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Boom. Hovland Snowskates

pic2If you would have asked me about Hovland Snowskates 2 seasons ago, I would have given you the deer in headlights look.  “Hovland?  Never heard of ‘em.”  Last season I saw a Hovland snowskate for the first time at Heavenly, I didn’t even talk to the guy, but I took notice of the legit skate graphics.  I took note because I thought it was so strange for a new company to already be able to produce quality skates with rad graphics.  I noticed a few more Hovland guys here and there last season and got more curious.  But when I saw Ryan Palmer on one, and found out that he would be joining their team, I knew that Hovland was going to be a force in the snowskate world.

HatchBoom.  Hovland snowskates has exploded onto the scene.  They’ve been on tour with demos all over the place.  They are active on the social media heavy weights: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and an active blog…  They plan to double their on mountain demos this year, when last year they did more than any other snowskate company! They are recruiting top talent (newest addition Phil Smage!) Their 2014/15 line up is out and FOR SALE now. Did I mention their graphics?  And, I got a sneak peak at some next season tech; it’s all looking good.  I don’t see Hovland slowing down any time soon.

So, without further adieu, here’s some must have info on Hovland’s new line up:Hovland_2014-2015They have the complete Hatch online for $349.99 which includes a leash and a pair of sunglasses (on promo so the sunnies probably won’t last long).

And, they’ve got some soft goods for ya too!

Hovland_sg

And, last but not least, here’s the back story for one of the owners.  I feel like I hear this story over and over again.  Snowskating is pure stoke and that’s what we love about it!

Hollywood

 

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Special Report: Snowskate Advocacy Lures Landyachtz

ProjectSnowskate contributor and Snowskate advocate Philip Ginn has uncovered some awesome news that Landyachtz Longboards is getting into the Snowskate industry. This is the first huge Snowskate news of the season and I can’t wait to see what else is new from other companies. I reached out to Landyachtz and although they are excited for the launch, they are playing their cards close with regards to pricing and additional specs. See what Philip has to say about that and snowskate advocacy below! Thanks Philip!

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A friend of mine who works at Landyachtz Longboards, located in Vancouver, has informed me that they are now producing a new bi-level snowskate. The main catalyst for them to start snowskate production was the recent opening of Cypress Mountain to snowskating.

I’d like to point out how one resort welcoming snowskates can really positively effect the industry for everyone including themselves. It’s essential for the crew at Landyachtz to have a place to test and develop their designs and have demos to introduce their snowskates. Making snowskates more available to the local crowd will create a whole new market for the ski area, and that group will grow in size every year. On a larger scale, Landyachtz may get snowskates to parts of the country that have not been exposed to the sport (believe me, I live in a state where no one is on a snowskate, yet.) The net result will be a renewed interest for many people who have lost interest in going to a ski resort but are now excited to buy that ticket.

I know here in Santa Fe, all of the skateboarding community has gradually lost interest in going to the local resort, Ski Santa Fe, which incidentally does not allow snowskates. (Yes, I’m trying very hard to get everyone of them to make the trip to the area that does allow snowskates to try one of mine!)

It seems that every person who gets a chance to ride a snowskate sees its potential for becoming more widespread; it’s funner than most anything and it is a viable way to enjoy a ski resort. Resorts that allow snowskates will only help the sport grow, which will in turn help the resort industry as it creates a new market for lift service. To any resort that says they don’t need the extra clientele, or think the group of snowskaters is too small to accommodate, I’d like to ask them how their business would be if snowboarding was stomped out thirty years ago and they had to rely on skiers for all of their ticket sales? The progression of a few people back then has led to a huge industry now.

I would like to see all of the New Mexico resorts allow snowskates, not just so my daughter and I can ride ours, but so it is more accessible to everyone, which will help the sport grow. This will help everyone: the shops, the manufacturers of snowskates, the snowskaters, kids and adults that may get the opportunity to try it, and it will help the resorts themselves by targeting a new market. (Really this is ridiculous. Other industries are racking their brains on cornering a new market for their businesses and here we are knocking on their door!) The future could be very bright for everyone if we get this obstacle out of the way.

Thanks for all that you have done. If only I could tape some people’s eyelids open and make them watch your Myth Busters video. Instead I’ll just keep emailing those in charge at the resistant ski resorts!
-Philip Ginn

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Letter to the Editor – Nick

I just received this letter from Nick in Australia. I love it because here in the US, we are knee deep in summer. It’s nice to get a refreshing reminder that winter isn’t GONE, it’s just on vacation, visiting friends down south, and it’s sure to return soon. I love that Nick has such a minimalist approach to snowskating. I love that he is sharing it with is family, and also acting as an ambassador with his local ski resorts. I love all the support he’s received from Snowskate companies and networks. Please read and enjoy, and if you have a cool snowskate story, please email me! KendraWilsonNV@gmail.com

Hi Kendra,

Firstly, thank you so much for project snowskate, the videos, links, information and stories you have provided have inspired me and my family’s foray into snowskating and it is a much appreciated and unanticipated joy for us.

Our humble story starts in 2012 when my family of 5 were holidaying in the Victorian Alps in southern Australia. We fashioned a very primitive DIY snowskate out of a 40″ homemade plywood longboard with trucks and wheels removed and waxed epoxy base. We were visiting a very quiet and closed cross country ski area about 2 hours from our home. We walked up to the snow line and used out boots to stamp out a chute on a small slope in a clearing for our somewhat unstable and violent invention. We spent all afternoon riding and softly crashing in our DIY snowskate park. (I don’t think we actually had a name for it then)

We wondered if what we were doing was actually “a thing” and found lots of info, initially on Silverfish, your site and snowskaters.net about real snowskating. In 2013 we managed to return to the same cross-country ski venue at the start of the season (again closed due to lack of snow) and tackled the gentle slopes on a old Premier single deck and a prized Ralston standard bideck. The Premier was found locally and the Ralston was imported. Both were sniped Ebay bargains. My kids are 9, 12, 16 years old and with their friends they had a fantastic time just staying on for a stretch of about 50 feet sharing the two boards between the five of them and their Dads. Later that season we visited a few other cross country resorts with practice slopes for the skiers. We also spent a glorious week in late September, after the snow season had closed, at the Mt Buller Alpine Resort, where the snow had melted sufficiently to use our vehicle as a makeshift ski lift on the resort roads (normally closed to the public), while riding what was left of the man made snow on our Premier and Ralston. “best fun ever” was the agreement from all of us.

During the summer of 2014 with no obvious retail source of Snowskates in Australia, I managed to pick up 2 Libtech 39″ subs on sale from the U.S. by using an expensive third party shipping service and also spotted a pre-loved very old world industries 34″ sub locally on Ebay. I picked up some great matching trucks and grip from Jim Spiers at Predog. Jim had great advice and was more than happy to send a package internationally to us through customs with reasonable freight, which was great. We then located some decks and assembled 3 extra snowskates for our quiver for the 2014 season.

Now there is a skate each, with the Ralston being coveted by my 16 yo son, the Premier being assigned to my adventurous wife and the other 3 bi-decks being shared between me and my strong and independent daughters. (I told I am the natural pair for the shorter world industries sub as it is the most unstable and I bounce.)

In March, I was offered a US work trip to San Francisco and thanks to Jim’s advice managed to sneak up to South Tahoe and although suffering from a badly timed head cold, did venture out to watch about an hour or so of the Ralston Cup. Was blown away with the amazing performances and also very impressed by the inclusiveness of the event and the visibly positive experience for all involved. Hoping one day to come back for a longer stay with the whole family.

In May, I contacted all the local ski resorts here by email including a link to your great Mythbusters
video on youtube and asked about their policy on snow skating and lifts. So far only one resort has ruled it out, with no response from the others after a few reminders. Unperturbed, we spent a week in the Victorian High Country in early July with great early season snow at some quieter spots away from the resorts. We also discovered by accident that one of the smaller resorts near by, Mt Buffalo had closed its lifts due to fire and lack of reliable snow in 2009. On arriving at the old ski field we had found the perfect location to hike on some decent open slopes and we started to develop some speed requiring a level of quickly learned control. Even better than the “best fun ever”.

So our crew has adopted the name, the Buffalo Snowskaters and have a small Instagram channel with a few pics and videos of our experiences. A buzz for us when Danny Sheehan and Parole Boards liked our pics and vids. Ahh the joy experienced by just a few clicks. We hope we can entice a few other locals into the sport and who knows maybe one day it will be “a thing” here too.

I think there are some reasons why we find for our purposes “non lifted” snowskating Buffalo style is the “best fun ever”:

1. It is maximum fun with minimal investment. All we have need is a patch of snow. In our case, that is snow that nobody else wants except for a few cross country skiers and adventurous tobogganists.
2. The simple enjoyment of the act of sliding uncontrollably down a hill with very little consequences or likelihood of bruises, road/ice rash or bung knees due to ski or board bindings.
3. Lisa Simpson pointed out to my children that cross country skiing “sucks!”, and luckily snowskating without lifts is just as healthy, invigorating and I suspect a tad cool for those young’uns taking their tips from Lisa.
4. I remember as an Alpine skier from an early age, rushing to maximise the time on the snow and get the most use out of ski hire, lift passes and would stress heavily in bad traffic or chain fitting bays, feeling that we were missing out. Our non-lifted snowskate day trip routine is to wake up late, take a leisurely drive and arrive at the snow some time before lunch, hike, ride, hike ride, eat something, hike, ride a bit more until tired then head home when ever we feel like it. So relaxed and very de-stressing.
5. We don’t know any better yet. We haven’t experienced the lifted version because we are not actually allowed to pay the exorbitant lift ticket price and ride the lifts designated for skiers and snowboarders. I do wonder if the experience will be the same when the local lift companies get real.

So given you are in your summer, thought it might be fun to share a story from winter down under as a small way to thank you and everyone else in the snowskate community for sharing your passion and joy with us on the other side of the world.

Cheers,

Nick and family
http://instagram.com/buffalo_snowskaters. (Will surreptitiously post uncool proud father pics/vids here, if still allowed, once they are discovered by the young’uns :-)
Victoria, Australia

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Letter to the Editor – Tom

I received this letter from Tom Farthing in December, and I just had to share it! His story illustrates how awesome snowskating is and how tight knit the community continues to be. Snowskating will change your life and make you friends! Please read and enjoy, and if you have a cool snowskate story, please email me! KendraWilsonNV@gmail.com

Hi Kendra,

My name is Tom and I’m a recent “board addict”, at 43 years “young”.

Eight years ago, I was in a near fatal mountain bike crash, and feared I may never walk again. Luckily the swelling went down and I wasn’t paralyzed, but as hard as I fought over the years since the accident, it has been a VERY painful experience with many failures(mostly career).

I can’t mountain bike anymore off road as it hurts too much. But last year at age 42 I discovered longboarding….and it radically changed my life. It is a sport I can do all day thanks to the trails being “smooth” and it got me to turn my Facebook on again (was off for 5 years hiding and depressed), got me into doing fundraising events for cancer, donating blood and MOST IMPORTANTLY, making friends again.

I snowboarded for around 15 years, but I haven’t been out since the crash. Well, this year I spotted a snowskate at the local skate shop and was like “HEEEEEEEY what’s this!!!”. I picked one up a couple weeks ago and am beyond excited that I can carry on the longboard feeling all winter!!!!!!

So, I’m rambling and bad for that, feeling VERY HAPPY and excited because last night I got my first turns in on the snowskate!!! The whole point of this message was to thank you for PROJECT SNOWSKATE!!!!!! Your site is the first one I found, and I’m super impressed/happy to have found it. I just read “Ode To Judah“; it made my eyes water.

You represent the sport very well, love the videos and the passion you have for it. The work you put in to “spread the stoke”. It is in longboarding too, and I creepy messaged the “Godfather” of longboarding last year and now we are good friends. To this old NOOB, you are the face of snowskating!!!

Haha I’m nervous and rambling, my apologies. Thank you again for Project Snowskate. I hope you keep updating it; YOU are exactly what this sport needs. You have a great attitude!!

The thing I missed the most, lost in the dark for a few years, was being outside and friends, feel free to FB friend me if you like!! I already got 4 longboarders (also snowboarders) buying a snowskate each this month, and beginning to “spread the stoke“. I was going to join the Snowskaters Network forums today (was waiting until first turns, haha) but I see it is down (FYI – I just logged into snowskaters.net and it worked for me-KW).

Thanks for your time Kendra, hope all is well

Tom Farthing
Red Deer, AB, Canada

Tom

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Legality of Alta Ski Area’s Discriminitory Practices Finally Challenged

Alta

Yesterday, four snowboarders filed a federal lawsuit against Alta Ski Area and the US Forest Service. Alta is one of 3 ski resorts left in the US that only allow skiers on their mountain. The plaintiffs are not asking for monetary restitution for years of discrimination, only for an injunction of the mountain’s discriminatory practices. Because Alta’s ski area is located almost entirely on National Forest Service Land, the US Forest Service was also named as a defendant.

ABC News reported that David Quinney, a part owner of Alta, made this comment in response to the lawsuit. “I’m a skier, always have been. There are skiers out there that appreciate going to a place that allows skiers only.” This comment is obviously narrow-minded, but I found it interesting that if you replaced the word “skier” in his statement with the words “white,” “able-bodied person,” “male,” “straight,” etc., there would be a community outcry against the organization. This kind of discrimination should not be allowed on Forest Service Land, which is why I believe that the plaintiffs will be successful in this lawsuit.

Snowskating is allowed at most ski resorts in the US, but there are many that still restrict snowskating which is also a discriminatory practice against a specific group of people. Resorts like Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, and Mammoth may find that their discriminatory practices against snowskaters will be challenged not only in social forums, but in the legal system as well.

I have discussed the illegality of ski resorts restricting snowskates from accessing their mountains before, and the implications of the results of this lawsuit will most definitely transfer to snowskating and the restriction of it from ski areas on Forest Service Land (such as Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows and MANY more). I’ll be watching the progression of this case, and I’d like to thank the four plaintiffs (Rick Alden, Drew Hicken, Bjorn Leines and Richard Vargas) for their efforts in promoting equal rights on the mountain and wish them luck!

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2013/2014 Gear Guide!

ConstructionThe Gear Guide is currently under construction with changes coming for the new season!  The 2012/2013 Gear Guide is still available to view, but please know that the product and prices may have changed for the new season.  Please keep an eye on ProjectSnowskate.com because the new guide is coming soon, and it’s not to miss!

I’ve just made updates to the Snowskate Friendly Resorts Page, so please visit to see changes.  Thank you so so much to all our readers who notified us of changes in Resort’s policies!

Also, if you have a specific question or topic of interest, please use the search bar at the top of the page.  We have accumulated quite a bit of content, and I’m sure we’ve got answers for you!

Just an example, can't search here!

Just an example, can’t search here!

Stay Tuned!

 

If you are a snowskate company owner, please email me information on your line up. I need prices for completes and pieces, important dimensions, concise description of how the board is meant to ride, and where to buy (website, shop, call in, etc.).

This page makes sales for YOU, so get back to me ASAP.
KendraWilsonNV@gmail.com

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Low Tide Blues… Snowskate Therapy

Here in Tahoe we’ve been hurting for snow. I’ve seen some wonderfully fresh and powdery pictures from other parts of the country, but in Tahoe, we just couldn’t wait any longer and recently celebrated a fresh 4 inches with our brand new powder gear and now are in the garage playing with P-tex.  And, it’s not really looking like we’ve got any more fresh coming real soon.

Weather

Now, I’m all for powder riding and all that.  But, don’t let this low tide early season get you down.

Firstly, we are so lucky to live near resorts like Heavenly and Northstar which have world class snowmaking set-ups. But, even still, they can only open so many runs off their snowmaking, and forget about the trees.

Just today I overheard a skier saying, “I’m so bored of all these runs.” …Ok, so when you are sick of all the runs, go check out the park and add a couple gems to your bag of tricks. Northstar’s park is going off and I mean it. It’s not gonna get better with fresh snow, it is hitting RIGHT NOW.

Bored of the park you say? But, don’t forget, we’ve still got the views! How can you be having a bad day railing turns on groomers looking at this?

Heavenly View
Well, if you are, I really do have the solution for you. Let me let you guess…

Get a snowskate, you grump. Stop being snowBORED and get a skate. Seriously, even during this snow drought, it’s impossible to have a bad time on a snowskate. Everything is just more fun! Just hitting banks and kickers on cruiser runs all day is a blast! Plus, if snowskating is new to you, you’ll be distracted from the poor conditions by learning something new. And, there is plenty of snow to learn. Even if you are an expert, you are gonna have a good time snowskating, it’s just plain true.

Obviously Snowskates are more fun...
So get one, and stop being grumpy.

You’re welcome.

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