The origins of snowscoot go back to the very early 1990s, when on a winter’s evening in 1991, a small group of snowboarding friends waited out a snowstorm in a Swiss chalet. One of them, a Frenchman by the name of Franck Petoud, came up with a crazy idea – not so crazy after all: to merge his two favorite sports, BMX and snowboarding, and realize his dream of riding down the ski slopes… on a bike, as it happens, and cut his snowboard in two, attaching it to a scooter frame.
- In 1991, Franck Petoud filed a patent and launched the manufacture and marketing of his invention.
- In 1992, the first snowscoots were produced under license from the “Sunn” bicycle brand headed by its leader Max Commençal.
- In 1993, the snowscoot was awarded an honorary diploma at the Lépine competition.
- Since 1994, Franck Petoud has been working to make this new sliding discipline known throughout the world.
- In 1996, the snowscoot was exported to Japan and the USA.
- In 1999, when the Sunn company went into receivership, Franck Petoud took over the operating rights under the“Insane Toys” brand and set up his own company in Switzerland.
- In 2017 Insane Toys went into receivership, and the company was bought out and taken over under the name“SnowscootDoc“
Snowscoot was also in demand every winter by multi-sport event organizers such as the “Playstation Airgames” and the “Bluewin Fly sessions”, during which Xavier Jacquemet and Ludo Guitton, the discipline’s top specialists for the first ten years, performed spectacular freestyle shows for thousands of spectators, not forgetting Nicolas Pillin, who later took over from the pioneers to continue developing the style. Today, most of these events are organized and supervised by sports associations.
Today, snowscoots are exported to some fifteen countries around the world. A few thousand snowscoots are produced every year, the biggest production being that of the“Jykk Japan” brand. Since 2005, a number of other brands have emerged, bringing variations to the initial concept, such as the Black Mountain brand, which launched a patent on “full-suspension” machines.
Snowscoot quickly became a state of mind, blending several cultures, including BMX and snowboarding. Easy enough for beginners, snowscooting attracts a variety of riders from mountain biking, motocross and personal watercraft.
Its popularity is still low, and it’s a “niche” sport that only emerges from anonymity thanks to the competitions that are regularly organized. These competitions bring snowshoeing enthusiasts together and raise the profile of the sport in the media.
Although snowscoots are permitted in most ski resorts, they are not unanimously embraced, and some resorts still refuse to accept them. It’s undoubtedly one of the easiest snow sports to get to grips with, but it’s also one of the most spectacular.
Over time, the discipline has taken on a more structured form, with the creation of the French Snowscoot Association (AF2S) in 2001, which became the FFS: Fédération Francaise de Snowscoot in 2005. The Swiss Snowscoot Federation (F3S) appeared in 2005, and an International Federation is in the pipeline, with the aim of one day taking the sport to the Winter Olympics.
It is possible to become a snowscoot guide by agreement with the French Ministry of Youth and Sport.
Since 2006, some French ski schools (ESF) have been offering courses in France.
since then, the ESF at Notre Dame de Bellecombe (73) has been offering such courses.