The Weirdest Ways to Slide on Snow: Monoski

From a skibob to a teleboard, Outside presents a definitive compendium of the snow-sliding tools and toys that will take your breath away. Safety not guaranteed.

    Photo: Courtesy of Monoski.net

NAME: Monoski or monoboard.

WHAT IT IS: A single very wide ski with traditional alpine bindings mounted side by side. A monoski is shaped differently than a snowboard with a different flex pattern, so don’t be a pounder and ask about a monoskier’s cool looking "snowboard."

FIRST APPEARED: Late 1950s. American Dennis Phillips took a single waterski, slapped some bindings on it, and took it to his local hill in Hyak, Washington, near Snoqualmie Pass. As he mono-wiggle-turned down the slope, a revolution was born. In 1961, Jack Marchand received a patent for a single-ski with parallel bindings, making him the official inventor. To promote his invention, Marchand attacked the ferocious slopes of Central Park, demonstrating mono-dominance to the gathered hordes.

15 MINUTES OF FAME: 1971-72. Surfer and mono-maniac Mike Doyle made a short film with Dick Barrymore featuring 268 consecutive Powder 8 turns on monos. That same year Ski Magazine covered monosking. But by 1976, when Doyle saw one of the first Winterstick snowboard prototypes, he knew that monoskiing’s future was in jeopardy.

WHO RIDES: One-piece ski suit afficionados; French guys. The monoski turn is a special thing to witness, requiring a combination of butt-wiggle and panache rarely seen on this side of the pond. Fortunately, a handy guide can help you mater the technique—it even includes advice on how to carry your deck from the car to the lift. Modern-day monoskiing is enjoying something of Renaissance, possibly due to the emergence of the split mono (also known as a pair of skis).

RELATION TO SKIING/SNOWBOARDING: Long-lost foreign cousin.

GET DIALED:
1. Monopalooza 2013 (the place to see and be seen in the mono-world)
2. Duret (leading French monoski manufacturer)

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