doesn’t even live in his town or state. His “friend” doesn’t either. This should be surprising behavior to a rational person. Sadly, it’s not to me. The only thing I’m perplexed by is – since all his hands were full, how was he simultaneously taking a gulp of swill beer? Maybe he had an accomplice? 

Snowskating is fun. People fall in love with it when they try it. But they don’t try it because it looks cool. They try it because they know a guy who looks like he’s having fun on one. They try it because the community is so eager to share it. But what happens when the whole community gets drunk and starts publicly fighting and urinating on the Internet? It’s embarrassing, and we look like kooks. 

I’ve used ProjectSnowskate to try to bring some attention to something that I think is fun and should be allowed everywhere. I’ve been nothing but complimentary to the companies and riders. In a way, I have vouched for you. I look around social media right now and there are little fights breaking out between big names all over the place on threads viewable to industry leaders, true legends of the snow sports world, resort managers,and potential future snowskaters. You are making us look ridiculous and you are making a mockery of something that you are trying to lay claim to. If you call yourself a “snowskater” you should be respectful of the scene and create and maintain a community you can be proud of. 

I started snowskating because it was fun. I started ProjectSnowskate because it was an assignment for college. I kept it going because it worked and was needed. Now I’m logging off because you all are drunk!* It’s embarrassing to be a part of this scene. 

See you on the hill.

*of course you ALL aren’t drunk. Shout out to the classy ones. ‚úĆūüŹľÔłŹ

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Rayne Snowskates

Rayne recently debuted their new snowskate.  It hit the website for CAD $419.95 – complete. 

Right off the bat there are noticeable variations from what we are seeing in the industry right now.  We’ll get to that in a moment. 

   

The things that look pretty standard are the shape of the sub. It’s the magic 41″ that has literally been the “Standard” over at Ralston Snowskates for years now. And the nose, waist, and tail specs just about match that board too. And if you know me at all, you know the Ralston Standard is my board of choice for park and groomer riding. So it bodes well for the riding quality of the new sub from Rayne.  
The top deck is the Rayne Phantom. I haven’t ridden this exact board, but I do have a set up with a Rayne Renegade, and I love it.

Now for the new stuff. The sub is reinforced under and between the trucks. Which is exactly opposite of the new “camel tech” this year from Predog. Rayne is claiming edge control and progressive flex easy turn initiation and hard carving. 

   

The thing I noticed right away about this set up was the trucks. They are calling these “TUBE trucks.” They claim unmatched Ollie power. There are  urethane bushings on the inside of the tubes for the sub side bolts for “ski vibration dampening and preventing wear and tear.” I tried Pioneer’s “tube trucks” when they were R&Ding them years ago, and I think the idea was canned because the tube acts like the claw side of a hammer and pulls the screws right out. Maybe the reinforced sub paired with the bushings will prevent this from happening. However it will be interesting to see if the dampening aspects of the bushings will make edge to edge transfer more sluggish. 

  
Rayne also has some Burtonesque tech pogs, which are kinda cute. 
  
Bottom line, always cool to see new tech. Hopefully Rayne did their Snowskate research and isn’t repeating past mistakes. I’m excited to ride it!

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Predog Trucks

You’ve seen the pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Now you want to know more. Well so did I. I was super intrigued by the new Predog trucks but I also had questions about them. So, I got in touch with my homie Jim Spiers, owner of Predog Snowskates, for the low down.

truck base

If you don’t know about Jim and you haven’t seen a Predog Snowskate, or pair of trucks, or leash, (where the heck have you been for the past few years?) here’s the backstory: ¬†Jim is one of the most science/engineering minded people we’ve got in snowskating. We are lucky to have someone with brains of his caliber and the passion that he has for snowskating. His innovations and¬†products¬†not only make snowskating more safe and more practical, but they help to push the level of riding and enjoyment of it. ¬†I have a ton of respect for him on a personal and professional level and you should too.

So, here’s what he had to say about his new trucks:

ProjectSnowskate: Hey Jim, what’s up? Do you have a name for these trucks yet?

Jim Spiers: Nope, at least nothing really clever or cool at this point… Any suggestions? ¬†Will probably go with a dog theme.

PS : No idea for a name here.  Lemme think on it.  But, how long have you been working on the idea?

Predog HistoryJS: I’ve been playing with polyurethane in trucks for about 6 years off and on.. came up with some crazy stuff back in the day when I was designing the single truck concept that mounted to the center of those snowlerblade ski’s. That was a complete money pit, like most things snowskate. But I learned a lot. You have¬†to love the passion of it all. This particular design has been in fruition for about 2 1/2 years. It took about 6 months for brainstorming, sketching, and finally drawing up for machining to get the prototype built.¬† After that I had Matt Quam and Pablo Juan ride the crap out of them for the past 2 seasons. I wanted to have some serious rippers hitting them hard and with consistency to make sure they held up to a true¬†skater’s beating.¬†

PS: What inspired you to try it?

truck completeJS: Stubbornness mostly, the truck is the most complicated piece of a snowskate, so that is where I have spent most my design and R&D time. I am a bit obsessed and I like experimenting. If it doesn’t work the way I want it to, I rethink it and try something different. My ultimate goal is to design a truck that doesn’t wear at all or at least has a replaceable part that is inexpensive. I was looking through some old parts in my shop and came across a polyurethane rod I used in the early designs 6 years ago, and it hit me.

truck sidePS: What’s the advantage? Is there any disadvantage?

JS: There really is no disadvantage, unless you use a soft durometer. The trick is using a durometer that is hard enough to not compromise edge to edge control. The advantage is that it eliminates wear. The pivot point in the truck is where all the force and impact is focused for every carve, ollie, jump, or change in the terrain. Everyone wants something light and the reality is that aluminum stretches and plastic nylon bushings blow out instantly, which in the end creates loose rattling trucks. Urethane is a remarkable material and has many characteristics that make it perfect for the pivot point in a snowskate truck. After two years of riding time with Matt and PJ, the prototypes are still running solid and show minimal, if any wear. I will continue to have PJ ride the prototypes to help identify at what point they break down. PJ rides fast and hard and goes huge, so he is the perfect tester.  

  PS: Talk to me a little bit more about performance advantage. What is the advantage to ride feel, edge control, and even ollie power? Or is it really just about durability and noise reduction?

JS: All I can tell you Kendra, is that these trucks ride super clean and are solid underfoot. Most importantly the prototypes lasted for at least two seasons under some of the hardest riding skaters out there. Conservatively speaking they have at least 160 days on them. I won’t claim that they are going to add more power to your ollie, or make you carve like a machine. This is snowskating, and all we can do is keep innovating and trying to improve our gear on shoestring budgets and loads of passion. So, yeah.. this is really all about durability and noise reduction. I will let the riders speak to the other advantages.

PS: Yo Matt Quam! What do you think of these new trucks?

quam

PS: Rad Quam, thanks. Jim, what is the durometer of the bushings that will come stock with the trucks? If someone is so inclined where can they get harder or softer bushings that will fit them?

truck complete2JS: The trucks come stock with amber 95A durometer, which is ~ 6500psi. If someone is interested in softer or harder, I will likely be making some for my team riders, so they can reach out and let me know. These are custom bushings and are milled to precision to fit these trucks specifically.

PS: Any conditions they are best suited for?

JS: Not really. They are suited for all conditions, no one is better than the other.

PS: What about price range? And when they’ll be available

JS: Price range will be similar to the Roulettes. My goal is keep trucks under $100. If everything goes as planned, they’ll be available in December.¬†

PS: Any other hot tech you’re working on and excited for for this season…or beyond?

JS: I have been making some powdersurfers and those are turning out great and are a blast to ride. All my snowskate skis have cameltech this year, which adds more flexibility and keeps things light. I guess the coolest thing I have been working on is another truck idea with my buddy Colin Hughes at Ibis bicycles. It is by far the most “tech” truck snowskating will see. Last season, I made a prototype that works in practice, but failed in the field under real riding conditions. It just needs a little tweaking to dial it in. I shelved it for a season to let it fester in the back of my mind. Just needs some subconscious resolution. That was definitely the most expensive prototype I have done, though. It has multiple parts that need machining, high end plastic bearings and custom axle bolts. If I can find the time and money I will make another prototype this year and send them off to Ande Burman for testing. I am pretty sure it will be a game changer, even more so than the polyurethane ones.

Thanks Jim for the time and the tech and Quam for the rad riding and feedback.¬† Watch the Predog’s Facebook for these trucks to become available!¬† Then go buy some!

 

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Christine Tybring-Torsk

If you like watching rad ladies ripping around on snowskates as much as I do, you’ll probably want to watch this one:

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Minus 7 Shop Visit

The weekend of 24th of October,¬†I was invited to the soft opening of The Bike Park at Donner Ski Ranch.¬†¬†DSR has a rich history of snowboard and snowskate progression.¬† Marshall Tuttle, the owner, has been an advocate for snowskating for years and has even provided¬†Project Snowskate¬†with reference letters about his positive experiences with the snowskate industry, which has helped¬†foster respect for the sport from other resorts.¬† In my mind, this mountain is the MOST Snowskate Friendly Resort.¬† It’s the last family owned ski resort in the Tahoe area, and¬†there is always¬†such a good vibe there.¬† So when I heard that they were cutting in mountain bike trails, I was there.bikes

KJ1¬†It also created an opportunity for me to stop by the Minus 7 shop which is right across the street from the DSR lodge.¬† As usual, Kurt Zapata was more than willing to drop what he was doing to give me a tour and talk to me about what he’s excited about this upcoming year (and beyond)¬†in his snowskate line.

If you aren’t the least bit familiar with Minus 7 Snowskates, let me tell you that this business is truly a family affair. Everyone rides.¬† Kurt is a madman in the shop.¬† Just by talking with him, you can feel his passion for the sport and it is obvious that his gears are always turning.¬† He’s not afraid to try anything, and frankly I get the feeling that he doesn’t care what you have to say about it.¬† This man is on a mission.¬† Jill, Mrs. Minus 7, comes across more even-keeled at first, but once you get knee deep in a snowskate conversation with her, that crazy snowskate fire starts blazing in her eyes. ¬† And then there is the spawn of Minus 7.¬† John A. Zapata is a beast child.¬† Taller than I am, he’s growing into his lanky body and simultaneously developing some pretty impressive board skills.

RackTouring the shop kind of felt like getting into Kurt’s head.¬† There was a lot going on in there: prototypes here and there, big boards, kid boards, top decks, sub decks,¬†completes. His collection of completes is pretty rad. He’s got a variety of top deck shapes paired with corresponding sub decks. It’s like he has a board for every personality and each one has a story.

Parkore 1Kurt and Jill are most excited about changes to the 2016 Parkore, their park skate. ¬†It’s totally reengineered. It’s got a Snowskate specific deck made of 7 ply hard rock maple, laid up with poly resin. They changed how the top deck and sub interact by developing their “skate flex contour” tech which means that the top deck and sub have parallel contour. The idea here is to make the set-up ride more like a skateboard. They just published on their Facebook page that this Snowskate complete comes in at 7.2 lbs.

Parkore 2Kurt also let me in on some tech he’s working on for release in spring 2016. Basically it is selective edging (not pictured). ¬†Edges start at the trucks and continue up through the flex of the tip and tail. They call it “hot wheels.” The idea here is for the board to have edge control on the snow, but increase board control on rails and boxes.

Best way to get more info from Kurt is to reach out on Facebook or email at minus7boards@gmail.com.

They told me their website will be up to date by mid November so keep checking in over there too!

With the first snow in Tahoe, Snowskate companies knee deep in production, and Snowskate media crowding our news feeds, the scene seems to be blowing up. Oh wait, that’s bad right? ¬†No way, it’s just some Snowskate stoke. It’s rad. And I wanna thank Kurt and Jill for taking some time to share some stoke with ProjectSnowskate.

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Preseason

Welcome to fall.¬† The days are getting shorter, the air is getting crisper, beanies are getting dug out of the closet one by one, your flip flops finding¬†their way¬†to the bottom of the shoe pile, and¬†you break up with your summer boyfriend and hit up¬†a winter one for the first time in months…oh, just me?

Anyway, the other thing that happens in fall¬†is we see our first glimpses of snowskate media¬†after what seems like an eternity.¬†¬†So,¬†for ProjectSnowskate.com‘s first post after a long summer (preceded by a lack luster winter), I thought¬†I’d share some of the snowskate media I’ve been glued to this preseason.

First of all, shout out to Hovland Snowskates, for consistently trickling¬†snowskate stoke¬†all summer on their Instagram feed.¬† If you aren’t following, you should be.

The first preseason edit I noticed was Eric Debruyne‘s, this one was rad because¬†it included¬†backyard and terrain park riding on his Ralston, but also a little powder surfing on his Grassroots Powder Surfer.

CLEAR. from eric julio on Vimeo.

Then Ande Burman‘s Predog¬†edit from the end of last season started getting shared a bunch on social media, and that was just¬†urban money shot after money shot.¬† ¬†I’d put¬†money down¬†that this kid can¬†stomp huge flip tricks in his sleep.

I’ve seen new product ads drop from Hovland, Landyachtz, Minus 7,¬†and Icon.¬† And a trailer for an Ambition Snowskate Video premiering November 7, 2015.

A few days ago, Frank Crippen gave an update on the upcoming year’s Snowskate Olympics and Strapless Week.

CaptureFC

However, my favorite preseason snowskate media I’ve seen so far has got to be Terje‘s Instagram edit of the snowskate parts in his most recent video project Balance.¬† I don’t have the skills to embed an Instagram post.¬† But you can view it here. ¬†And this one gets better: a few hours later Tony Hawk shared Terje’s snowskate clips on his Instagram.¬†Talk about powerful snowskate ambassadors.¬† This sort of snowskate exposure gets me super excited because the more world class athletes promote snowskating, the more it is legitimized.¬† As snowskating becomes more recognized and understood, resorts that discriminate against snowskaters will become fewer and fewer.

TH

So, those were my faves.  Did I miss any? What snowskate media has YOU glued to the computer screen?

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Landyachtz is on the Scene

LY SNOW2LY Snowskates has been hard at work (and play) over the past few months.

They have been ramping up production in their wood shop. They launched their website (ly-snow.com), Facebook and Instagram, and have been doing demos and group rides at Cypress, their local mountain.

On February 2nd and 3rd they will be at Copper Mountain in Colorado demoing snowskates at the SIA On Snow Demo. If you are planning to make it to that, be sure to come by their tent and try one of their snowskates!

LY SNOW3LY Snowskates are hoping to get a demo going at Mt. Baker in the next couple months as well.

Credible sources tell us they’ve got some new stuff in the works as well for next season. Word is that they are currently designing and prototyping a powder-oriented sub-deck and a powder surfer.

More info coming soon!

LY SNOW1

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