The purpose of this site is to introduce you to the Slope Surfer TM, including how you can help get this product launched and have one of your own.
Scroll down to visit our FAQWatch an introductory video
It looks complicated, is it reliable?
The SlopeSurfer TM probably has fewer moving parts than the bindings of a pair of snow skis.
Through the use of high-tech composite materials, a single platform of the SlopeSurfer TM can handle 3000 lbs of force. That is likely more force than your leg can handle without damage.
How much does it weigh?
The current adult SlopeSurfer TM, with typical bindings, weighs just under 14 lbs. Since it already appears to be strong enough, further refinement may make it a little lighter.
A snowboard of similar length weighs around 12 lbs. So, the SlopeSurfer TM currently weighs about 15% more than a comparable snowboard.
It is a little like adding gears to a bicycle. Yes, it increases the weight and complexity. But, for most people, it is well worth it.
Isn't a snowboard already like a skateboard?
In our opinion, not so much. It is true that on a snow board, you generally face sideways to the direction of travel. However, the feel of a snowboard is quite a bit different. For starters, the transition from turning one direction to the other generally requires the user to swing their back foot around while they simultaneously switch the side to which they are leaning. The expert snowboarder is generally flying down the mountain nearly directly along the fall line of the slope. This minimizes the amount of the swing to the point where it is nearly imperceptible and a beautiful thing to observe.
The beginner snowboarder is generally trying to slow down, which means getting their board more sideways to the fall line. This makes the swing from one direction to the other much more pronounced and difficult. Getting the timing wrong either catches the downhill edge resulting in a head slamming pivot about the feet or the board sliding out from under them which quickly slams the buttocks (and often head) to the snow. These are just rights of passage and survivors generally develop a healthy respect for proper timing.
When sliding on a snowboard edge, increasing the lean of the board will result in some additional curvature. This comes from the waist of the board (the hour glass figure when seen from above). However, the amount of additional turn coming from this is pretty minor. To significantly adjust the turn, the back of the board must be slid to change the basic angle of attack. To put this in terms of a skateboard, it would be like having trucks with very small “truck angles.” Leaning would turn the skateboard a little, but you would have to throw it into a slide to accomplish any significant turn. Then the trucks would allow you to make minor turns in either direction from the resulting new line of travel. Granted, there are other ways to decrease the radius of turn of a snowboard. However, they are considerably more advanced.
With the Slope Surfer TM, leaning changes the effective curvature of the skis the same way that a skateboard having the usual truck angle does. Thus a little lean results in a little turn and further leaning increases the amount of turn. For the most part, any desired amount of turn can be accomplished by simply adjusting the lean.
Is the SlopeSurfer immune to the dreaded head or butt plant?
Sorry to say, but you can still do both, especially the former. There is a simple rule that should never be violated for skis, snowboards or Slope Surfers. Never carve into a slide. For example, if you are turning to the right but the skis are sliding to the left, that is no time to initiate a carve to the left. Fortunately, Because the SlopeSurfer TM tends to "grab the mountain" better, you spend less time sliding and more time carving. When carving, you can generally initiate a turn without catching an edge. The extra grip of the SlopeSurfer TM also makes it less likely that it will slip out from under you.
Are there other devices like the SlopeSurfer?
The SlopeSurfer TM is not the first Dual Edge Snowboard (DES). The Swingbo and Deuce are two examples that shared the feature that the riders are elevated and transfer their leaning into skis that lean. But, the SlopeSurfer TM brings a number of important features not previously seen on the slopes. First, the SlopeSurfer TM uses trucks to not just rotate the skis about their long axis, but to also change the direction that the skis point (just like trucks on a skateboard change the direction that the wheels point on a skateboard). In addition, the SlopeSurfer TM is the first to give flexible separation between the two feet of the rider. This allows them to rotate one pair of skis to produce a carve, while flattening the other pair. This virtually eliminates the need to push the back or front end around to create a sliding stop or spin. As far as we know, the SlopeSurfer TM is also the first DES to be made principally from carbon fiber. This makes the parts that need to be stiff, very stiff and the parts that need to be flexible, much lighter. There are multiple other features of the SlopeSurfer TM that make for a superior ride. However, they are a little more difficult to explain. In our view, the SlopeSurfer TM really is a revolutionary new way to master the slopes.