The Weirdest Ways to Slide on Snow: Skibob

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: AISPIX by Image Source/Shutterstock

NAME: Skibob, snowbike, or ski-bike. Skibob is the internationally-recognized term, according to the Federation Internationale de Skibob (FISB).

WHAT IT IS: Like a bicycle, with suspension fore and aft and two short skis mounted where wheels should be. But also unlike a bicycle in that riders don't put their feet on pedals; ‘bobbers put extremely short skis on to help them turn. So it’s like snowblading, too.

FIRST APPEARED: 1892. American J. C. Stevens patented the first Ice Velocipede, hoping to garner fame and fortune. Some evidence suggests that earlier versions of a ski bike appeared in the Alps in the 1850s though they were never marketed.

15 MINUTES OF FAME: 1965. The British Invasion of the ‘60s brought a lot of things to America—one of them may have been a renewed appreciation for the skibob. The Beatles, in their 1965 film Help!, schussed Austrian groomers on skibobs. No wonder they had a "Lonely Hearts Club Band"—after skibobbing no one would hang out with them anymore.

WHO RIDES: People with bad knees. Advocates say it’s easier on them. Critics might point out that it seems perilous for your crotch, but skibobbing is alive and well world-wide. There is a Skibob World Cup, and many models of skibob are available, from simple recreational models to models custom-made for extreme ‘bobbing. Don’t ever let your friends hear you say on a powder day, “Bro, I don’t know—should I take the ‘bob or the fat boards?” It’s a one-way ticket to the Lonely Hearts Club.

RELATION TO SKIING/SNOWBOARDING: Drunk uncle.

GET DIALED:
1. ‘Bob models for sale (prices range from $500 for child-sized ‘bobs to $3,000 for the big boys)
2. How to ‘bob

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