Eight years in the making, a piece of Aussie ingenuity could be carving up the snowfields of Europe thanks to two Central Coast brothers.
Ben and Mick Bateman have combined their love of bodyboarding and snow boarding to create the “Snoogee Board” — billed as the ultimate carving sled.
Ben lived in New Haven, Connecticut, for two years where he developed a passion for snow boarding.
Having grown up body boarding on the Coast, the adrenaline seeker wanted a way to combine the two.
Several prototypes later, he and his brother took their concept to an industrial designer who created the top deck and trucks, which can be fitted to any snowboard using the existing binding screw holes.
“We wanted something that gives you the flexibility of sledding with the control of snow boarding,” Ben said.
Sledding is huge in Europe where 500 ski resorts have designated sled runs and to a lesser extent North America, where it is popular on local hills in winter.
But most sleds have either limited to no real steering capability.
Ben said by using a snowboard it gave their bodyboard-like sled unprecedented control for big carves, stopping and jumps.
The other handy thing about the Snoogee Board is there are no bindings, which means people can step off a ski lift and start sliding down a run straight away.
Mick said the Snoogee Board had about 80 per cent of the steering capability of skis or snowboards in most conditions but outperformed any sled on the market in “powder”.
“Most sleds struggle in powder,” he said.
“The board takes the edge control of a snowboard and the functionality of a bodyboard, and not only bridges the gap, but creates a whole new category.
“It’s the only sled that turns and stops on its edges, is capable of both resort run and urban sledding and riders can do more than lay down — they can sit, kneel, or stand.”
The pair have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the manufacturing of 100 units they hope to take to Europe and really begin marketing their innovation.
The pair said the top deck and trucks of the Snoogee Board would retail for US$377 or about AUS$535 but were being offered at an early bird price of US$197 (about AUS$279).
Mick said that was about the cost of a new pair of snowboard bindings, which would give snowboard owners a whole new way to enjoy their existing boards.