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Ski Blades Vs Skis (Quick Comparison)

Ski Blades Vs Skis

Wondering what are differences between ski blades and skis? You’re not alone. While the physical differences might be obvious, a lot of people don’t know about the differences in performance.

Ski blades have a smaller surface area than skis and can be only used on groomed snow. They are often used by beginners and are great for learning, and doing tricks!

In this post, I’ll give you a detailed breakdown of the differences between ski blades vs skis.

Ski Blades VS Skis

The main difference between ski blades and skis is that ski blades are wider, shorter, maneuverable, and offer greater control than skis. On the other hand, regular skis are longer, stable at higher speeds and more versatile.

Also read our guide on short skis vs long skis.

skis vs ski blades

Below is a breakdown of their distinguishing features:

Ski BladesSkis
Relatively shorter in length and wide in size.Relatively longer in length and narrow than ski blades
Do not require ski polesRequire ski poles
All bindings combined (including ski and snowboard bindings)Better for powder/resort skiing and is versatile
SlowerFaster
Better for beginners (easier to learn the basics).Better for skiing at high speeds

Let’s take a look at some of these in greater detail:

Size And Length 

Ski blades (also called snowblades, trick skis or scorpion blades) are a wider and shorter version of skis. While regular skis are generally between 2-3 feet in length and 4 and a half inches in width, ski blades are around 6 inches wide. 

Regular skis are definitely the more popular choice. The skis’ length varies and can be chosen based on the skier’s height. Unlike snow blades, they are used with ski poles for the purpose of supporting your balance.

Is It Easier To Learn To Ski With Ski Blades Or Regular Skis?

Ski blades are easier and are the best for first time skiers.

Although you’re probably used to seeing more people on the slopes in regular skis, ski blades are the easier option. Blades are perfect especially for beginners as they are easy to control.

Simply put, it’s meant to feel like rollerblading on the snow. While you’re likely to make a switch to regular skis eventually, starting out with ski blades will help you perfect the basics.

Additionally, the increased turning radius of ski blades will make it pretty easy to ski around obstacles on the terrain such as trees or moguls. Its relatively small size is what makes it easy to take turns quickly and smoothly. 

Read about how moguls are made here.

Turning And Stopping

Snow Blades are easier to turn and stop because they’re shorter and that means you have less rail to control. Plus, they have twin tips and don’t require ski poles. 

It’s harder in regular skis because you need to learn how to use the inside and outside edges and it takes some time to master. Learn how to stop on skis here.

Are Skis Or Snow Blades Better For High Speeds?

Skis are better for higher speeds because they are stable and a lot faster than ski blades.

Once you’ve been skiing for a while, your confidence is bound to increase–giving you the motivation to ski a little faster than you did at the start. If you plan on skiing at high speeds, definitely consider doing so in regular skis.

While it is possible in ski blades as well, blades will not be able to give you the same level of stability that skis do when your speed increases.

Powder/Resort Skiing

Skis are better for skiing on powder and fresh snow.

Powder Resort Skiing

As most skiers typically spend their vacations at a ski resort, it’s pretty important that you know what to expect before you hit the slopes. When skiing at a resort, you’ll be skiing over a fresh base of ‘new snow’ that’s covering the uneven snow surface that lies beneath.

While the layer of new snow is satisfying to ski over, your skis are likely to penetrate through it and reach the surface underneath. Your choice of ski blades or skis will play an important role.

Although ski blades are generally easier to control, they aren’t the best option in terms of powder skiing. As the blades are shorter in length, your weight can become much too concentrated on the ski blade–making you sink into the snow.

The relatively long length of regular skis, on the other hand, will make it easier to ski through such a surface as your weight will not be concentrated on a small area. 

Can I Learn Tricks With Ski Blades?

Ski blades are great for learning tricks! While many individuals ski at a professional level, most people ski recreationally–meaning tricks can make things much more fun.

Can I Learn Tricks With Ski Blades

As blades are relatively smaller and lighter, you’ll be able to (safely) attempt spins and other tricks that are a lot more challenging in longer skis.

That being said, don’t try this out by yourself when you’re very new to skiing as you’ll need a little experience or at least someone to guide you.

Bottom Line

If you want speed and stability, go with regular skis. But if you are a beginner struggling to learn to ski, ski blades will help you learn the basics because they are easy to control. 

And finally, even if you’re more of a traditional ski dude or gal, I’d still recommend giving snow blades a shot at least once, to know what it’s like. Trust me, it’s going to be a different experience.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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