Many snowboarders need an alternative sport for when the snow ain’t falling. Some riders skateboard, others surf, but there’s a more recent craze in the board sports world… Ripsticking. But what is Ripsticking, and is snowboarding like Ripsticking?
Riding a Ripstick is regarded as more like snowboarding than skateboarding. When you ride a Ripstick, you don’t scoot with one foot. Instead, both feet stay on the board, much like a snowboard. To propel yourself, you move your hips in a similar way as if you were carving a snowboard.
Does this mean you should you take up Ripsticking in the off-season? Let’s take a look!
What Is A Ripstick?
A Ripstick (aka Caster board or Ripstik) is a board with two wheels – one under each foot each foot.
These wheels are on a type of castor, allowing them to spin around. This enables you to propel yourself forward using loose hips and a sweeping motion. These contraptions are designed to be ridden on tarmac and are very cheap compared to snowboards.
A Ripstick is similarly priced to a low-cost skateboard set-up, so it is significantly more affordable than buying a longboard or cruiser skateboard. It’s also much cheaper than a surf-skate which can cost over $200.
Is Riding A Ripstick Like Riding A Snowboard?
When you carve a snowboard, you can make long, sweeping turns or short and controlled ones. These keep you in control and give you a fantastic flowing, feeling.
The Ripstick attempts to provide you with the same sensation using a similar technique!
Unlike a skateboard, you don’t need to push yourself along with one foot. Instead, to make the Ripstick move forwards, you stand on it with loose hips and sweep them back and forth.
To stop on a Ripstick, you turn in a similar way as you would on a snowboard, across the fall line.
Riding one of these things therefore gives you a flowing experience, like carving a snowboard. The design of the Ripstick allows you to make long or short turns, which you can’t do as well on a skateboard.
A snowboarder should feel at home on a Ripstick.
Can You Perform Tricks On A Ripstick?
As your feet aren’t locked into a Ripstick, you will find more similarities with skateboarding when doing tricks.
For example, you can manual on each wheel and Ollie or Nollie. You can also do a Ripstick version of buttering, pivoting around one of the wheels under your feet.
Here’s the guys at Braille Skateboarding giving it a go:
Experienced Ripstickers can even kickflip, just like a skateboarder. After a while, you’ll notice that there are many combinations of tricks open to you on a Ripstick.
Is Learning How To Ripstick Challenging?
Learning to Ripstick has some similarities to learning to snowboard.
You will initially struggle with balance and fall over quite a lot (I certainly did!). However, many people who have embraced the Ripstick have dubbed it the “best way to ride sideways without snow.”
Here’s a very brief rundown of how to get started on a Ripstick:
- To set off on a Ripstick, start with your dominant foot on the board, and push off with your other foot. Note: Make sure you push off hard, or the caster wheels won’t line up, preventing you from carving.
- Once you get moving and find your balance, you can instantly start carving.
- Keep your hips loose and transfer your weight between your front and back foot (like heelside and toeside turns on your snowboard).
It’s pretty intuitive. If you’re used to snowboarding then you’ll take to Ripsticking fairly quickly.
The Best Ripstick For Snowboarders
I’ve tested a bunch of Ripstick’s in my time. The best overall Ripstick is the Razor Ripstik Ripster. This is the perfect all rounder and comes in at a great price point.
There are more expensive options on the market, but unless you’re an advanced Ripsticker, they’re unnecessary.
- The Razor RipStik Ripster’s lightweight and compact size is perfect for riders with a narrowerstance
- Inclined, 360-degree caster trucks and concave deck provide a one-of-a-kind, twist-and-carve ride
- Slip-resistant deck platforms deliver maximum grip
- High-grade urethane wheels with ABEC-5 bearings deliver a smooth ride
So, is snowboarding like Ripsticking?
Unfortunately, there is no true replacement for snowboarding. But if you’re looking for something to do in the summer months, give Rip-sticking a go!
Alternatively, consider another form of board-sport. As discussed in a separate article, surfing helps with snowboarding!