Months before Covid-19, Summit County snowskater Harrison Bell is captured spraying powder in Breckenridge, Colorado
The 1st annual Hovland Snowskate Jam is where we met Ed Sick or @snowskater6 on Instagram. I noticed that out of all the snowskaters, he had a much longer ski than most of the other riders. I asked him why he chose a longer ski, and he looked at me and grinned. "Because I like to ride, not just the park, but the entire mountain on my snowskate." There was a time when I thought of snowskaters solely as park riders, but after riding with Sick, it changed my entire outlook on what terrain the snowskate can handle.
Ed and many of the Hovland snowskaters are riding what is called the bideck snowskate. It has a top skateboard deck to stand on and a lower deck that is a ski. To put it in perspective, the ski on a Hovland Buckshot is 126 cm in length. Ed was riding a custom snowskate that had at least a 160 cm length ski.
Ed is a veteran skater and snowboarder, an OG. One of those snowboarders who has been riding for so long that they are open to new experiences. While talking about his upcoming line of snowskates, he said, "I love how the snowskate movement has evolved, but we are all different. I love to snowskate, but I love to ride my snowskate on the entire mountain, not just the park. Don't get me wrong, I love the park, but I also love tree runs, and I like to take the snowskate to the very top of the mountain. I want people to realize that you can be comfortable with a snowskate anywhere on the mountain."
Fast forward to the next generation, and we meet Harrison Bell. And it just so happens that Bell embodies everything that Sick told me a year ago, but get this, he is a much different rider. You see, Harrison and the ALOUD snowskate is what would happen if downhill longboarding met bindless snowboarding. He loves speed and is looking to go as fast as possible. He has already hit speeds over 50 mph and is looking to break speed records on the snowskate. Bell likes the park, and like ALOUD founder Sick, he wants to take the board on high altitude ungroomed terrain, but what Bell loves is clear groomers to work on his form. Here he modifies his tucks and turns to be as efficient as possible, with the least amount of drag. To see Bell at top speeds is mesmerizing, but to see him take that snow skate to the top of Imperial Chair and ride it down to the parking lot in Breckenridge says something about the possibilities.
"Right now, I am just building awareness about the snowskate and its capabilities. By splitting the seasons between longboarding and snowskating, I continuously can work on my form to get more speed. Check my Instagram @bellharrison for updates and accomplishments and @aloudsnowskates to know what is happening with our movement.
Because Bell is combining the best of 2 worlds with his snow skating style, he never loses stride. During the winter, he snowskates while in the summertime, he gets to practice on his longboard, hitting those same top speeds on Colorado roads.