While some might try and convince you that the only two “real” snowsport disciplines are snowboarding and skiing, they’d be dead wrong. They might be the most popular, but there are a million-and-one other ways to slide down a snow-covered slope, including snow skates, snow blades, and yes, airboarding. Using an inflatable boogieboard/sled with a reinforced bottom and grooves to help set an edge, airboards can carve, ride in powder, and look like a whole lot of fun.
While it may seem kooky as hell, this emerging snowsports discipline might be, well, the boogie boarding of snow – user friendly, but with potential for some real bodyboard-esque funformance. Flat-spin 360’s, anyone? How about some flips? And while at best you might get some looks (and at worst get kicked off the mountain) for walking up to the lift with an airboard, ski hills like Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont have already seen the fun potential of these strange devices, opening up runs to the new sport during the week.
Not only that, but I could see airboarding making waves in the backcountry as well – just deflate the device and tromp up the hill on snowshoes – it’ll take you less time to pump up your airboard than it will your buddies to strip the skins off their skis. Just make sure there’s plenty of snow coverage or you might end up walking down with a punctured airboard.