The term Skibobbing refers to a winter sport that consists of a bicycle that is attached to skis rather than wheels. The usage of foot skis defines the sport’s name skibobbing. Well, skibobbing is also widely known as ski biking. The skibobb is basically a single-track vehicle with a longer rear ski fixed and a shorter front ski mobile for steering.
This skibob also comes with a saddle that is quite similar to the one that is in the cycle. The assembly of skibobb is tried to keep as flexible as possible to provide a smooth ride over bumps. To your knowledge, Skibobbing is also one of the most used forms of transportation in the Alps.
Generally, a skibobb weighs around 6 to 8 kg. The rider needs to wear a suit that is quite similar to an alpine skier. Here, the skier needs to have short skis on their boots in order to maintain proper balance.
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History of Skibobbing
Skibobbing is considered to be one of the most used modes of transportation in the Alps. It was back in 1892 when Mr J.C. Stevens patented the idea of a bicycle that had skis in it. Skibobbing made its place in the international sport in 1954. Well, it started to gain popularity among people during the 1960s and 1970s. The Fédération Internationále de Skibob (FISB) was founded in 1961 as the official governing body.
Earlier, Skibobbing was picked by people who had weak knees to help them for skiing in the alpines. But with the changing times, it became a popular sport among the people who were physically fit.
Back in 1967, the first world championship for skibobbing was held and since then it has been organized every year. Not only that, a European championship also takes place either yearly or in two years.
The Skibob Association of Great Britain (SAGB) was founded in 1967 whereas the American Skibob Association (ASBA) was formed in 1968. The first world record for Skibobbing was made by Austrian ski bobber Erich Brenter in 1964. He skibobbed at a speed of 102 mph, i.e., 164 km/h.
Origin of Skibobbing
It was back in 1892 when the first Skibobbing device was patented in the United States. Whereas an Australian device was patented in 1902. This device was mostly used by the Swiss mailman and the delivery boys. The sport was then developed after World War II. Skibob was manufactured by the German Georg Gefäller in 1948.
This sport became famous among people and slowly reached to international level from Austria to Switzerland, West Germany, France, Italy, and Czechoslovakia and then from Europe to the United States, Canada, Japan, and elsewhere.
The Skibobbing events consist of the slalom, downhill, giant slalom, and super-giant slalom (super-G). The course comes with a downhill drop of a whopping 365 metres (1,200 feet) for women and 600 metres (2000 feet) for men. When compared to these drops, the giant slalom features a less severe drop and comprises 31 gates.
Talking about the official skibobbing race, here the skibobbers compete to finish a marked course of 3 to 5 km long. Anyone who happens to finish the track first while riding a ski bike is undoubtedly considered to be the winner of the race.
Other than the competitive skibobbing events, the general skibobbing speed is between 40 and 65 km (25 miles to 40 miles) per hour whereas the downhill speed usually reaches more than 160 km (100 miles) per hour.
You’ll need to wear a wool top over your long underwear top in the car and the lodge. It is better to wear it under your jacket as this will keep you warm on the slopes.
Ski socks are taller than your boots but not much thick or thin. Wearing thinner socks will make your feet colder if they make your boots too tight and restrict your blood circulation. Some of these socks come with padding at the shins. So, it is advised to go with wool or synthetic socks but always avoid wearing cotton socks as they can get wet from snow or sweat, and will also take forever to dry out.
Ski jackets are generally waterproof and insulated with convenient pockets and other snow-specific features. Wearing a waterproof rain jacket over your wool top would be sufficient as well. But it’s slickness might lengthen any slides you make after a fall.
Ski pants (or bibs)
Ski pants are generally water-resistant, insulated and also come with convenient pockets, vents and features to prevent snow from entering your boots. Waterproof rain pants would be sufficient enough for you. Well, you can add woollen pants underneath for greater insulation.
Talking about gloves, pick the ones that are water-resistant and insulated. Generally, more thickness is related to greater warmth, so choose the ones that are warmer. Well, there is no need to buy ski- or snowboard-specific gloves or mittens, but for your knowledge, these gloves also come with several essential features like built-in goggle wipes and long cuffs that go up to mid-forearm to keep snow out.
Well, it is not essential to wear a helmet, but we highly recommend you to wear one. A ski helmet will definitely help you to protect your head and also keep your ears warm and dry. If you‘re someone who isn’t into helmets, then you can also opt for a warm hat. If you don’t wish to buy these helmets, don’t worry you can rent them from the ski resorts.
Google is a must to keep your eyes protected from harsh wind, glare and snow. Make sure that the googles you buy work well with your helmet, your face shape and fit over glasses if you wear them. You’ll surely want them to fit without any unnecessary gaps. If it’s not raining, then you can also pick sunglasses.
Governing Body of Skibobbing
FISB (Fédération Internationale de Skibob)
In 1961, Fédération Internationale de Skibob was established in Innsbruck The headquarters of FISB is situated in Salzburg. It is under ZVR: 601768835 registered with the Security Directorate in Salzburg.
The bodies of the Federation International de Skibob are the Bureau and the FISB Congress. The FISB is known to support its member associations and their clubs. This club is dedicated to the integration of the sport in society, contributing to the quality of life and health.
It is known to promote the motivation of the population to a regular exercise. Not only that, but it also promotes internationally oriented professional and amateur sports. This club represents
the interests of the private legal sport in the world to the public, the authorities and national and international organizations.
Talking about the status of Skibobbing today, it has made a great comeback in the USA as a number of resorts offer full access, some offer restricted access, and a few even offer rentals. Several competitions have been held in different parts of the country. Although the participation is quite lesser when compared to skiing or snowboarding races.
Generally, there are a total of four types of Skibobs as follows:
Traditional – The traditional is based on skis and is also ridden with foot-skis.
Hybrid – Even this is based on skis but without any foot skis.
Extreme – This consists of anything that is not covered in any of these categories. Generally, these are often home-built or modified. Board bikes – It is basically based on a snowboard.