KUSA - A startup company based in Golden has created a first-of its-kind binding that can turn snowboarding boots into ski boots.
The Envy Ski Frame looks similar to a snowboard binding, but it has a ski boot base that can snap onto standard alpine ski bindings.
Chris Schroeder, the co-founder of Envy Snow Sports the company that made the binding, says he and his dad came up with the idea during a family ski trip about five or six years ago.
"At the time, my father and I were snowboarders and whenever we would take ski trips with my sisters and mom, their feet would always get cold or uncomfortable and they'd have to stop skiing and go into the lodge and warm their feet up," said Schroeder. "Basically, what we thought was why do we get to snowboard in soft, comfortable boots when they have to walk around in clunky, hard ski boots."
Once they had the idea, they experimented with old gear.
"My dad and I bought a bunch of ski boots, and old snowboard bindings, and basically hacked them apart in our garage and bolted them together, and kind of made what we called the frankenboot," he said.
Schroeder told 9NEWS he and his dad took their frankenboot out to the mountains to try it out and he was able to ski on it.
They took that concept to a plastics engineer who helped them make 3D prints of their design.
Then, they took the first prototype to a Snowsports industries America show and received feedback on the design from experts at the show.
"We took a lot of that criticism to heart and redesigned from the bottom up," said Schroeder.
They followed safety standards required by the International Organization for Standardization while rebuilding their Envy Ski Frame.
"When we were designing the ski frame we looked at all of those standards and made sure the binding was within those specifications. When you go to a ski shop they have a machine that they put the boot into and test your binding are releasing at the correct properties," he said. "The ski frame is well within the spec for that. It releases correctly to make sure that the skiers knee stays safe."
Since their company is so small, right now the boot is only available in a large size, which fits men who have snowboard boot sizes between 8.5 to 13, and women whose boot size is 9.5 to 11.5.
They will have medium sizes available beginning December 1.
That will fit men whose snowboard boot size ranges from five to eight, and women whose boot size ranges from six to nine.
Next month, Schroeder says they will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to help them create a kids size Envy Ski Frame.
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