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Douglas Ray
(dirtbagclimber)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Another New Ski... on 02/01/2011 11:13:04 MST Print View

http://www.mtnapproach.com/

This thing looks like it could have great potential for back country travel. The binding looks very versatile and the packed size looks like it would make bushwhacking with skis on your pack about 300% easier.

I'm thinking with a permanent skin these will not really be "skis" on the descent. Faster than snowshoes all around perhaps though, and realistically you can't ski that much without ski boots so something in this realm might be the best thing for those wanting to travel on snow with other footwear.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Another New Ski... on 02/01/2011 11:23:57 MST Print View

1. The binding system seems to be some simple straps with no release mechanism possible.
2. The hinges look like they might fold up unexpectedly.
3. $795 price!

--B.G.--

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Re: Another New Ski... on 02/01/2011 18:42:37 MST Print View

Wow! That is a really clever folding ski. It is interesting that it was developed for snowboarders, and not spring skiers. I've tried to build my own spring ski but this looks better in many ways. Of course, I have questions:

1) How well do they glide? The binding looks like it would glide fairly well. The permanent skin is a mistake (in my mind) but it makes sense for their market. Otherwise, you have to put on/take off the skin every time you fold the ski. I would prefer doing that, and simply have fish scales on the skis (with decent camber).

2) Do the bindings provide enough control? I was really surprised at how much control I had with Berwin bindings and my all leather hiking boots. My boots are pretty stiff, so that is where the control came from. But compared to Alpine ski boots, the boots I hike in are much lighter and softer (and much better for hiking). Yet I was able to control my mini-skis with great precision (at the cost, unfortunately, of gliding). So, if these fit like Berwin bindings on top of a hinge, then they should work really well (the "Berwin on top of hinge" works really well for my brother).

3) Any chance you can make them skinnier? That width seems like ridiculous overkill. Now, granted, this is sold as a powder approach ski, but still. More to the point, for a spring ski, I would want something a lot skinnier. At that length (150 cm) I think 80 mm would be plenty.

4) Is the price negotiable? :) As much as I don't like it, I can understand why they charge this much. It really isn't for skiers, but for snowboarders. Split boards are really expensive, while regular snowboards can be much cheaper (and certainly perform better for the price). Using snowshoes is a cheap alternative, but if there is a long flat or rolling section, then snowboarders will want something like this.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Re: Another New Ski... on 02/01/2011 19:18:08 MST Print View

1. The binding system seems to be some simple straps with no release mechanism possible.
Good point, but if I understand this correctly, it is a Nordic system. This, plus the short length suggests that it is unlikely you would torque your knee with them. Then again, maybe they are sold only for light duty use, so maybe they aren't meant for serious downhill (they are sold for snowboarders who are expected to switch to a board when they get to the tough downhill).

2. The hinges look like they might fold up unexpectedly.
I wouldn't think so. I think those latch things they show in video are meant to prevent that.

3. $795 price!
Yeah -- I gotta agree with you there.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
approach ski on 02/02/2011 08:36:37 MST Print View

We won't be hearing from them for much longer, they'll have almost no market.

For 900 bucks you get a Voile split with everything but boots and bindings!

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: approach ski on 02/02/2011 09:46:05 MST Print View

>>>
We won't be hearing from them for much longer, they'll have almost no market.

For 900 bucks you get a Voile split with everything but boots and bindings!
<<<
I wouldn't be so sure. I'm no snowboarder, but I assume that there are lots of different snowboards with lots of different behaviors. If a snowboarder wants a particular snowboard, they may not want to compromise on a splitboard (especially if they already own a great snowboard). It's a niche market, to be sure, but lots of people are willing to pay really big bucks for ski and snowboard equipment and most of those people pay huge amounts of money for lifts. $700 is a lot of money, but it will pay for about 10 days at Vail.

Also keep in mind that this includes the cost of skins, bindings and heel risers (and the installation cost of the last two).