The sport is often, and incorrectly, called snowblading or skiblading. "Snowblades" are a trademark of Salomon. There is uncertainty about who invented the first true skiboard. Jason Levinthal of Line, Mark Merkel of the now defunct Powder Company, and Micheal Canon formerly of Canon Skiboards all started producing skiboards around 1994. After skiboarding started to become popular, French ski company Salomon released their version of skiboards in response to skiboarding's popularity and experiments such as Atomic's Shorties and Kneissl's Big Feet.
Skiboarding quickly grew in popularity, and soon larger ski companies such as Salomon, K2, etc. started to produce skiboards. This made it hard for many smaller companies like Journey and Imperial to compete, so they were forced bankrupt.
As skiboarding grew, many skiers wanted to do skiboard style tricks without using smaller skis. This caused the development of twin tip skis. The twin tip skis drew the attention of more traditionally minded winter sports enthusiasts away from skiboarding. Skiing had a much larger base at this time and much more money.
Skiboarding was replaced with skiing in the X-games, a hard hit to the United Skiboard Series (USS). Professional skiboarders no longer had a forum to compete, and several professional skiboarders including Mike Nick, Iannick B., and Nicky Adams switched to freestyle skiing. The lack of professional circuit caused skiboarding to drop in popularity around 2001.
Since then, skiboarding has been growing a steady following. Some elements of skiboarding are easier to learn than skiing, so many people with little or no experience in snow sports can use it as an easy way to get down the slopes. There has also been a group of dedicated riders promoting the sport. Skiboards can also be used as a tool to learn skiing, or as a change of pace for advanced skiers. The short length and sidecut of skiboards makes them easier to turn than traditional skis, but their short length makes it more important to have a centered stance.
In 2004, White Dwarf, a skiboarding video by Bentfilms, was released. This video was the first to highlight the technical possibilities of skiboarding separating it from skiing and showcased the talents of many new riders.
Skiboarding, like most underground sports, has a very tight knit community and only a handful of companies that are really in it for the sport. These are companies that don't "sell out" to the mainstream. In Skiboarding, these companies are run by skiboarders for skiboarders. They make high quality skiboards that usually don't appeal to people out of the core skiboarding community. Thus, these companies often don't make enough money to stay in business. Former core companies such as Groove, Journey, and Imperial are no longer in business. Line, today famous for its twin tip skis, started as one of the core skiboarding companies. Many skiboarders say that Line has turned its back on the skiboarding community because they abandoned the universal 4 hole pattern that they helped instate, quit sponsoring skiboarders and events, and quit producing possibly the most innovative board ever: the Line Weapon.
Today, the core skiboarding companies are Revel8, Loken, Spruce, SnowJam, and Summit. Almost all skiboarders within the underground community ride boards made by these companies, defunct core companies (Groove, Imperial, Journey), or old Line boards.
* Loken Industries
* Revel8 Skiboards (rvl8.com)
* Summit Skiboards
* SnowJam Skiboards
* Spruce Skiboards and Releasable Bindings