Skizee — Solution to the Slog?


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Esteemed WildSnow commmenters, discuss?

Get one?

Comments

36 Responses to “Skizee — Solution to the Slog?”

  1. Elliott October 31st, 2012 8:08 am

    Yuck!

  2. J.P. October 31st, 2012 8:37 am

    Hor-rendous little contraption !! Probably a 2-stroke gas guzzler as well. And how exactly is it that you come down 35 degree slopes with that……….. thing ?!?

  3. JED October 31st, 2012 8:40 am

    there goes the neighborhood…..

  4. Scott October 31st, 2012 8:41 am

    I can’t believe I just clicked on that link…..

  5. Brian October 31st, 2012 8:50 am

    it’s a 4-stroke engine. i think it looks extremely versatile … and pretty cool.

  6. bfly October 31st, 2012 8:51 am

    It is absolutely hilarious. Of course if you want something like that then you should get one of these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYtYUmrt96c&feature=related

    It is a lot more fun! Just need to figure out how to mount some skis to it.

  7. Chris Beh October 31st, 2012 8:55 am

    Wayyyyy cool, bros, this is the poor man’s snow mobile (if it has some decent range)! Looks like just the ticket to push my butt up the Ashcroft road to the wilderness boundary. Is it on the market?

  8. George W. October 31st, 2012 8:59 am

    I guess if you want to go out on your own it would be fine, but I don’t think anyone would want to listen to that racket for even a minute in the BC including me!

  9. Herbie October 31st, 2012 9:00 am

    Probably the coolest thing in the Colorado backcountry since the frozen cows in that cabin last winter.

  10. RG October 31st, 2012 9:02 am

    Ill start paying attention again once a few things have been met:
    - It folds down to the size of ski skins
    -Weighs the same as ski skins
    -Does not make any noise
    -in no way changes the way I ski down

    Some pros:
    -It has a power outlet so now I can bring a larger stereo than my ipod, a blender, small beer fridge, laptop… All kinds of possibilities here!!
    -It has a more efficient four stroke engine so that I can get myself further out into the backcountry before I run out of gas, Then I’ll get to use my new Spot device!!!
    -The picture says I can charge a beacon – Interesting since all but one run on batteries and its not on the market yet
    -It will scare away any animals that you could run into
    -maybe there is a separate handle or new attachment that you can stick, where someone took it for buying this!!
    -does it have an attachment to help throw snow into a pile so i can build a “kicker quicker” – I’m going to patent that name and most likely get rich!!
    :wink:
    I’m kinda surprised you even considered this Lou???? A slight step away from

    http://www.wildsnow.com/8467/crazy-light-tech-bindings-mauerelli-enters-at-50-grams/

    I guess, To each is own.

  11. Rob S. October 31st, 2012 9:52 am

    Aside from the traditional “Earn your turns” hatred of this thing, is anyone else worried it will eventually run you over and then brutally shred you to pieces?

  12. scott October 31st, 2012 9:57 am

    Does it come with an air bag?

  13. stevenjo October 31st, 2012 10:27 am

    Danger

  14. Lou Dawson October 31st, 2012 10:31 am

    It does look kind of scary. On the other hand, it seem much more elegant and minimalist than a big honkin snowmobile for doing long snow-covered road approaches and that sort of thing. The guys who could really use them are the rangers on Denali. Much less money than a helicopter for getting up to the first few camps. This thing could boogie you up from Kahlitna Base to the 7,200 foot camp in about an hour. Or hide one in your cargo sled and fire it up when no one is looking for that scenic cruse up the Kahiltna. (grin).

  15. Matt Kinney October 31st, 2012 10:50 am

    I think its pretty cool. Kind of a Segway for snow. I’d try it!

  16. Tim October 31st, 2012 11:02 am

    I love the timbersled mountain horse!

    Not so keen on the skizee

  17. Lisa October 31st, 2012 11:24 am

    If we get one of those, we’ll have to stop eating strudel.

  18. jb October 31st, 2012 11:42 am

    Can it tow another skier on the approach? If so, might a better option then a sled for those long road slogs to the goods.

  19. Jack October 31st, 2012 11:55 am

    can the wife plug her toys into the outlet?

  20. Andy October 31st, 2012 12:31 pm

    I only want one if I can get a long track.

  21. RDE October 31st, 2012 12:51 pm

    When I was about 13 Popular Mechanics featured a much more advanced concept. The motor was mounted in a backpack and drove a special pair of skis with cog belt bases. When you wanted to ski down all you had to do was flip them over.

    Santa never delivered a sample though—. Now that skis are as wide as snowboards it might even work! (LOL)

  22. Larry G October 31st, 2012 8:39 pm

    I would like it more if it pulled me rather than pushed me.

  23. Louie October 31st, 2012 9:22 pm

    Ok, this thing looks kinda awesome. Pull it out of the back of my car, and motor up Glacier Creek road for mid-winter baker skis? Yeah!

  24. neonorchid October 31st, 2012 10:22 pm

    Mixed feelings. I’d imagine it could be useful up to a point, def not as the goofy snow toy depicted in the video clip. Seems to me some sort of on the fly fender /ski conversion would be useful for skiing on the down from “base camp” in tow as ski patrollers do with their rescue sled. Would beat having to hear the thing running and or waste fuel on the down hill legs of the return trip.

  25. Ben November 1st, 2012 1:12 am

    I just hate it when people skizee the skin track.

  26. Lou Dawson November 1st, 2012 6:44 am

    I’m picturing it now. Lisa and I with a matching pair of Skizee, full face helmets and leather jackets, touring the great outback! I put the Goldwing order on hold, sorry sweetie.

  27. aaron trowbridge November 1st, 2012 9:54 am

    I can’t see this item being a toy, in the sense that a sled or ski head would hop on and ride around for fun. You still have to have good skiing ability.

    To me this appears as a tool, and I’d be really curious to test it’s effectiveness. Around where I live alot of access is by snowed in road on sled. I’d love an alternative to a sled that was cheaper and smaller but could still get you in.

    One problem I see is being limited to day trips with light pack. That would be hard on you carrying a multi day pack. unfortunately that is one key use of sleds here, 20-40km of sledding to get to the start of a 2-4 hour skin to get to a base camp or start of a circuit tour.

  28. Lou Dawson November 1st, 2012 10:12 am

    Aaron, I was having trouble putting my thoughts about Skizee into words, but you hit on it perfectly. Indeed, this “tool” might be just the ticket for folks who are uncomfortable with the petrotainment aspect of snowmobiles.

    As for cargo hauling, yeah, that looks to be a problem. In ideal situations (snowpacked road) you could probably tie a cargo sled to the back of the Skizee, but once things got rough it probably doesn’t have enough power.

    Overall, I think the thing is really cool and have thought of the same concept in fantasy over the years.

  29. aaron trowbridge November 1st, 2012 10:33 am

    There are 3 essential types of sled access for us (using sleds as tools, not toys).

    1) shared areas with sledders. These access roads are hard packed and the skizee looks like it would work fine.

    2) gentle road access with no other sled traffic. Even though these may be gentle, breaking trail often requires a proper mountain sled vs. an old ~<500 shorter track. Especially early season with deep unconsolidated snow. Here you would need a sled to break trail but Skizees could follow.

    3) Aggressive access or multiday: these need bigger machines to break and pull skimmers with packs/Skis. Unlikely skizee would be usefull here.

    One issue that frustrates me is none of us have large sled trailers so people end up driving multiple vehicles each with one sled. Starts to make you really wonder about cost/benefit, whether $, time, fun or environmental considerations. In fact, I just sold my sled (old beater), as I was tired of cost, time etc…I figure I'm better off giving a buddy 40$ for the day to hitch a ride, although even there you can't always double or tow for some areas.

  30. Pete November 1st, 2012 3:08 pm

    I doubt the thing will go fast enough compared to a sled for it to be practical for long road approaches

  31. Mark Worley November 1st, 2012 9:12 pm

    I can see Travis Pastrana practicing Skizee double back flips into the foam pit. Who needs Redbull Stratos, we’ve got Redbull Skizee!!!

  32. BigBlue November 1st, 2012 9:37 pm

    FAIL.
    If it’s as portable as folks here want it to be — then it doesn’t have the mass to climb effectively in fresh, deep snow; fire road or otherwise, uphill. If it is as heavy as it would need to be to PUSH a person uphill, through fresh snow, any where worth skiing back down — then it makes no sense to not have the ability, power, and comfort of an actual sled. I don’t see this fitting in a Geo Metrro …. so its not as though its that significantly compact that loading and unloading is a ‘breeze’ …… again; FAIL.
    That all said – snowmobiles suck. And every time I go out with mine, I wonder if I’m ever actually skiing more or less that day. Modern sleds still afford the most proven record for actually being able to get to places we want to ski. While towing at least 1 one person. So 1 skis, 1 scouts/drives. Can you ‘ghost ride’ a skizee? Probably not. How do you ski down, and get the skizee down too? “Oh, I’m just gonna rip to the base of the approach and park it.” Sweet. Have fun skiing by yourself that day. Your buddies on sleds will already be there while you’re still heaving it out of your accord’s trunk … AND Your friends on skins will think you’re an even bigger as*^$&*^% than the ‘sledheads’ that already beat you there.
    This thing reminds me more of that weird movie “Lawnmower Man.”

    Ski Patrol … sure — maybe.
    With track kits for motorbikes, used ARGOs, side-by-sides with track kits, etc. – there’s no shortage of motorized ‘toys’ to shuttle us BC skiers out and about. This isn’t one of them.

  33. Lou Dawson November 2nd, 2012 7:26 am

    Big, thanks for the comment and good points, but remember one thing: many of use use snowmobiles to simply eat up relatively flat road mileage, then we ski under our own power. That’s where this thing looks like it might work.

    For actual sled skiing, as you allude to, it most certainly wouldn’t work due to all the points you bring up.

    The video seems to hint that it’s supposed to be fun to just drive the thing around. I doubt that. But then, I never thought people would drive ATVs around just for fun, .but I sure was wrong about that!..

    Lou

  34. Kevin S November 2nd, 2012 10:31 am

    Imagine this contraption with an electric motor with a linear power curve, not unlike a Tesla, No noise, no emissions, a very green machine! Once battery technology catches up this could be a cool guy toy to replace the sled!

  35. BigBlue November 2nd, 2012 11:58 pm

    Lou et al, I get it. I do. You want to give the benefit of the doubt. Cool. I love innovation and recognize great ideas often start as as just ‘good’ ideas until refined. Perhaps such is the case with the Skizee? Electric motors; maybe?
    But — I still think as is — this isn’t a viable tool in the BC. Unless you only venture into the BC days/weeks after a storm. No way this is towing and pushing someone through fresh. Sleds will no doubt out run it. ‘Skinners’ left miles behind ….. Short of having a crew with a bunch of these things – (ear-plugs not included) — the skizee — if it actually worked as a logging road approach — is stuck in between 2 vastly different, but very proven modes of BC transport already: skins and sleds. That said, I don’t know of any ‘mostly flat’ logging roads that lead to ‘the goods” that wouldn’t either be fresh and deep or not ‘mostly flat’ anywhere I’ve lived around the West. Then there’s the limited range issue ….. And the ‘getting PUSHED over miles of washboard, whoop-ty-do, FS/BLM/State roads by a menacing gas powered machine somehow fixed to your lower back. I almost get it for ski patrol use, in certain situations, on a ski hill … But anyone that’s been towed a few times behind sleds knows the brutality that some approaches entail. Skizee offers no relief from that — and worse – might throw your back out etc – while motoring along. It just looks terribly ill-conceived yet oddly tantalizing all at the same time. Hence the odd attraction … even by you Lou.
    Just watch the video again. Semi-hardpacked spring corn … and the skizee moans and grunts as it heaves it’s “rider” up the hill … until it gets a little too steep. And then the “rider” needs to start looking for switchbacks ….. No thanks. For all the problems associated at times with sled-accessed BC skiing — there are still WAY more benefits to sleds than ANYTHING closely resembling this machine. In my opinion.
    Actually, in a lot of ways the skizee reminds me of this year’s Radical heel units ……
    Sorry – couldn’t resist.

  36. lechero November 3rd, 2012 3:55 pm

    Rad!

    But thats coming from someone who thinks the Kahiltna Glacier would be kickin sledneckin terrain.

    $.02

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