I love going on holiday to ski resorts – mostly because of the après. I’ve skied plenty of times before, but I’m far more comfortable dancing on the tables with a drink in hand than I am on a chairlift trying not panic about falling off!
Apart from the heights, there’s definitely another factor that makes skiing that little less enjoyable for me and it’s the boots. Those rigid plastic shells with the super-tight fit might give skiers the control over their skis on the mountain that they need, but they’re just so uncomfortable, especially when you’ve gotta walk between destinations, down/upstairs, to the bar, to the toilet, dance in them, etc. Snowboard boots on the other hand…
Enter the saviours – Envy Snow Sports. The Colorado-based American company has come up with a potentially game-changing solution. They’ve gone and developed a product that allows skiers to ski wearing snowboard boots – and yes, these boots still have with the softness and comfort that skiers fantasise about having. Founded by snowboarder Chris Schroeder, who snowboards, just like his dad, they decided to come up with a solution to the awkwardness and discomfort of ski boots after seeing Chris’s mum and sister – both skiers – having to stop earlier, take longer breaks, because of their ski boots.
Chris, with the help of his dad, put their heads together and produced a prototype frame to hold a snowboard boot, with a base that would clip into standard alpine ski bindings.
Four years down the line, which was full of tweaks and development, including a complete redesign, the Envy Ski Frame is now available for the likes of you and me to enjoy.
These bad boy game-changers are made out of high-quality aluminium, with each frame offering reinforced calf support as well as four straps to secure the boots in place – so you won’t be coming out of them anytime soon!
While the length of the Ski Frame is adjustable, they’ve also been designed to fit a range of well-known brands’ boots that are available on the market. In the past others have dabbled with similar ideas, but Chris says the design that he and his dad have come produced is the first that can be used with snowboard boots that are already available to buy, so no need to buy more boots just to fit their frame.
The good news gets better, because if you’re keen to get your hands on a pair and ride in all kinds of new comfort, then you can snap up a pair for yourself in a range of colours for $379 a pair (that’s about £290). It’s worth noting that when as I’m writing this (13/11/17) there’s currently a sale on until Christmas Day and they’re going for $249 (roughly £190). The frame comes in large and medium sizes, with a small version due to launch next year and you’ll have to get them shipped from the US if you want a pair.
“This product is not for your expert skier,” Schroeder explains. “If you’re in the moguls and in the trees all day this isn’t going to be for you. This is for someone who is a beginner or intermediate skiing on the groomers – in those conditions they work awesome. You’re sacrificing a little bit of performance for comfort.”
I’m super keen to give these a go so if anyone’s tried them, let me know what they’re like!
Image and video courtesy of Envy Snow Sports/YouTube.