Railz may look familiar to anyone who remembers Ice Blades from the late 70′s and 80′s. Another company called Zema made a version in the late 80′s and 90′s. This decade has even seen a few replacement trusses with two inline skating wheels instead of the ice skating blade, not to mention a host of other wacky wheel replacements.
Now you can buy Railz as a conversion or a complete board. Basically little snowboards that you attach in place of wheels. There’s an additional suspension kit that does something, I’m sure. Railz look like they’re made for hard pack, and apparently there are a few resorts that allow them. As if snowboarders didn’t have enough of a stigma using chairlifts, Imagine toating your snow-railz-board with a leash. It’s embarassing to find out about these products from the mainstream media. Come people. Step up! Gizmodo doesn’t cover these things nearly as obsessively as skate geeks demand.
Each one of these little sleds has a rail on both sides to help you keep your edge. I guess they are calling these contraptions Skiboards, but then again I thought that’s what they called those weird skis that combined into a snowboard. The name Snowskate is already taken, and I don’t know what they call the snowboards with a skateboard on top. Geez, the Wacky Winter Skateboard industry is thriving. The Railz web site has a lot of pictures of people trying to skate street in the snow, dork session shots of trade show booth babes and video clips. I only watched one of the videos. Railz look functional, but the guy riding them was either embarrassed or in pain. I can’t imagine any conditions on the slope that would make me want to seriously use Railz rather than actually, well, snowboarding instead of dealing with the extra nonsense. Maybe if I lived on a farm in Minnesota. It looks fun enough to try on someone else’s equipment, but not fun enough to buy your own. The conversion kit costs $50 while a fully set up deck can be bought through alternative skateboard purveyor Flowlab for $140 or $170. While you’re there you can pick up a Snowchuck, which is one of those dog ball throwing arms with an extra cup to make snow balls. Not sure how that relates to skateboarding. Any slim chance these guys had of not being heckled to death by skaters died with the posted shots of guys skiboarding behind a kite surfing kite. What do you call that? Kite-skiboarding? Kite-skate-snowsking? Kite-sail-snow-skating? Whee! If you are still reading this. How about sending me picture of one of those old 70′s ice blade skates. Sure. You’ll do it as soon as you send me that Wheelieboard scan. I’m still waiting.