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snowshoe "floatation tails"
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Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
snowshoe "floatation tails" on 01/22/2010 19:21:30 MST Print View

I've never tried them so I guess I'll have to ask.

Does not adding the tails leave you with your foot forward of the geometric center of the showshoe, causing the toe end to sink in more than the heel end?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: snowshoe "floatation tails" on 01/22/2010 20:00:10 MST Print View

Reverse that thought.

"Toe forward" means more weight to the back, means the Tail will sink, and the toe will be high. A good thing in deep snow.

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: snowshoe "floatation tails" on 01/23/2010 08:32:52 MST Print View

Hi Jim, I've recently done a good bit of hiking in some modular MSR Denali Evos. I've had the tails, but have never used them, even in pretty deep snow. I've never felt as though either the toe or heel was digging in.

Because the tails add length to the back of the shoe, you foot is actually closer to the center of the shoe when not using the tails, if that makes any sense. Most longer snowshoes (the peers for a modular shoe with tail) have the footbed foward of the center of the shoe to begin with and the same is true of the Evos with tails.

So I don't think the modular design does anything particularly strange to the use characteristics of the shoes. I think modularity is nice though, since you can spend, what, $50?, for the equivalent of a second pair of snowshoes for deeper snow.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: snowshoe "floatation tails" on 01/23/2010 11:51:51 MST Print View

@Greg Toe forward" means more weight to the back, means the Tail will sink, and the toe will be high. A good thing in deep snow.

My initial reaction is HUH? ... but perhaps you are thinking about the distribution of the snowshoe's weight when the foot is lifted??? I was referring to the distribution of my weight (center of force downward) relative to the geometric center of the snowshoe (center of resistance to the snowshoe sinking into the snow).

@Devin I guess I was assuming that the snowshoes are designed with the center of the foot near the center of the snowshoe. I think that is reasonably correct with the old school Tubbs wood framed shoes I've had for decades. But on closer examination of where the boot fits on the NL Tundras I'm using now I think you are right ... the boot is forward of the Tundra's center.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
denali tails on 01/23/2010 18:54:14 MST Print View

I regularly use the 6" tail on my denali evo ascents up in the sierras. I have only not been able to use them a couple times with very firm snow conditions. Haven't even noticed a difference in handling with or without the tails.

Edited by gg-man on 01/23/2010 18:54:59 MST.

Paul Davis
(pdavis) - M

Locale: Yukon, 60N 135W
MSR Denali Tails experiences on 02/08/2010 01:00:06 MST Print View

Jim: While I mostly use mine without the tails, as I live in a subarctic semi-desert, we have had a bunch of Pacific Lows sweep through, and lots of deep new snow, about 60cm in total depth, in the last week or so, so I have bolted on the 8inch tails for the past couple of days.

The flotation is good, I don't notice the extra weight when wearing them, I do notice the weight of the tails when I strap them to my pack for the road-walk in.

There are conditions, like post-holing up or down slopes in deep, soft snow, where maybe the tails would be better left off--but you can do that easily.

The added length can be a bit disconcerting if strapped (lazily!) under the lid of your pack---with tails they are wide enough to snag door-frames on!