The 9 Strangest Skiing Inventions
From lawnmower propellors to skis with fins, here are the weirdest skiing inventions we've ever seen.
Humanity’s success is down to progress and innovation, it's what separates us from the animals. Fire, the wheel, the internal combustion engine - all stone cold classic inventions. But who’s representing for the skiing world? Where are all the backcountry Bernard-Shaws, and the free-skiing Benjamin Franklins?
Well fear not, we’ve scoured far and wide and rounded them all up into one place for your enjoyment.
[part title="Propellor Skis"]
Sergei Khavlin has put the development of the human race ahead of his own personal safety - commendable. Like the cavemen who rubbed sticks together to see what would happen, Sergei has attached a 200cc lawnmower and a para-gliding propellor to his back and hit the slopes.
At present he uses the propellor pack to commute to work - beats the bus.
Watch more Propellor Skiing:
For the problem drinker in your life who just can’t wait for the end of the day for the sweet taste of alcoholic nectar. The Cold Poles 'Liquid Reservoir' carry half a pint in each pole and look exactly like a normal ski pole allowing the user to drink far more subtly than drinking from a brown paper bag.
The manufacturers even suggest that to mix things up the user should have a different liquor in each pole - cocktails! The Cold Poles can be yours for just $96.00 and come with a free cleaning brush.
Sadly there doesn't seem to be anyone who has either bought one or filmed themselves indulging in a mid piste drink while no one is watching.
[part title="Rocket Skis"]
The motorised ski arms race has hotted up recently with Troy Hartman, a self-proclaimed ‘gravity athlete’, bringing a jetpack to this particular knife fight. He claims that he can hit 47mph at only 50% throttle and in this video demonstrates his new invention on a black diamond run - as if no one would be impressed with him flying around a nursery slope.
The set-up currently costs around $40,000 so don’t expect to see slopes being littered with critically injured rocket-skiers just yet.
Watch More Jetpack Skiing:
Cross-country skiers are a different breed at the best of times but this latest skiing on flat ground innovation is the créme de la créme.
At least according to Cat Ski fans - “the best invention since the wheel" writes one user. “I got them, so I could train with my best training buddy - my dog" says another. Poor dog.
[part title="LED Ski Suit"]
The eyesore of TRON meets the glamour of night-skiing as the ingenious guys from Salomon decided to strap a bunch of LED lights onto their salopettes and wait till the sun went down. I’m torn between how ridiculous they look and how much I want a set.
Watch the Full LED Edit from Salomon:
Ski Lifts are the bane of the skiing holiday. Anyone who denies it is either lying or a T- Bar salesman. UpSki, a Colorado-based bunch of innovators, have decided to finish off the lift menace once and for all. With the UpSki you attach yourself to a sail and glide effortlessly to the top of the run - in theory.
Presumably no-one goes anywhere on a windless day and the potential for slapstick chaos is almost boundless. UpSki is currently a kickstarter project. You can buy the UpSki sail for $2,400.
Watch the Full UpSki Video:
[part title="Hang-glider Skis"]
Very much the opposite principle to the UpSki. These guys decided that keeping your skis on the slope was for losers and took a modified hang glider to the top of the lift.
While the hang-time is impressive, elements such as control (being able to go down when you want to) seem limited.
Watch the Full Hang Glider Video:
[part title="Rax Ski"]
The Rax Ski is an Austrian invention that promises to act like ‘an ice skate on hard pack snow or like a surf-board in powder.’ The skis are far shorter than usual and there’s no tail, just a couple of fins - they’re more like flippers than skis.
They seem to be most useful when skiing obscenely steep slopes but promise as much performance on traditional piste. If you fancy yourself as a maverick freeskier then a pair will cost you $320.
Watch More Rax Skiing:
[part title="Shot Ski"]
The best till last, Take one Alpine ski, cut several holes along the length. Place shot glasses in each hole. Fill glasses with weak, flavoured vodka or schnapps. Drink. Rinse and repeat. Collapse.