We’ve been trawling the depths of crowd-funding website Kickstarter for the best, worst, and weirdest snowboarding inventions that people have dreamt up.
Ignoring the appeals from rich kids who just want somebody to fund their film, we’ve managed unearthed these crap-tastic tat-gems for your viewing pleasure.
The PHNX board (pronounced ‘phoenix’; vowels are for the weak!) is pitched as the affordable board that lets you ride powder absolutely anywhere, not just the groomed piste.
Both cheap jib boards and the pricier backcountry boards already permit you to do this, so what’s so special about the PHNX? Err…? Yeah, we wondered that as well.
It looks a lot like the Snurfers from the 1960s that many believe were the genesis of snowboarding, which is kind of cool, but not so much that we’re reaching for our wallets to invest in one.
There’s something ominously ‘first ten minutes of Casualty’ about that Rip Chord Binding/Break system on the PHNX. Visions of the binding locking on and taking a terrified child directly off a cliff and into a Darwin Awards ceremony spring to mind.
For all of our cynicism, the KickStarter public have spoken and raised the money asked for by the inventors. So who knows, maybe the slopes will be full of PHNX boards this winter. Or not.
“We hope you are as excited about LED snowboards as we are” is the bold opening gambit of this pitch. It’s all we ever talk about here at Mpora. Pick up a copy of Whitelines and page after page of LED snowboards is all you’ll see.
The concept here is simple. It’s a strip of water-proof colour changing LEDs that adhere to the top sheet of your snowboard. Ideal if you’re after that snowboarder-meets-mobile-disco look that’s set to be big next season.
It has to be said, the LED Color [sic] Changing Snowboard is certainly effective. It has one job and does it well. We’re just not sure why.
The big old control pack mounted on the top sheet, right where a stomp pad would go, could prove to be a pain in the arse after a short time riding. An improvement to the design would be to get rid of it. And the LEDs. And the adhesi…. just get rid of it all.
Seriously, can you imagine a respectable snowboard company bringing out snowboarding gear decked out in LED lights? Oh wait…
The Quick Stance is one of those unusual concepts that is both kind of brilliant, and kind of terrible.
The idea is simple: it’s a plate that fits between the binding and the top-sheet of your board that lets you alter the angle of your stance on the fly. You just unhook a pin, rotate your foot on the board, pin back in and you’re away.
We can already head crusty “core” snowboarders screaming “SACRILEGE! -22/18 OR NOTHING!” or other such mathematical bobbins at the very idea of this. But this could be brilliant for people learning to snowboard, adjusting their stance, and getting comfortable. It’ll certainly make getting off lifts easier.
More over, imagine what one footed weirdos like Scotty Stevens could dream up with a board spinning 360s beneath them.
The down sides? As much as we dislike the luddites of the sport who denounce all technological advances, a pair of these strapped to your board will probably mark you out as a bit of a punter. And as with the PHNX binding, we can only image the damage to your ligaments should things start to go wrong. Snappy.
The highlight of this pitch was Shea, the charismatic the snowboarding instructor who said that the Quick Stance would have got him snowboarding “way more fast“. Stay in school, Shea. Stay in school.
No board sport can really consider itself legitimate until some goon has spent too many nights in a shed attaching a motor to some part of the equipment.
Snowboarding is no exception. LEIFTech have designed and made a kind of motorised snowboard that doesn’t require any snow.
Let’s just stop for a moment. How many boards have we seen now that claim to be designed for the streets, but give the rider the feeling of riding on snow?
We’re think the truth behind this is that people are trying to make skateboards, find out they go off at funny angles now and again, and then proclaim “I’ve made a snowboard for the streets!“.
We’ve found you out.
Anyway, the LEIF is one of those ride-anywhere-snowboards that somebody has put a motor on. Where this, and all of those motorised boards fall down is, even if they work perfectly and recreate that on-snow feeling when the sun has melted it all away, it’s just a mode of transport.
There’s no room from creativity, style, or expression. It’s just a board with a motor, and that’s not really the point. No more, please.
Ever wondered what it would be like to snowboard if you didn’t have legs? No, neither have we. But when you do, the KneeFlyer is waiting for you. Or at least it would be if the inventor had successfully funded it on KickStarter. He didn’t.
The concept is simple, and we have to say, well executed. The KneeFlyer is a harness that fits on to your snowboard that lets you kneel down on it, as opposed to strapping in like you normally would.
Ideal if you want to look like one of those kids off the precinct that can’t skateboard, so rides around on one knee. Assuming you don’t – and why would you? – then we’re not sure why you’d hand over your hard-earned cash for this.
That said, the KneeFlyer may have amazing potential for lower limb amputees, and people who cannot use their legs and want to experience the slopes. But outside of that…? We’re not sure.
Bindings. Wow. Bindings are dull. And step-in bindings are the dullest. As such, we won’t go in to length about this failed invention.
Basically, the Str8line is yet another stab at a step-in binding. Only 3 people donated any money and the inventor cries himself to sleep every night. Probably.
What did catch our eye though, was the Str8tline logo. We’re certain we’ve seen it before somewhere…
Oh, and surely it should be “Str8line”. There’s an erroneous ‘t’ thrown in their which surely sounds like “straight-t-line”. Kind of like Yorkshire Ripper Jamie Nichols saying “straight to line”. Odd. Just odd.