The more I've gotten into skiing, the more my wallet has suffered- as I've added powder skis, ice skis, telemark skis, and backcountry skis to my quiver.
If you're just starting backcountry skiing, it seems even more expensive- new skins, shovel, beacon, probe, and those incredibly expensive $500 bindings. For many people, the lack of a cheap option limits how they can enjoy the mountains.
I started backcountry skiing when I was a student in college, and I'm now once again on a student budget, this time in graduate school. But in the hours I've spent skinning up powder-covered mountains, I've come up with a solution: a standard adapter that lets you mix-and-match between bindings and skis. Slide the bindings off, and move them to another set of skis- or replace them with a different style of bindings. Simply click the bindings in, and you're ready to make turns.
Initially, the idea was just for me and my wife, so that we could move our expensive backcountry bindings between our quiver. But over the course of building prototypes and talking with friends, I realized that this was a problem that many skiers feel, and that I had found a solution that could help many people enjoy skiing more, or take their first strides in the backcountry.
The 2015-16 winter was good here in Tahoe, and I had ample opportunity to test and refine the design as I racked up nearly 500,000 feet of vertical gain in a season that saw me on the slopes nearly 100 days. Testing the bindings let me come to trust them, identify improvements, and iterate the design.
The result is the design that we're now launching for pre-order as the patent-pending SwitchSki system. I'm just a one-person startup, so I need both your feedback and your help: I want to hear how you would use these and the concerns that you have, but also need your pre-orders that I can understand how many binding adapters we need to make as I start to talk with vendors. If I don't hear anything from you and your friends, these will just stay on my skis and never make it to a factory- but with your help, we can see these on skis around the world.
So get started- check out our starter kit for switching skis if you're expanding your quiver, or our kit for switching bindings if you're just getting into backcountry or telemark skiing. Everything is 100% interoperable, so you can add or expand components as your quiver expands.