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Old 02-07-2011, 02:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb New Approach Skis - Your Thoughts

So there is a new approach ski on the market: MTN Approach System
They're unique in that they are being design and sold by ex-proboarder Cory Smith for snowboarders and they are collapsible.

one advantage of approach skis are that they are cheaper than a new splitboard set up because they already include built in skins and bindings for skinning (and a backpack?). The problem here is that they still cost $795 which approaches the cost of a burton freebird + bindings + skins and there will probably similarly priced splits coming out next season.

The other advantage is that one can use their solid board. Sure the advantages of solid board over a split are slim and seemingly slimmer every year. That being said, It is nice to have a selection of boards to use in the BC other than the current limited split offerings. For example these approach skis could be very appealing to people who already own solid pow boards: Gyrator, Banana Hammock, Fish, etc.

Anyways, I thought I would get your opinions on these. I'm especially interested from hearing from people who may have checked 'em out at SIA. (BurtonAvenger?)
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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To me sounds like a terrible idea. You can get a split from last year for 800 bucks. I bought mine which was a DIY for 4 and not a scratch on it. I would rather have a split than have to haul a board up then fold up my skis then ride down. Too much extra equipment imo.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Doesn't seem like that bad of an idea.
I mean yeah i suppose carring your board up vs wearing kind of sucks but if for some reason you aren't into a split board this seems like a pretty good idea.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's some quotes ripped from the splitboard.com forum. All were written by Corey; mostly defending his product from the hyenas there who were not thrilled to see this product.

"MTN Approach is a company I started and I'm stoked to see the discussion here, good or bad.

The main point of this product is to give backcountry snowboarders an additional option to access the BC. I've been riding a split for over 5 years and have ridden it in all types of conditions. I admit that I have my split pretty dialed as I'm sure most people on this forum do as well. However, there are a lot of snowboarders out there, and a big percentage of them are reluctant to ride a split due to cost, performance or ease of use. How many of you ride your split in-bounds? Hit a booter on your split? Why not?

Today was the first day at SIA and the amount of people at our booth was overwhelming, everyone was stoked to see innovation and a new option. The $800 price tag at retail is high but it's $400 less that a factory split with Spark bindings, and the price will come down. Our customers already own a snowboard they like, now they can ride it in the BC. Our system comes with a pack and skins and is ready to go. The pack has pockets for the skis and allows you to carry your board vertical, horizontal, 45 degrees or tow behind. The bindings are burly and have held up to thousands of vertical feet climbed with no issues. No skins to peel. The skis weigh 3.5 lbs per foot, 7 lbs per pair + 7lbs for my solid and I'm at the same weight as my split. The weight per foot is way less than my split and i will gladly carry my solid so i can ride it on the down. 1 pound on your foot is equivalent to 5 on your back...or close to that.

The hinges are burley, they lock out in seconds and you wont break them. Warranty!
MTN Approach is not anti-split, we're pro-bc snowboarding. These skis are being release in beta mode for this year and will be for sale Fall 2011.
I welcome comments and would be stoked to get first hand input if you'd like to give the system a try. I'll have demo units mid February, please PM me."

"I don't think I'm going to debate this with anyone on this site, everyone on here is obviously a passionate splitboarder. I've been splitboarding for 5 years and am well aware of the advantages and disadvantages. Your splitboard doesn't ride the same as your solid.

These skis cost $800 because they come with BD skins and a pack and they ski better than most AT set-ups. Lets go on a tour and you can tell me in person that I'm not having the same backcountry experience as you are. I'll wait for you at the bottom. :wink:
Cheers,"


"Some considerations:

DIY split:
Used board and bindings: $200
Voile kit: $160
Skins: $170
Pack: $100

Total cost: $630
Weight with skins: 15lbs
Doesn't ride very well.


Factory Split:
board: $900
Spark Bindings: $300
Skins: $170
Pack: $100

Total cost: $1,470
Weight with skins: 14lbs
Rides better but still not the same as your solid board.

Doesn't everyone already own a board they like? No need to spend money on a split, just ride the board/bindings you already have.

My solid board weighs 7lbs, these skis weigh 7lbs, combined I'm at the same weight as most splits. Plus my weight per foot, per step is much lighter.

These skis come with a pack and BD skins, they transitions in seconds and you don't have to peel and store your skins every lap. They are real skis, sidecut, metal edges, camber and perform as well as your split in ski mode - if not better as they have sidecut on both edges. The bindings are bomber, allowing for great traversing and accommodate any size boot. 145cm long, 135, 115, 125 (tip/mid/tail width).

Currently they're more expensive and heavier than i wanted to introduce to the market but based on the interest at SIA, the units will go up, the cost will come down and the weight will be dropped.

This system will not be for everyone but it's another option for people wanting to access the bc. They will be shipping Fall 2011."


"The system will be great for people not willing to invest in a factory split and want to ride their normal board, which is a large percentage of the market. Leisure trends reports that 1.7 million snowboarders say they are "backcountry and sidecountry" participants. Only about 6,000 splits are sold annually, that leaves a lot of potential customers.

I've been using this system for over two years now and my average tour is 4-5k and i'm not riding low angle stuff. These skis will get you anywhere your split will get you. If i was doing a multi-day tour, i'd take my split."
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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He couldn't expect to get a good reception while pretty much bashing splitboards on SPLITboard.com.
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i don't care how light approach skis get...they do nothing for the 25 lbs. of weight strapped to my back. would i rather ride a solid board...of course, but coming off snow shoes there is no way i'm strapping my board to my back again.
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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LOL! For $800? I'd consider them for $200....maybe. Have a snowboard on your back sucks pretty royally.
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You know, I can't really tell any difference in the performance of my splitboard minus the fact it is heavier. I'd rather have that weight on my feet than my back. For those worried about the downhill performance, Karakorum seems to have that licked.

Carrying that much more weight on your back for the up and down is just too much. You already have your center of gravity pulled back by the weight of your backpack. Now you want me to add another 7 pounds to that? Okay.

Plus for $100 more than those skis you can get a Voile Mojo with skins and slider plate adapters to use with whatever binding you want. His numbers don't really jive.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Carrying a lightweight snowboard on your back isn't that bad, what's bad is when the winds kick up. The snowboard becomes a sailing kite and you get a serious increase in wind resistance.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoboMaster View Post
Carrying a lightweight snowboard on your back isn't that bad, what's bad is when the winds kick up. The snowboard becomes a sailing kite and you get a serious increase in wind resistance.
Or when you are walking through dense trees.

Or when you are bending over to fix something on your boots.

Or when...
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