Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 68 total)
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  • #574242
    radam
    25 Posts

    I guess I had been under the impression that approach skis were dead given all of the relatively rapid innovation in the split industry/community the last few years. Then I received this link from a friend today…

    http://www.mtnapproach.com/

    I’m not sure some of the issues raised in the performance advantage section are ‘problems’, but interesting to see a new approach product none the less. Maybe they have some applicability in short yo-yo situations, etc. Would have to wonder how the binder straps and hinges system would hold up though.

    Reminded me of the old K2 approach skis covered in dust in the back of the gear room, I wonder what they weigh. And have to say I don’t miss carrying a board on my back either.

    #635161
    aksltxlt
    621 Posts

    :drool: They look pretty sick, and there is a definite advantage to riding a solid. BUT at 800 bucks 😯

    #635162
    gtrashfilms
    14 Posts

    Now why wouldn’t you just mount an LT touring bracket on the skis, mount the voile pucks on your solid board, and use sparks? Saves weight on your back on both the uphill and the downhill since you won’t have your ‘heavy’ solid board bindings on the board when going up, and I’m sure that the LT bracket is lighter than the approach ski binding…

    I’ve seen other designs for approach skis, never seen ‘foldable’ ones though. I agree that 800 is definitely too steep. Are these available yet? I’d love to see a video of em in action.

    I’m still loving my splitboard setup more and more though.

    #635163
    shredgnar
    643 Posts

    The main advantage I see is that they are cheaper than buying a splitboard, although technically buying these and a new board would not be cheaper.

    They are not lighter, because you still have to bring a board.
    Although the folding option is cool, I bet I could break it pretty easily.
    The binding don’t inspire much confidence, especially if you were to take the downhill.

    Cool to see people innovating new tools but I just don’t see appch skis doing much in the future. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong.

    #635164
    tiltedworld
    406 Posts

    Damn I sold my old Clicker approach skis too early and way too cheap. 😆 $800 is ludicrous for those. I think if they brought them down to the $200 they might sell some.

    The folding aspect is really cool, as having the 110cm short skis was a hindrance on the down when compared to slowshoes. I’m sure the quick slackcountry rider might appreciate these before transitioning to a splitboard.

    But the “advantages” are laughable and incredibly misleading. Let’s make some corrections here

    Weight – Heavier when adding the board/bindings you are now carrying on your back.

    Transition time – Only marginally better when you consider you’re going to clear all the snow off them before packing them in your pack so the rest of your gear/food isn’t wet/soggy. Also last I checked it takes time to get that board off your pack and the same amount of time to strap in.

    Expensive – K2 was selling theirs for under $300. A solid board and bindings is still going to run you close to a grand at retail prices. So making an apples to apples comparison this solution costs a few hundred more that could be spent on a beacon or something. Compared to a DIY (which the comparison flip-flops back and forth to suit the “advantage”), this solution is miles more expensive as well

    Compromised ride – You’re only losing torsional stiffness in a DIY, not a factory split.

    Committed – Anybody that thinks you only encounter one condition in the backcountry should have their head checked.

    Ascension – Last I checked, a short ski does not float as well as a longer ski or board. Nor does it glide as well. Ever try to make a DH tele turn on a 110cm ski when needed? It can get ugly REAL quick if you drop one ski too far behind and cross over…OUCH!! Furthermore the $1,100-$1,500 comparison being made is to a factory split, which very much has edges on both halves.

    Size – Splitboard has no size restriction, nothing in backpack

    If they lowered the price significantly they might have a chance of marketing these, but no way at that price. I like the cheap shot at “splitboarding is not the only answer” 🙄

    #635165
    Ecobrad
    2068 Posts

    $800 is a joke.

    It would be nice to hear what Neil Provo thinks of them.

    #635166
    Scooby2
    620 Posts

    Really cool hinges there and great website! Great way to solve swinging apporach skis. Good luck to you guys though,

    It still seems to me that a set of Verts at 4 lbs total and $70 (If they are still made) wins for short laps or back to the top of the kicker, and not having another 5.5-6lbs of gear accounting for the added weight of a split & big skins wins on long days in the deep.

    I wonder if the market or best areas of use might be places where there are a lot of steeps and hardpack/windpack, like the Alps, teton park, central CO maybe, bad days & scoured ridges in AK, Spring/Summer PNW where the added width of a split makes things tough. Although you would probably have to make a narrower version and have hard boots in plate bindings to work the hard and icy. At 5.5 inches wide, and strappy bindings, I would guess these would traverse hard snow no better and possibly worse than splits do now.

    After 1989-1996 with a board on my back, I dont think I could put another 10-11 pounds on my back all day to drop 4 pounds per foot, I think there is a point where less weight on your feet is defeated by more weight overall, unless it was in steep, icy, mountaineery areas (where the poor people don’t have pow) where the split has a harder time.

    My :twocents:, cool folding design though

    #635167
    tiltedworld
    406 Posts

    @Ecobrad wrote:

    $800 is a joke.

    It would be nice to hear what Neil Provo thinks of them.

    He’s quoted on the website “The Mtn Approach system opens the door to areas I haven’t explored yet.” Pretty canned quote…

    #635168
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    The only possible advantage I can see to approach skis is for those who feel a solid board offers a performance advantage over a split. Personally, I find a good, well set up, splitboard can handle all the terrain I ride without compromise, including technical, icy, steeps.
    I do not like the extra weight, or the lack of float when its deep, associated with approach skis. I could see that the transitions would be faster (as there is no need to deal with the skins) but this would be offset by slower uphill progress and less vert due to additional weight. And I am patient enough to deal with a split transition myself-just not in that big a hurry I guess.

    #635169
    Ecobrad
    2068 Posts

    I meant what he really thinks, ie candid.

    @tiltedworld wrote:

    @Ecobrad wrote:

    $800 is a joke.

    It would be nice to hear what Neil Provo thinks of them.

    He’s quoted on the website “The Mtn Approach system opens the door to areas I haven’t explored yet.” Pretty canned quote…

    #635170
    rughty
    620 Posts

    Unless you plan on riding those things on the down, they are lame! What happens when you have to boot up something?! Now you’re stuck with both on your back… :scratch:

    How much do those things weigh anyways? 😆

    #635171
    gtrashfilms
    14 Posts

    @rughty wrote:

    Unless you plan on riding those things on the down, they are lame! What happens when you have to boot up something?! Now you’re stuck with both on your back… :scratch:

    How much do those things weigh anyways? 😆

    Obviously, most people on this forum would argue against approach skis, myself included since I’m very happy with my splitboard. I know a couple of people though who’re desperately trying to figure out how to make the approach ski option work for them since they don’t want to compromise on the feel of a solid board.

    I have heard many pro’s and con’s of approach skis and splitboards, however I have never heard anyone come up with the one you just mentioned. Thank you for that, since it will strengthen my position in the next splitboard vs approach skis debate I’ll have with my friends :headbang:. Happy splitting!

    #635172
    wasatch surf
    979 Posts

    the only situation I can see these things being useful in would be if you were no-boarding. other than that i don’t know why you would want to use approach skis at all. i see no difference in riding my splitboard or solid board as far as performance is concerned.

    every rider testimonial on that page seems lame and uninspired.

    good point rughty.

    now if some one would make verts again…

    #635173
    idarado
    69 Posts

    MTN Approach is a company I started and I’m stoked to see the discussion here, good or bad.

    The main point of this product is to give backcountry snowboarders an additional option to access the BC. I’ve been riding a split for over 5 years and have ridden it in all types of conditions. I admit that I have my split pretty dialed as I’m sure most people on this forum do as well. However, there are a lot of snowboarders out there, and a big percentage of them are reluctant to ride a split due to cost, performance or ease of use. How many of you ride your split in-bounds? Hit a booter on your split? Why not?

    Today was the first day at SIA and the amount of people at our booth was overwhelming, everyone was stoked to see innovation and a new option. The $800 price tag at retail is high but it’s $400 less that a factory split with Spark bindings, and the price will come down. Our customers already own a snowboard they like, now they can ride it in the BC. Our system comes with a pack and skins and is ready to go. The pack has pockets for the skis and allows you to carry your board vertical, horizontal, 45 degrees or tow behind. The bindings are burly and have held up to thousands of vertical feet climbed with no issues. No skins to peel. The skis weigh 3.5 lbs per foot, 7 lbs per pair + 7lbs for my solid and I’m at the same weight as my split. The weight per foot is way less than my split and i will gladly carry my solid so i can ride it on the down. 1 pound on your foot is equivalent to 5 on your back…or close to that.

    The hinges are burley, they lock out in seconds and you wont break them. Warranty!
    MTN Approach is not anti-split, we’re pro-bc snowboarding. These skis are being release in beta mode for this year and will be for sale Fall 2011.
    I welcome comments and would be stoked to get first hand input if you’d like to give the system a try. I’ll have demo units mid February, please PM me.

    Thanks,

    #635174
    wasatch surf
    979 Posts

    @idarado wrote:

    MTN Approach is a company I started and I’m stoked to see the discussion here, good or bad.

    The main point of this product is to give backcountry snowboarders an additional option to access the BC. I’ve been riding a split for over 5 years and have ridden it in all types of conditions. I admit that I have my split pretty dialed as I’m sure most people on this forum do as well. However, there are a lot of snowboarders out there, and a big percentage of them are reluctant to ride a split due to cost, performance or ease of use. How many of you ride your split in-bounds? Hit a booter on your split? Why not?

    Today was the first day at SIA and the amount of people at our booth was overwhelming, everyone was stoked to see innovation and a new option. The $800 price tag at retail is high but it’s $400 less that a factory split with Spark bindings, and the price will come down. Our customers already own a snowboard they like, now they can ride it in the BC. Our system comes with a pack and skins and is ready to go. The pack has pockets for the skis and allows you to carry your board vertical, horizontal, 45 degrees or tow behind. The bindings are burly and have held up to thousands of vertical feet climbed with no issues. No skins to peel. The skis weigh 3.5 lbs per foot, 7 lbs per pair + 7lbs for my solid and I’m at the same weight as my split. The weight per foot is way less than my split and i will gladly carry my solid so i can ride it on the down. 1 pound on your foot is equivalent to 5 on your back…or close to that.

    The hinges are burley, they lock out in seconds and you wont break them. Warranty!
    MTN Approach is not anti-split, we’re pro-bc snowboarding. These skis are being release in beta mode for this year and will be for sale Fall 2011.
    I welcome comments and would be stoked to get first hand input if you’d like to give the system a try. I’ll have demo units mid February, please PM me.

    Thanks,

    thanks for posting idarado.

    i’m always stoked to see new products and i think there is a ton of room for innovation still. i’m sure that these approach skis will appeal to a lot of riders that aren’t interested in longer tours and mainly just want to access quick hit/slackcountry/booters etc… i just don’t see them being as practical as a splitboard for longer tours. It’s cool that it comes with a dedicated pack. and i really dig that the skis fold, that is pretty innovative in my opinion.

    a product i would love to see again is the old vertical ascender snowshoes. i’m not sure what the deal is with them, as they’ve been out of business for awhile. but verts are a great tool to compliment a day of touring, it seems like your company could use the folding system and make a compact, efficient vert-like snowshoe. and it would appeal to splitboarders and solid riders alike.

    good luck with the business venture :thatrocks:

    #635175
    jbaysurfer
    947 Posts

    Snowshoes don’t cost 800 bucks.

    I’m just sayin’

    #635176
    jbaysurfer
    947 Posts

    @gtrashfilms wrote:

    @rughty wrote:

    Unless you plan on riding those things on the down, they are lame! What happens when you have to boot up something?! Now you’re stuck with both on your back… :scratch:

    How much do those things weigh anyways? 😆

    Obviously, most people on this forum would argue against approach skis, myself included since I’m very happy with my splitboard. I know a couple of people though who’re desperately trying to figure out how to make the approach ski option work for them since they don’t want to compromise on the feel of a solid board.

    I have heard many pro’s and con’s of approach skis and splitboards, however I have never heard anyone come up with the one you just mentioned. Thank you for that, since it will strengthen my position in the next splitboard vs approach skis debate I’ll have with my friends :headbang:. Happy splitting!

    I honestly don’t see how you can watch a movie like deeper and see the lines JJ slays on a splitty and still call a factory split “compromise”.

    #635177
    tiltedworld
    406 Posts

    I have no doubt you’ll sell a bunch of these (Cory?). I was on the old K2 approach skis a looong time, first as a clicker system and later as a modified system using stripped down binders. The biggest drawback was the weight and bulk in the pack on the way down. Your system adequately addresses that and I think the hinges are ingenious.

    But please correct the glaring inconsistencies between the advantages. What you save on your feet is now on your pack and the experience is not the same.

    Also, you may not believe this, but I used the K2 backcountry equipment business as a case study in grad school over a decade ago. The conclusion was that the pricing was borderline enough to entice customers into purchases and experiencing the backcountry, but the business failed because it grossly overestimated the addressable market.

    I firmly believe the market has shifted in your favor, I’ve never seen so much interest in the backcountry than in the past few years, but the price elasticity is not there, which is why I believe the pricing needs to come down. Your immediate competition is not splitboards, but snowshoes, which is the more viable alternative to the rider that will not give up his/her solid. The price needs to compete with snowshoes. Those that choose to move on to splitboarding will swallow the price, heck I just did it after borrowing a few DIYs and experiencing the differences from short skis.

    Like someone else said, a foldable vert snowshoe with that camping hinge would be awesome and serve both markets.

    Best of luck with your venture.

    P.S. My daughter absolutely loves your Sophie video to the point she wants to “snowboard like Sophie” all the time. If you have any more videos of her, please post them. She’s 1yr behind Sophie and is already in love with riding 8)

    #635178
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    While I appreciate seeing more options for backcountry access, I do have a couple of points to make in regards to some of the claims made.
    I have used both snowshoes and approach skis in the past, at the time I was unconvinced that splitboards would offer the riding performance I desired. Now that I have adopted the splitboard for all of my backcountry riding, I consider myself an idiot for resisting the splitboard for so long. A well selected and setup splitboard is capable of handling any riding situation (as noted, see DEEPER if you need convincing), with the possible exception of extreme freestyle tricks where the reduced swing weight of a solid board is a real advantage.
    Weight on the feet-this is not an advantage to the approach ski system. The weight on the feet argument is based on the idea that the weight on the feet is lifted off of the ground with each step, requiring muscle recruitment to stabilize the weight on the foot in three dimensions. The weight of the splitboard on the foot is not lifted off the ground as it is slid up the snow. Yesterday I forgot my skins, luckily I had my Verts, and I still got a good day of riding in. But the weight of the board on my back was a huge disadvantage.
    For those folks looking to access the backcountry to build a jump, and spend their day doing highly technical freestyle, I can see the approach skis being an advantage, for everyone else-not.

    #635179
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    +1 to Barrows and Titledworld’s argument about weight under foot vs on the back. I tried making this point in another thread and people thought I was joking. :scratch:
    Remember this isn’t backpacking, it is as Barrows so eloquently stated, sliding along the snow.

    At any rate, as WasatchSurf pointed out, this ski system would be great for no-boarding. But honestly I couldn’t see dropping more than $400.00…

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

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