As it gets colder out, we look for ways to stay on a board when it's too cold to be on the water. If you can't make it to the mountain to snowboard, then you should get yourself a Freebord.
What is it?
What's a Freebord you ask? Well, it's best described as a long skateboard that has a special truck setup to make it be able to slide and feel just like riding a snowboard on land.
How does it work?
The Freeboard is a long skateboard that has some flex in it to allow for the feeling of a snowboard. The trucks are wider then a skateboard, and each truck contains a third wheel in the center of the truck that can be raised and lowered. By raising the wheel up so that it doesn't touch the ground, the Freebord rides just like a long skateboard. When you lower the wheel all the way so it's closer to the ground then your outer wheels, you allow the Freeboard to slide like a snowboard and use the outer wheels like your board edges.
The X-80 Freebord
There are a few different models of the Freebord, and for this review we tested out the newer X-80 model including skyhooks.
The X-80 Freebord is longer then a normal skateboard, a width that allows you to have the stance you'd have on your wakeboard or snowboard. The skyhooks are metal hooks that allow you to put your feet in them and be able to get air and jump with the board on your feet as if you're strapped in to a snowboard or wakeboard.
When you first hop on a Freebord configured to ride like a snowboard be prepared to have to spend some time adjusting to the ride. The natural instinct is to ride it like a long skateboard and shift your weight to change direction. However, in snowboard settings, you actually have to carve just as you would on a snowboard. You have to keep your weight on your uphill edge, and push your back foot out from side to side to "slide" down the hill. After about an hour of practice, I got the hang of it and started to have a blast. It actually feels like you're carving up the snow on your snowboard as you head down the hill. The amount of control is amazing, and the skyhooks allowed me to have a good time jumping up curbs, doing 180s, and other tricks of that nature.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that the Freebord is a great way to keep on a board in the offseason, or during any season. It's a good workout, and exciting to be able to fly down hills at high speeds while having much more control then you do on a skateboard. Not to mention if you're interested in skateboarding tricks, you can do grinds, slides, ollies, spins, etc.