Do you love the ease and simplicity of climbing up a ridge on snowshoes but envy those skiers that make the trip back down in 20 minutes. Yeah, it takes you just as long to go down as it did to go up! If so, the Shoeboard may be for you.
Their literature claims: “Better than a snowshoe, good as a ski!”
Shoeboard in ski mode. This shows a binding very similar to a snowboard, but in snowshoe mode the binding pivots at the toe. There is a small necessities pouch at the back of the binding.
The Shoeboard is a short, plastic ski with a twist. Wings fold out on either side of the Shoeboard to increase surface area and flotation. Attach the rear crampon and you have an instant pivoting snowshoe with both front and rear crampons. When you’re done snowshoeing, fold in the wings and off you go down the mountain.
Shoeboard in snowshoe mode. Wings fold out from under the ski and a rear crampon attaches.
The Shoeboard works best with a snowboard boot. Unfortunately, we didn’t have boarding boots, so we could only watch as others tried them. They had a bunch of demos at the show and people were doing well with them. We saw a number of folks skiing with reasonable success on the demo slopes of Backcountry Basecamp. Other boots, like a Sorel, may work but will suffer stability issues when skiing if they do not provide enough ankle support.
Detail of the bottom of the Shoeboard in snowshoe mode with side wings, both crampons, and the pivoting toe.
We asked, but Shoeboard didn’t know the weight. We picked one up and it felt pretty heavy, but then it was doing duty as both a snowshoe and a ski. Price will be approximately $300. We tried their website www.shoeboard.com, but it’s not up yet. Best chance is to call them at (801) 633-3490.