What is a skibob?
A skibob is a type of winter sports equipment consisting of a frame, on which two skis are mounted in a line. The front ski is controlled by a handlebar. It is ridden seated on snow, using the force of gravity to descend the slopes. When riding a skibob, the rider uses small skis on each foot called foot skis.
Who can ride a skibob?
Almost everyone, from small children to seniors, can ride a skibob. Because of its stable design, it is especially suited to people with balance, strength and endurance issues. Is is easy on the joints, so is ideal for those with joint issues or joint replacements. It is also excellent for those with fear, anxiety, or cognitive challenges.
What is the difference between a skibob and a skibike?
Many people use the terms interchangeably, but there are specific differences. The word skibob' originated when the sport was first developed. Today, it refers to the traditional design that is still used for racing today. Here in the United States, a skibob is sometimes referred to as a 'classic skibike'. It has a low center of gravity and is ridden seated, with the rider wearing a foot ski on each foot.
The term 'skibike' generally refers to more of a mountain bike-style of frame on which riders can either stand or sit, with the option of using foot pegs. Freestyle riders generally do not wear foot skis, preferring to place their feet on the bike's pegs.
There also a trike version, also known as a 3-ski skibike, with one ski in the front and two in the back. The front ski is controlled by a handlebar and the rider stands over the rear skis.
What are the benefits?
Riding a skibob improves: endurance, swiftness, balance, coordination, orientation and reaction speed. It builds cardio-respiratory fitness and muscle strength by using isometric force. Riding also increases core strength by stabilizing and strengthening spine and pelvic musculature. Riding builds confidence and self-esteem, allowing riders to feel a sense of freedom. At the core of skibobbing are the well-being of mind, body and spirit.
What is the history of skibobbing?
The first record of skibob use dates back to around 1850. At that time, North American trappers and Austrian mountain farmers were using wooden devices to transport goods out of the mountains. In 1892, John C Stevens from Hartford, CT patented the first "skibob". Called the Ice Velocipede, it was a singe-track sled with a handlebar. Many designs were made before the term "skibob" was officially registered in 1951.
What is the history of U.S. skibob racing?
In 1951, skibob racing in began in Europe. Skibobbers from the United States traveled there for races in the late 60's and 70's. In 1971, the US hosted the first skibob world championships outside of Europe, at Mt. Rose in Reno, Nevada. After this, there was not a national team for many years. Most recently, the U.S. National Team competed in Europe in 2010, and several riders have raced independently there since then.
Where can I learn more?
For further education, refer to Jacek Stalmach's "An Enthusiast's Guide to Skibobbing," available here soon!
Please also also visit the American SkiBike Association's website at www.AmericanSkiBike.com