It’s Winter once more at the October Country Inn, and it looks like there may be a lot more snow to play in than last Winter. We love to play in the snow. There are so many ways: alpine, telemark, or cross-county skiing, sledding or tubing, snowshoeing, fat-tire biking, snowmobiling, snowboarding. Add snowskating to the list. Snowskates come in many varieties but are distinctive in that the rider is not attached to the deck. No bindings.
The two most common types of snowskate are the single deck and the bideck. For mountain riding, the bideck is the way to go. This snowskate has a top skateboard deck which the rider stands on and a lower ski deck, which is in contact with the snow. Bideck snowskates were reportedly invented by a Stevens Pass (Washington) local named Steve Frink in 1994. Ridden in much the same way as a skateboard, bideck snowskates are gaining in popularity. The device itself is way less expensive that a snowboard alone, and you don’t need bindings or special boots. The savings is attractive, and you can ride these things anywhere you can ride a regular snowboard.
Unfortunately, some ski resorts don’t allow you to ride snowskates on their trails. It’s kind of like the opposition to snowboarding that initially occurred. Killington, our home mountain, falls into the “does not allow” category. For all their bluster about being the “Beast of the East,” and a place for adventure, turns out they don’t walk what they talk. Killington was also slow to allow snowboarding. I guess leadership at Killington is still of the old-school variety. However, you can ride them at Stratton or Jay Peak if you don’t mind a little travel. Or, much closer to home, at Woodstock’s Suicide Six, the first ski resort in the U.S. to allow snowboarding. Suicide Six welcomes snowskate riders. It’s nice to be welcomed.