Wait, Foldable Skis Are A Thing?
OK, what started as a curious Facebook post title from our homies at Unofficial Networks just led us down a never-ending spiralling rabbit hole of curiosity and confusion.
First off, foldable skis are a thing? Our first thought was “What the actual f%$# would you need a pair of foldable skis for?”, followed shortly thereafter by “How could these skis possible perform well once unfolded?”.
But reading into Elan’s news post about their Ibex Tactix Folding Ski, they actually answered at least one of those questions. Ski mountaineering icon (and product feedback guy for the Tactix) Davo Karničar explained “Folding skis strapped to a backpack allow for much greater maneuverability during technical ascents on foot. There is nothing sticking out above the head and below the belt to impede the climber. Folding skis also facilitate climbs that require the use of ice axes because the arms can swing freely overhead. This greatly increases safety. Folding skis also bring unique advantages to descents, particularly at times when they need to be taken off for whatever reason. Classical skis strapped to a backpack tend to snag on rocks and roots, even the slope itself can be a hindrance. Folding skis immediately resolve all these issues.”
OK Davo, we’ll go with it, and we’ll just have to take your word for it that they ski well, because no, we’re not going to test a pair.
But deeper into the rabbit whole we thought, didn’t these already exist? Sure, there’s things like folding skis for snowboarders, which doesn’t really count. And there’s things like the Travel Ski, which make even less sense.
But deeper still, we thought “Why not just use snow blades?” I mean just weigh the pros and cons! They’re lighter than foldable skis, they’re agile and manoeuvrable whether they’re folded or not, and you can instantly claim ‘first snowblader descent’ of almost any backcountry line on the planet. If by chance a fellow blader has actually beaten you to a line, just throw in one of the stupid first descent sub-category disclaimers like first female Canadian left-handed snowblader descent and you’ll be back in the history books.
I immediately hit the ejection seat and blasted out of the rabbit hole. Enough internet for today…